My Three Sons
We were on the verge of a limit for all four of us.
I looked more closely at my sons. I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed it before but they looked like they had just swum across the Missouri River. They were wet to the bone, especially their feet.
They were miserable, and even an active, robust rabbit hunt with plenty of shooting was not enough excitement to overcome the cold and wet.
Then I looked at myself. I wore an oil cloth coat and pants with waterproof boots—the best money could buy. I was pretty chintzy with my sons’ clothing because they outgrow it so quickly. I realized that unless they were only going to be fair-weather hunters I needed to provide them with some better gear.
We didn’t go rabbit hunting the next weekend. We went to the shoe store. I asked for the manager because I knew if I was going to buy high-end hunting boots in bulk, I could get a decent discount. An hour later, I left a check at the counter that would have made a nice monthly house payment. I knew that I would be back next year when those feet required bigger boots.
Next, we dealt with the issue of hunting pants. Rabbit hunting involves walking through some pretty thick and thorny brush. My sons usually wore two pairs of jeans with sweat pants underneath as protection from the thorns. Unfortunately, if it was hot or rainy these multiple layers could be miserable.
We tried all kinds of hunting pants with nylon protective fronts but none would fit. All three of my sons were football players and weight lifters. Their thighs were as thick as tree trunks. Obviously, they had inherited their bulk from their mother. The only option was to have brush chaps custom-made to fit over their gigantic legs.
Gloves were a problem because it was almost impossible to have a weekend hunting trip without one or all three boys losing at least one glove. I had dealt with this predicament by buying large quantities of cheap cloth gloves, but they were not suited for intense cold and did not repel water. I finally just bit the bullet and ordered a healthy supply of insulated gloves, hoping that they would lose left and right gloves on an alternating basis.
Hunting coats, especially coats that were water resistant, were just as much of a quandary as pants because