Little Michael's First Texas Hunt

Little Michael's First Texas Hunt

Posted 2004-03-04T06:00:00Z  by  Michael and Patty Haliscak

Little Michael's First Texas Hunt

In the fall of 2003 there was excitement in the air. Michael Haliscak was nearing his long battle of chemotherapy treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on November 28, 2003. Michael's extended family at Turtle and Hughes Inc. in Houston, TX was gearing up to give him and us a celebration everyone would remember. "Come on down," Mitch Pliner (branch manager of Turtle and Hughes) said. "Little Michael and everyone will have a great time." So the wheels were put into motion. After incredible planning by Mitch Pliner, Ruth and Don Bartulla, Chris Austin, Frank Tubs and Bill Bosh with Rob Roy Industries we were on our way.

November 14, 2003 Day One:
A tearful good bye from the hotel. "Bye Mom, I'll call you when I get my deer," Michael said. We needed to keep her very busy because she had never been away from her son before. Cris Austin and Ruth Bartulla conspired and a fantastic time was had by the ladies, filled with good friends, good food and plenty of shopping and merry making. As far as the men were concerned Don Bartulla and his son Dan Bartulla pulled up with a friend Charlie Nitch. We loaded up and said our good byes and off we went.

After a six hour ride from Houston to Rock Springs, we pulled into the Strohman Ranch and Michael said, "Dad, I'm ready to hunt." After settling into camp Bill Bosh and his grandson Matt put us in blind #7--the "country club" reserved for young hunters. Michael's first deer hunting experience began. "Dad, look! A big 8 point! Can they see us? Can they smell us?" he asked. "No, but they can hear you if you don't quiet down," I told him. His little hands dangling outside the blind were easily seen by the two deer. Before he could get set up they took off flashing their tails in the air.

About five minutes later Michael spotted another doe coming in from the right side. "Dad, let's take her!" he said. "No big guy, let's wait and see if a buck follows her," I whispered. "Dad, I want to take her," he said again. "No, let's wait big guy. "But Dad, PLEASE!" Suddenly I remembered that this was his hunt, not mine. "Okay," I finally said. We lined up on his first doe and 10 minutes later he spotted the white belly of his first Texas whitetail.

After much smiling, hugging and back-slapping a new deer expert was born. Those who know little Michael know he's never at a loss for words. To say a few tips on deer hunting were handed out by a 6-year old that night would be an understatement to say the least. That night a beautiful bow was given by Jon Hartline, stories were told and good food was had by all.

November 15, 2003 Day Two:
The next day an hour before dawn, Michael was in the same stand for his buck. At first light Michael spotted a doe walking around the feeder and watched her walk past he said, "Dad, look there is a buck behind her. It's that nice eight-point again. He's not giving me a clear shot. Oh no! He's moving off into the brush. Dad, let me use the grunt call," he said almost all in one breath. He called and two minutes after a couple of soft grunts on his call a dandy nine-point showed up 25 yards from his blind.

"Dad, he is giving me a quartering away shot. I'm gonna take him Dad, I'm gonna take him," he said. Michael pulled the trigger and we watched his nine-point buck take four steps before falling to the ground. "Dad, look I'm shaking. No tracking on that one baby!" he excitedly said.

Like all Realtree Prostaffers we had to call the office (or mom) after our successful hunt. The good news spread throughout the Turtle and Hughes family fast. Everyone involved was elated and of course mom was proud of her little hunter most of all. To end such a wonderful experience, the Turtle and Hughes family had their annual Thanksgiving Feast with a well-rested mom, a proud daddy and a very happy, smiling six-year old.

Special arrangements were made with taxidermist Joe Lesh from Sportsmen's Wildlife Artistry to have Michael's deer mounted and under his Christmas tree Christmas Eve. A promise made and a promise kept. Life long friendships were made, pictures were shared, hunting stories told and retold. Not too much longer after, little Michael settled in back at home. He made his special call to his hunting idol Michael Waddell and Michael Waddell was able to be there with him in his mind through his story of "Little Michael's First Texas Deer Hunt."

The Haliscak family would like to thank everyone who made Michael's trip possible. Mitch Pliner, Ruth, Don and Dan Bartulla, Cris Austin, Charlie Nitch and Gerald Dudley. Thanks to Burras and Matthew, Mike Miller, Frank Tubs, Bill Bosh and grandson Matt from Rob Roy Industries along with taxidermist Joe Lesh from Sportsmen's Wildlife Artistry. Jon Hartline for Michael's bow and last but not least the Turtle and Hughes family in Houston Texas, with a special hello to "Jiving Jack."