In my circle of friends and family, it is a known fact that I love to eat dove. My birthday was this week and my middle child decided to surprise me with grilled dove for lunch. He began hunting off and on during his free time. As the date drew closer for my birthday, he became more and more determined to bring home dove. So he called my brother for help.
My brother’s family readily agreed to come out to the ranch in order to help. As we made our way to the new ranch, we received a phone call that the hog trap was full. My father, his wife, and their friends had already eliminated the problem animals, but now the hogs had to be removed.
My three sons from twelve to five years of age, my husband, my brother, and my four-year old nephew began the removal process, which is dragging the bodies out of the trap. The job was made more difficult by the uneven ground where the hogs had plowed up the soil in the trap and by the size of the hogs.
Regardless of the difficulty even the youngest member of the hog removal team pulled his weight, quite literally. The smallest hog weighed as much as him. He struggled, he worked, he fell, he got up, he persevered. We were all praising him for completing the task. With a smile he looked up at me and said, “That’s my first time to pull a hog.” It puts a new spin on the term, “pulled pork.”
After our feral hog adventure, we returned to the purpose of our outing. We set our sights on the sky. We saw many dove, but they were all flying just out of range. My brother did bring down one that dared to get a little closer. I don’t blame the birds for avoiding us. We were hardly incognito.
We had the whole crew. Children outnumbered the adults and the former could not sit still or be quiet to save their lives. My seven year old son discontent with sitting in a chair began standing near the trunk of the tree. We thought this was better since he was more hidden. That is until I heard my sister-in-law say, “I think we have a monkey in the tree.” I turned around to see half of the tree swaying back and forth with my son at the root of the problem.
Well, we all learned a lesson or two. My nephew jumped in with the men and pulled his own weight. My son was able to not only bring home some dove, but he also marinated it and grilled it for lunch. Even though dove hunting is considered a social event by most, we learned the kids are still too young.
I was reminded once again the importance of family. Working as a team, we make quick work of a hard task. Including our children in work and fun allows us enjoy each other and pass down knowledge to the next generation. Cross Creek Cattle Company is a family-owned and operated ranch with roots deeply planted in Texas for seven generations now. It is fun to see adventures, stories, memories, knowledge, and skills being written on our children’s hearts as they too grow to love the land, each other, and God, who has blessed us abundantly.