“Are we really going shooting, Paw-Paw,” seven year old Tyler Underwood asked.
“Yes, Tyler, I think we need to take the single shot 22 rifle and target practice this afternoon,” I replied.
Thus began an adventure that will be etched in my memory forever.
The rifle we carried belonged to my father and I shot it at age nine. Four generations, can you believe?
We made some targets out of paper with an x in the center and gathered the rifle, some bullets, and filled a small plastic bottle with water to shoot at.
Taking the gear to the truck, we discussed the importance of safety in handling the weapon and the need for alertness at all times to our surroundings.
We drove to the mountains to find a suitable target shooting site. A long trip through the countryside allowed us to discuss the importance of finding a spot where the targets could be placed in front of a backdrop so the bullets would be stopped and not ricochet or fly far beyond the target itself.
Tyler helped me set up the targets and we were ready to take the first shot.
The rifle was a little long, a little heavy, and hard to hold on target, but Tyler hit near the x, on his first try, offhand.
He has been shooting a BB gun for several months now and is familiar with the sighting process. He places the front sight in the notch at the rear of the gun and aims where he wants to hit.
After a few more shots, I asked him if he wanted to try to hit the water filled bottle. He emphatically stated that he might be willing to attempt a shot at it from where he stood.
Still shooting offhand and carefully aiming the 22 rifle, he picked the bottle off with one shot.
He only missed once and that was my fault for urging him to shoot quickly.
We picked up the targets and he saved the paper ones to show his Dad and brothers just how good a shot he was today.
Sharing this first target practice, shooting a 22 rifle with Tyler, will always be a cherished memory.
Make some memories of your own.