School barely starts in the fall before Jake and Trevor Reeves start clamoring to organize their hunting vacation.
For several years, the two teens, their father, Monte, and grandfather Jerry have headed out west after pheasants and deer.
“It’s the boys bonding trip,” Monte Reeves said.
They start planning for the excursion when classes begin. They’ll leave on a Wednesday after the boys get out of school and spend two days chasing pheasants and two days after deer. It corresponds with the start of the deer rifle season in November.
Mom Nicci isn’t thrilled about them missing school for a hunting trip, but it’s become a family tradition that Monte would love to continue when he has his own grandchildren.
“That would be pretty cool,” he said.
The boys, ages 14 and 16, love being outdoors and watching the family’s hunting dogs work. Monte loves spending time with the kids.
“It’s a time for my dad to spend time with the grandkids and share something we all enjoy doing,” Monte Reeves said.
The family hunts around the Alliance-Hay Springs area. Jerry, 65, is a retired railroader from Alliance and still has family there. He moved to Seward to be closer to Trevor and Jake.
This year, the group got its pheasant limit both days, which Monte Reeves was excited about. Each person can kill three birds a day.
They had no luck with deer, which Reeves thought was odd. The deer couldn’t be enticed out of the corn fields in the area.
Both boys later shot does in the late season. That venture was closer to home, so they didn’t have to miss any school. That made Mom happy.
Monte, who works at Duncan Aviation in Lincoln, hunted and fished with his dad as a youngster. His boys have been going on hunting trips since they were around 6. They didn’t start carrying shotguns until they turned 12 and earned their hunter safety certification.
Jake, 16, is picking up some additional skills this year. He’s been training hunting dog Molly after learning from his dad. Molly, sibling Sadie and mom Lindy all were on the trip for the first time.
The German shorthairs are like family, and Monte calls them his girls. He owns Molly and Lindy, and Sadie belongs to buddy Brandon Foster of Alliance. He’s started hunting since he got the dog.
“Good dogs cover a lot more ground than you can,” Reeves said. “They hunt the birds and retrieve for you.”
The family also does a summer trip to South Dakota to fish, which they work around the boys’ baseball schedule. Both are also involved with football.
Besides hunting deer and pheasant, they shoot some trap. They also fish for walleye, crappie and white bass.
Reeves said being outdoors is better than any video game.
“The best part is just the excitement and seeing the look in their eyes when they’re able to catch a fish or having them hold a bird when you’re taking a photo,” Reeves said. “Just the family time. Being able to enjoy something my dad passed on to me, and I’m passing on to my boys.”
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