One of the things on my personal "bucket list" was to go on a hunt with my son Jimmy and grandson Logan.
They live in Oklahoma and I get to see them about once a year.
Once Logan turned 10, it was agreed that he would come to Arizona to participate in an Arizona Hunter Education class. I know Oklahoma offers hunter education classes, but I personally think that the class we offer is superior to those offered in most other states.
Logan had drawn one of the 75 rifle javelina tags that the Arizona Game and Fish Department offered in Unit 18B, which is east of Wikieup. The one caveat was that he had to pass a hunter education class before he could use his javelina tag.
Logan did fine in the class. He got a score of 98 percent on his final exam and was selected as one of the top four honor graduates.
Our plan called for me to pick up the boys in Vegas the day before Thanksgiving.
We would have Thanksgiving at my home and then on Friday head out for the hunt.
Assisting on the hunt would be my brother Gary and best friend Jay Chan.
We had just three days to hunt.
Logan practiced with my Ruger Model 77 rifle and .220 Swifts, and in the prone position he was extremely accurate.
Opening day found us glassing some wide-open flats.
The first stop produced no pigs, but we did see some antelope.
The second place we stopped to glass was one suggested by my brother.
"I have seen pigs here before," Gary said.
It took me maybe 30 seconds to glass up a herd of six pigs that were 546 yards away, feeding on a sunny hillside.
With Chan and Gary watching from the truck, Jimmy, Logan and I headed off the mountain into a wash that was below the pigs.
We got to within 110 yards of the herd and figured out there were three boars in the group.
We got Logan set up in the prone position in the bottom of the wash with the bi-pod down and our packs supporting the rear of the rifle.
We waited patiently for about 15 minutes until one of the boars gave the young hunter the classic perfect standing broadside shot. It was 103 yards away.
I verbally "walked" Logan through the procedure of finding the pig and getting the crosshairs on the vital area.
"You got him?" I asked.
"Yep," was his reply.
Then he took a couple of breaths and slowly squeezed the trigger.
The old boar never knew what happened and dropped, literally, in his tracks.
Jimmy and I were both overcome with emotion. We hugged Logan and each other and wiped tears away. I am sure than many parents/grandparents out there know exactly how we felt.
It was something I had dreamed about for a long time and it had turned out perfectly!
The boar weighed 32 pounds and showed signs of prior battles for dominance in this little group. His ears had splits in them and his nose had been split by an adversary some time ago.
Logan was excited too.
"I got 'em with one shot!" he said.
Even though Jimmy has never been one who has animals mounted, he took the head and hide back to Oklahoma. It will be mounted and displayed somewhere in the Martin home.
If Logan wants to continue to hunt, his dad will be supportive of him. And Grandpa Don will make sure he is in the draw for Arizona's junior deer and javelina tags.