Brock Parks has been heading into the woods with his father during hunting season for years.
Now 12, Brock can tell you about sitting in blinds and treestands, riding in a backpack as his father crept slowly through the forest, and the time he was nearly pelted by the geese that his dad and a hunting buddy shot from the sky.
And now Brock, a friendly, talkative sixth-grader, has a hunting story of his own.
“We were sitting in a blind that my dad and his friend and I had just built, but I decided that I didn’t really want to sit there any more, so we left and went to Winterport,” Brock said, describing how his adventure from Oct. 24’s Youth Deer Day began.
After relocating from Carmel to Winterport, his luck got better.
“We were sitting there and my dad said, ‘Brock, get off the ground. There’s a deer coming,'” Brock said.
It wasn’t that simple, his dad, Brhaun Parks explained with a chuckle.
“He wouldn’t get up,” Brhaun Parks said. “I said, ‘Get your ass off the ground. There’s a deer coming!”
And the deer kept coming … and coming … and coming.
“It walks up the path and my dad bleats at it and makes it stop and it’s nothing but clear air between me and that deer, for about 10 yards. Nothing but clean air,” Brock said.
Then things took a turn for the worse.
“I tried to pull the trigger and I forgot to take the safety off,” Brock said. “So [the deer] jumped into the woods quite a few times, and by now it’s like 40 yards away.”
Luckily, his dad had another tactic in mind. He bleated at the deer again, and again, it stopped and provided Brock with an opportunity to shoot.
“This time, I did pull off the safety,” Brock said.
After stopping the deer, Brhaun Parks said he began hoping for the best.
“The words, ‘Please, God, don’t let him miss’ came out of my mouth,” he said.
He needn’t have worried.
Brock bagged the 8-pointer which weighed 138 pounds, field-dressed.
But Brock’s day wasn’t finished: After tagging the deer and regrouping, he headed to the football field, where his Orono Youth Football squad was facing Mount Desert Island.
Brock scored the game’s first touchdown as Orono kept its undefeated record intact.
Brock plays fullback, and said he has scored a few touchdowns this year. Most of the time, however, other players end up in the end zone.
“When we’re at the 50 yard line I’ll get like 10 yards, and then they’ll hand the ball off and somebody else who’s really fast will run to the outside and go,” he said. “I just go 10 yards at a time.”
Brhaun Parks, who also helped his daughter shoot her first deer two years ago, said he loves spending time outdoors with his children.
“I started when I was 5, spending time in the woods with my grandfather. I’ve been doing this all my life,” Brhaun Parks said. “For me, it’s a bonding experience with my kids. I get to have them one-on-one.”
And as Brock begins his hunting career, he’s already got bragging rights on his dad, as he’s quick to point out.
Brhaun Parks didn’t shoot his first deer until he was 15.
“And how big was it?” Brock asked?
“It wasn’t as big as yours,” Brhaun admitted with a grin.