Deer season is family time for many Missourians
To say Dave Deihl is a busy man would be an understatement. As CEO of Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative, he balances his time keeping the power reliable and the rates affordable at the Kearney-based co-op with the busy schedule of his wife, Christine, and teenagers, Delaney and Dawson.
That’s why the fall puts a smile on his face. He knows deer season is coming soon, and with it family time at their cabin in Slater on land that has been in his wife’s family for generations.
He says it’s the camaraderie that drew him to hunting at an early age and made him want to hang on to the old cabin when his father-in-law passed away.
“The guys used to go out there and call it choir practice,” he says with a grin. “And they would meet there and cook a meal and smoke cigars and drink whiskey and tell lies and, you know, all that good stuff.”
Dave, who grew up in Slater, learned to hunt from his father at age 6. Since that time, he’s only missed one season in his 52 years. It was only natural that he would lead his kids into the woods as soon as they were old enough. “Life is really just about the memories you make,” he says. “And, you know, it doesn’t matter how much money you have, or what you have. It’s just the memories.”
Whether building deer stands, planting food plots or just hanging out at the cabin, the family makes the most of their days together, knowing that time is short and kids grow up. Delaney is a member of the Smithville Dazzlers dance team, while Dawson hopes to sometime help bring Smithville another state championship as a center on the football team.
“My daughter hunted with us early on,” Dave says. “And of course, as she got older, she got busier, and couldn’t participate as much. But my son, he’s foregoing a birthday get-together because his birthday is the 30th of October. And that’s youth deer season. He never misses youth season. We’re able to take a bunch of his buddies down and teach them how to hunt because they’ve never had the opportunity.”
The cabin technically belongs to Dawson, age 13. “When Christine’s dad got ill, and they were trying to get the farm all squared away, it was between him and his brother on how to split the land. And Christine’s dad asked if Dawson would want the cabin,” Dave says.