It Takes a Hunter to Make A Hunter
9/4/2012 11:04 AM
My son Jack went on his first hunt Saturday. He is 5 years old and his father and I discussed for weeks whether he was old enough to go. I thought he might be too young — he is, after all, only 5. My husband Wib, who went on his first hunt — for doves with his own father — at age 6, thought the time was right.
Jack settled the debate with one simple sentence . . . “I want to go hunting with Dad.” In fact, it was all he talked about for weeks leading up to the opening of dove season. He even concocted a type of calendar that only he could understand “counting down the days” until Sept. 1.
Wib wanted this first hunt to be a good one for Jack — lots of birds and the sounds of shotguns ringing in the air — memories from his own first hunt, an experience that got him hooked on hunting for life. He wanted that same experience for Jack.
To alleviate any boredom that might set in and to give Jack a sense of participating in the hunt, Wib designated Jack as the “retriever,” bringing back the birds that Wib brought down. Jack loved it, despite the fact that he only brought back three the entire morning.
At the end of the day, it wasn’t the hunt of Wib’s childhood memories, but for Jack, it was a great day that he spent hanging out with his Dad. He had such a good time that he has already started asking when “Daddy can take him hunting next.” I think we’ve got ourselves another hunter in the family.
Most hunters today have similar stories they can share of a father, an uncle, a family friend who took them on their first hunt. If you’d like to share your story here, we’d love to hear it.
Remember,it takes a hunter to make a hunter. The next time you’re in the woods or in the field, take someone new to hunting with you. Our hunting heritage depends on the next generation enjoying the hunt tomorrow as much as you do today.
Written by Jodie Owen, a public information officer with the Commission.