28. February 2011 13:22
When seasons are closed and the weather is foul, nothing beats some quality time honing shooting skills before the next big-game schedule opens on a new year. However, there exist a different kind of off-season shooting that shouldn’t be neglected. And, in the grand scheme of things, could quite possible be the most important training you and I will ever partake in. I’m talking about getting a child involved in this sport that means so much to us and has provided so many lifelong memories.
Like myself, I am sure you owe your love of bowhunting to someone special who took the time to introduce you to the romance of the stick and string. Personally, I can never repay my father for taking the time to expose me to bowhunting and the outdoors. I guess the best way to show my appreciation would be to make certain that the cycle doesn’t end by passing my passion for bowhunting on to my children.
A few days ago, with the weather finally breaking, I enthusiastically removed my bow from its case and prepared to nock some dust off of my shooting and the lonely target at the edge of the lawn. Then it occurred to me that there were two little guys who were just as anxious as I was to experience the mystical flight of the arrow. Without hesitation, I re-cased my bow and proceeded to more important matters. The smiles were good medicine indeed. More so than any 12 ring or P&Y buck my arrows have ever managed to find.
They may have just been standing, bow in hand, on a small lot in the middle of “no-where” USA, but I can already see them, sitting patiently, in a reclusive stand, tucked away somewhere in the middle of a large forest; waiting for just the right opportunity to come to full draw. And with the release of the string, all of their hopes, all of their dreams will come true----as will mine.
This off-season, do your best not to neglect this type of practice. The rewards can be greater than any of us can possibly fathom.
1. December 2008 14:28
With our lives becoming more and more hectic we fail to take the time and invest it where it is needed most. That is in our future, our children. As we get busier we find ways to take short cuts in life, and far too often that over flows into our children’s lives. How many times have we had our television, video games and computers baby sit our kids. Leaving our children in a zombie like stare, their minds left blank with very little inquisitiveness about life.
I have a feeling I wont be seeing these binos for a while.
Instead they are just processing what they are seeing. They lose touch with what is real and what our wonderful outdoors has to offer and what you have to teach them. Instead of our children looking up to their parents as role models, they soak up whatever Hollywood teaches them. It’s time that we as parents and role models step up to the plate and teach our youth in the never ending class room, the great outdoors. I can remember when growing up my parents never worried about me or what I was doing. I never had a bed time or a curfew. Often I would be coming home in the early morning from being out all night. What kind of parents were they that they would let their kid stay out till the sun comes up? They were wonderful trusting parents that spent time with me and taught me the right way. They taught me about the outdoors and that it’s more than just killing animals, it was learning about the environment, it was learning about us. So I’m sure by now you are wondering what was I doing out that late. Parting? Nope. Drinking? Nope. Smoking? Never. I was out coon hunting with my trusty partner Tex. He was a Walker and a coon tracking machine. I never did drugs or got into trouble with the law as a kid because I was too busy carrying on a family tradition. I made my dad proud when I was old enough to drive, by loading up my hounds and heading to the woods. It kept me out of trouble. Soon it caught on with my friends and I was teaching them what I know about coon hunting and the outdoors. My dad said it best when he said that my son can learn more on a hunting trip than he can watching television. When I was in high school he would take me on hunting trips for several weeks. One of my teachers didn’t like me missing that much school so she brought it to the attention of the principal. My father quickly went to bat for me and said that many of our children’s discipline problems come from parents not spending time with their kids, not interacting with them. He said that I could read about the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore in a book or he could take me hunting and show me the Black Hills and teach me about Mount Rushmore. It was a hands on education. It was my style of learning! I was never a book person, I would often drift off into lala land in school. But when I was out hunting, the outdoors had my full attention. I learned about the Teton Mountains, Yellow Stone National Park first hand. And that sparked an interest for me about history and the places that I hunt. Several years ago I turkey hunted in Oklahoma. Soon I found myself reading up on Chief Black Kettle and General George Custer, who slaughtered an Indian tribe along the Washita River where I was hunting. To this day I don’t know if it was my father’s intentions to teach me how to learn or want to learn about our world and our history threw hunting, but it worked. The outdoors kept me out of trouble; it kept me grounded as to what is real and what life and a family are really about. It’s not hard nor is it troublesome to be a role model or a good parent. Just be yourself. And most importantly take your children with you. Whether it’s a remote hunt in Africa or just on your back forty. You have an endless class room out your backdoor that your children are yearning to learn from. It can be as simple as looking for deer, checking game cameras, or just taking a walk in the woods. Just spend time with them. Children or inquisitive they will ask you questions. Help them learn and you will see that you will start to learn about them. Keep it short, they younger they are the quicker they lose interest. If they want to leave or do something different then do it. The key is not to force them. They will naturally want to learn more as time goes on. They will teach you about having fun and enjoying yourself. Just be patient and your rewards and efforts will pay off, and you will be rewarded for your time. Let you be the role model, the one that your kids learn from. Not Hollywood. So the next time your son or daughter asks ware you are going, don’t tell them, take them. Take your kids hunting so you don’t have to hunt for your kids.
Ground blinds are a great way to get them started!
I'm crossing my fingers that I will hear daddy, daddy a deer!!!!!!