Hunting Is A Family Activity
Years ago my grandpa hunted with a good buddy of his. They each passed on the tradition to their kids, and the group of hunters grew as my dad and his friends joined in every November the 15th. When Mr. Mitch passed away too young, Grandpa made sure his sons knew we wanted them to continue the tradition, and our two families have kept on hunting together all this time.
Now, my generation is part of it, and I bring my kids, too. (Quick aside: there's a photo at the end with dead deer in it, so if that's not your thing, you may want to skip this post!) It’s a lot of hunters, even for 80 acres of land, but it’s a tradition that’s almost more important to me personally than Thanksgiving is. Our friends are basically family, and taking time to support each other as we uphold strong traditions as old as 50 years or more is so important. And I want to make sure I’m teaching those values to my young lassies.
I want them to know that meat doesn't come on styrofoam trays from the grocery store.
I want them to know about biology and what hearts, lungs, livers, and other organs look like.
I want them to know how important it is to practice so that you're a good enough shot you only need one bullet. Animals shouldn't suffer.
I want them to know how important being with family is, and why we have traditions.
I want them to know that women can be hunters, too.
I want them to know how to sit outside and stay warm for hours on end.
I want them to know they don't need a television to stay entertained, and that sometimes just watching the squirrels and the birds is really relaxing and peaceful.
I want them to know that the woods is a pretty busy place, and not the quiet locale most people think it is.
I want them to know how they should always treat a gun like it's loaded and never point it at anything they wouldn't want to shoot.
There are other benefits, like amazing home cooking, too much deer camp junk food, seeing everyone's cool new hunting gear, and extra naps. We also take home plenty of fresh game for the freezer to feed our families for the year ahead. But even more, I want them to remember hunting with their mom as fondly as I remember hunting with my dad and grandpa. Grandpa is the one who taught me how to field dress a deer, and I've been visiting deer camp since I was my kids' age, so I'm proud to pass on the tradition.