I’ve written extensively about how fortunate I am to have the hunting experiences I’ve had. I know that hunting with my father and granddad shaped who I’ve become as a person, what I do for a living and where I live. But, while looking at a picture from a recent hunt the other day, I wondered what I would have missed without hunting in my life..
I know plenty of kids who have great relationships with their parents and grandparents without going hunting. I will assert, though, that I think spending time with kids one-on-one teaching them to hunt and fish is a great way to build solid relationships; it may not be the only way, but it might be one of the best. But what would I have missed with those hunting experiences.
I would have never felt my heartbeat surge when a rooster pheasant flushed at my feet. I wouldn’t have seen the gleam in my granddad’s eye when he bragged about the shot I made on a pheasant. I would have never known the incredible anticipation of approaching a Brittany on point.
And those are just the very beginning. I could go on and on, but the point is that I can’t imagine my life without those experiences that have become indelible memories. Every year, I look forward to adding a few more. Of course things change, people come and go in our lives, but hunting still gives me optimism for the coming year.
Hunting is about relationships, passing on a treasured heritage, and sharing experiences that stay with us for life. Without the experiences of hunting with my family, friends and cherished dogs, my life would have been – well I don’t even want to think about it. Never underestimate the power of passing it on.