September 22, 2023

Heart Pounding Experience

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In some states deer hunting season has started already, for some it begins in October, and others in November. It is time to start thinking about our youth and getting them involved. It is important that the tradition of hunting remain engrained in us all and the only way we can keep it alive is to take our children hunting.

So, as we head off into the wilderness this Fall, keep in mind our children. Grab them and bring them hunting with you. I remember as a child hunting was more than just shooting a deer. It was about spending time with my father, or learning the Maine woods where I was brought up. When you bring a child, don’t think of shooting that deer as necessarily the only form of success. There are other things you need to teach our children. There is patience, dedication, learning to respect the woods and their surroundings, listening, looking, developing good habits, and understanding their own abilities.

Growing up I remember certain people who could turn a simpe walk in the wilderness into a heart pounding experience. They would turn to me, kneel down, and explain things. They would use hand motions to demonstrate what we were about to do. These are the things we need to teach our children.

I know my father used to be able to make a hunt very exciting for me even if he knew deer weren’t around for miles. He would stop and take time with me and tell me what to look for; an ear flicker, a tail, a neck, legs moving, etc. Sometimes when we would be walking up to the top of a knoll or cresting an old logging road he would stop, kneel down, and look me in the eye. Then he would whisper this to me using hand motions whenever possible:

“Ok, we are going to work our way quietly and slowly up to the top of this knoll. Now move slowly and keep your eyes and ears open because there may very well be a deer standing on the other side.”

Then he would ask me if I was ready. It was just those simple words that would make my heart beat a little harder, and cause the hair on the back of my neck to stand on end. This is what brought me back out the following day, and the day after, and the day after that.

So bring a child with you and pass on those traditions and teach the youth the things you were taught. Don’t just let them follow you through the woods. Get them involved, ask them questions, and make them look for signs. This is how we can all keep the tradition of hunting alive in this country for generations to come.

Denny Vasquez, one of our contributing writers wrote a nice story for us a while ago called Why Do We Teach Our Kids to Hunt? I think you may enjoy it. Go read it…

Steven Remington