Today I took my son with me “hunting” hogs at Granger. Though in his eyes we were “hunting”, I knew going in that we’d make far too much noise, there would be constant talking and a lot of potty breaks. Truthfully this trip was more about getting familiar with a new area and looking for shed antlers than anything.
As far as “hunting” was concerned, it certainly lived up to expectations. We saw no hogs but we did see a lot of deer hightailing it the other way, I did spot a big buck and marked the location on the GPS for a later date. There was much conversation, I think every animal in Granger knows my name now. And there were were so many potty breaks that my boy claimed a square mile of territory from the dominant buck in the area. But, sometimes it’s not about the “hunt”.
Sometimes, hunting is about educating the next generation of hunters. Hunting is simple, you go out, you find an animal, and you shoot it. But like many things in life, just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. If simple things were easy, we’d all be rich and in shape.
There are dozens if not hundreds of big and small lessons that need to be learned when it comes to hunting. I’d venture to say your first few years are more of an apprenticeship than hunting, you have far more failures than you do successes.
When you start huntings you need to learn things like:
- Identifying animals and the direction they’re traveling by their tracks
- Spotting Game Trails
- Identifying sign of animal activity
- How to move silently through the woods (still A LOT of work to do here)
- Covering your scent
These are just just a few of the many skills that every hunter needs to learn at some point. Getting a start when you’re young and have time on your side is a great advantage.
Sometimes, hunting is about teaching your kids that life is a rollercoaster with both ups and downs. If you’re not experiencing both highs and lows when hunting then I’d say you’re not really hunting. You’re not going to shoot a deer every time, or win every game or ace every test. In life you’re going to have long hard hikes without a kill, you’re going to have to work your butt off to scrape by in chemistry class, you might have to work late some nights to get a big project finished. Life is like a mountain, to get to the top you have to climb every step, there is no elevator to the top. But, with every checkpoint reached, with every slip and stumble, with every obstacle overcome you grow stronger. If you ever want to reach that ultimate destination, you can’t quit or turn around; you must remain focused, keep your eyes on the prize and constantly pursue the goal.
Ultimately and most importantly, hunting about the time spent together. The time you spend with the people you love is worth more than all the riches of the world. If I were given just one more day to live, I guarantee you it wouldn’t be spent hunting. If I were given just one more day to live, I would spend every last second with the people I love.
At the end of the day, hunting, fishing, and hiking are activities that I enjoy. Shooting a hog, catching a bass, getting to the top of a mountain brings satisfaction; but if that satisfaction was the only reason I pursued those activites I’d be living a pretty shallow life. If you want to have meaningful and deep relationships with those you love, you have to understand that sometimes it’s not about the “hunt”, it’s about something far greater.