This past Friday, on the last day of Spring Turkey season here in Oklahoma, my daughter and I spent our entire day in the woods.
This is nothing out of the ordinary for us, as we often spend our days outdoors, but this day was far from ordinary.
As we watched the sunrise through the windows of the blind, we were instantly greeted with many of God’s creatures. There is something magical about starting your day off outdoors. Watching and hearing the woods come alive is just good for the soul. We saw a few hens, then at around 8:15 am, I was able to call in a beautiful tom. The focus of this hunt was for Camden to get her first turkey, and I encouraged her to shoot him, but she wasn’t ready so I made the shot. We watched him fall, and her little face lit up. We got out of the blind to check out the bird, and she was so excited, you would have thought she’d made the shot herself. Once we got the feathers plucked, and the bird clean and ready to eat, we cleaned up a little and went back to the field.
This time, Camden was very excited to kill her very own turkey. We spent the rest of the day chasing gobblers, and at around 4:30 pm, I called in 5 big toms for Camden. She made a shot on the larger of the 5, and we watched him roll, and run into the grass nearby. Unfortunately, he got away and we weren’t able to find him. The disappointment on Camden’s face broke my heart, but I had to explain to her that things like this happen with hunting, and things don’t always go as planned. This was the first time Camden had seen that many toms strutting in the field, so to see her excitement as they strutted in, and then watch her compose herself to make a shot was really impressive. This is hard enough for a 29 year old female, so it is extremely gratifying to see that much strength in an 8 year old little girl.
Moments like this are EXACTLY why I hunt, and also why I bring my daughter along. Not every hunt ends with a harvest, and not every hunt goes as planned… but that is the thrill of it. There is beauty in uncertainty, and I feel that in today’s society, that is lost. So many children are used to having things go exactly as planned for them, or being able to manipulate the situation, that sometimes it takes these gentle reminders to show us that things don’t always HAVE to go as planned.
I also want to share with you a verse that I have grown to LOVE. I normally take my bible into the field with me, and recently I found the Mossy Oak trail guide that has excellent devotionals in it. I read through a devotional on one of my recent hunts, and it encouraged me to read this verse either at daybreak or sunset, and just give thanks to God. I would like to encourage you to do the same… you’ll be glad you did. 🙂