While I feel that everyone SHOULD enjoy the outdoors, that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, there are many anti-hunters out there who think quite the opposite. Hunters are attacked daily for their lifestyle by those that don’t agree with it. As a single mom raising my daughter to enjoy and revere the outdoors, I am often asked “Why would you want to raise your child thinking it is okay to kill innocent animals?” “Why wouldn’t you want your child to allow animals to live their lives without fear?” I choose to simply ignore the negative comments, because I know that, through hunting, I am teaching my daughter far more positive values than any anti-hunter could fathom.
My seven year old is not the most patient person in the world (I don’t know where she gets that from). One thing that I love about hunting, is that with every venture into the woods, she grows a little more patient. The little girl who was only able to sit an hour without losing patience last season, has quickly learned that the more patient we are, the better the hunt.
She realizes that we are free to hunt and enjoy the outdoors because there are men and women every day fighting for that freedom, and we must be thankful.
She has realized that, the quieter we are, the less likely we are to scare away critters, and we may end up with the opportunity to watch a fawn frollick about 50 yards away.
She has learned that if we wake up early (even though it’s tough sometimes), we are able to get a front row seat at watching the woods come alive in the morning.
She has learned that if we listen closely to the sounds of the animals we are hunting, it is much easier to mimic that call when trying to draw the animals in.
She has learned that there are colors in an Oklahoma sunset that you can’t find in any crayola box. (And, sometimes she gets extremely frustrated by this)
She has learned that we are in the animals’ home, and we must be careful of where we step, because not all animals are fond of un-invited visitors.
She has learned that things don’t always go our way, and that’s just life. More times than not, we aren’t able to walk out of the woods with a kill, but our time in the woods was far from wasted.
She has learned that the sound of legos snapping together in the blind is much different to the ears of a whitetail than that of a woodpecker in the tree above us.
She has learned to be observant, and pay attention to the things around us.
She has learned that honesty is always the best policy in life, and that even though there are 30 turkeys within shooting range in front of us, there are certain rules and regulations that we must follow and refrain from killing one outside of season.
She has learned that when we are able to successfully harvest a whitetail, there is a process that comes before being able to eat that first batch of deer jerky.
She has learned to respect the land that God has given us, and that it’s always kind to pick up the trash we find on the ground, even if we didn’t put it there.
She has learned that any day in the woods is better than the best day sitting at home.
Most importantly, she has learned that anything we want requires work. Nothing is going to be handed to us in life. I often remind her of what the bible says in Proverbs 12:27, “The lazy do not roast any game, but the dilligent feed on the riches of their hunt.”
Sitting outdoors with my daughter also allows us to both reflect on the beautiful things that God has given us. Without our majestic God, we wouldn’t have this beautiful country to enjoy, and I will never allow an anti-hunter to make me feel like we are doing anything wrong by enjoying God’s creation.
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