Life is too short not to teach your daughters how to hunt. This sport isn't just for men anymore and it's having a resurgence of newcomers with the popularity of movies like the Hunger Games. This became apparent to me when I started being referred to as the main character of the movie, Katniss. The more I heard it the more confused I was getting. I'm not one for sitting around watching TV, movies or reading novels. I wasn't sure what people were referring to at first. Outdoors is where you'll find me. Or working, have to work to live and live to hunt!
My dad instilled hunting in my family as far back as I can remember. In 1975 my dad purchased 60 acres of land in Southern Ohio. He started to build his dream of constructing a hunting cabin to share with his family and friends. So it began the story of what built our bond. In early 1981 construction began and I was just a bun in the oven. Flash forward a few years and my parents have grown their family to a total of five with a younger brother and sister for me. We spent almost every weekend there for the next decade.
Growing up in the woods was something I will never forget and the memories I have are one of a kind. Imaginations are stretched when you don't grow up playing indoors with a remote control in your hand. You learn things like hunting, fishing, frog gigging, Morel hunting, skeet shooting and living off the land. Don't get me wrong we would watch TV at night and on occasion we would rent movies on VHS but nothing was more important than what we would learn from our dad.
The bond I have with my dad has never been greater. The older I get the more I want to hang out with the old man. Hunting together when we can is my favorite thing to do. Nothing is guaranteed so spending as much time in the woods with him is what I thrive on. He's taught me everything I know so it's a constant learning experience. The thrill of the hunt and watching me succeed makes him more proud now than taking a trophy buck. He has filled walls with mounts so watching me and my brother walk in his footsteps is more gratifying then getting one himself.
The look on my dads face is priceless when he witnesses a hunting success. Last year we were on a hunt in early January. It was the day before his birthday to be exact. Muzzle-loader season in Ohio is one of our favorites. We had been tracking through a foot of snow for miles on end. Finally we spotted a doe laying down next to a tree on the hillside about 150 yards uphill. He asked if I wanted to take the shot. He even offered up his back for stability as I was standing in snow up to my knees almost. I politely declined and when he was safely out of my shooting lane I aimed and fired. Smoke is all around me and I can't see anything but I hear what sounds like laughter and someone hitting the lottery. My dad screaming, "you got her sis, you smoked her good. She didn't even move from where she was laying." This was followed by a quick high five and a smile that lasted all day. Happy birthday, Dad! These are the days I live for and I think it's safe to say he does too.
Please teach your daughters to hunt. Take them with you. Even if they aren't ready to get involved in the hunt let them sit with you. They can take it all in and maybe even come around to the idea that it might just be the thrill of a lifetime. Not to mention the bond you will build is like no other bond. My dad and I share something very special and it is the love for hunting and the great outdoors.