Fall is here and with that comes brisk temperatures (although we haven’t seen much of that yet), hats, coats and camouflage. Granted, the last might not be part of everyone’s wardrobe but I’m going to guess that it is for a large part of our readership.
Hunting is as much of a fall tradition as Thanksgiving and Halloween for a lot of people —our family included.
My husband has hunted since he was a kid and although I grew up around it, I never took to hunting until four years ago. Now that I hunt, I feel like there is so much of the outdoors that I missed out on. Sure, I played in the woods and participated in outdoor sports growing up but I was never as aware of what was around me as I am now. Who knew a squirrel made so much noise!
There’s something about just being in the woods — sitting and listening — that is calming but exhilarating at the same time. I will admit though, I am not into the full day sits. I can go and sit on a log, in a tree stand or in a blind for a couple of hours but after that, I have to move around.
I have yet to get a big game animal (maybe it’s due the fact I can’t sit too long?) but I’ve shot a few grouse. I’m also hoping to spend some time in a duck blind this fall.
Hunting is also something we’ve introduced to our kids. We take our girls for hikes on our property and look for signs of wildlife, we feed them wild game and explain where it came from. When we drive in the car, we’re always looking for deer and turkey in fields as we pass. Sometimes if we are really lucky, someone in the back seat will see a moose. It’s funny because I never seem to see them, I guess they are a breed that only little kids can see.
My youngest isn’t even three yet so her understanding of hunting is pretty low, but my 6-year-old knows exactly what’s going on.
I’ll never forget the first time she watched Bambi. She was about four and I wasn’t sure how things would go — hunters aren’t exactly portrayed in the best light and a cute fawn is left motherless. Her reaction though, blew me away. She rationalized that it was a little sad, but the hunter needed to feed his family so it was okay, and now Bambi would get to spend time with his dad and learn how to be an old buck.
As the girls get older and I get out in the woods and fields more, I feel like that hunting is going to become a well-established pastime for the whole family, not just for the adults.
What are your fall pastimes?