I have posted many blogs about how important I think it is to share our hunting heritage with our family. Many other writers, guides, outfitters, and others in the outdoor industry talk about how we should involve kids in the outdoors. This almost goes without saying. Kids who are involved in the outdoors usually do not have a criminal record or have time or desire to get into trouble unlike many youth that do not have this influence in their background. As one bumper sticker I once read stated, “Kids who hunt and fish don’t steal and deal.”
I try to set the best example possible for involving kids in the outdoors both in my position with Hill Country Bowhunters as the youth hunt coordinator as well as being a father to my son. This weekend, Jackson, who is now 5 years old, and I set up a deer feeder and game camera on another urban hunting spot in the back of a large acreage suburban neighborhood. Jackson understands the life cycle and why hunting is so important even in our modern day society with fast food and grocery stores. He gets it. My goal as his father is to raise him with integrity, respect, honor, and love, as well as with ethical principals so he will start down the road to success in his own outdoor pursuits one day and continue to carry on the legacy and tradition that was started in my family many years ago. After all, success leaves clues.
What I am really saying is that the more youth we start out at a young age learning how to provide for themselves and not depend on a system or society for their every need, the better. Not to get political, or even try to do so, I think our society needs more outdoorsmen and women. A true outdoorsman or woman takes care of their responsibilities and follows through. He or she has character and determination to do the job at hand correctly, effectively, and efficiently. Our country desperately needs more people that this. People who are looking to lend a hand, not get a hand out. Sportsmen and woman are developed, shaped, and molded and influenced by family, mentors, and the culture around them. If we are to preserve our heritage in the hunting and fishing area as well as other outdoor pursuits, it starts now with investing in the next generation. I have been taking Jackson in the woods and on the water since he has been able to walk and understand what it is we are doing. It starts at a young age and it grows and shapes from there. Here is a selfie I took of both of us on our way to the woods this past weekend.