Hunting with the family suits the holidays

Literary Junction
Thursday, November 15, 2018
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When I was just a kid growing up in Miles City, my dad was instrumental in fostering a love of the outdoors in me. My most prized piece of clothing was my “fishing shirt.” My mother had to all but hide it from me or I would change out of whatever she had dressed me in so that I could wear that shirt. My dad would take me out on adventures into the woods, and I can remember many a day following him up and down coulees, or over hills, as he looked for deer.

One of my greatest blessings is the opportunity to do the same thing with my own son, who is now a grown adult. My fondest hunting memories over the years always center around him. The very first time we went hunting started off with me missing the turn to our hunting ground. I literally got a “lacing down” from my seven-year-old son for not paying attention, but after I backed up, we were on our way again. Once there, we quickly found a number of deer at the bottom of a hill, but my first shot was a miss.

As I jacked in another shell, I could hear my seven year old chastising me for not taking my time so I could shoot straight. My second shot was more successful, and as we were dragging this deer to the truck, he began singing. What song it was I don’t remember, but after a few minutes I asked him why he felt the need to sing. He answered by saying that I had been teaching him how we should show respect for the animals we harvest during a hunt.

“This is how I show them respect,” he said. “I sing them a song.”

That was the first of many memories I have of hunting with my son, and we continue to make more memories. Just this past weekend, he and I were sitting on the edge of a rock face, waiting to see if any deer would walk out and present a shot. As the wind bit into the side of my face and the snow began to fall, I looked over at him, no longer a wide-eyed seven-yearold boy. At that moment I thought to myself, there is truly no place I would rather be, and no person I would rather be with.

I know I am not the only one out there who enjoys making memories with his/her kids, so may I suggest you make a stop at the Big Horn County Library as you prepare for your next hunting trip. That may sound a little strange but consider this: we have books here on choosing your weapon (The Complete Encyclopedia of Hunting Rifles by A.E. Hartink), and books on developing hunting ethics (The Hunter by Bob Norton, Ph.D.). We also have cookbooks where you can get ideas specifically for cooking wild game (The Elk Hunter Cookbook from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, or Wild Diet by Abel James). We also have books on tanning the hides of your harvests (Home Tanning & Leathercraft Simplified by Kathy Kellog). Even if you’ve been hunting for years, it never hurts to get new ideas for whatever hunting related activity you may be looking to try.

The big game season is coming to a close now, but we at the Big Horn County Library would like to wish you a safe rest of the season. We would also encourage you to go out there and create your own special memories with your kids.