My son Mike (14) and I are on a manly quest. Over the course of two weeks we are spending over 10 hours in classroom lectures and field operations (blood trail exercise included!) just to earn to right to bear arms…safely, that is. Taking the
hunter/gun safety class is a huge stretch for me. I have no desire to go where other crazy people are running through the woods with guns and live ammunition! One of my favorite authors, John Eldredge, would probably shun me if he found out. New York State
Growing up in a rural area in upper NY State, I was exposed to rare culinary…uhm, treats. One of the more common entrées was the fuzzy gray speed bump known as the squirrel. My father hunted for them often, which never seemed much of a challenge to me. Our cat seemed to have no problem catching one in our backyard. My father would come back from hunting with a few and act like it was from some dangerous safari expedition. Our cat would go outside, catch and drop one at the front door and be done with it, all the while looking at my father with pity. Eating them would prove to be a far greater challenge. Since we were quite poor, squirrel “graced” our table frequently. My Mom’s squirrel stew was enough to place the little gray rodent on the endangered species list. Meaning, your own species was very much in danger if you ate too much of it!
So why exposed myself to field walks; long lectures about bolt actions, 12 gauges and how to call turkeys? I’m good will hunting…that’s why. My son and I are close, very close but I’m always looking for opportunities to grow closer. Mike wanted to take this course and learn more about hunting, guns and survival techniques. Rather than tell him that if we stay away from guns and hunters we probably survive longer, I decided that it would be a great bonding time. Investing in good will moments strengthens the relationship we share and calls to the heart of my son to come close.
“One night a father overheard his son pray: Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is. Later that night, the Father prayed, Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son wants me to be.” - Anonymous