Hunting, fishing, drawing, and music occupied my every moment. Cares I knew not, and cared naught about them. ~John James Audubon
Since the beginning of time, man's adventures, whether in work or play, have been driven by an innate desire to succeed, to provide for and to protect others, and to conquer. Without such desires, man would not and could not survive. One such aspect of survival is the hunting of animals. While it is not necessary for most of us today to hunt for our food, many people still enjoy the quests of hunting and fishing so as to enjoy the simple, yet rare pleasure, of dining on their rewards. And, although some consider the popularized notion that hunting is cruel to animals, I have only to ask those individuals where exactly their shiny new leather shoes and handbags have come from?? God has ordered creation for a reason, and he did not make man and animal simultaneously....at least that's how my bible reads.
Teaching children not only about the order of creation, but also about the beauty of nature and how God has provided for His people since the beginning of time through nature is an important element in education. An element that can be vital in forming a child's vision of stewardship, respect and responsibility for creation, and dedication to the preservation of our beautiful world. As the boys are all gaining an interest in hunting, one of the tools we recently used to emphasize our instruction on respect for God's creation, was a clip from the great film, The Last of the Mohicans.
Last week our eldest son, Benedict, experienced for the first time the thrill capturing his first buck. Setting out on an early frosty morning, filled to the brim with waffles and hot chocolate, he walked along side his dad with determination and patience, hoping to scope and hunt a magnificent stag.
It was an exhilarating experience for Ben on so many different levels. From waking in the dark at 5:30 a.m., feasting on a huge breakfast, watching the sun come up over the frost covered fields and walking for hours with his dad, to eventually spotting the buck, taking aim and patiently waiting for the exact moment to pull the trigger, each layer played it's part in creating an unforgettable experience for him, and for his family as well.
Steve in an incredible teacher and mentor. Whether in sports, school, faith life or the practical work life of the farm, he has a way of connecting with all of our sons, forming them and developing their interests and enthusiasm for future adventures. I know that I am blessed to have a husband who is deeply interested in the lives and souls of our children!
With Andrew, George and Henry all planning their own big hunt with dad, I can see a future filled with father-son hunting trips. God bless Sara Palin, but this Mama will not be tagging along!
I am happy now, to recall that I was not only his son but his companion, and whenever there was a hunting expedition or any other pleasure, I was always with him. ~John Philip Sousa
For those who may be curious, we did give the "rewards" of the hunt to a neighboring family who was happy to receive our gift...of course Benedict asked for the antlers. They'll look splendid mounted on the wall in the boys' Star Wars room. So much for decorative control!