Sometimes we hunt for the mere enjoyment of the great outdoors. As it’s said about things loved, ‘A bad day (fill-in-the-blank), is better than a good day at the office.’ I must confess that I’ve missed out on quite a bit of the great moments that many of us take advantage of every day. That’s all thanks to my decisions in a career path in long term care/healthcare. Some of those invaluable moments being: watching our kids grow (all four of them), putting them to bed, conversation with friends and family, etc. For the sake of this conversation, I’m referencing the topic at hand, good old fashion principles and words we’ve heard from God or grandpa; or in this case Mr Benjamin Franklin. Maybe it’s a stretch, but the first thing that came to mind when I read this post was, ‘teach a man to fish (or hunt), and he’ll eat for a lifetime.’ Dave Ramsey would say, “leave the cave, kill something, and drag it home to provide for the family.”
In the instance of hunting, the benefits are recognized immediately. Especially with everything that’s involved; from preparing guns, ammo and camo, going out to the hunt, the boat or atv ride, a long hike, trudging through mud, or even simply bearing the cold weather. Goodness, I forgot that even the drive to the hunting location is worth waking up for, at 3am. That’s mostly attributed to the great company that hunting employs. Thanks to our experienced guide, James Huson, no time is spent bored, because when you’re with a knowledgeable hunting guide, there’s much to discuss. When there was a quiet moment, it felt like a purposeful pause, not just without words, but to just recognize that you’re not at work, not sitting in front of a tv, a computer, or your cell phone or tablet. It just seems like a natural fit; man and nature. James tells me all the time, “the best hunts that I guide and frankly the ones who offer the best gratuity, are the clients that don’t shoot a thing, but greatly enjoy what the overall experience has to offer.”
Let me get to my point; that ah-ha moment. After our hunt this past Friday morning, I was greatly reminded of why we hunt; it’s for the food. We are thankful for the gift that God has given us; the gift of the creation that we so much enjoy to observe in the great outdoors. I’m not getting preachy, I’m just convinced by the awe-some impact the outdoors has on me; a guy who was raised loving the outdoors. Heck, I was even ‘made’ to play outside sometimes by my folks, and boy do I thank my mother for it to this day. I know I could survive the outdoors, if life necessitated.
When I walked up to my house, there were 11 kids sitting on the back patio, being home educated by one of our great friends and teachers. Well…, I altered that special moment, because when I turned the corner with 5 ducks in my hands, the kids jumped up and cheered. They screamed with excitement. I overheard one of the mothers from inside the house say, “he’s brought home the bacon!” I felt like a man in the snap of a finger. Better still, it was my own beautiful wife! To no surprise, the kids wanted to help pluck and clean the ducks. They all did a great job, and guess what, those kids were asking question after question about how to hunt, what to hunt, how to clean the ducks, and so on, and so on. I loved it, and so did they.
I just looked around at the scene, and all of a sudden I realized that I was teaching something just as valuable as the classical arts of Giotto. With the knowledge they were getting, they now have a better chance at survival. Even if they never hunt in the future, at least they’ll possibly realize where their food comes from, …as opposed to a drive through window. At the same time, I was able to engage with all of those kids, without being bothered by loud noise, making a mess, having to clean up man-made toys afterward, and so forth. It was a neat experience.
When James and I were out on the lake hunting, we heard some tractors off in the distance. It was very peaceful all morning, and with humor only in mind, I turned and looked at James and said, “poor bastards.” James returned with a confused look. I said, “It’s Friday morning, and they’re having to work in this freezing cold weather, and we’re out here hunt’n ducks.” (with a smile on my face) He laughed out loud. So, I share this post just to say that if we spent more time hunting, teaching people to source their own sustenance, I think things would be better for everyone, even the poor.
Disclaimer: I think there’s many ways to support the poor, and I encourage everyone to do their part, in “leading or driving them out.” This post is only meant to express my reflection on the quote from Ben Franklin. Thanks for enjoying this short read. Have an awesome day.
Please enjoy the great outdoors.