Journal Entry 01/01/15 Passing it on

Passing it on 01/01/15

 

Don't know that there's a better time to start handing down traditions than the new year. I try to carry my daughter out when I have the opportunity and I know the sit won't be very long. This isn't her first time in the woods or around wildlife, I started that when she was less than two years old.    I as a daddy, was looking so forward to her hunting that I had her lifetime license info in the mail before she came home from the hospital. I've learned a few things through her short 5 years here and I'd like to discuss a few of them.

 First Hunt

The ones of you who have children may already know what I'm about to type here in this journal entry, but to the ones of those that are yet to have children or weren't brought up in the woods I hope you'll learn through my mistakes.

 

The number one mistake I made the first time we ever shared the squirrel woods together was FUN was not the number one goal. I wanted to take a squirrel. In that attempt, I shushed my daughter when she made too much noise or wanted to talk. I became frustrated with her trying to find something in the leaves to play with. She had no idea what a whisper was..... Then she needed to go potty. Oh boy was that a challenge. Who knew it could be so difficult to pee in the woods! If I'm hitting home with some of you then you've been right where I have. I was beyond frustrated when this hunt ended, but I could tell from her demeanor that if I wanted her to enjoy the sport of hunting like I did I needed to change my method.

 

Luckily she was willing to go along on the next trip. On this one, her pack was filled with snacks and something to drink. We discussed how to whisper on the way over to the farm and practiced some. Noise wasn't a huge concern, but I let her know that too much noise could spook the game we came to see. I let her look and explore through my binoculars. The last thing on the agenda was actually getting a squirrel, and had one shown up, she was allow to take a shot at it with her Daisy Little Buck BB rifle. One of the funniest things she said on this trip came after moving from one spot to another about 50 yards away. When we arrived, she said, “Sheww, I think I'm gonna need a snack after that!”

 Second Hunt

On the trip before this outing I still hadn't learned how to help her pee in the woods. I tried to get some help from the grandmother's, and have them train her but no such luck. She ended up wetting her britches in an attempt to go number one in the woods. Luckily it was only 30 minutes to sunset, so she toughed it out. While walking in Lowe's hardware the other day it dawned on me to get a small bucket to carry with us on our hunts. While I haven't put it into action yet I'm confident this will solve the “wet pants” problem we've had.

 

So on New Year's day eve, we set off to our spot. Bucket in tow, snacks, BB rifle, and her own personal Leupold “pink' Yosemite binoculars. At the first spot we spent about 45 minutes, with no game spotted. We talked about the area, what game we might see, and she snacked away. We then moved to the back field area into a spot that I knew had a den tree. About 30 minutes before dark, I was ready to move. She was playing with some earthworms at the base of the white oak tree we had set up camp at. We heard movement. I thought it was a deer running from the field into the woods, but luck would have it to the the game we were after. Two squirrels came down the field edge chasing each other. I had Karleigh get her rifle up and place it in my shooting stix. She looks over at me and whispers, “I told you there were some squirrels in here!” Like she's been hunting this place for ages.

01-01-15 Passing it on

 

In an attempt to get the squirrel to move off the tree it had locked up on, I moved in. The squirrel ran up the tree and began to run through a string of trees on the field edge. Karleigh tracked the squirrel the whole way, but we couldn't find it after searching the sweetgum it was last spotted in. We glassed until almost dark, but she didn't leave disappointed. She got to experience the same excitement I do as an experienced squirrel hunter. She's learning what to look for and how to conduct herself in the woods so that she can see game. She doesn't realize that these lessons are starting to stick, but I can see it. She's still focused on the snacks and not being bored, and that's ok. What you have to do as a father, mother, or mentor is let the main goal be FUN! I was able to correct my mistakes on the first hunt, and not put her in a position where she didn't want to come back. For me that would have been devastating. Now if she chooses not to hunt as she gets older, that's up to her, but for now every time I ask her to go she is happy to do so.   I hope it stays that way the rest of her life.

Just as a side note.  Make sure you have a camera, and the battery is charged.  You want to capture these moments in time to treasure for the future.

01-01-15 Passing it on 2 01-01-15 Snacking it up 01-01-15 Last light

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

djdilliodon January 9, 2015 at 5:25 pm

awesome write up Nate! I can see the “frozen” bug got your little one as well lol! That movie should be banned I tell ya! Can’t wait just to get my little one shooting but he has a little ways to go. No rush though as enjoying them at a young age is more important.

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Nate January 10, 2015 at 4:12 am

Don, Disney has made a mint off of this movie. I’m glad I still haven’t seen the movie. I figured it would help give a little insight to new Daddy’s taking there little ones out for the first time. You want there to be a second, third, and beyond.

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Robert Daniel January 18, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Nate, love your site.
There’s a product on the market called the. ” She wee ” that would make it easier on your daughter.
I started my daughter camping and fishing with me very early in her first year. At 33 yrs lod now she still spends alot of time in the outdoors.
Rob

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Nate January 20, 2015 at 3:13 pm

I appreciate the advice on the product. Once I told my wife about it she then spent the next 30-45 minutes searching and watching videos on the “Shewee.”

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richard roberts August 18, 2015 at 8:30 pm

PRICELESS

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Big Daddy September 14, 2015 at 2:47 pm

A great time and great memories to reflect on. I remember those young days with my sons as well. From you playing “bomb-a-deer” with tree bark in a deer stand, to the dove hunt with your brother using the 410 and the first shot the spring in the hammer breaking, rendering the gun un-usable. Good job on taking my granddaughter hunting and fishing and getting her to enjoy the out doors, “acorns don’t fall too far from the trees”.

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