Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Write About the Good Challenge

Kristine over at Outdoor Blogger Summit threw down a challenge to all her outdoor blogging peeps to write a post during this Thanksgiving holiday about the person who mentored you in hunting or the outdoors.

For me, this one is a no-brainer.

Growing up with the Colorado wilderness as my backyard playground, I was fortunate to be introduced to hunting and fishing at a very early age. My father was a life-long outdoorsman, however he was a first generation hunter who taught himself the ins and outs of the sporting world. He moved to Colorado with my mom while in the Army and ended up staying where they raised all five of us kids.

It was clear from my upbringing that Dad learned early in his outdoor adventures that hunting and fishing provided a quality to life that connected him to his food, the land, and the awe of the wild that spoke to his faith. Hunting and fishing really did represent all that was good and right with the world.

And, fortunately for me and my siblings, Dad equally understood the value of introducing this lifestyle to his children. He believed that it was his responsibility to instill the outdoors as a family legacy; not just a hobby or fleeting interest. For him, it was a life imperative to do all he could to ensure that I had the opportunity to experience and appreciate the outdoors. From there it would be up to me to make choices for continuing those traditions as I grew into an adult. But he did everything he could to plant those seeds firmly in my soul.

Dad did everything right. Hunting and fishing are now as much a part of my wife and children’s lives as they were with me growing up. When I was young it was all about the cool parts of being in the wild – mainly the pursuit of game and the harvest. As a kid I was naturally drawn to the fire of the gun and the tug on the pole. The subtle, and quite frankly, more important aspects of hunting and fishing were lost on my youth.

But because Dad was consistent – and constant – in his teachings about all aspects of the outdoors that are meaningful and important, I slowly grew to appreciate why the legacy of hunting and fishing are critical to a quality life.

I owe Dad much for his patience and perseverance in being my mentor in the outdoors. He is why I hunt, eat, and live!


Anonymous said...

It's amazing how much a parent can influence a child when it comes to the outdoors. I guess that's a good reminder for everyone with children.

Terry Scoville said...

Very nice post Jon. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Matt said...

Great post. Sounds like your Dad knows what he's doing when it comes to raising kids!

I too am a "first generation" hunter. I hope someday my kids can say some of the things you wrote about your dad.

Blessed said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am glad that you had such a great mentor and will be passing along this heritage to your children.

Anonymous said...

Very good post. Dad's are heroes in a lot of outdoor oriented families. Thanks for continuing his message to your children and others.

crestonejake said...

What a wonderful tribute to your father! It is easy to understand why you have such a passion for the outdoors. I bet your Dad had a teardrop in his eye when he read this post! Keep up the excellent work and your children will no doubt continue in your footsteps as well. Even your daughter, if she doesn't find boys first.