Every hunting season is an adventure where memories are made regardless of the outcome of the hunt. This past week was the epitome of that as I learned that just three hours of hunting can help build the kind of memories that resonate for a lifetime. Sure, sounds sappy but until you’ve walked in those boots you simply can’t appreciate the truth in these words. Saturday I was joined by long time friend and hunting buddy Kevin Kronfeld. Kevin and I are childhood schoolmates who’ve bonded through our love for the outdoors. This friendship really took shape in college and has grown as we’ve forged in with our careers, marriages and families from different towns. The short two hour drive between Cedar Rapids and Des Moines has never prevented us from getting together regularly to do what we love…hunt and fish.
So this past weekend has been planned for months. We’ve had to juggle things based on our personal schedules, the hunting season and Mother Nature always seems to have a say in it. This weekend’s hunt, our first with both our oldest kids, was originally planned for last Saturday but 22mph winds, cold morning temps and the chance for rain had us postpone it a day later. Man, am I glad we did. So our goal in all this? Most people foreign to hunting would think it’d be to simply kill our quarry…in this case the wild turkey. Ah, but not so. See, while that would have been a great way to top off this trip the real goal was to introduce our kids to the sport of hunting by putting them, for the first time in their lives, in a situation to observe nature without nature being all that aware of them. The beauty in it all is only enhanced with the time honored tradition of hunting. See, Kevin and I know that by introducing our kids to hunting at an early age it will combat a lot of life’s negatives (childhood obesity, obsessions with video games, being too competitive too young in life).
So what was the goal of this hunt? Simple. We wanted to create some memories. And that we did! This video can only give you a short glimpse into the energy and excitement that two six year olds had on their first hunt together with their dads. On this hunt we heard Tom’s gobble on the roost, we had a whitetail deer within 15 yards of our blind and we had a Jake mingle with our two hen decoys. While we didn’t get to see the long-beards we were after, this video will make it clear it was still a successful hunt!