With a day and age of social media and internet. There seems to be a loss when it comes to telling people how much they mean. So I challenge all of you to write your hunting partner a note or letter in person and tell them what they mean to you. For me, I get to not only tell my hunting partner but my 14 year old son how proud I am of him and what hunting with him means to me. Most times we get on our kids and we are quick to point out their mistakes. But how many times do you tell them they make you proud or that you love them? I am not talking about holidays but rather just out of the blue? I decided today I was going to make my son cry. Not by yelling or coming down on him but rather by teaching him values in life that relate to hunting. I want to share with you all the letter I decided to write my son. My 14 year old son doesn't show much emotion at times. But the I tears rolling down his face said everything. I broke down when he was finished reading and told me that he loves me and thank you. I can't wait to see what this years hunts bring for us.
I want to write you a letter that I am sure you’ll keep for life expressing to you how much I love you and what our time hunting together means to me.
You see son, I am so proud of you. I see how hard you work tuning your bow and shooting every arrow with a sense of purpose. You really made me proud last season with how hard you worked to put your tags on your elk. You have inspired me in ways that words alone cannot express. In fact it brings tears to my eyes when I think about the moments we spend together hunting and chasing game. One day I will be gone and all you’ll have are the memories we made and this letter to reflect back on. And when you do, I want you to be happy and understand how truly proud of you I am and know that I love you. I never want to see you lose that dedication to hunting that you have shown everyone over the years. I truly believe that you have a gift for the outdoors and I want to see you follow that gift and see where it goes and what comes of it.
You might be asking yourself. Where I am going with this? I’ll tell you here in a bit but first I want you to understand that for me hunting has always been a way for me to reflect on life, find purpose, and figure things out about my life. Ever sense you were 8 and started hunting with me, I have been questioned to whether or not I was doing the right things for you? I wonder as a father if I am making the right choices, doing the right things with you? Am I making the best decisions? I guess time will answer those questions.
I am going to do what every father should do; I am going to support you and your decisions. I want to grant you a wish and see you fulfill a dream. By doing so you’ll be helping me fulfill a dream of mine. I know you are very passionate about hunting so I want to allow you son some great opportunities. These opportunities are going to involve some serious risks and danger. People will question whether the risks and opportunities are justified to the exposer to danger? Until they walk in our boots they will never know the bond that you and I have and that we choose this path in life with no regrets together. That being said I want to complete the North American Super Ten with you son. I want you to decide what animals we go after. It will take some time and it will not be easy but it’s something that will mean something to both of us.
Everything we get in life is earned one way or another. So this adventure is going to be earned and paid for by both of us. Not just in money, it will also be paid by hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Here is how you’ll earn your way.
1. Education is never free, so take full advantage of the education you get in school and do the best you can to learn as much as you can. Because you’ll need to rely on it as we go on these adventures. Math, science, social studies, and your other subjects all play a role in the pursuit of game. These hunting trips will require us to make decisions about distance, angles, wind speed, and so on. So it’s very important that you pay attention during class. And continue to keep your grades up.
2. Humility is a must. We are not always going to be successful but we will do these trips with class and do them right. We’ll have times where we will not be successful and maybe even times where we will fail badly. However it’s important that you understand that by doing these adventures with humility and class will allow our successes to be that much sweeter and ensure that we are welcomed back. Without failure success means nothing. Remember that!!!
3. Strength, not just physically strong but I want you to be mentally and spiritually strong as well. There are going to be times where you’ll need to draw on more than just your physical strength. Your mental stamina and your spiritual beliefs will be tested. So I would like to see us continue working out at the gym together as well as I want you to work on your mental toughness. Lastly, everyone needs some sort of faith. I want you to find something to believe in and draw strength from. You’ll need it as your body and mind start to weaken and you get that urge to toss in the towel it will be the thing that pulls you along.
4. Patience is key to most things. I am talking about more than just waiting for the right animal. The patience I am talking about it going with whatever rolls your way. Whether it’s needing a piece of equipment or waiting for a certain tag. Patience is necessary. You’ll learn as you get older that relaxing and taking things as they come will give you a sense of peace. You’ll become less stressed and life will just seem to work its way out. I urge you to work on this when it comes to dealing with others such as your family and friends.
Now that I have laid out the rules I have a couple surprises for you. I know you been wanting a few new pieces of gear. So Dana and I have gone out and got us some new gear to get us started. I hope that the Mathews Z7, Tenzing Pack, and Sitka Gear will give you many years of enjoyment. The next thing we need to do is decide on what animals we want to chase this season? I really look forward to seeing you grow both as an outdoorsman as well as a young man.
Most people say that fathers teach their sons. Well son you have taught me so much more. I am not just talking about being a better hunter but about how to be a better father, person, and worker. You’re more than just my son your my hunting partner and I want to thank you and tell you that I love you with all my heart.