I’ve always been passionate about the countryside that I live in, and shoot, hunt and fish within it. But, recently I have found something that tops it all – hunting, shooting and fishing with my daughter, Evie who is three.
We go rabbit shooting once a week, she keeps me company when I’m fishing and during the pheasant season she will be getting stuck in on the beating line.
“Whenever I get my shotgun, rifle or fishing rod out, there’s suddenly a little voice: ‘Can I come Daddy?’ “
She absolutely loves it and her enthusiasm for what she learns drives me to believe that hunting and fieldsports are something more children should be doing or at least learning about.
It’s not just about shooting the animal, that’s the least important part, it’s about nature, conservation and importantly knowing where your food comes from.
Evie can tell you where rabbits live, why we shoot them and that we then eat them. She can also name you different types of trees and birds, she could show you a fox hole or a deer slot. Her face absolutely lit up when we were laying waiting for deer and bats started hunting just above our heads.
“Shooting the animal is the least important part, it’s about nature, conservation and knowing where your food comes from.”
Because I’ve explained to her about closed season for deer, pheasant and other game she knows that we don’t shoot them because that’s when they have young (or babies as she terms it!). She is three and she knows more than some adults I’ve met!
All of this has stemmed from shooting – this lead to a natural curiosity for the outside world which I think sometimes the children of today are lacking. Children are the future of not only fieldsports, but every walk of life that relates to it and every minute invested in them will only be repaid over and again.
For me though the best thing is whenever I get my shotgun, rifle or fishing rod out and start pulling my boots on , there’s suddenly a little voice: “Can I come Daddy?”
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