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Hunting – Survival or Sport?

Growing up, I’ve enjoyed hunting with my father.  ~Dale Earnhardt

Kyle with paps deer Aunt Heather Piper
Kyle with Pap Pap's deer 2010- Yes Kyle's wearing my boots!

Two weekends ago Kyle went hunting with my dad.  Now, to be honest, I think Kyle enjoys getting out and hanging with my dad more than hunting, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  He doesn’t seem to have the passion or the desire to hunt like my dad and brother, but he does like the idea of hunting.

On my way to the house on Saturday morning, I stopped at Sheetz.  Lo and behold a sea of camouflage covered men and women flooded the sight before me.  I heard something the other day about Western Pennsylvania being known for hunting.  I really never knew that, probably because it’s such a standard way of life for everyone’s seasonal activity around here.  I remember always getting the “First Day of Buck” off of school, it was standard protocol since there were so many students who had to be excused that day anyway.

As I watched everyone congregate and grab their provisions needed, I couldn’t help but wonder: When did hunting stop being a means of survival and start being a pastime activity?  I mean, for my dad, hunting and fishing still helps to provide food for the household all year long.  Not to mention it’s a lot healthier, no hormones, no antibiotics, no cages, etc.  Plus deer meat is leaner than beef.  Personally I like deer meat, of course I’ve never known a life without it.

Dad and Ryan hunting Aunt Heather Piper
Dad and Ryan hunting small game

I also couldn’t help wonder, are we, as a society, ready for something out of the norm?  Have we, as a society, become so far removed from the basics, that we might not know how to survive, if needed?  You know, it’s interesting that we had this same conversation at work not long ago.  I could sit there with complete and absolute confidence that my family and I would be able to survive in a time of crisis.  I have no doubt that we would be able to survive.  However, at work, I was the only one that could make that claim with certainty.

I’m really glad dad is passing along the torch of basic survival to Kyle.  The knowledge he is giving Kyle is invaluable, not to mention the quality of time spent together is certainly precious.  Maybe next year I’ll get back into hunting, then I can hang with dad and Kyle in the woods and help with carrying on dad’s legacy.

Published inCommon SenseEducation & LearningFamilyHiking & OutdoorsHunting & FishingObservation & Imagination

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