My father always urged me to hunt and fish. “You’ll go amazing places and meet wonderful people” he would say, “You’ll have a richer life if you do.” I could never have guessed how those words would shape my life.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I wouldn’t love to be out hunting or fishing. First, just to be out there…with nature at its finest (a duck blind at dawn, the lake at sunset, in the fields on a cold drizzly afternoon). Then there’s adventure – hey, just getting to a duck blind in the dark can be a real adventure. Most lovely is the camaraderie – sometimes the team is just you and your dog(s), other times it’s you with old (or new) friends. These were the things Dad wanted me to experience.
Most of all, I hunt and fish because I want to know where my meat comes from and what its been eating. Every one of us deserves to know everything about what goes into our food – and we certainly deserve to know what we’re feeding our children. But with the choice to be a meat eater comes the part that I find most difficult: I love animals. Each one has eyes, and ears, a heart, and, I believe, a spirit. I’m not willing to overlook that by looking for neatly wrapped packages at any store – no matter how fancy or green. So I suppose you could call me the ambivalent huntress when it comes to actually pulling the trigger, but I’ll always do it for my family and because I believe it’s important to really understand there’s a consequence to any meat we choose to eat. For some of us, this is the complicated side to hunting and fishing. But nothing can overshadow the simple: the joy of being out with your son or daughter. The salt breeze from the tuna tower. The pup shivering with excitement. The silent dawn.
For all of this, thank you Dad.