A member of an online forum I frequent recently posted a question. In summary, he was reflecting on an experience he recently had with his son engaging in the shooting sports and wondered if others had shared this with their fathers. If so, what did the memories mean to them? Were they special or was it just “passing the time?”
My father and I were, when I was young, “okay” with each other but hadn’t really found anything that made us connect. Sure, he was my father and we shared a mutual love and respect, but hadn’t found that common ground that bonds parents to children. That all changed once we started fishing, shooting, and hunting together. We shared time that was only ours, away from the rest of the world back before cell phones or text messages could interrupt a quiet evening on the lake or the pursuit of accurate handloads. I learned from him, he gained a respect for me, and we shared our thoughts, hopes, fears, and aspirations in between casts and targets.
My father passed away suddenly when I was 22 years old, only two months before my wife and I were married. The memories of he and I connecting as father and son are something I will have forever and hopefully pass along to my children as well. For those who say that hunting and shooting serve no purpose, I say you simply don’t understand.