I think I’m a typical outdoorsmen. I’m working my way through the stepping-stones to the point I’m at now. It all started when I was three years old and caught my first fish. Even though I had no choice in whether or not I went, it was the best childhood decision my parents ever made for me. After that day, I went more and more often, until it became a weekly thing.
I believe that, especially in the case of teenagers, our parents are much smarter than we think they are. Not everything they say is wrong, and it’s not all rubbish. Unless they use a joking tone, every word needs to be taken into consideration.
My dad goes hunting and fishing to enjoy himself and get away from the hectic life in town. He gets more excited watching me hunt and fish than he does doing it himself. I go to give it my best shot at catching fish or the taking of an animal. The main objective of my dad now, is to pass his knowledge of the outdoors on to me. No matter what we’re doing he’s showing me secret spots or some type of animal behavior. This year I took a buck antelope, cow elk, and buck deer by myself. My success wasn’t possible without my dad, who taught me almost everything I know about hunting and fishing. After I brought each animal home, he said he wished he were there to watch me. Whenever I come home empty handed he repeats the phrase, “You don’t have to be successful to have a successful outing.”
At first this went in one ear and out the other because I couldn’t grasp this gibberish. How can you be successful if you don’t bring something home? Now I realize the ‘something’ can be an animal, but more often is a memory. Every day has a memorable moment. It could be watching a coyote catch a mouse, or a squirrel storing nuts for winter.
I believe that our parents are the smartest people on this Earth. The biggest mistake a child can make is to think their parents are idiots. Our parents have gone through everything we have and then some, and can foresee problems that we can’t. Our decision-making skills are nothing compared to theirs, and they have a far more abstract way of thinking. By listening to our parents, we can find out why we really go hunting and fishing. It’s not to kill; it’s to achieve the peace and solitude that doesn’t exist in the city.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.