My daughter recently had a birthday. She was so sneaky at "borrowing" people's smart phones to play the games, that we thought we would be the best mom and dad "ever!" and get her an ipod so that she can play her own silly games. We were right of course, she was blown away when she saw it. We were not however, ready for the backlash. She became a droid! We never see her anymore, she stays in her room constantly consumed by electronic drunkenness. We get her school work done in the mornings and she always ask, "Can I go play my phone now?" I know this is something I need to get her away from because we are an active family and I can not get her to go to the grocery store now. Not that I myself like going there either. I remember those days when I was a kid. Wake up early if you wanted breakfast, help out my grandparents in the shop, garden, yard, etc. then play OUTSIDE until supper time. That was it. We were full of creativeness. My cousin and I used to play at my uncle's construction site and build ramps, play houses, and tunnels in dirt piles for our matchbox cars. We didn't want to go inside, even when it rained. Luckily we had the place to do that stuff and granted I currently live in town with a tiny yard, but just sitting on your butt playing on a device is a waste of a perfectly good butt. I chose to home school her because I remember my summers at my grandparents and how much I learned from that experience, why shouldn't she get that year round?
I grew up in the country, so I proudly accept the label "country". At my daughter's age I got up at 4:00 a.m. with my mom and met up with friends at the truck stop, then headed to the deer camp. I didn't have a choice, but I liked it too. I helped her listen for direction of deer since she is deaf in one ear. But my favorite hunting experiences were going with the men who followed the dogs to trail and jump deer. I learned how to walk quietly and the difference between how a kid will be still, and how I was supposed to be still, ha ha. So imagine our surprise when our daughter simply refuses to be outdoors or go hunting. "It's too cold, it's too buggy, it's too bright, it's too hot, and I KANT be quiet!" Who is this child? We currently hunt on farm land. Because we don't gun hunt, we are allowed to hunt if we help keep the hogs away. I appreciate it so much, but we can't bring a four wheeler and it is not close to home. Preparing for deer season has its battles, such as, carrying a 50 lb bag of corn a mile walk to the stand and an eight year old stomping and complaining the whole trip. It isn't fun being hot, I get it, but, my dad always worked hard on our farm and it is that good kind of hard work. Yes, you are tired, hot, hungry and sore but it is the kind of work that makes you proud and accomplished. She did not however get the insight.
I'm not sure if the weather change, the passing of another year, or the t.v. is to be applauded, but, something clicked in Harli that was unexpected. We check the game cam pretty regularly on the t.v. and are blustered by a gazelle looking spike that keeps eating all the corn. When Harli found out she may be the answer to our prayers she suddenly felt like it was her duty to rid us of this genetic sadness that this deer would bring upon future hunters. Because my husband and I share a stand, and share a daughter who is not particularly fond of getting up or the hunting experience, we take turns hunting. Harli is so curious if anyone has seen "her" deer. I told her she should learn to hunt and maybe we can take her out on youth hunt and see what happens. Well hearing about a special day just for her perked those little ears up.
Yesterday evening we had a cold snap and Colt went to the stand to sit a while. It seemed as if all the horns had other things on their mind and after watching a turkey eat corn for two hours, Colt decided he might as well get a doe and get some meat stocked up in the freezer. Because of the long walk, I stay by the phone so I can assist on retrieval. I told Harli we needed to go and in a hurry because it was getting dark and we had to track where the deer went. This child was ready and out the door before I was! Colt and I taught Harli how to follow a deer using blood, tracks, and branches, and I showed Harli how at night, you shouldn't be scared of getting lost because the sky is like a map. My science loving daughter finally made the connection between science and outdoors thanks to blood, the t.v. and this wonderful fall weather in the South. She is now so excited about doing more, maybe she will get a Hoyt from MR. Santa Clause, and maybe a hunting app or two from her momma. =0)