My 12 year old grandson just shot his first deer yesterday, December 28, 2010. It was not a trophy buck or even a buck, but the first deer is behind him. I was 12 when I shot my first one. There have been previous misses, too far to shoot and couldn’t get a shot off but none of that mattered. I never heard the words “I quit” or “I don’t think I can do this” or “Maybe I’m not cut out to do this”. No, it was always, “When are we going again Papaw?” I think we adults could learn something from this. I love what Andy Andrews says, “I will persist without exception”.
I’ve always heard it’s the journey that we should enjoy. It’s not all about the destination. Our destination of “the first deer” was reached yesterday. I’d like to share the journey which I think is much more important.
Items picked up during the “journey”.
- Gun safety. This was the first thing we talked about. No walking with one in the chamber. Safety always on. The quickest way to lose your firearm is to abuse your privilege with it. This applies at age 56 as well as 12.
- Getting there early. Nothing rewarding comes to those that lay around all day. In order to walk on water you must get out of the boat.
- If the deer is across the fence and not on your land, you do NOT shoot it. You hope it comes on your land or you wait for another chance. Rules.
- 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after sunrise and sunset are guidelines. If you can’t see, don’t shoot.
- The beauty of nature. The difference and beauty of every sunrise and sunset. The wonder of God “waking the world up” as it goes from total silence to the birds beginning their day with song.
- Exercise. When I hear those dreaded words, “Papaw, let’s walk all the way in so they won’t hear us”. Note: One of the reasons for the treadmill purchase in March 2010 and setting a fitness goal is to be able to enjoy this for many years. Additional Note: When you use a treadmill, it WILL work.
- Time to talk. At the end of the hunt when you are walking in or sitting in the blind, that is quiet time that you can just talk. Talk about dreams, plans and the future.
- Time. The best gift you can give your family is time. This time doesn’t involve a video game, electronic device, pause or mute. If spending time with your family is a priority for you, it will be a priority for your kids and grandkids as they get older.
So you can see, the destination, (the deer) was good but the value of the journey will last long after the last bowl of deer chili is gone. As you set your goals (NOT resolutions) for 2011, remember to schedule time to make deposits in your family account.