We didn’t have pre-nuptials, but our marriage was followed by an additional agreement. She could go when and where she wanted to, just as long as I could go bowhunting when I wanted. For several years our agreement worked flawlessly, then God gave us boys.
Becoming both dad and bowhunter had its challenges.
From car seats to kindergarten and now on to junior high, raising kids along with finding time to bow hunt has been an adventure. Thankfully, we have been blessed with three boys who are learning to enjoy the mysteries of the bow and arrow just as much as their father. They are becoming young men who enjoy 3D archery shoots, back yard archery, along with chasing whitetail – all of which I am very proud.
With two of them being old enough to bowhunt, we have enjoyed assisting them in the pursuit of their first archery harvest. Last season, one of them scored and the other struck out. In both cases it was not the hunts we remember most, it’s the memories we made while spending time together that linger with us.
Can bowhunting make you a better dad?
With the approach of Fathers Day I have begun pondering the question at hand, “can bowhunting make you a better dad?” There have been numerous articles written on the values instilled within kids who hunt with their dads, but what about the values instilled within the dads who hunt with their kids. It seems the boy or girl who goes afield with dad isn’t the only one who benefits from the experience. Although I don’t consider myself to be a model parent, I can see that my relationship with my boys is richer and better because of the time we have spent bowhunting together.
In considering just how bowhunting with them has impacted my life as a parent, here are 5 ways bowhunting with my kids has made a difference.
1. Bowhunting with my kids has helped me to become a more patient father.
Everything takes time and none of us are perfect. Sharing the disappointment when my “traditional archer” missed his first deer made me much more aware how to help (and hug) my boys through all of life’s “misses.” Much like our heavenly Father does to us.
2. Bowhunting with my kids has helped me see the need to teach.
Sometimes I take for granted that my boys know the things I know. Spending time with them in the outdoors has helped me to observe and learn what they don’t know and gives opportunity to teach them principals and practical tools for living that would have otherwise been missed.
3. Bowhunting with my kids has helped me to listen.
It’s easy to want to fix their problems for them. But sometimes my boys just want to talk it through and by talking it out; they see how to fix it themselves. If only I can learn to just shut up.
4. Bowhunting with my kids has helped me to know how to pray.
Maybe this one should have been number one. Sitting 20 foot in a tree listening to them, has helped me see areas where I need wisdom in being a better dad. To be a better dad, takes God’s help.
5. Bowhunting with my kids has helped me be conscience of my most important possession.
It’s easy to get distracted by our careers or our goals and lose sight of the most valuable things we have. Spending time with them in a hunting situation brings freshness to this focus. Our family is the most valuable thing we possess.
There would be some that might disagree, but I firmly believe that if kept in balance and proper perspective, bowhunting can make you a better dad. What do you think? Has bowhunting made you a better father?
Happy Fathers Day!
By Randy Hynes