Teaching Our Daughters to Hunt
Recently one of my three daughters came to me and told me how lucky I was that I never had a boy, so all of my girls learned to hunt and fish. I do not know if that is true, but they have all been thoroughly introduced to the great outdoors. Since they were old enough to walk, they went with me on weekend trips hunting, fishing, or just looking for arrowheads. As they grew up, they went from spectators to participants. Though they are grown now, her statement made me realize how their learning to be outdoorswomen changed their lives, and mine too.
Without question, the skills they learned from outdoor activities gave them confidence that they’ve carried with them ever since. They did everything with ease from their ability to handle a shotgun on skeet shoots with the high school boys, talk duck species with friends’ dads, or skin hook a plastic worm on a Texas rig while fishing with friends. They would often find themselves the center of attention for doing things they thought everybody knew how to do. In Texas, many teenagers and young adults have the opportunity to go on trips with friends to farms and ranches. My girls always found themselves in charge of activities on these trips because they knew what they were doing. These experiences at a young age gave them poise and tenacity.
Spending time in the outdoors also taught them other essential life lessons. They learned patience in a time when instant gratification is the way of the world. A little patience in life goes a long way. They also became accustomed to dealing with a lack of comfort and modern conveniences, which helps them deal with many situations. Importantly, their outdoor experiences also gave them a sense of perspective, including knowing where food comes from, which I believe will allow them to manage the many challenges life presents successfully.
Spending all of that time in the great outdoors with my daughters gave me quality time that I would never have otherwise had. Spending all day on a fishing trip or long hours in a hunting blind provided opportunities to get to know them and hear things that I am even sure their mother was not aware of. I also had a captive audience to convey wisdom without the everyday distractions found in everyone’s homes these days. I hope my thoughts and perspectives shared on these outings will make a positive impact on their lives.
Now that they are grown, going to the ranch with their boyfriends and husbands is always a great time and allows me to capture my daughters’ attention on those limited days that bring them back home. Having sacrificed a few things to have a place in the outdoors allowed us to share experiences and make memories that would never have happened otherwise. It is undoubtedly one of the best life investments I have made.
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