Western Hunter Magazine July/August 2019 #70 - Page 76

HUNTER MAGAZINE PREDATOR HUNTING Stoking the Fire What I did right and wrong in getting my kids involved in hunting Fred Eichler Just enjoying the outdoors is a stepping stone to getting kids excited about hunting. hunting editor An Old Man’s Reflection Y ears ago, before I was married and before kids came into my life, I was guiding an older gentleman in his mid-70s on a deer hunt. We got to talking about his family and his grown children and I asked if they liked to hunt. He explained that neither of them really liked to hunt or fish and went on to theorize it was his fault they didn’t like it. I questioned this and he was very honest in his assessment of the things he had done wrong. He felt he had pushed them too hard trying to get them to enjoy it and therefore they didn’t enjoy it, because it was forced on them. The old man hunted with me three times for different species over the years and his failure to pass on his passion for the outdoors to his children came up every time. This was something that stuck with me, even though at the time I couldn’t completely relate. I had grown up hunting and fishing with my dad and couldn’t imagine someone not enjoying it. History Repeating Camping is a great way to get kids outdoors and away from video games. 76 WESTERN HUNTER Later in my life, while trying to get my kids into hunting and fishing, I realized exactly what the old man had done. I found myself making the same mistakes he had explained to me years before. Wanting desperately to get someone you love to enjoy something as much as you do is exactly where most people make their mistake, including me. That’s where I ran into my issues when trying to get our three boys into hunting. I was convinced that if they could just see the things I have seen, could hear the things I have heard, and feel the things I have felt, there is no way they couldn’t be- come passionate outdoorsmen. www.westernhunter.net