My son Andy shot his first pheasant on Saturday at a game farm in Wisconsin. He was invited to the birthday party of his ninth-grade classmate, who lives on 20 acres near Hudson and deer hunts on his family’s land.
It’s been a tough fall for Andy. He did not get an antelope in Montana, he did not get a deer in Minnesota and he did not get a pheasant last weekend down in southwestern Minnesota.
I felt bad for him. While I don’t believe it’s important to be successful every time, I’d like my kids to succeed at least some of the time. So, this was a nice ending to the hunting season for him. I’m proud that he made the shot, but prouder still that he kept at it the entire fall and never complained. Not sure I would have taken the lack of success so well.
The success aspect is thought to be important by experts who analyze youth hunting and fishing participation trends. Simply put, the more success kids have, the more likely they are to continue doing it, the experts say.
I agree, yet I think there’s value in coming home empty handed sometimes. It builds character. The good news is Andy doesn’t appear to be losing any enthusiasm for hunting. He’s already looking forward to next year. So am I.