I was able to take a few photos before my boys left in the morning, just hours before the season opened at noon. Thankfully The Boys sent me more throughout the weekend.
Hunting is something you do in Da Plains, I mean, if you're up for it. It's a rite of passage for all young boys, a tradition passed along by dads and their friends. We teach them to respect the animals and to thank God for provision. We also teach respect for the process and those firearms. All of their friends "went hunting" on opening day, too. New boots, camo gear, GEEKED UP for this segment of Jedi training.
Now, should you be as curious as I was about the whole entire process, allow me to share the checkpoints that I rolled through in my brains before consenting to the hunting weekend. I can tell you the following:
Neither of our boys are old enough to formally hunt in this state until they are 12. Therefore, what you see is field target practice only. Clay pigeons, milk jugs, targets. They need practice time to finish the required hunter's safety training before next year anyway. The real hunting was only observed by Frick and Frack. They shouted, "up bird!", carried the dead pheasant bodies, and helped Uncle Shannon clean their guts out.
Both boys practiced with the BB gun that was sent to them by Shoes last year, as well as a small shotgun and rifle.
The outing took place on private property, where nobody was in danger of being picked off by Rodrigo, the Hunter from Delaware, and everyone stayed together. No wandering. No horsing around. Also included were lessons on watching out for snakes, skunks, and cornstalks in the face.
16 pheasants were harmed over the course of the weekend, but I did not clean or eat any of them.
I did, however, make a roast chicken dinner to celebrate the arrival home from their adventure Into The Wild. They came home dirty, exhausted, and deliriously happy.
So on we go with the first hunting weekend:
[photos courtesy of Naser and Pejsa]
Just you wait until you see how Mabel and I celebrated girls' weekend!