Most non-hunters have a fixed assumption that hunting is only about the tags we fill. I’ve been a hunter since I was 4 years old, and I can assure you, filling a tag is the smallest part of the adventure. It’s not about the harvest, it’s about spending time with family in the great outdoors and creating memories that last a lifetime!
I was raised around hunting. Completely immersed in it. My earliest memories are my dad coming back from trips and telling me his stories. He’s the reason I’m a hunter and why I’m so passionate about it. Seeing his passion from such a young age inspired me. It still inspires me and hunting together has created memories I can share with my future family and they can share with theirs. I remember when I was little, I would color while we were sitting in the goose pit. It kept me occupied as a little kid and we were spending quality time together! It’s one of those moments I’ll never forget.
My dad instilled the importance of conservation to me. Hunting is conservation and that was something I learned early on. A big part of my understanding of that was due to Ducks Unlimited. They are a non profit organization focused on conserving wetlands and waterfowl. I have been a member since I was 1 year old.
I have volunteered at many of their banquets for my local chapter and they had great things for kids to get involved with. I would draw the raffle tickets, help with games, and win prizes! The most valuable thing I gained from those experiences though, was seeing and meeting the most passionate hunters. Seeing people so in love with the sport strengthened my love for it. I truly gained a deeper understanding of conservation from this organization. I felt that we were all a community with a greater purpose of conserving wildlife. Hunters are one big family.