By Albert Quackenbush
Hunting has been in my family for as long as I remember. My dad and brother are the two best hunting partners a guy could ask for. We would spend all year discussing the previous year, the weather, where to place stands and when October would arrive so we could get in the woods. Sure, we hunted for small game and turkey, but the animal we most desired was the whitetail deer. I took it for granted, until I moved 3,000 miles away.
Where I grew up in New York State everyone hunted. When I moved to California that all changed. It was a new place with new friends who didn’t understand hunting. Then married a woman who doesn’t care for hunting, but she appreciates the passion I have for it. I am a proud bow hunter and I am not afraid to share it.
I have actually made some great new friends through bow hunting in California. Some of the guys are my new bow hunting partners. Every week we hit the archery range to practice and talk about the upcoming archery seasons and what we can hunt. I look forward to it each and every week.
Now that my daughter is three and a half, I have started sharing more and more of the outdoors with her. I have never hidden the fact that I hunt, nor will I be ashamed of it. Sometimes, when I am watching a hunting show on television, she’ll hop on my lap and point out the animals onscreen. It makes me proud to know she knows the animals and sees the hunters in pursuit of wild game.
When I get home wearing camouflage face paint, she often jokingly asks me if I am wearing makeup. Of course I reply that indeed I am!
Just recently, my daughter and I ventured to a sporting goods retailer and we picked out her very first bow. While I was introduced to archery when I was nine, I figured she could start earlier if she wanted to. Sure, she’s not going want to focus on it for more than five minutes, but she should have fun and shoot some arrows like her dad if she wants to. Enthusiastically, she said that she wanted the bow and also loved seeing all of the taxidermy around.
The next day, we got her bow out of the package and she shot for the first time. Like most kids, she was frustrated at first. With a little patience and coaxing, she was shooting arrows and smiling in no time. You can bet that I will be sharing more bow hunting tips and techniques as we both age gracefully.
Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 28 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, SoCalBowhunter.com, and also writes for Bow Adventures e-magazine. He is a Pro Staff member for DIYbowhunter.com, Piranha Custom Bowstrings and Field Logic. He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Deer Association, and is a Life Member of the North American Hunting Club.
Albert was born and raised in New York State where he learned to hunt everything from squirrels to whitetail deer. He currently resides in Southern California with his wife and daughter and hunts year round.
By Dustin Jones
Sharing my love for bowhunting is something that I truly enjoy. When my wife and I were dating, she didn’t know very much about hunting. In fact when she would come over and we would watch old hunting tapes or watch hunting shows, she couldn’t stand watching. I made sure not to force it on her but to share why I enjoy it so much. To show her how much fun it could be, I gave her a bow and we started shooting the 3-D range in the evenings whenever we could. Her comment to me was that she could shoot targets but not a real animal. This was perfectly fine with me. I get to take her out and practice and share my love for archery with my wife.
I get to share it even more now with my son. He just turned 3 and taking him to archery shoots to teach him just as my dad did is an experience that I will never forget. I got him his first bow not too long ago and seeing his face light up and how excited he got is an unforgettable moment. I knew the excitement he felt and I know now how my dad felt.
I got to take my son to a 3-D archery shoot and start teaching him how to shoot his bow. This was truly a memorable experience. He loved to see all the animal targets and of course he had to carry his “noculars” (binoculars) just like his dad. We pretended we were hunting and had to look for the animal and then sneak up to make the shot. His first archery experience was a success! Spending that time passing on what I have learned from my dad onto my son was a moment I’ll never forget.
Dustin Jones is a passionate outdoorsman who loves to hunt, especially bowhunt. He created his blog, HighCountryBowhunter.com, to share his experiences with others. He is a Field Staff member for DIYbowhunter.com and Adventure Team member for MINOX Hunting Optics.