Heartland Outdoors: Scattershooting

“Even Shelby went to hunter safety”

Sunday, October 10

Some days you are the boy’s hero. Some days, not so much.

Lately, the hero stuff hasn’t been so common. To me it all stems back to hunter safety. See, my oldest son is 9. He thinks he was ready to take a hunter safety class last summer. He thinks that in part because he saw a picture of a 6-year-old in the NWTF magazine. The kid was holding a huge gobbler.

“Dad, even 6-year-olds can go hunting,” he noted.

Somehow we survived that one.

But when numerous classmates attended a hunter safety class this year in Elmwood, well, that didn’t go over so well. I held my son out. Didn’t think he was ready yet. That didn’t go over too well.

“Even Shelby went to hunter safety,” he said after word of the class filtered through the fourth grade.

That was a few months ago. I could handle that. But what I’m really dreading is this week. Somebody from his class will shoot a deer this weekend. Understand, I’ll be happy for those kids. But I will be second-guessing myself.

Was the boy ready? Maybe. Gotta live with the decision, though. Right or wrong, I decided to wait until he’s 10 to start him hunting. That means next spring during turkey season will be his first chance. That seems OK to me. Him? I’m not so sure he agrees.

The upshot is, his younger brother will probably be hunting at age 9, if he’s ready. And youngest son Boo Boo? Who knows, he might have a gun in hand before he potty trains.

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