Homesteading is about living off of and with the land. Now let me just say, I personally do not hunt, but I have family members who have and do enjoy the sport of hunting. Being as our son is young, his exposure to the whole hunting scene is limited. So last summer we attended a free Outdoor Family Fun Day put on by local conservation groups. This was basically his first chance to get hands on with and learn about hunting and he had a blast! (even if you are not into hunting, activities like this can offer your children lots of fun and life skills too!)
Upon arriving our son made a beeline for the archery area. One of the gentlemen saw how excited he was and took his time to show our son how to properly hold and shoot a bow. It was great to see how much fun he was having and how proud of himself he was for learning a new skill.
Next up he wanted to try his hand at pheasant hunting. They explained hunter safety to the kids before they went on their "hunt." It was so cute to watch the children try to keep a shoulder to shoulder formation as they crossed the field. They would toss different colored Frisbees to represent male and female birds and the kids had to call out "hen" (no shoot) and "rooster" (shoot.) When a rooster was throw, four little wooden guns would go up!
He and I worked together to do some waterfowl identification and he got a duck call. Imagine 30 plus kids with duck calls....yes it was loud! They had a duck calling contest and again my son amazed me. He had NEVER used a duck call before and was up against kids with lots of experience. With five minutes to warm up he bravely stepped in front of a crowd of strangers and gave it his all! To top it all off, he won a pair of duck decoys!
Of course now that he has a duck call and some duck decoys he is trying to convince us he needs a duck dog (aka lab or retriever) too! Ummm, sorry son, no. I am so glad I spotted this free event in our local paper and took the time to check it out. Not only did we have a wonderful day in the great outdoors, but our son learned some new skills and gained confidence in himself.