LORI WEBER MENKE: Supermom goes hunting
I do not hunt. I did not grow up in a family that went hunting. I have never taken hunters safety and, up until about a year ago, I had never fired a gun. Sure, I had uncles who like to deer, duck and goose hunt, but what I know about hunting is this --- if you're tromping through the great outdoors in November, wear orange. But I have never walked, flushed or whatever it is hunters do. So imagine my surprise when my child asks me if he can go hunting.
It all began one afternoon in a field in the middle of Towner County, N.D. The year was 2011. My son, Riley, was riding in the combine with Grandpa and somehow the topic of hunting came up. Riley told Grandpa how he had some friends who went hunting and how he was interested in it.
A couple of weeks later, I get a call. It was my dad, and was wondering about buying Riley a gun for Christmas. My immediate answer was "NO absolutely not!"
My dad apparently was prepared for my response because he quickly told me all the reasons why he wanted this for Riley.
He told me about his conversation with Riley and how he thought going hunting was something Riley would really like to do. He told me how my sisters hunt and how this is something that Riley and aunts, uncles and cousins could do together down the line. An annual event - creating a new tradition. After talking me down, I finally relented and let my parents buy the gun for Riley's Christmas present.
The day after Riley received the gun, we all piled into the trucks and headed out to do chores and take a few practice shots. That was the first time I had ever fired a gun. And I have to tell you, seeing my child hold a gun that I knew contained a bullet had every Supermom instinct kicking in.
It didn't matter that Riley took his very first shot under the careful supervision of four adults all who have had hunters safety training. One of these individuals is even a Marine veteran. Didn't matter - every Supermom instinct was telling me to rip it out of my child's hands and put him at a safe distance from the gun.
Now, I realized some of my fear comes from not knowing much about guns. After all, most of my information on guns is from TV or movies. Someone shoots a gun - someone ends up dead or injured. I realize hunters safety is in my near future.
In November, we went hunting on deer hunting opener in North Dakota. Our group consisted of my two sisters, my brother-in-law, my nephew, my two boys and myself. I have to tell you it was quite a sight. My children were both dressed head to toe in orange - this Supermom was taking no chances of her little ones being mistaken for anything other than bright orange children. Both boys were great sports about it though, they were just happy they were getting to go. They know how their Supermom can have overprotective tendencies.
My two sisters, my brother-in-law, and my brother (who doesn't hunt but somehow got roped in) built three tree stands during the summer. Each tree stand sits about 12 feet above the ground.
How we managed to see any deer is pretty remarkable. We were not the quietest of groups. Luckily, we had binoculars, and I think I had more fun watching the game warden who was busy watching us. I spied on other hunters walking or driving through the area. I watched the other part of our group in their deer stands. This Supermom was so busy brushing up on her spy skills I almost didn't even notice the two deer that came so close we couldn't see them because they were below us.
Riley, who just turned 12, has not taken hunters safety, yet. So, this year was sort of a trial run. And I must say it went surprisingly well.
Yes, Dad you were right.
It was a great bonding experience and the boys loved every minute of it. Riley was even up at 4:30 the next morning to go out again.
Supermom slept in.
Until next time,
Weber is a super-mother of two and Multimedia Manager for the Herald. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 780-1113.