The day had finally come for the long awaited phone call and the ten year old boy could hardly believe his ears. His father had called home to tell him that he needed to get to bed early that night so that he would be able to get up in the morning in time to go hunting. You see, the father had worked nights the boy’s entire life and the boy lived for the time he was going to be able to spend with his father on the weekends. He understood his dad’s passion for hunting and knew that during hunting season the weekends that he would be able to spend with his father were few and far between, making this call one that would change everything.
    You can only imagine how excited he was to get this call and know that he was going get to see his dad the whole weekend. The son knew he was supposed to be getting to bed early, but the anticipation was too overwhelming. When his father got home around midnight the boy was still awake as he lay in his bed dreaming of the day that was about to unfold. The father didn’t know that his son could hear every word he said from just a few rooms down the hall, and the son heard him explain that he was too tired to hunt the next day. Now the boys’ mother interjected, because she knew how excited her son was. She explained to the dad that his boy was already in his hunting clothes and that he had had her set his alarm 15 minutes early, “just to be safe.” The tired father simply said, “Really? Well, I’d better get to bed then.”
    The next morning the son smiled from ear to ear the entire 45-minute ride to his dad’s favorite hunting spot. From the time they entered the woods, the son was extremely focused and wasn’t about to let his father down. He had listened to his dad talk with his friends and had heard the same hunting stories hundreds, if not thousands of times. He remembered every detail and piece of advice as he followed close behind, stepping only where his dad had stepped a few moments prior, trying so hard not to make a sound. Every time the father stopped to peer through the trees, the son was right behind him trying to see where his dad was looking. Well, they didn’t see anything that day, but no one would know it from the stories the boy had to tell that night and for many nights to come.
    You see, this is my story, and for the last 18 years I have tried to re-live that day every time I go hunting. I try to recreate those childhood moments in the woods with my father.  I have never been one to hunt just for hunting’s sake. Rather, I hunt to fulfill the great need every boy has in his heart; the need for his father to take the time to pour his life, values, and beliefs into him. 
    But the story doesn’t end there. Since then I have found other men with similar stories and my passion for hunting has never been stronger.  Instead of trying to relive past memories, I now take every opportunity to head for the woods, taking someone with me, knowing that in the next few hours we will create memories that will last a lifetime. Hunting for me is more than just about tagging an animal; it’s about living life the way we were created to live it, making the most of every opportunity with those around us. I thank God for parents who love their kids well, and for a pastime that gives them an opportunity to pass down memories that will last for all eternity.