That’s What It’s All About
It’s not rocket science….it’s not complex! Hunting is fun and a way of life that hunters pass on to those they love and care about. Hunters educate the next generation about the beauty, joy and responsibilities of this wonderful heritage. Hunting is a direct tie to God’s earth and is a way that hunters can help others to reconnect to the land that may have lost their way. Hunting is about guaranteeing that this legacy will be available to our future generations because hunters care enough about the land to fight and keep our way of life…to pass it on. Young Eli and his father are a perfect example of “what it’s all about!” Eli wants his son to have as many opportunities as possible to learn about animals and their ecosystems as well as the ethics and skills needed to become a good hunter.
On this trip, the focus was on stalking and practicing this important hunting skill. The first object of this day’s lesson was a Manchurian sika. …and a true stalking lesson! Wes, Eli and young Eli out had worked earlier on using shooting sticks for steadying the rifle while hunting on foot. So, after spotting the sika herd, they set out on foot to get within rifle range and pick the best bull of the group. Learning to walk quietly and keeping movement to a minimum was stressed. At first, the stalk was a little awkward and getting comfortable on the shooting sticks took some time. But with Wes and Eli’s help, young El was ready for a shot. After the nervous sika herd settled down again, the hunters were able to line-up a safe shot. Little Eli was steady and the shot rang out. The beautiful sika bull dropped in his tracks. The hunting party took time to honor the sika with a last bite and give thanks for the hunt.
The rest of the time was spent practicing the stalk on other animals. By the end of the hunt, young Eli was exhibiting his new stalking skills. An axis management buck and an axis doe taken after the sika attested to young Eli’s improved hunting technique. In addition, patience and the acceptance that not all stalks end with an animal taken were other valuable lessons that young Eli experienced.
The commitment to teach and to share that was shown by Wes and Eli will hopefully add to young Eli’s hunting enjoyment on the next hunt as well as for the rest of his life. With perseverance from father and son, young Eli will someday be passing on these very lessons to those who come after him. With stories such as this one occurring every day in our country, this hunting legacy will surely be continued…future generations will carry on the hunting tradition!
As this chapter of the hunt draws to a close, we know that these newly acquired skills will be the start of many new chapters in the two Elis lifetime hunting saga. I look forward to a future where I will often be able to hear them both “ …tell a different hunting story!”