Most of you know I spent my early childhood years in Arkansas. I grew up around boys and men who talked hunting and fishing. Like some families whose year goes through a sports cycle of soccer, baseball, football, and basketball, the families around me went through the cycle of fish, squirrel, deer, bird, and duck.
I lived in a home with shotguns and rifles that weren't locked up or hidden from children. Growing up in a family of hunters, children learn these are tools and not toys.
Obviously things have changed in Arkansas over the many years I have been away; however, one thing that hasn't changed is the tradition of hunting and fishing. Little boys start wearing camo early to imitate their big brothers, daddies, grandpas, and uncles. They probably dream about their first 410 shotgun or single-shot bolt action rifle and talk on the playground about their first squirrel season. A hunter education course is taken in preparation for hunting. Having a hunting license is a rite of passage just like a driving license
Probably you are wondering why I have blogged about this topic today. With the change of season I thought about my family's tradition of hunting. I also was reminded of a layout I did several years ago of a friend's little boy wearing camo. When I first saw the photograph of him with his wistful look I imagined he was thinking about his older brothers and daddy going hunting without him. He seemed to be longing for his day in the field.