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Fort Smith
Sunday, October 2, 2022

Hunting with My Toddler

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My now three year old learning gun control and hunter’s safety with his BB gun and orange before season begins.

As a mom and avid deer hunter, I couldn’t wait to experience hunting through my toddler’s eyes. At two years old my oldest got his first taste. Let me preface this personal experience with at this particular age, the sass was strong with this one. 

We began the morning walking up a hill that was steeper than I had anticipated it to be, or maybe it was just because my hunting partner declared out of nowhere he couldn’t fit in a carrier.

I use a structured carrier as much as possible, and until then we hadn’t stopped with him. But, that day he was not having it. He walked about 10 feet before he started fussing again. To keep from scaring off every living thing in a one mile radius, I told him I would just pick him up and tote him up the hill. The whole way up he’s fussing about me carrying him and not seeing a deer. When we get to the top I adjusted his orange, reminded him we have to whisper, and sat him on a log.

Our location was far less than ideal, but I wanted the memories of our first solo hunting trip together. He has a fascination with bugs and I kept having to reiterate to him our actual mission, which was not to find a spider or roll off the mountain because he was tripping over limbs and wet grass.

Generally, my kids are well-behaved. I say that with confidence that for the most part if you’re around my toddler he will be pleasant. Apparently deer hunting with momma is not his cup of tea, and after 30 minutes of complaining, arguing, and pure sass I told him we would venture back out of the woods.

We stayed less time than it took for us to get to our location. But now, I suppose, we have the fun memories. As soon as I put him back in his seat and got the car turned around to take him to a sitter, he was asleep. 

He has gone back since and had better experiences, even as far as getting to see deer together; though we haven’t killed one together, yet.

Here’s hoping for a better season this year.

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Madison VanRavensway
Don't let her quiet nature fool you. Madison is a force to be reckoned with in the outdoors, or creating amazing recipes from scratch.
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