My concern is truly not in regard to the safety aspect of the course. Surprisingly, coming from a household solidly situated in the suburbs, from a family with only female children, I, myself, took a Hunter Safety course at the age of ten. Certainly not of my own choosing and over fervent protests.
As the eldest of three daughters, I was often relied upon to provide my father an outlet for the dispensing of his manly wisdom. From various home DIY projects and to simple automotive maintenance and repair. Oh, the rapture. (insert wry look). Of course, many of the skills I learned have certainly been a great help to me as an adult, despite my eye rolling and grimaces during the lessons with Dad. My attendance in the Hunter Safety course, however, was a great source of conflict, although a battle I had no hopes of winning. Although safely stored, sans ammunition, with hunting rifles in the house, my father was determined that each of his daughters learn about gun safety as soon as we were of age.
The course itself was fairly benign, especially as I was not required to actually shoot anything other than clay targets. Had my father been kind enough to wait a few years to insist upon my participation, I would have likely appreciated the opportunity to spend a number of Saturdays in a class of myself and 99 boys a great deal more. After passing the course with 100% score on the written test and out shooting my male classmates in target practice, my father was foolish enough to think I might have had a change of heart and desire to join him on his hunting trips. My obligation complete, I was quick to inform him that the only shooting I ever intended to do in the woods was with a camera.
My concerns about my son hunting certainly have nothing to do with time spent in nature, enjoying the quiet of a crisp fall morning and time spent with ones thoughts. As a one who has loved camping from a young age, I am the typically the first in my family to suggest we grab our camping gear, pack up the family tent and head for Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Although we have the comfort of a large camper at our disposal, I still crave a long weekend of simplistic, rustic camping.
|Photo Credit: Forest Wander|
Taking a Hunter Safety course is an excellent idea for older children whose family members are hunters themselves. It is a great way to ensure they understand that rifles are not toys or to be toyed with and how to be safe during hunting season. Although I'll respect my son's decision regarding whether or not he will join his father in hunting, this Mom certainly won't be disappointed if he chooses to pass on the hunter orange, don a pair of hiking boots like Mom and shoot wildlife photos instead.
The opinions above are both honest and of my own experiences. Tent Image sourced from Cotswold Outdoor. My disclosure policy.