By Albert Quackenbush
Hunting has been in my family for as long as I remember. My dad and brother are the two best hunting partners a guy could ask for. We would spend all year discussing the previous year, the weather, where to place stands and when October would arrive so we could get in the woods. Sure, we hunted for small game and turkey, but the animal we most desired was the whitetail deer. I took it for granted, until I moved 3,000 miles away.
Where I grew up in New York State everyone hunted. When I moved to California that all changed. It was a new place with new friends who didn’t understand hunting. Then married a woman who doesn’t care for hunting, but she appreciates the passion I have for it. I am a proud bow hunter and I am not afraid to share it.
I have actually made some great new friends through bow hunting in California. Some of the guys are my new bow hunting partners. Every week we hit the archery range to practice and talk about the upcoming archery seasons and what we can hunt. I look forward to it each and every week.
Now that my daughter is three and a half, I have started sharing more and more of the outdoors with her. I have never hidden the fact that I hunt, nor will I be ashamed of it. Sometimes, when I am watching a hunting show on television, she’ll hop on my lap and point out the animals onscreen. It makes me proud to know she knows the animals and sees the hunters in pursuit of wild game.
When I get home wearing camouflage face paint, she often jokingly asks me if I am wearing makeup. Of course I reply that indeed I am!
Just recently, my daughter and I ventured to a sporting goods retailer and we picked out her very first bow. While I was introduced to archery when I was nine, I figured she could start earlier if she wanted to. Sure, she’s not going want to focus on it for more than five minutes, but she should have fun and shoot some arrows like her dad if she wants to. Enthusiastically, she said that she wanted the bow and also loved seeing all of the taxidermy around.
The next day, we got her bow out of the package and she shot for the first time. Like most kids, she was frustrated at first. With a little patience and coaxing, she was shooting arrows and smiling in no time. You can bet that I will be sharing more bow hunting tips and techniques as we both age gracefully.
Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 28 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, SoCalBowhunter.com, and also writes for Bow Adventures e-magazine. He is a Pro Staff member for DIYbowhunter.com, Piranha Custom Bowstrings and Field Logic. He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Deer Association, and is a Life Member of the North American Hunting Club.
Albert was born and raised in New York State where he learned to hunt everything from squirrels to whitetail deer. He currently resides in Southern California with his wife and daughter and hunts year round.