If your a dad, or grandpa, or uncle, or family friend and there are any “hunting age” kids within your sphere of influence, then find some way to introduce them to your sport. Take a look at the faces of these two youthful successful hunters! This is Tanner McElvany and his cousin Tristan Ansel. They are my “great nephews.” My brother Darryl’s grand kids.
Now Tanners dad does not hunt, but grandpa sure does. Darryl has unleashed the “hunter” from within the spirit of this young man, and he is well on his way to many stellar hunting exploits. He’s just 12, but has a bow kill, a shotgun buck (see picture) turkeys, and geese in his families freezer. He’s also taken small game, and is always “up” for a chance to hunt with grandpa. This kid is the “real deal,” but he might not of been so, if grandpa hadn’t taken the time to nurture him. He’s been following Darryl in the field since he was old enough to carry his toy rifle with Papa.
Tristan is another one of Darryl’s grand-kids, but his dad (and mother) both hunt. Of course the family times in the field are limited, due to work and family needs, so that’s where grandpa comes in. In this picture you see the two cousins with their first geese. Shot em in the air – no “sitting ducks” for these two. Grandpa says “Break them in right, and let em learn to wingshoot!” Tristan also is a successful turkey hunter, and is itching to get that first deer under his belt. Darryl has always said “If you take your kid hunting, then you won’t have to hunt for your kid!” There is an awful lot of truth in that statement. So if your fortunate enough to have a young potential hunter/huntress around you, do us all a favor-get em out in nature. Teach them about the “real” world where they can truly experience the full life cycle of their natural surroundings. I honestly believe that vegging on the computer, constant texting, and video games are stealing the heart and soul of many of our youth. Living in a fantasy land that is impersonal and sedentary can only led to problems down the road. You may end up a computer genius, but wouldn’t survive a day having to deal with what nature can throw at you.
Speaking of training a child about hunting, camping, and all around woodsmanship-I must mention Tristan’s dad Derek Ansel. Derek is one of the top store managers at the huge Cabela’s store in Dundee Michigan. Just this last weekend he was flown to Minnesota to meet the founders of Cabela’s. Derek was named one of the top four (4) managers in all the country. His input on how to run a successful operation will help train up and coming future managers at the retail giant. Darryl you did a good job with your son, and all of us are proud of his accomplishments. Congratulations Derek-it couldn’t happen to a better guy.