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JAN 2021 Blues Vol 37 No. 1

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JAN 2021 Blues Vol 37 No. 1

Taking them

Taking them Under-Your-Wing makes for a Special Hunt! Introducing a young person to dove hunting was one of the highlights for me in 2020. It does not happen often enough that I get the opportunity to introduce someone to the outdoor sporting world that I love so much and to teach them the very basics of gun safety and gun handling with the bonus of then hunting doves in one of the most beautiful places in Texas. I know I have written before about a certain late season Texas dove hunt that I do in the Ulvade area each year. This year was special because my daughter and her boyfriend joined my two sons and I for the first time in almost 16 years of such trips. My daughter Bailey decided pretty quick in the hunt that she was just there for observing the whole experience and was not going to be a shooter. That was fine with me because it quite honestly gave us more time together to just talk and hang out while I was hunting, not to mention she was a great spotter for incoming birds and marking down birds. Her boyfriend Jared had always wanted to go hunting, but as is typically the case, his father was not really into it and he never got the opportunity before this trip. I chose my old Remington 1100 LT that I have had since I was 15 and knew this would be the perfect gun for a beginner. I originally purchased it as my first gun thinking this lightweight version of Remington’s autoloaders would be ideal for carrying all day in the field, and for over 40+ years, it has never disappointed. As I went over how to load, unload, work the safety, carry, aim, and shoot the gun, Jared took it all in as if there was going to be an extensive exam when I concluded. Well it turns out he was right. After he successfully demonstrated his retention of the safety basics, I told him to load a shell and get ready for his first skills test. I picked up and threw a clay pigeon into the air and he raised the gun and proceeded to explode it on his first shot. With a big grin he said, “Hey I got it”. Within 20 minutes of our first lesson, the final test was cutting across in front of us heading to the big sunflower field. I pointed it out and quietly told him to remember what we talked about. He raised the gun and “bang”, and just like that his first dove came crashing down. A proud moment for both student and teacher. A quick internet search uncovered that over the last couple of decades we continue to see less and less hunters taking to the woods and from a peak of nearly 17 million hunters in 1982, we have lost over 2 million hunters between 2011 and 2016 alone. Yes, there are lots of reasons for this decline, but I believe one of the simplest reasons is that some people just don’t know someone who can show them and teach them. Therefore, If you love the outdoors as much as I do, please take the time to introduce your passion for hunting and fishing to someone who would otherwise never have the opportunity. Yes, you might have to give up a hunt or two to be that teacher, but you might also gain a hunting partner for life. 98 The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE 99

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