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By simple observation it has been clear to me that we live in a very interesting age. This change becomes evident when you observe the ways families and children spend their time. I am often amazed when I see commercials that have to encourage children to play for 60 minutes a day. I guess long gone are the days when children would play outside all day until their parents would yell for them to come in when it is dark outside.
Computers, video games, social media, and all the technology changes that are in our culture are basically neutral. In and of themselves these things are neither good nor evil. What differentiates these things is our use and amount of time spent using them. I have observed a trend of out of shape and socially challenged youth, teens, and young adults that live a life spent indoors and on computers. Even when out they have their noses in their phones.
People can choose to do whatever they want with their time. They, like me, have 24 hours a day to do with as they please. I am appalled, however, at the lack of parents who care enough to invest in their children and young adults by preparing them for life. Rather they choose to allow social media and Netflix to be their babysitters and, by default or utter selfishness, allow outside influences to develop the character of their God-given responsibility.
What does this have to do with hunting and why am I writing it here in Bowhunting.net? Simply because if we are not careful, we who love the outdoors may also fall prey to laziness and culturally acceptable decisions that lead to the demise of our own children, their love of the outdoors and their futures. While we have had some growth with the younger generation due to movies like Brave and the Hunger Games, the population of archers, in general, are aging. Have you checked the average age of licensed hunters in your state? It is 52 years of age in my home state of Colorado. I believe we, as parents, parents who love the outdoors, have the means and resources to teach our children and even other’s children that there is more to life than sitting inside eating chips and watching YouTube.
From the book of Joshua: “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” As the leader of my household I have recognized the severity of the responsibility that I have in my leadership role. I have chosen a lifestyle centered on the Lord and enjoyment in the outdoors as a lifestyle that will produce desired results. For us it truly is “A family that shoots together stays together.” Not just stays together, but will develop a care and concern for each other that will translate into a rich relational journey and great character development in our children.
My wife, Kelley, is a former school teacher. I am a pastor, an outdoor writer, a pro-staff hunter, a business consultant, and also do a few other things. My children are 15, 14, and 13 and are active in a variety of activities including athletics. We are a busy family, but at the core of our hectic lives is a constant concern and protection of our family time.
One focus that we have is to spend time together in the outdoors. We shed hunt, hike, bike, hunt, and participate in sports together as often as possible. Kelley and I are intentional in making sure that we take time to do things together as a family. Our latest complete family activity is archery. We all really enjoy shooting our Bear Archery bows. Even though our lives are busy already, this additional activity is one that we all enjoy and are committed to doing together.
We now take time to shoot our bows together with me; it’s my Escape or Arena 30. Kelley, Baylee, and Hollis love their Escape SD as does Tekoah his Arena 30. We compete with each other and constantly challenge each other to get better. While we shoot we have a great time, laugh and we also talk about life and all that is happening in each of our own. The thing is, we are more than just a family, we genuinely enjoy each other’s company and Bear Archery has become more than just a bow company in our lives. It is a vehicle that has provided further opportunity for us to learn life together.
Tekoah and I have been bowhunting together for the last few years. Baylee has hunted a black bear in Saskatchewan and a mule deer in Colorado so far with her bow. Hollis is on the verge of being able to shoot enough poundage to hunt and my wife Kelley loves to shoot, but as of now has chosen not to hunt. Regardless of our future hunts we are engaged in a shooting experience that has drawn us closer together and has provided us with much more time to learn about life as we strengthen our relationship with one another.
In a day and age when there are so many options beckoning us for our time, I would encourage everyone who shares our love of the outdoors and archery to share your love with your entire family. Grab your bows and spend time shooting together. It will add such great value to your life and your relationships along with providing many life lessons to develop your family as a whole and well-rounded person. If you haven’t already, I would suggest looking at Bear Archery’s extensive selection of great bows to outfit every member of your family. They have bows and accessories for all ages and price ranges. www.beararcheryproducts.com For any questions that you may have of me you can reach me at email@example.com or through my website at www.journeyhunts.com
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