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Evaluations : Dave Conrad
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

Field Eval: Conner's Big Hunt
By Dave Conrad
Feb 16, 2006, 06:31

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Dave Conrad

Foreword: I don't usually preface Field Evaluations but I have to here. Our sport and our kids are under a constant avalanche of anti hunting rhetoric from the media, teachers, friends and a wide assortment of other ill-informed people. This book is a huge step in the right direction to capture a young child’s attention and to teach them the good things about hunting and building a bond with a father, or brother, or uncle. It also has some subtle lessons along the way about the ethics of hunting and the responsibilities that go with it. The cost is minimal yet the rewards are incalculable. You can spend twice as much on a new Arrow Rest, video game or a lunch for two at some burger place but if you have a child under 12 in your family there will be no better spent dollars than buying and sharing this book. Conner’s Big Hunt is about us. Share it with the children in your life. You can’t give a better gift this year.   Rich Walton



CONNER'S BIG HUNT:

a book review by Dave Conrad

This year I had the thrill of taking both my young ones hunting.  My soon to be six year old made an early season trek with me.  It was a great experience as he sat in the treestand with a backpack full of markers and a notepad.  He would draw pictures of animals he saw which passed the time as we waited for the evening deer movement to unfold.  In early December a unique warm spell found me and my four year old daughter sharing the same treestand.  We watched as birds would perch close to us in the tree and she was very inquisitive as to the different sounds we heard.  A couple of noisy neighbors on ATVs cut our hunt short, but it wasn’t before we tried to put a stalk on two mature does.  The memory of my daughter struggling behind me in coveralls, her brothers, a couple sizes too big will always bring a smile to my face.

These precious memories will last a lifetime and they came back to me just last week as I shared a book with both of them called “Conner’s Big Hunt” by Shawn Meyer.  Jacob and Rachel both could relate to the story as numerous times I had to place that familiar hand on their shoulder to remind them to be still.  Just like Conner I could sense the excitement build and see it in my sons face as we had a very close encounter with a doe as she came directly below our treestand.  He whispered to me as she was walking off,” Are you gonna shoot her Daddy?”  After a short silence he reaffirmed himself saying, “Oh yea I forgot you are after a buck with big horns!”  The book was as though I wrote it myself as the author goes into details that mirror every child’s first hunt.

Conners Big Hunt is a must for all youngsters to listen to or to read themselves.  My now six year old even helps me read it as he begins to recognizes words.  He is beginning the wonderful journey of reading and this book is a great one to help on that road. 

Both my children enjoyed the challenge of finding the hidden birds or other animals throughout the book.  Conner’s Big Hunt is an adventure within a story, a seemingly true to life story about a hunter’s role in the woods.  Not only is it about the skill and woodsmanship but the importance of passing the heritage on to our future hunters.  Too many kids today think an adventure begins with the unwrapping of a new video game.  Our roles as parents are to have them explore nature while at the same time take on the responsibility associated with the pleasures in life.  

This book does an awesome job of relationship between a hunter and land owner.  Yes sometimes we are rewarded but it is more than that.  It is teaching the gift of doing what is right and taking on responsibilities like portrayed in mending the landowner’s fence.

This book truly was written by a bowhunter for bowhunters.  I applaud Shawn’s effort in bringing the realism off the pages.  The detailed descriptions bring out the memories of past hunts that I have been on.  The dew on the grass reminds me of several hunts to a favorite stand where the tall grass would also soak my pants above the bootline.  The illustrations are excellent and keep both my little ones turning back and forth between pages to make sure they didn’t miss anything.

I look forward to what I understand will be a series of books on hunting from Shawn.  There is also a web site www.huntwithakid.com where discussion questions can be downloaded.  I rate this book a true 10 in all categories as I do the author.  I spent an enjoyable few minutes with Shawn on the phone.  A conversation, although short, told me we both shared the same feelings about the importance our children play in the future of hunting and the times we share afield.     

Buy it today: Conner's Big Hunt

 

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