Passing on The Tradition: Q&A with Fred Bohm
When it comes to hunting, there are tons of valuable lessons and skills that go way beyond just chasing down game. The wisdom that can be gained during the process is eye-opening and offers value that transcends generations. This June, we've teamed up with some of the dads on our team get a picture on what hunting means to them and to their experience as a parent.
First up is Fred Bohm from our Recon Team.
1. What valuable lessons or skills have you learned from hunting that you try to pass on to your children?
If hunting has taught me nothing else, it's how to be patient and be okay with boredom. There's a whole lot of sitting and waiting and just being quiet with yourself. This is something the upcoming generation is going to be at constant battle with, the ability to just sit still and live in the moment. With the constant barrage of flashing lights and screens fighting for their attention, it's been nice to expose them to the mountains where sometimes the only thing to do is sit and glass and let nature be your phone screen.
2. How do you involve your children in your hunting activities? Are there any particular traditions or rituals you have created together?
My kids have been in the mountains with me before they learned to walk. I would throw them in a kid carrier and walk the woods with the bird dogs tearing up the mountains. My wife and I decided to make this their "normal" at a young age so that they wouldn't be shocked by the amount of time we would spend together as a family in the woods.
3. What advice would you give to other hunting dads who are looking to introduce their children to hunting? Are there any particular approaches or considerations that you have found effective in fostering a positive and safe hunting experience for kids?
Kids are never too young to expose them to hunting. Hunting is rooted deep into our DNA and from my own experience, they take very naturally to it. Only after years of exposing children to the "civilized" way of doing things does hunting seem odd to them. So get them out there and expose them to what you love!
4. What lessons or values do you hope to instill in your children through hunting?
I want my kids to know that hunting is a natural process to human survival. That we respect the animal that we kill. Their life will further yours and never for a second take that for granted. Killing is serious business and it needs to be treated as such. We need to realize we are a part of this circle, not an outsider who controls it at their whim.
5. Can you share a memorable hunting experience or story that has stayed with you throughout the years? What made it so significant?
My wife and I took our son and daughter out on a grouse hunt when they could barely walk. I worked the dogs and carried the kids and my wife carried the shotgun. We lucked out and came upon a treed Dusky grouse. Normally we wouldn't shoot a bird from a tree, but this was a perfect opportunity for our kids to see the full process and allowed us the time to explain what we were doing. After shooting the grouse we let the kids touch it and connect with it. I was apprehensive at first, but to them it seemed as natural as breathing air. They weren't sad or scared, it was completely innate to them. We went back to camp afterwards and cooked up the grouse. At that moment they understood where their food came from and the effort it took to secure it. I think this is a lesson we all need to experience from a young age.