LIFE’S LESSONS Phil Hard­man cel­e­brates the pass­ing-on of knowl­edge and has him­self some fun!

Airgun World - - Hardman’s Hunting -

This month’s ar­ti­cle is a change from my usual hunt­ing fea­ture, but it’s very much a story I wanted to tell. I’ve been a long-term ad­vo­cate of the ben­e­fits, and pos­i­tive as­pects of air­gun­ning, but even I am still of­ten sur­prised by just how amaz­ing this sport truly is. I have made re­ally good friends over the years; some I have met whilst out shoot­ing, some in gun­shops, and even some on­line, but it has also helped to strengthen bonds in the most un­usual of places, and made me re­alise just how lucky I am.

My ex-wife, Jess, who long-term read­ers might re­mem­ber from some of my early fea­tures, and I, have re­mained very good friends since our di­vorce. We have two chil­dren, Jack and Casey, and she has been step-mother to my el­dest son, Chris, for al­most 15 years. We di­vorced five years ago, life has moved on, she has a new part­ner, David, and to­gether they have had two chil­dren of their own. This could seem like an awk­ward ar­range­ment when it comes to my Sun­day vis­its to see my kids, but it never re­ally has been. We’ve all got along very well ac­tu­ally, to the ben­e­fit of ev­ery­one, par­tic­u­larly the kids. David is a keen fish­er­man, and I had never

“they aren’t the cheap and cheer­ful spring air­guns he might have used as a teenager’’

Jack has al­ways ex­pressed an in­ter­est in hunt­ing, but I have tried to de­lay him un­til he was a bit older and more phys­i­cally and men­tally de­vel­oped, but he’s com­ing up 13 now, grow­ing fast, and seems to be ready to be­gin that jour­ney. Of course, he’s been raised around air­guns, so he is no stranger to shoot­ing them, but un­til now it’s all been for fun, and when it comes to hunt­ing, things need to be taken a whole lot more se­ri­ously.

My daughter Casey had the op­tion to join us, but de­clined, in­stead pre­fer­ring to stay in the house with her mother and baby sis­ter, but lit­tle Con­nor, de­cided he was bet­ter off out­side with his daddy, David, his big brother, Jack, and Un­cle Phil, and al­though he’s quite lit­tle still, we all agreed it was good for him to learn that guns are not toys.

MAS­TER­CLASS

We didn’t have much in the way of tar­gets, just a couple of sheets of pa­per with dots drawn on

Fun-gun­ning is … well, fun!

Not your typ­i­cal back-gar­den plinker, but I don’t think it minded.

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