BE “THE ONE”
We all have our story about how we became interested in guns and the outdoors. Most of those stories involve someone, usually family or a friend, who was “the one” who got us interested.
I grew up in a farming community in Wisconsin, and hunting was a big part of everyone’s life. Even in elementary school, the buzz on a Monday morning involved someone shooting his dad’s guns or hunting some kind of animal.
I took an interest in hunting early, but I didn’t grow up in a hunting household. My step-dad owned two guns, and he took me shooting a few times, but it wasn’t really “a thing.” As far as hunting, he was all for it; he supported me doing it, but it wasn’t something he did.
Somewhere around 4th grade, I started using my library time to read gun magazines cover to cover (yes, our school library had gun magazines in the rack— this was the glorious ’80s in small-town America!). I spent a lot of time teaching myself about hunting and guns. I devoured just about every hunting magazine I could get my hands on.
The one person who drove my interest in hunting … my Uncle Dave. He was the ultimate archer and bow hunter. We lived a couple of hours apart, but back then, the whole family managed to get together at least once a month. And when we did, talk between Uncle Dave and me would soon turn to hunting.
Often, this was while we dipped our fishing line in the river, trying to hook a fat catfish. But talk of hunting could happen anytime, anywhere. When the family gettogether got boring, he’d quietly tell me to grab my coat, and I’d follow him as we slipped out the back door and headed for the woods.
He’d show me his local hunting spots, and he knew every deer rub, scrape and bedding spot in the area.
Even though we never hunted together or even shot together, just that time spent with someone I really looked up to, talking and scouting—it did a lot to grow my hunger for hunting.
Hunting led to an interest in archery and guns. My love of guns really grew in high school as my insatiable appetite for books led me down the path of gun literature and dime-story shoot-’em-up adventure books such as both the Mack Bolan and Able Team series.
That led to an interest in everything military. So, after high school, I joined the Marines, which, of course, did nothing to cure me of my impending obsession with guns.
Now, I do what I do—writing about guns. Living the gun lifestyle.
My advice to you: Be a kid’s “the one.” Take him or her shooting. Take them into the woods. Get them interested in hunting and in guns. You won’t regret it, and you can’t imagine the good that could come out of it.
Thanks, Uncle Dave, for being my “the one.” GW