Hunting Is A Blessing

On The Shoulders Of Giants With Andrew Curtis.

Andrew Curtis | April 23, 2024

As the author writes and looks out his window, he gazes at the Berrien County woods that surround his home and thanks God for this land, this country where we are free to go out there and chase ample wild game for our own enjoyment.

I will be one of the first to admit it; I take hunting for granted. Don’t get me wrong though. I love it and value it. Hunting is a major part of who I am. I grew up doing it, with easy access to wild game. But that might just be part of the reason that I am incapable of appreciating the total blessing that it is.

Recently, I was talking to the father of a boy who is in my son’s kindergarten class. This man is a hardworking, family oriented, outdoor-loving inspiration. After sharing with me some of his difficulties of being an immigrant, he proceeded to excitedly speak of his love of hunting and fishing as he scrolled through the pictures on his phone to show deer and bass he has killed and caught.

“You see, we just don’t have opportunities like this from the area of Mexico that I’m from,” he explained. “If you see a set of deer tracts there, you run as fast as you can to get a friend and a dog to help hunt the deer down. You might hunt for several days before you kill it, if you are lucky. And you don’t tell many others of your success, or else everyone will be hunting that area looking for another deer.”

There are very few deer around his Mexican hometown, and since many people there are poor, killing a deer is a pure blessing. It offers more food for these people who, on many days, sit around watching a hen chicken and literally praying that she will lay an egg for them to eat.

As I sat pondering his story, I abruptly asked him, “But why do you like hunting here in America, where you have plenty to eat?”

His answer surprised me.

Looking at me, he grinned, “The same reason you like it.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, confused. “The main reason I like hunting and fishing is because I grew up with family and friends doing it, and some of my best memories of my life are from those times. I didn’t have to rely on hunting and fishing for food.”

Holding up his hand, he responded, “Yes, but there is more to it than that for you. It’s a passion inside certain people. I think it is God-given. Not everyone has it like we do. You and I are destined to enjoy the outdoors. Hunting and fishing are as much a part of us as any character trait we possess.” He laughed and continued, “Many people in this town think that because I’m Mexican I only hunt to impress Americans, like I’m trying to adapt to the culture here, but that’s just not true. I hunt and fish because I love it, and it’s who I am.”

I thought about what he had just said, and I was overcome with the realization that he and I were so different, yet so similar. Our similarities are thanks to our love of hunting and fishing. He and I will forever have a common bond, no matter how different our paths have been.

As I write and look out my window now, I gaze at the Berrien County woods that surround my home and thank God for this land, this country where we are free to go out there and chase ample wild game for our own enjoyment.

How blessed are we, the GON Community, that we have the right to hunt and fish this beautiful land, one that has so many conservation efforts to ensure future wildlife? The thought of my Hispanic friend’s story inspires me to do all that I can to protect this outdoor lifestyle that we love so much and to pass on the traditions to as many people as I can. I will always look for that God-given love of the outdoors in others in hopes that I can fuel the fire inside them and fan the flames of the passion that is so important to the GON Community.

Alton Powell, of Chattahoochee Hills, recently wrote to GON’s Letters to the Editor section and said, “Let’s make the GON decal a symbol of what we believe.” The cool thing about the GON symbol is that it can include anyone who shares our values, whether they are born American or not.

Georgia Outdoor News… what a blessing to so many!

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