Time is Sporting Enemy #1 for hunting, fishing dads
It is a sad, sad realization to look back over one’s field notes and determine that spring seasons afield have become a bust. With only six visits to Pennsylvania’s cold, clear trout waters to date, and even worse, a scant four mornings spent pursuing Pennsylvania longbeards, my window of opportunity has come and gone before I could even blink.
I have fallen victim to the number one enemy of the outdoor sports: a severe lack of time. In retrospect, I don’t even know what happened, really, or where all the time went.
Yes, there were more duties than usual this year: a busy end to the school year, spring soccer coaching, a Ducks Unlimited fundraising event to host, a Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Conference to attend, writing deadlines to meet, food plots to plant, and of course – most importantly of all – trying my best to not compromise my role as a quality father and husband.
It is most difficult, especially with a little one at home, to not feel guilty about slipping away for a few hours to enjoy the outdoors. Even when I’m out there, trying to get swallowed up in the awe-inspiring beauty of nature around me, a small part of my heart still twinges, making me feel I should also be at home, helping my wife chase our 14-month-old son around the kitchen – trying to keep his hands out of the dog bowl while somehow managing to prepare dinner.
With Father’s Day weekend, I have come to terms that this phase of my life will likely come to pass. As a loving dad, I must embrace the fact that there will be less time afield at the moment, and more time spent watching my son grow and explore.
For there will come a day when his growth and exploration shifts to the same things his dad loves, too, and we’ll both be out there hunting longbeards and catching trout together. He’ll be bigger then, and more time will be available for both of us to enjoy the outdoors. Who knows, maybe we’ll even get mom to tag along, too!