All for this:
The SCSon expressed an interest in learning to hunt. I didn't come from a hunting family but hunting was something that I had a mild interest from the "shooting" aspect. Probably inspired by stories of survival. But my family didn't hunt nor did I know any that did. Still it seemed knowing where food comes from, from living animal to kitchen and dinner table hence is an important life lesson.
A note from the leader of the SCSon's SCTP program regarding an upcoming duck hunt. Further checking the AZGFD calendar revealed this quail hunt. They match up a young shooter with a hunting dog & trainer. The dogs smell out the birds and point. Once the shooter is set, the quail is flushed and hopefully bagged.
Catch was, the hunt was 150 miles away and started at 8am. And I am not a morning person. Instead of a 4am wakeup alarm, I opted to drive the 1st hundred miles the night before and get a room.
The room was ... well, a) I was glad to be armed. And b) giving it one star would be an insult to one star motels everywhere. I didn't sleep much if any.
But the above photo was worth every bit of the ordeal.
BTW, mad props to the Arizona Game and Fish for putting on this program and many like it. While the hunting is the highlight of the day, they have other activities to teach while awaiting their turn to hunt. These included Quail species identification (turns out there are 5 species in Arizona of which three are legal to hunt). Another taught GPS usage. Fly tying and casting lessons were also given. Archery was on the agenda but they cancelled. NBD as the winds were howling and attempting archery in those conditions would have been a joke.
I explained to the SCSon... This is what love is. Enduring mucho cost and discomfort to give him the experiences I never had.
BTW, the dog the SCSon was matched up with was absolutely phenomenal. It ran all over the hunting zone sniffing out the prey. Once found it held a short distance off until released. Once, the quail was flushed, the SCSon took one shot and missed. He racked the slide to take a follow up shot but the dog had bolted after the bird. I called "Hold up" but he already had his finger off the trigger. Not worth taking a chance of hitting the dog.