I recently had the awesome opportunity to harvest my first black bear, in Alaska, and with my Dad at that! Just like the good ole’ times when I was young and he would take me out hunting with him! It was my Dad who first shared his love of the outdoors with me that I now have and now I am super blessed to have found an awesome man to share life with who enjoys these same things as well! It was a pretty big deal to get to do this because being a Mom of two young kids makes it very hard to get out to hunt. Especially in Alaska! So special thanks to my amazing husband who put in a ton of work and effort to make this trip happen and watched our girls and encouraged me to go do this with my Dad!
My Dad was up visiting us from the Midwest and it was his first time being in Alaska. Something he has always wanted to do! My husband took him out first where he was successful at harvesting his first bear! My husband got one after him and then they came back home to get me and the girls and we were off again for another adventure into the woods! I never thought I would be living in Alaska yet alone hunting with my Dad here! It was awesome.
It couldn’t have been a more perfect day with the sun warm and bright and the sea as smooth as could be! Both of those things happening at the same time is something that is rare for Alaska! The girls stayed on the boat with my husband having a blast playing with their new Play-Doh set while he was fishing and my Dad and I were off into the cove to start the exciting waiting game. Three short hours later, out came a bear giving me a perfect shot right away, and just like that, the hunt was over. Success.
-by the way, I got the biggest bear out of all of us… by an 1/8th of an inch (they measure bears by their skulls)… but hey, biggest is still biggest right?! lol
For those of you that don’t understand hunting, it’s not about who gets the biggest bear or the largest deer rack. Even though getting a large animal is a lot of fun, it’s not the primary goal, it’s about so much more. You are out there to enjoy wildlife, learn lessons, and make memories with the friends and family you’re with.
God gave us dominion over animals. Yes, that means we are not to mistreat them, but God gave them to us for our use, enjoyment, and for food! Only humans are created in the image of God and animals are not our equal.
After the flood in Genesis 9, God says this to Noah:
2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.
Hunting means feeding our families and filling our freezers with fresh, clean, healthy food. I know where it came from and I feel way better about that than buying prepackaged meat from the store.
I’ll never understand the mindset that hunting is bad and cruel. The animals that most people eat are being raised in extremely confined spaces and some don’t even see the light of day just waiting to go to the slaughter house then packaged up and shipped to the grocery stores. I don’t even have a problem with that other than some of the unhealthy things they do to them like what they are fed and injected with.
I guarantee you, hunting is far less gruesome than you think compared to where your food comes from and what those animals go through. Everyone has become so detached from their food that they don’t even think of their food as animals. Someone had to kill that animal, it just wasn’t you, so you don’t have to think about it. God bless the farmers that do all the hard work for us!
Something a lot of people don’t understand is that hunters, in fact, have a very high respect and love for animals! Hunters are vital for conservation and are the top conservationists! It’s so neat to watch all the different critters that come out while waiting for the animal you are hunting to appear. Listening to the bird’s sing and the squirrels chatter, hearing the thundering sound of six turkeys all gobble at the same time. You never know what you are going to see and that is the fun of it!
I’ve had a turkey walk right up to me so close that I was afraid she might peck me in the face but I dare not move because it was so cool and I didn’t want to spook her. (Super thankful it was just a turkey! haha) I loved watching the bald eagles soar and dive in the sky on my last hunt here in Alaska. Nothing is more awesome than blending in and being one with wildlife!
Hunting is an opportune time to teach children important lessons and the realities of life and death. It’s healthy for children to realize where food comes from so they don’t take it for granted. Taking a life is serious. There is a moment after I’ve made my shot that’s a bit solemn for me. I don’t take life lightly. I stop and say a prayer thanking God for that animal and it makes me remember more than normal how death must be given for life.
Salmon are given life just to die, giving food and life to predators. Those predators die becoming food to sustain us and our physical life. Jesus, the holy lamb, died for us giving us everlasting spiritual life.
It can get deep real quick and there’s nothing like the woods that brings those important conversations out with your kids. Hunting is an amazing time to worship God and wonder in his creation. Nothing is more peaceful and calming than sitting in the woods marveling at his work and praying. Even if you don’t get anything, a bad day in the woods is better than a good day at work, I think the saying goes. It’s quite therapeutic.
If hunting isn’t your thing then hey, that’s totally fine, that’s your chosen way of life. (Thanks again to those farmers!)
For me, hunting is learning lessons, making memories, telling stories, and crazy experiences!
It’s a way of life that you may not understand, but it’s my way of life, and I wouldn’t change it for a thing.
Thank you Heavenly Father for providing this beautiful bear for me and for the opportunity to make memories with my family. Thank you for the opportunity to teach my children about your marvelous creation and how you provide for us. May we never take for granted how richly blessed we are. Thank you for the safety you provided for us and the beautiful day you gave us. Thank you most of all for Jesus who made the ultimate sacrifice for dying for us and for the forgiveness of our sins. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.