By Mitzi Stonehocker
I believe the skills and values I was taught at an early age helped me to develop and pass on to my children and granddaughters are important in keeping hunting alive. I believe the hunt is not about the kill; planning, the chase and time spent outdoors is what is important. I believe in God and I believe in His creation. How we take care of what He created for us to enjoy are values I strive to pass on to my granddaughters and hunting sisters.
The adventure began when my two year old granddaughter Seeley and I were spending time together at the family camp spot. The lazy days of August were hot; this prompted us to explore the creek near camp and the rocks, leaves and other forest fauna had me asking Seeley if she wanted to “hunt” for some frogs. A look of puzzlement turned to a smile and a nod of agreement. Collecting a small bucket we were off walking slow and careful, I explained in terms a two year old could understand how to “hunt” frogs. I told her we must be quiet, move slow and watch for movement in the water. Simple techniques a seasoned hunter knows, vital to any successful hunt.
Walking with a two year old on uneven ground takes practice and patience. We moved slow, intent on our adventure. A short ways into the “hunt” I saw movement in the water, “Look Seeley”, a baby frog! Immediately she pulled back, not sure what it was that I saw, I showed her the small green water creature; she looked in amazement as she clung to my hand, her small body pushing close to my body. I watched her eyes grow wide and a small smile emerged, a definite Kodak moment for me! I asked her if she wanted to pick him up, “NO “she exclaimed, I told her it would not bite, as I gently reached for the little frog, he swam under a stick lying in the water, the chase was on! Fun, laughter and a wet chase resulted in the catch; I picked the little frog up gently and showed Seeley. I placed our quarry in the bucket with a small amount of water and back to camp we went to show the rest of the family.
Big grin, talking a mile a minute; we showed our little friend and told the story of a successful hunt. Still uneasy about touching the little frog, we kept him the rest of the afternoon and as evening shadows came I told Seeley the little frog’s family was waiting for him to come home. Finally mom was able to place the little frog in her tiny hand, a smile emerged and another memory made. Though reluctant to let her friend go home Seeley said goodbye and the little frog swam off to meet up with his family.
Mark 10:14-15 says; Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for such is the kingdom of God, Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it? Take a minute now, close your eyes and remember your first hunt, are you smiling?
Editor’s note: Born and raised in Montana, Montana Mitz is a woman loves to hunt, fish, camp, cook and is now fulfilling a dream of writing. At 59, after suffering a traumatic brain injury due to being abducted in 2000, Mitzi loves life and God. Hunting every fall is her passion, writing stories past, present and of the future are a dream come true. Currently Mitzi, has started a book on her life and the life-changing abduction.