Growing up, way too quick.

This past weekend marked our third annual camping trip which we’ve named “Spring Thaw Classic”. Basically, it’s a guys only weekend. We gather up the camping gear, load up the guns, and caravan to some remote location in Southern Missouri where we’ll eat like Kings and come home with a lot less ammo. My buddy Matt came up with the idea in the middle of a long bleak winter. As he put it in a recent email: “Year one was an escape, year two possibly an accident, but year three I believe officially marks it as an annual tradition.” I concur.

The past two years I’ve brought my son, who is now 8. I like bringing him because this group of guys reinforce what I’ve been teaching him. This year was no different. The big highlight for him was graduating from his .22 to something a bit more….. stout.

Last July, I gave him a single shot H&R .243 rifle. He wanted to go deer hunting last year, but just was too intimidated by the recoil of the rifle, and so, he never shot it. Our agreement was, and still is, that he couldn’t shoot at deer until he had gained my confidence with his gun handling and accuracy. I let him carry it in the woods, but, no bullet, and definitely, no shot on a deer (not that we saw any, but that’s a different issue).


Matt’s dad brought an M1 Carbine, and we managed to convince my son that he needed to shoot it. But fear of the recoil got the best of him. So we talked him into holding the gun to his side and pulling the trigger. I held on to the gun as well, but mostly to help him be more confident. Bang…. Bang…. BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG *Big grin* I think we got him! 75 rounds later, we were out of ammo.

Now that he managed the M1 Carbine, we talked him into trying his .243. Same routine.

Notice the smile:


It wasn’t long before he was whacking away at targets with my AR 15

and later busting water bottles sitting in a tree with his .243

I’m proud of that little bugger for conquering a fear. He hasn’t stopped asking me when we’re going back to the range, and I can’t wait to take him.

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