Ammo & Gear Reviews
Photo courtesy of Michael Ahrens Photo courtesy of Michael Ahrens  

Sara Ahrens’ OffBeat: Like mother, like … son?

Mike Piccione
Editor, Guns & Gear

By Sara Ahrens, Women’s Outdoor News

Should a mother be concerned when her prepubescent teen son starts wearing her clothing? This thought crossed my mind a couple of weeks ago when my son called me on the phone, happily informing me that he was wearing my clothing and he liked it. I anticipated this would someday be a problem with my daughter, but I never expected my son would take over my wardrobe. I guess from the sound of it, there could be cause for concern, but I was glad to know he wasn’t bothered by the fact that he was wearing “women’s clothes.” I mean, after all, Prois is first and foremost hunting apparel.  So what that it has a feminine fit? He’s only eleven.

Michael Passes Hunter Safety

I don’t know if it is common everywhere, or just in Illinois, but it seems like we have waited a very long time to find a hunter safety course for my son.  He has been anxious to go on his first hunt. He’s been hunting with us before, but being able to harvest your own game is a whole new level of pleasure for him. He has begrudgingly come hunting with us just to be in the woods, but he was never happy about being an observer.

The past year my husband and I helped our son complete his online portion of the hunter safety course, making sure he understood it. We then waited and watched for any available class in Northern Illinois in which we could enroll him. It was a challenge, because they fill up immediately. I finally found a class, which, of course, was inconvenient given my work schedule. I opted to take a week of vacation just so that he could finally complete the field portion.

When Michael went to class, he was by far the youngest. He was barely able to open some of the actions of the firearms presented during the hands-on portion. My husband and I preach safety, but being a little on the weak side, I feared my son would inadvertently violate a safety rule trying to manipulate unfamiliar firearms. Furthermore, I had my doubts that he would pass the written test because he had finished the online course months ago. We tried to review the course, but couldn’t access it. As I sat through the field portion of the hunter safety class, I was a proud mother. I watched adults in the class violate safety rules as my little guy went up there like a seasoned hunter. He was very careful about the placement of his finger and the direction he pointed the muzzle. Test time came and I prayed to God that he passed.

That prayer was as much for my husband and me as it was for him. I knew if he didn’t pass, it was going to be one of the saddest days of his little life. It had already felt like forever getting him into that class. The thought of having to deal with my son’s emotional rollercoaster, should he not get the opportunity to take his first shot this hunting season, was almost unbearable for me. Thankfully, he passed the written portion, missing only three questions on the test. I wished I had taken a photo when my son was handed his hunter safety card. Had I the forethought to realize the emotional expressions that his face would display, I would never have missed that photo opportunity. His face lit up like that of a 16-year old who just got his driver’s license. Truthfully, I doubt that when my son gets his driver’s license, it will have as great of an effect. To Michael, the freedom to hunt is far more valuable than any freedom a driver’s license will provide.

Michael’s first hunt as a real hunter

Since completing the hunter safety course this summer, my son has been relentless in his requests to hunt. The first day off my husband had after squirrel season opened August 1, he took Michael hunting. My son apparently helped himself to my Próis hunting gear (which he says is sooooo comfortable – and actually it is). On his first hunt he found and shot his first squirrel! That’s the good news. The bad news is that for several days, I heard the story of the first hunt, non-stop. It was a good one … at first.

He told me how he skillfully identified and bagged his first squirrel.  He also articulated his struggle with his first hunting-related ethical dilemma. He explained that he found another squirrel, but he wasn’t sure if it was a squirrel or if it was a chipmunk because it was covered by brush. He erred on the side of not shooting it. The sting of his first loss of an opportunity to harvest game was evident not only by the expression on his face, but his solemn vocal tone, word choice, and his overall, defeated body language. I congratulated him and explained that it is not ethical to shoot targets that we can’t identify. Still the loss and disappointment was obvious. They are emotions he has to come to terms with internally. Perhaps my method of comforting him was not the best … because I told him that, unfortunately, if he is going to be a hunter, he will constantly have to choose when it appropriate to shoot and when it is not. I further explained to him that the sadness he would feel in wounding or misidentifying his prey would be far greater than not taking the shot at all.

The Próis Advantage

I asked Michael how he felt about bagging a squirrel on his very first hunt, because that’s pretty lucky. He told me luck had nothing to do with it, that his success was a combination of his innate ability to hunt coupled with the best hunting apparel on the market – that right, my Próis. He said he doesn’t even care if Próis is supposed to be for women, he wants his own set! What mother can argue with that?

You can see for yourself why Michael and many others choose to wear Próis camo. Visit Próis Hunting apparel.

Sara Ahrens’ Offbeat is sponsored by Otis Technology.

Thanks to the WON team for this article and visit them here http://www.womensoutdoornews.com.