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Holiday Hunting Dog Traditions This Season
During the holiday season traditions come alive. Beyond the mainstay traditions of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, there are other, more particular family or personal traditions. For example, some families have a tradition of gathering together for annual holiday events, or attending a midnight Christmas service at church. You may have your own personal tradition on New Year’s Eve night. Around here, there is a tradition of collard greens and black eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck in the coming year. It seems as though it’s a time for reflection, family, and remembering what’s important.
What about hunting traditions? For most hunters, their hunting dogs are as much a part of their family as anyone else. Hunting, dogs, family, holidays, they all seem to come together as one in the same, a summary of days for those who love the field and the gun. Now is the time for hunting traditions.
My wife’s family has a hunting tradition on opening day of deer season. While the guys are excited to be back in the woods and enjoying the roar of running the hounds, the ladies prepare a large home cooked meal to be brought out to the tailgate of someone’s truck. Every Thanksgiving, my neighbors return to the same location, with the family retriever in tow, for a traditional family waterfowl hunt. Each holiday season, fathers and sons (and daughters) get together to share a bird hunt or duck hunt that reminds them of times (and hunting dogs) past. Beagle hounds are packed in the field for an action packed rabbit hunt. Exhausted labs lay about as oysters are shucked after a memorable day on the water.
Hunting, however, is also a solitary sport. Some of those traditions are best shared with your sporting dog. Time in the field bonding with your best friend and hunting companion is priceless. Couple that with the holiday season and you will find a peacefulness that is rare.
Start a new hunting tradition this year and begin to make memories of a lifetime. The holiday season makes a perfect paring of family, friends, hunting, and hunting dogs. Take the time to see the world as your dog sees it, with unconditional love, compassion, and understanding. Do this and renew your perspective of the value of this season.