Mentor: Tim Butler: “I am a proud father, husband and outdoorsman. We own land in Talbot County, Ga. and northwest Nebraska. Spending time in the woods or the fields with my wife, kids and friends is a constant reminder of the greatness the outdoors offers.”
Mentee: Quinn Butler, a 10-year-old who attends Morgan County Elementary School. She makes all As and is active in soccer, tumbling, 4-H archery and the school’s morning safety patrol.
By Tim Butler
First, it should be pointed out that my daughter and I agreed—jointly—that she should successfully pass the Georgia Hunter’s Education course before attempting a hunt during deer season. Utilizing this tool of collaborative decision making would play an important a role in our deer-season adventures.
Once she passed the course, we started prepping for late-season hunts. Again, collaborating on how to prepare for cold weather, practicing the “rules” learned during the Hunter’s Safety training and, of course, passing on some fatherly knowledge, we entered the woods many times. Some of the key points actively utilized were knowing the vital area of the target animal, climbing ladder stands safely and enjoying our surroundings.
My daughter did not kill a deer this season. But this, again, was a joint decision. She had some shots, but the shots may not have resulted in a clean kill or harvesting an animal that would help in supporting conservation on our land. We endured a timber company spooking the animals on neighboring land, often frigid, windy conditions and the awkwardness of first-time hunts. And we made the decisions together.
Spring turkey season is coming soon. She is in 4-H archery. She had made the decision to make an attempt at her first turkey with bow this spring.
Passing-on the importance of spending time with family and friends is my driver. It is often said, “A family that hunts together, stays together.” Although I am sure that is not the case all of the time, my family certainly feels close-knit when we are hunting.
Mentoring includes children and their friends and, many times, teaching your adult friends.