As a youngster my father showed me the ways of the wilderness. My father David Reading, (R.I.H.1949-2022) was able to enrich my life with many things about the woods. I started to learn how to hunt at age ten. My father taught me many things like how to hunt, where to hunt and even when to hunt! He also showed me how to read the lay of the land and how to use a map and compass. I was taught how to shoot a gun, a bow and how practice and hone your skills, all by him.
I learned how to track an animal, take an animal and harvest my game. I was always taught to respect the harvest and to be thankful. There were specific things I learned on how to place tree stands based upon game trails, wind directions and how large bucks moved over the terrain as opposed to doe and younger deer. I also learned to pay attention to food sources at certain phases of the season which certainly paid off to harvest some great animals.
Thirty years later my journey has come full circle with my father as he passed in 2022. I have been very appreciative of everything he has shown me over all these years and how to become successful in the woods and I pass that on to my children as best as I can. I contribute my success to his teachings which over the years we have been able to harvest many animals together and great whitetail bucks.
Appreciation of the game and harvest is very important, showing gratitude and respect to the animal you have been able to take is a must. If you are an up and coming hunter I will say practice as much as you can, learn the woods and animals in the area you are going to hunt and being safe are some of the best advice I can provide. Also have fun doing so! It’s about spending time with others and enjoying the outdoors.