Hunting with Dad

“Life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them.”

—Charlie Sheen

Today’s story is from Elisabeth Hirsch.

Dad and me. Side by side. On our bellies. Beneath us, a massive valley. High on a ridge above Salt Lake City — and freezing.

hunting with dad

Elisabeth and her dad

He rousted me from bed at 4 AM. “But Dad…,” I protested.

“We’re going hunting,” Dad said.
“Coffee’s waiting.”

Hunting with Dad?

We had just moved to Salt Lake from the small town of Price. Dad got a new job. I got my first job. I didn’t like the big town. City life seemed complex for no reason. I longed for the simplicity of Price. This was not a good time in my life.

Hunting with Dad?

I’d have rather stayed in bed that day to forget how I felt, but Dad had a plan. So off we went.

Me? Hunting with Dad?

Up the ridge. Into the cold. It was so bitter. My cheeks about froze. We finally arrived at the top. With our guns at our side. We settled in. Minutes went by. Nothing appeared.

“Dad?” I asked, restless and bored. “Shhh,” he replied, “you’ll scare the deer.”

Is this hunting?

More time passed. You could hear the wind blow, see the trees grow.

“But now that we’re here…” plucking a thorn from my sleeve, “what do we do?”
“We wait,” Dad said.

More time passed. The wind blew. The trees grew.

Hunting with Dad

Fishing with Dad

“Dad?” I insisted.
“Just — wait,” firmly he said.
“Then what?” I asked.
“…Just breathe. Relax. See.”

I was perplexed… then it started to make sense.

A jackrabbit emerged. A tarantula scampered over a nearby rock. A doe and her babies grazed in the field below.

My father. And me. Alone. I glanced at the doe. I looked over at Dad. He smiled. So did I.

Hunting? Indeed. Not for game… for something much more. Dad knew. Me too.

Daughter and Dad. High on a ridge.
Doe down below. Winds blow. Trees grow. Time alone.

Now you know. Don’t you?

It’s been quite a few years. Today, with four children of my own, life still seems complex, overwhelming at times. But it helps to reflect back to that hunt… and lesson from Dad.

Slow down. Take in the view.
Special moments are earned, and worth a hike up the ridge.


Elisabeth Hirsch

Elisabeth Hirsch is a partner and editor at Wayman Publishing. All three of her memoirs (under the pen name E.C. Stilson) have become Amazon best-sellers. Since 2011, she’s helped Wayman Publishing raise thousands of dollars for organizations such as Angel Watch, the Pregnancy Resource Center, the American Diabetes Association and Primary Children’s Hospital.

Your Comments

  1. Sherry Ellis

    Your dad sounds a lot like mine – he’s a hunter, too. I can’t say I’d enjoy sitting quietly for hours freezing my behind off, though! 😉

    You’re welcome for the reviews. I always enjoy reading your work!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current month ye@r day *