Our outdoor lifestyle is rewarding on many levels, but getting the entire family involved creates bonds and memories that are priceless. Here’s how one family did it, and you can too!
by Jake Miller for HuntDaily
“The one-on-one time I get with my boys, each getting the other’s undivided attention, away from our crazy busy schedule, allows me to keep up with their lives,” says Sabrina Simon of Akron, Ohio. Ultimately, that quality time is what every parent desires with their children. It just so happens that the Simon family uses hunting as a means to achieve this special bond.
From an early age, Sabrina and her husband, Justin, taught their sons about hunting and the unique connection to nature and family that it produces. Their oldest son, Casey, and his younger brother Colby, both started hunting by their parent’s side as young boys, toting around a Wicked Ridge crossbow throughout the archery season in Ohio. Both having successfully harvested several deer, hunting has evolved from something fun to do with their parents and grandparents to a much stronger and more meaningful bond.
“To me, it means trust,” says Casey, now a senior in high school. “The fact that my parents can trust me with a bow or a gun means a lot!”
Sabrina and Justin began teaching proper safety precautions and good hunting ethics right from day one as they sighted in the crossbows they would take hunting. Evident by the maturity that Casey and his brother possess from those lessons and experiences, that family bonding time in the backyard, shooting arrows at a target, was extremely valuable.
Hunting for the Simons is representative of most deer hunters across the country. Antlers sure do look nice on the wall and provide tremendous stories and memories to look back on, but the hunt for meat is just as thrilling. Venison is a staple in their diet, and its nutritional value shows through and through. Casey and Colby are both outstanding athletes—not to mention their recognition of the value and honor that comes with harvesting their own meat from wild game.
Colby, Sabrina’s youngest, knows that his time in the woods with his family is a special thing.
“Not many kids I know participate in hunting, and it makes me glad for the opportunity,” says Colby. “My parents have been tremendous role models and have taught me and my brother a great deal through hunting.”
While hunting has taught this family much about life and how to respect one another, they recognize that it transcends the here and now. Its paramount importance is especially evident to Justin.
“Hunting season is one of the few times that we can step away as a family from the rush of work, school, and sports, and relax together. As our kids grow older and move away, it will be one of the things that brings us all back together every year.”
And to think, at the foundation of these memories is that Wicked Ridge crossbow. Since its inception in 2010, Wicked Ridge crossbows have been the front-runner in terms of crossbow shootability in the entry level crossbow market. Designed with perfect length of pull and a lightweight frame, Wicked Ridge has a crossbow for every individual. In 2017, Wicked Ridge took their largest step in crossbow efficiency and versatility by offering the only crossbow package outfitted with TenPoint Crossbow Technologies’ patented ACUdraw cocking device—a crank cocking device that reduces the force required to cock the crossbow to a mere five pounds. Available as a retrofit kit for any Wicked Ridge crossbow to date, now the entry level crossbow market truly does feature crossbow packages designed for the whole family.
At the end of the day, isn’t that what hunting is all about—getting the whole family together? Whether it is shotgun hunting rabbits at Thanksgiving, enjoying the comradery of a duck blind, or the adrenaline rush of firing a crossbow arrow at a whitetail deer, hunting is about family.
“Coming together at the end of a hunt, as a family, to talk about our day, to me, that’s what it’s all about!” Sabrina explains. “I think that is what strengthens our already strong bond as a family.”
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