It is with great pleasure that we get to introduce you to the Hamilton family for #huntingfamilyfriday this week. We had the pleasure of meeting the whole crew when we attended the Jaffa Sports Expo in Altoona a few weeks ago. It took all of a two minutes of chatting to know that we needed to get them interviewed. The Hamiltons are made up of Dad Eric (43), Mom Amanda (29), Levi (4), Tessa (2), and Emma (1) and they reside in Central PA. Read on to see how even with a very young family they know that it is never to early to start raising your kids up in the outdoors!
When did you learn to hunt/fish: Amanda has always been a daddy's girl from the time she was born so he started taking her with him when she was about 5. They went squirrel hunting, spotting deer, fishing, then as she got older, she went deer hunting with him, more fishing, always small game hunting, bear hunting. Today Amanda prefers archery and trout season if she had to choose. Eric started when he was 3 years old with his dad doing everything his dad did. He likes the winter months that include archery season, trapping, and predator hunting. But make no mistake, the Hamiltons are a family that enjoys the outdoors all year long; "We prefer whatever's in season, we do it all!"
After marrying and having kids; together they have raised their kids in the outdoors from even before they were born! Amanda shot her first buck with her bow when she was pregnant with their first, Levi. They've taken them when they were babies for walks in the woods, four wheeling, spotting, and fishing. Then when they were toddlers Eric & Amanda continued all that and started with small game hunting, taking them tracking deer, on small hunts in a blind for deer and turkey, shooting BB guns with help, trapping animals in trapping season, ice fishing, scouting and shed hunting.
What is your favorite hunting/fishing memory: The Hamilton family's favorite thing about being in the outdoors is 'just being out in God's beautiful creation and just being in the wild. We get an ultimate sense of peace and enjoyment in the great outdoors that He created for us.'
Amanda's favorite memory is either the first gobbler she got with Eric in spring turkey when Eric and she were just starting to date or this past archery season when they let Levi track her buck pretty much by himself. 'The look on his face when he found the buck was priceless.'
Eric's favorite memory was night hunting fox with Levi and he shot a grey fox with Levi standing beside him Levi's 1st fox! He took off after the fox and was petting it yelling "We got a fox! We got a fox, Daddy! We got it! Call Pappy and Mommy! We got a fox!" It took it full circle for Dad Eric because one of his 1st memories was running a trap line with his dad.
Any favorite recipe for game you can share: Melt in your mouth chip deer steaks: take as much deer meat as you want...add brown sugar (a heaping cup), some butter (about a cup) , lemon juice( 2 splashes), salt and pepper to taste. Mix together in a fry pan on low heat until done or cook in crock pot.
What is your favorite tip/trick for hunting/fishing: Keep it fun, simple, respect it, and honor and thank the Lord for giving us the land and opportunity to hunt and fish.
What are the lessons you most wish to preserve about hunting/fishing for generations to come: Respect the land, people that own it, and God that created it and to give back and help others.
Why is hunting/fishing important to your family: "It's in our blood; it's our upbringing; it's our lifeline. It's everything to us. It's our way to connect with God and what He created and follow His command of maintaining the land and outdoors. We truly feel complete when we are out in the wild."
The Hamilton family is a great example of how you can begin introducing your kids as young as possible. As the Hamiltons mentioned to us, just being outside and noticing tracks together or pointing out birds and buck rubs is the start to a respectful and compassionate education of the great outdoors.