-by Jason Young
For most of my adult life I believed that I needed to find a mate that would allow me to go out and pursue my passion of hunting while she went off and did her own thing. You know what I am talking about, the opposites attract thing. This is the main reason I was still, and content to be, single at the age of thirty-five. I was not going to let any woman change me or keep me from doing the things I loved. Well I eventually found my soul mate and what I had believed for so many years was oh so wrong.
I was raised in a small town where until recently farming and hunting were predominant ways of life. Farmers completed their farm duties and then went to field in search of wild game. Although my grandparents sold the family farming business before I was old enough to help, I have very vivid memories of going down to the barn at milking time. Around the age of ten my dad and grandfather started taking me with them when they would go out hunting. We started out with squirrel hunting and then progressed onto more challenging game as I got older. Although I was learning about hunting, I was also being taught valuable life lessons.
Through hunting I learned about patience, hard work and ethics. I learned that we, as hunters, don’t just hunt to “kill” animals. We hunt because we love to be out in nature, we love the challenge and the animals need to be managed. Am I proud of any animal I harvest? Absolutely I am. However, I also feel a little bit of sorrow for every animal that I harvest, after all I am taking a life. My family does not let any animal we harvest go to waste. We consume every animal that we bring home. If I am not going to eat an animal I will not hunt it.
My wife was raised in a similar manor. While I was learning my values through hunting,
she was learning hers through horsemanship. Since she was five years old, she has spent every available minute she has had at the barn with her horses. She was driving to learn every aspect of running a horse farm. Many people do not understand the work that goes into taking care of a horse. She is not the type of person that is going to just spend money to have others care for her horses. Priscilla has sacrificed a lot of time to make sure her horses are feed, their stalls are clean and overall her horses enjoy their lives.
In August of 2008, our worlds collided. In this world of technology, we actually met on Myspace. Priscilla sent me a message, believing that we had a lot of things in common. After a few weeks of chatting, we decided it was time to meet. We decided to take a mountain bike ride along the Lehigh River. After the ride she invited me to join her and a few friends at a local bar for a few drinks. We have been together ever since.
When I first met her horses I was very intimidated, they are huge. After a few times of visiting them, I realized that there was not any reason to fear them. They are highly intelligent animals that are very in tune with their surroundings. I do not mean that all horses are this gentle and any one who approaches a strange horse should take precautions. Priscilla, on the other hand, has spent many hours with a gentle hand on approach teaching her horses not to fear human contact. They are like giant puppy dogs. They love to be around people, they love to play and they especially love treats.
As I was learning more and more about horses, archery season was fast approaching. Archery season can be a trying time for a new relationship. Most archery hunters are very dedicated and passionate about their hunting and this can put a strain on any relationship. As I got to know her dad and neighbors a little better, I was able to gain permission to hunt the farm and the surrounding woods. In order to spend more time with Priscilla, I asked her what she thought of hunting with me. I told her I would hang two tree stands where ever I planned on hunting, this would enable her to hunt with me and also she could video our hunts to share with family and friends.
It did not take long for Priscilla to fall in love with hunting. One evening while sitting up in a tree, Priscilla leans over and whispers “I think I want to buy a bow and actually start hunting”. Well I think it was right then and there that I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.
It is now 2012 and we have been married for a little over two years. We now film our hunts for The Whitetail Underdogs, local hunting production company. Priscilla is about to graduate from Nurse Anesthetist School and in September we are moving to our own little 30 acre farm in Waynesboro, Pa where will enjoy our horses and our time up in a tree.