I was hanging out with my two little girls the other day—ages 2 1/2 (going on 24) and 1 (going on 3)—building pretend ground blinds from blocks (at least I was) on the living room floor with "Shrek 3" playing on the TV in the background for at least the third time this week. Things were going smoothly when my oldest daughter realized my youngest was playing with a red block … and that’s when things went south in a hurry. Like a coyote caught in a leg-hold, Mya turned, snarling, and lunged at Joey.
“Joey! Put down that red block … now! Play with this blue one!” Mya ripped the red block from Joey’s fingers and shoved the blue one in her face. “Here!”
And then Joey did what all 1-year-olds do when something they desire is taken from them: She went into a massive fit right there on the floor and attacked Mya.
But because Shrek was getting close to my favorite part, when “Donkey falls down the waffle hole,” and I knew I couldn’t hear it with Joey screaming, I asked Mya to return the red block and apologize to Joey, and I explained to Mya that Joey had the red block first and that it really didn’t matter what color of block Joey played with—that they should take their blocks and build something together. When Mya refused and Joey went after her for a second round, I took all the blocks and put them up on the shelf while they were bickering amongst themselves.
It was right there I had one of those completely random “holy s**t” moments.
There was a time when I, metaphorically speaking, would stand in the bed of my truck and tell anyone who’d listen just what I thought about allowing crossbows in the “general” whitetail archery season. My opinions were strong and less than well-researched. It’s not that I hated crossbows or those who chose to hunt with them, but I liked the way things were. I was comfortable. I couldn’t see the forest through the trees.
I’m thankful now that naive perception has changed. I got educated and learned that crossbows are no more lethal than a compound bow. Heck, as the video below shows, a compound that’s “toned down” much more than my own shoots flatter than a typical hunting crossbow of today’s standards.
Will I choose a crossbow over a compound bow when heading afield this fall? Heck no—I like shooting them, but I’m a compound guy to the core. Is this a frail attempt to shove my opinion about crossbows down your throat? Not even close—that ain’t my style. But as I see it, a block is a block, regardless of whether it’s red or blue. And as long as we’re all playing with blocks together, it’s none of my business what color your block is.
And most importantly, as long as we’re both playing with blocks, we can stand together when someone comes along and tries to steal our blocks or tries to put them on the shelf and tell us blocks are not to be played with.
You picking up what I’m laying down? It’s time we, as hunters—bowhunters, crossbow hunters, firearms hunters or otherwise—start looking at one another and realize that anyone who “plays with blocks” is not our enemy, and it’s ridiculous—juvenile and humiliating—when we fight amongst ourselves, because there are much bigger enemies out there. And if you’re wasting your time worrying about some fella playing with a red block because you think he should be playing with a blue one, someone is going to steal the yellow block—and then the green, purple and orange blocks—from behind your back, and it won’t be long before you don’t have any blocks to play with.
Keep your nose to the wind.