Addy York's winning essay

I believe life would be different if everyone had experienced hunting at least once like I have done. Through the hunting experience, I have gained confidence, respect, discipline, patience, and responsibility.

I gained confidence through hunting. I was born with Vater's association. I was plagued with one back surgery after another as a child. I became shy and withdrawn. When I killed my first big deer, I began to believe that I could actually do things just as well as others my age. The hunts gave me the confidence to go on with my school work and to dream of someday going to college.

Through the hunting experience, I have gained respect not only for others, but for the wildlife as well, and also self respect for me. I learned to respect my dad early on when he would show me where the best places to hunt are, and how to treat my gun if I wanted to use it another day. Respecting the wildlife came easily for me since I love to be out in the woods. I understand the importance of conservation the wildlife. I have learned that overpopulation of wildlife is threatening to the animal's habitat and that hunting through conservation can combat this.

Discipline is taught if you make a promise to get up to go hunting at 4:00 in the morning then you get up at 4:00 in the morning. You just don't want to disappoint your dad. In the discipline, I was also taught that a bullet is not to be wasted. If you shoot and kill it you do not just leave it laying you use it.

Patience was taught through sitting in that blind for hours and waiting for hours for the big kill. Patience was taught when that big buck comes up, and I am waiting for that one perfect shot Patience is necessary in one's life to be successful.

Responsibility was taught through use of my hunting weapon and taking care of it. Responsibility was taught to me by my dad to respect other hunters in the field, respecting all wildlife and habitat. Learning respect will help me to work with others out of the field and in the field.

Through the hunting experience, I have gained confidence, respect, discipline, patience, and responsibility. I believe everyone's life would be different if they could experience hunting like I have. Please come and enjoy the great outdoors with me and gain life skills that will last you forever. Hunting is for all ages no matter how young or old. It has something to offer everyone.