Passing on the Tradition
Drakes Nest Hunting Club - Tim Root, Proprietor  42610 Drive 755 - Lexington, NE
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Story and Photos by Lee D. Salber The duck hunting tradition runs deep in the Root family, much deeper than the shallow Platte River in south-central Nebraska where Tim and his son Scotty share a duck blind. Time together. It’s not an easy thing to come by these days. Work, school, chores, and social obligations take a big bite out of family life. That’s exactly why time spent in a duck blind can be such a special part of the hunting tradition for a parent and child. Water fowling somehow seems to slow things down a bit. Even on great duck days when birds are on the wing, there are slow periods when there’s plenty of time to talk, to listen, to think, and to just be together. And slow days are the best days for enjoying nature. That’s another nice part of the tradition. There’s time to appreciate the ice crystals that form on the goose decoys, time to admire the fishing skills of a nearby kingfisher, and there is even time to wonder at how amazingly well this natural world fits together compared to the man-made one that’s been temporarily traded for a morning in a duck blind. The water fowling tradition includes time to teach and time to learn. Not just how to use a duck call, set out decoys, or brush a blind. More importantly, duck hunting gives a youngster firsthand experience in dealing with life’s challenges. Like most things worth doing, a successful duck hunt doesn’t just happen: it takes planning, practice, and patience; qualities that come in handy in life. There are also responsibilities attached to the tradition: a youth learns to take gun safety seriously, to care for the retriever, and to clean the ducks and equipment after each hunt. A responsible hunter also abides by the limits set by law. Life is full of limits. Duck hinting is no different. There’s a limit on the length of the season, the number of birds that can be taken, and the number of shells a gun can hold. A youngster who is taught to abide by water fowling’s regulations is perhaps more likely to adhere to society’s other laws, like speed limits and credit card limits; especially if someone takes the time to explain the reasons for the rules. There really is no limit, though, to the things that can be learned in a duck blind; things that are, just maybe, even more important than what can be brought home from a day at school. But the greatest gift duck hunting tradition has to offer the parent and child is the friendship that develops between them. Family ties and friendship; what a combination! It’s like tying a double knot in a relationship, the bond is not nearly as likely to come undone. It holds together over time, even during those inevitable times when two generations will see life from slightly different perspectives. Passing on the duck hunting tradition is about more than duck hunting. It’s about family, parent and child, spending time together to develop a friendship that will last a lifetime. Carry on the tradition.
In 1994, Tim Root’s love of hunting was featured in Ducks Unlimited Magazine. The article was titled “Passing on the Tradition”.
"When my son was born, my feet didn't touch the ground for two weeks, and I immediately started looking forward to the time when he'd get his first duck."                 -Tim Root  
"The best part of duck hunting is that I get to spend time with my dad." -Scotty Root