Most hunters start when they’re young. Their dads teach them. Neither was true for me. My biological father abandoned my family when I was three years old. My stepdad wasn’t an outdoorsman.

I started hunting when I was 36, just two months before I became a dad. Standing in a dove field, thanks to the persistent invitations of my buddy Tom, I was exposed to something entirely foreign yet oddly familiar.

Yes, we had fun shooting at birds. More importantly, the memory that stuck with me was watching adults (mostly men) nurturing children (mostly boys). They were teaching them the skills and the art of hunting. These men were passing along generations of knowledge.

Not by commanding or scolding, but by coaching and encouraging.

There was a lot to take in. I was learning something new. Something mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging. I was struck not only by these men’s patience, but their willingness to embrace and likewise encourage me, a stranger and a novice hunter.

I realized then, standing in that dove field and watching generations of Tom’s family and friends bond over hunting, that something was missing from my life.

I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors. I love backpacking and camping. I’ve tried scuba diving, biking, snowboarding, and golf. In hunting I saw a way to connect – to nature, to myself, and to other people – in a way that I had never experienced.

Hunting has helped me to live in the moment, rather than to watch life pass me by. It’s helped me to become more introspective. More patient and disciplined.

It has given me perspective as a man and a father that improves me as both, and it’s something I can’t see myself living without.

Hunting Fatherhood exists to capture some of that magic. I want to pay it forward by sharing something that has changed my life for the better.

You can expect we’ll talk about hunting (obviously), but in a way that challenges the stereotypes of hunting. We’re going to talk about fatherhood, be it our experience as fathers or with our fathers.

We’ll talk about nourishing ourselves with food (especially meat, and how we engage with the animal it used to be,) but also intellectually and emotionally.

It won’t be all grip-n-grins and backslapping. And, despite the name, it’s not a boy’s club.

I’m in search of powerful stories from interesting people that will encourage us to be better – better humans, better parents, and better hunters.

Hunting Fatherhood examines the impact of fathers on our traditions, our passions, and the trajectories of our lives. We seek to build each other up by exploring the bonds that form naturally between hunters and anglers.

Hunting Fatherhood is for anyone who knows, has, is, had, or wants to be a father. We’re about joy and fear and anticipation. We share stories about firsts, lasts, and in-betweens. About the ones that got away and the ones that hang on the wall.

Most importantly, we celebrate fatherhood, and all that goes along with it.

Won’t you join us?

Brandan Scully

I’m a novice hunter and new father, among other things.