Geocaching, Hiking or Hunting

     What’s the difference between geocaching, hiking and hunting?  My 9-year old son Josh and I discussed this issue on Friday when we headed for the great outdoors; he in search of grouse and I in search of locations for possible geocaches.

     It turns out there are a couple of different ways a person can go grouse hunting.  One way is what we see the majority of folks doing on the Gunflint Trail.  Dressed in blaze orange hats and jackets they drive up and down the Gunflint Trail rarely turning off onto a gravel road in search of game. 

     Then there are those who drive the Forest Service dirt roads as low hanging branches scratch their once shiny vehicles. When they see a grouse they get out of their vehicle in hot pursuit. Sometimes people will hike long distances on trails in search of grouse but according to Josh those folks are few and far between.

     Josh wanted to go hunting which in his mind meant seeing grouse and killing them.  I explained to him it wasn’t called shooting but hunting, just as fishing is not called catching.  The fun should be in the pursuit and one must enjoy spending time in the great outdoors.  The catch or the kill is just a bonus if and when it actually happens.

     I’ve tried to convince my children and my husband for that matter, that it’s ok to go on a walk in the woods without a purpose.  I have obviously failed miserably and that is why I am now attempting to get them all interested in geocaching.  I explain it as a treasure "hunt" where the kill happens when you find the hidden cache. They see right through it and know it is just hiking in disguise.

    I’m still hoping they will decide to join the hiding and the hunting of geocaching.  I’m going to be placing some caches along the Gunflint Trail and will hopefully make it a fun enough game for my children to enjoy playing.  For me it’s just another excuse to get outside and explore the woods wherever I am.