Father/Son Dream Black Bear Hunt Comes True
Mentorship is something Brian Farmer, coordinator of the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Mason’s Local 633 apprenticeship program, takes to heart in all aspects of his life.
From “walking alongside apprentices and teaching them how to be successful in our craft” to mentoring his children and other youth in the outdoors to passing on his faith through youth ministry, Farmer believes in passing his knowledge on to the next generation.
Farmer began his career with a non-union company and was “brainwashed to believe that being union meant being laid off all winter,” he said. In reality, he added, “it meant working 70–80-hour weeks with no safety protocols.”
Within his first couple pours as a union member, his eyes were opened, and he has been a proud union member since. “It has supported by family and has been an incredible career path,” Farmer said. When the OPCMIA Local 633 training center contacted him about training niche finishes, he completely changed the curriculum and fell in love with working with apprentices.
He feels a similar passion for sharing the outdoors with youth, having volunteered at several USA Get Youth Outdoors Day events in Minnesota. It was at one of those events that got his daughter interested in shooting trap. He has also passed his love of the outdoors onto his 15-year-old son, Mason. The two of them have often talked about hunting bear together, so when Farmer learned that he was selected to be the guest on a Brotherhood Outdoors Saskatchewan black bear hunt—and he could bring his son—he was over the moon. In fact, he thought he would likely drive his wife nuts talking about it in the months leading up to the trip.
Despite a rocky start when Farmer’s and Mason’s flights were delayed by a day, the trip didn’t disappoint. When they arrived at the Big Iron Outfitting lodge, both the weather and bear activity were perfect. Though Mason joked that his dad’s likelihood of hitting a bear or shooting way under it was about 50/50, Farmer made a great shot on his first black bear. And having his son beside him made it even more special.