Monday, December 31, 2007

And Just Like that... is over. The holidays are past once again... Christmas number 40 in the books... It has been a very good year. We're out of work early today so it seemed like the ideal time to look into next year (tomorrow and beyond) and see what we can see.

It looks as though I will get about 20 total hunting days in 2008 assuming no complications. The best part of that from my current perspective is that 5 of them will be in the next 32 days. Man do I love this archery hunting thing. Deer hunting every monday for two months and two weeks in the fall should be something amazing. I am sad that the squirrel thing is going to suffer a bit in terms of days spent at it in the field. Growth and evolution are part of aging I guess. Best not to get to fixed on the 'way it is' in any of my endevours. I was once described as a fart in a strong wind by someone who didn't see it that way. I envy folks like that their contenment with the way life is and hope I never run out of energy for trying new things.

The year ahead should be an interesting mix. Things on the radar include:
  • Project Ranger
  • Mrs. Hunter is having both kness reworked in Feb.
  • I have three good books to read, all by Alan Eckert and will get more when these are done.
  • There's a fence to seal and a deck to build in the early parts of summer.
  • I will get to the range at Tranquility one day monthly this year from Feb to August. My skill have eroded a bit and I am not pleased with it.
  • Everyone agrees a beach vacation is in order in late spring.
  • Bow workups as needed to keep something like skills. (range is really close for this :-)
  • I will be ready to run a 5k by August 1. I just have to not die in the process.
  • preseason scounting and stand placement.
  • Lots of hunting in the fall....
  • Being a dad and husband throughout. :-) Truly the best part of it.
I always enjoy this part of the year. Planning and pretending for a while that experience hasn't taught me the plan will never hold together... That's part of the fun of living though. Adaptation and change seem to be the order of the day anymore. I like it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Final Hunt of 2007

I think in one of my earlier posts I said hunting in December was almost always a bust. The wife usually just drops the hammer and says "No" and "Too much stuff for the holidays to do" and "Blah blah blah, gripe gripe gripe, no no no, etc." Anyhow, hunting for the calender year 2007 came to and end at about 3 PM today. I wish I could say I was sad to see it end but it is tough to argue with the status and the joy it has brought me. I have to say being up at 3 to arrive by 5:30 is a bit tiring but everything has a price I guess. All in all I spent 20 days in the field doing my thing and they were almost all good. I think it was a year to be thankful for all in all.

On an up note, today was my first ever bow hunt. Now that was fun. I scared up a couple and may have had a shot at one if I were better with the bow. Both were does. I need to put up a stand. Another plus was getting to hunt the parent's place again. (normally restricted to deer gun season only... not so much now that no guns are involved. :-) Found some really nice, scenic places to eat lunch. Check out the pics.

This is a shot from a big plateau up on the south side of their place looking back north. They have such a nice place. Here's another view which is a composite of pictures I took. I think I will enjoy hunting this again in January.

I think I am out until the Christmas madness has passed. Happy holidays to all from the Hunter's Family.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Concrete Basement Wall - 2, Carbon Arrows - 0

Happy Bow Day to Me! Happy Bow Day to Me! It's a BOW!! Don't tell Mrs. Hunter but I have, since I last posted, completed my bow setup (with a pile of help from the good men of the Vance's Shooter Supply Archery Pro Shop) and assebmled a makeshift archery range in the basement. It isn't much but 15 yard is 15 yards. I have broken 2 arrows in my first dozen shots. Lots of work to do there. Turns out adjusting bow sights adjust in the exact reverse of rifle sights. I guess I would have known that if I had stopped being all jump-up-and-down happy about finding a bag target to hang... Juvenille. That's the word for me. ;-)

Here it is. (Sorry for the flash photo. The lighting is sh!% today and the others were much worse. Ohio in December... Go figure. It's cloudy.) As bows go it is hardly a Ferrari. This is more like a pickup truck. Either way, it's my first one in 20 years and the first one I have had any luck with quickly. I am going to enjoy this.

I was able to get about a dozen shots off before the fatigue set in. I am really shocked by how much work even a 60# pull can be. Still in all, I am still just happy about this. What a good bit of fortune for me to have brought this together. Unless my skills improve dramtically before the Holidays, I will probably just squirrel out the year and scout. Next year will be year for me. I have some good reading and study materials... I will be ready. Until then I will keep this picture around as a reminder of how much work it takes... Like I said, Concrete Wall - 2, Carbon Arrows - 0.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas is Coming

It's easy to get caught up in the idea that the Christmas holiday is a pain. The mall is too full. The roads are too full. Everything is on sale and people want to buy you things you don't need either to show you that you matter to them or because they feel like they have to. Either way, you wind up with more stuff and there is less raw stuff left to be made into useless stuff. It's a bad cycle... and all of it because at one time the goal was to commemorate the gifts of the wise men to Jesus at his birth. I think this part of it is lost somewhere. And so I have felt about the holiday for a while now. But something new happened this year. Someone who has no idea about bills and money or anything has seen for the first time how great it seems to be that the world is covered in lights and we are giving gifts soon. She is new to it. She doesn't remember the three times she has done it before.

My girls and this holiday are something to remember for the rest of my life. How special it all seems this year is a function of new role as holiday-dad. I string the lights. I buy the tree. I mail the letter to Santa. (Mom and I anyway) See it all again through the eyes of someone who is seeing it for the first time provides this fresh view that we all just need now and then.
So if I don't get back to it again until after the silliness of the season, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all.