First and foremost, as soon as I can get a day out of the office, possibly as early as 11/23, I am going squirrel hunting. Odds are what I will do is hike to my favorite, remote patch of hardwood. Gather up some tinder and make some tea and sit and wait for a whole day and probably shoot nothing. Sounds perfect to me.
Following this are two of my three favorite events in all of the US: Thanksgiving and Ohio Gun Season. I have the 454 Encore oiled, sighted, and ready. Bucks beware. If I see something over 4 points , it's going in the freezer.
After that... well... I am not sure. One thing I do know is that I will be finding a reason to get out into the open spaces about once a month going forward. I've recently discovered a place on the web call bushcraftusa.com and I have to tell you, I am excited about the things I am seeing there. I have worked up a laundry list of things I want to do and learn over the next 14 months and all but two have nothing to do with hunting. Not that this is good or bad so much as I feel like a decent hunter. I want to be a good woodsman (for lack of a better word) in terms of both skill and rigging. So let's get that initial list of goals written up here and see what it looks like:
Gear - I think most guys are hung up on this aspect of things. To be fair, as hunters go, I was too. My rifles are a testament to it. Given that I need to put these goals in the forefront.
- Establish a one day kit that fits in a shoulder bag and weighs less than 6 pounds (no including the axe). This rig needs to contain:
- Two meals
- Shelter (poncho)
- Fire starting gear
- Dry socks
- Emerg blanket * 2
- 50 ' paracord
- F A kit
- Knife set
I figure if I can get that working I am off to a good start and we can build on it for larger trips.
Next comes the start of the important stuff. Let's go big picture first...
- Trees. I need to know a lot more about trees. Given that I'll set a goal to be able to ID each tree I run across while out and about in Ohio by this time next year. In addition to that, I'll see if I can know which is good for what. It's a tall order however it has the advantage of being cheap to do. :-) Trees are in every park, info about them is available everywhere on line. Good stuff.
- Fire. I need to know more about fire. So, let go at it like this: I will know what goes into a tinder bundle and where to find it. I will gather it and assemble a tinder bundle and use it to build a fire with a firesteel. Also, I will make a firebow and learn how to use it.
- Horticulture. I know nothing about horticulture and I need to know more. The simple fact is I know so little about this it's nearly impossible to formulate a goal. Let's start with identification of species. I'll figure out how to ID plants and document them then research what they are good for. Should take forever. :-)
- Cordage. This is an easy goal to establish. I'm going to make some. Oh yes, I will know how.
- Shelter. I need to learn more about this but I am not sure we can put a goal around it for this year. I'll make it the first stand by goal.
This ought to keep me posting for the next year or so. I'll document the progress as I go and see if the objectives need to be altered. Big up to the guys at BCUSA for setting up. Just great folks and nice site. It has really sparked my interest.