Well, it’s another New Year. I can’t say that I will miss 2021. I spent most of it getting over the lingering effects of Covid 19. Just as they warned me, it took quite awhile. My outdoor activities, as well as other activities, were seriously curtailed. I hope to get back into things in 2022.
I have read a lot lately about coyotes and coyote hunting. I, for one, do not hunt them, nor do I intend to do so in the future. I certainly don’t want to eat them, and the idea of skinning a dog for the pelt is pretty unappealing. Don’t get me wrong. I have absolutely no quarrel with those who hunt and trap them. It just doesn’t fit in with my if it dies, it fries philosophy. Therefore, I will just leave them alone.
Well, with a new year comes the need for resolutions. I know, I know, it is rather hackneyed and cliche, but it seems almost like a duty.
One of the most important resolutions is improving landowner relations. A lot of hunting and, especially, trout fishing involves the use of privately owned land. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times, over the course of many years, Old Bub and I have encountered trash and garbage, including a couple of toilets, dumped on someone’s land. It is really hard to blame if they post it. As much as I hate touching other people’s garbage, a good resolution would be to take a bag along and pick up what is feasible. While I resent someone posting their land just for the heck of it, I understand when it is done as a reaction to dumping.
This next resolution applies to both hunters and gun owners. We have to stop fighting among ourselves, as the antis love to see this happen. Archery hunters, firearms hunters and muzzleloading hunters are all part of the hunting scene. When we fight among ourselves, we give the antis more ammunition to use against us. The same holds true with trapping. I don’t trap, but I am in total support of those who do.
All gun owners should resolve to stick together. It must be remembered that we are not AR-15 owners, 1911 owners or bolt action rifle owners. We are gunowners, period. We are all in this together. Never forget that, if they can take your buddy’s AR-15, they can just as easily take your 270. A united front is our very best defense.
Moe than the antigunners and antihunters, whose minds we will never change, we must resolve to focus on those who are neither. If we can convert them to our side, or at least keep them neutral, we can call that a success.
We also need to resolve to keep our focus on safety. Hunting accidents, which usually occur through stupidity, give ammunition to all of the antis. Nearly all of us are safety conscious already, but we need to refresh ourselves from time to time. We don’t want any Alec Baldwin episodes to darken our image. Always keep safety in mind.
One of the best resolutions you can make is to just plain have fun. If you feel like doing something, do it. If you don’t feel like doing it, don’t. Remember, the outdoors are meant to be enjoyed.
Have a wonderful and happy new year. At least try to do so. I certainly plan to do so.