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Into the Outdoors: A Time for Reflections

Can you believe it? 2023 is just about over! The year went by really fast. Here is something else I find hard to believe. I have been doing this column for 35 years. I doubt if I will get 35 more. LOL. I would like to thank Dave Staab for running the column for all those years. I would also like to thank all of my readers, both those who have complimented and those who have criticized. Thanks too to my best friend, Old Bub. Over the years, he has been a part of some of my best times. I cherish our friendship. We have both slowed down, but we are still kickin’. Also gratifying is the fact that people have brought me game and fish, and sent many nice cards, letters and emails. They all make an old boy from Brady’s Bend feel good.

I know it’s kind of corny, but a new year is a time for resolutions. Let’s look at a few possibilities.

First of all comes the Game Commission. They should resolve to rethink the whole idea of antler restrictions for deer hunting. At the very least, they should remove the restrictions for senior hunters, making them equal to mentored and junior hunters. Let’s face it. Most older hunters can’t hunt as hard as they once did. Their vision is not what it used to be, and counting points is especially hard. Because of this, many seniors have just up and quit deer hunting. That is a sad state of affairs.

They should also resolve to restore the Monday after Thanksgiving as the opening day of deer season. They fail to see how important tradition is in the sport of hunting. The Saturday opener has been rough on the hunting camp tradition. Personally, I have always viewed going to a camp as a hardship to be endured in order to access good hunting and fishing. To many hunters, however, it is much loved. It’s also important to be out there on opening day. The Saturday opener has taken time away from traditional preparation. If you want a day to lounge around camp, you have to leave on Thanksgiving or early on Friday.

Those of us who choose to own firearms must resolve to stick together. It always dismays me when I hear someone say something like since they don’t own an AR-15, they don’t care if they are banned. The same goes for a lot of other guns. For those who think that way, here’s something to consider. If they can take your buddy’s AR-15, what makes you think that they can’t take your 30.06? It’s the old foot in the door situation.

There are some things to which geezers, both male and female, including myself, must resolve to adjust. I can no longer take the long shots on game that I once did. My sensitivity to cold has gotten worse. The old fingers are slower when it comes to tying on fishing hooks and lures, and it’s getting pretty hard to get in and out of a boat. I know that many other senior citizens are experiencing similar phenomena. Rather than be sad, we should be happy to have had the privilege of reaching old age.

Several weeks ago, I featured a photo by East Brady photographer Jodie Beabout. It was snow covered. Here is the same scene, once again by Jodie, without the snow. I thought you might enjoy the comparison.

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. See you in ’24!

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