Into the Outdoors: Happy New Year


Well, here we are again. Another year gone by the wayside. I’ll have to say that I don’t think I’ll miss 2021 all that much. It wasn’t all that great, especially from an outdoor activities perspective. I spent most of the year slowly getting over the lingering effects of Covid. I had issues with balance and got tired really fast, so my activities were curtailed. I suspect that those who say to just force yourself have never had the experience. Sometimes, you just can’t go. I’m doing a lot better, although I will still use a walking stick. I am hoping to get more “into it” in 2022. In fact, Old Bub and I are already discussing some plans.

Something I won’t be getting into, though, is the flintlock season. I have two reasons for this. First of all, it’s usually cold. I just can’t hack the cold anymore. The other, maybe bigger reason, is that I am just not good with a flintlock. I really enjoy shooting one on a range, but I have a lot of trouble hitting anything with it. For one thing, there are times when I have an unmanageable flinch. I certainly don’t want to wound a deer. I believe in clean kills whenever possible. Woundings are purely accidental.

Small game hunting can be a lot of fun this time of year, and I hope to do some of it. The last while back, I have seen some wonderful looking recipes for squirrels on You Tube, including some for hasenpfeffer. I have made it with rabbit before and loved it. I find the idea of making it with squirrel to be very intriguing. If I try it, I’ll let you know.

To the ice fishing fraternity, things have not looked good this year. While I have done it in the past, it has been quite awhile, and I found it to be the most brutal of all outdoor sports. I hope we get some ice, so that the brave souls out there can have some fun. If there is eventually ice, you don’t have to drive very far to find it.

Perhaps I sometimes put too much emphasis on cooking, but it is one of my favorite hobbies, especially where fish and wild game are involved. Recently, my son and I had pressure canned venison over noodles. It was delicious. If you have never canned venison, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. Just remember, you MUST use a pressure canner. Water bath canning is just not safe.

It seems that all outdoor writers write about “winter doldrums,” or “cabin fever” at this time of year. I guess I am no exception. Last year, it didn’t really matter, as I was busy recovering from Covid. Now, however, I find myself getting a bit antsy. I have found that shooting airguns, and CO2 guns is a really interesting way to spend some time, and you can do it right in your own backyard. The full auto models are really a blast to play with.

Next week will mean the arrival of yet another new year. Among other things, we will look at some possible resolutions. We all make them, but they are often not kept.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! Thank you for your readership.

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