Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sunday Is For Walking

Sunday as a child I could be found tromping around Grandpa's farm, with a Red Rider BB Gun in hand, and one of the family mutts at my side. After church i'd have the whole afternoon, before Sunday dinner, to be wildly free from everything.

I think this is where my love of hunting stems from. My days wandering aimlessly reeking havoc on anything that moved.

Anything that moved ranged from my Uncles horses, neighbors turkeys, geese, ducks, muskrats, and the occasional stray cat. I rarely killed anything but there is something about a boy tromping through ponds, fields, and groves of trees. Not a care in the world and knowing I was completely free till I heard my Mom screaming off the back porch that dinner was ready.

Yesterday was one of those days, I returned home for Sunday dinner and I had a few hours of freedom. Lady and I tromped through Grandpa's farm once again, the only difference is that I didn't take my Red Rider BB Gun, and Grandpa no longer lives in the old farm house. Sundays are for walking.

Opposition In All Things

Last post, Addiction or Commitment, caused quite the uproar among readers. I received countless words of advice. For Which I am grateful.

I had a comment from the one and only upset reader. This reader just so happens to be the cute girl that gave me the look. Apparently she found my blog and is a faithful reader. Thursday night we were watching the Utah State Aggies play Hawaii, when she leaned over and whispered in my ear "So that is why we didn't go out in the fall." I knew she knew.

That experience has got me pondering about this blog. Is it a blog about hunting or relationships? I also wonder how much insight to my personal life should I leak onto these pages?

Since pondering I have come to the conclusion that hunting and everything else in life is about relationships. So today I pledge my love to my best girlfriend, my dog Lady. She never gets upset when I blog about our adventures together, and she likes all the pictures I take.

This blog is dedicated to hunting with my dog Lady, but i'll continue to include lots of life's oppositions "the good, the bad, and the ugly."

A wise man once wrote "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things... even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Addicted or Committed?

Classes missed: 2 weeks of classroom missed
Days afield hunting: One month (give or take a day or two that I forgot to add)
Miles put on trucks: 7,000
Dollars spent on Licenses: $632.00 (now I know why I don't ever have money for text books)
Money spent all together: I don't know where to start, suffice us to say a lot.

This afternoon I tried to figure out what my addiction looks like in numbers because last week I was on a date, with a cute girl. We were on a ride up the canyon. As we winded our way we chatted about life and some of our hobbies. She likes camping, loves to go fishing with her dad, and even has a few horses that she rides once in awhile. "I thought great! A girl that appreciates the outdoors." She also asked what I like to do?

I replied that "I love all of those activities." But I had one more to add to the list, hunting! I asked if she had ever been hunting she said "no, but I'm not opposed to it". She then asked me "what do you hunt?".

I went through the list as my head recalled the past fall, chronologically. I told her about my Cow Elk hunt in early September in the high country of Wyoming. I told her about grouse hunting the pines in September. Then I told her about the Utah mule deer hunt in October. I couldn't forget our annual pheasant hunt in Montana every October. And in November my Dad and I have our annual South Dakota pheasant hunt. Oh and when the snow starts to come we head for the west desert to chase chukars for a couple months. Oh and I also mentioned that my Cousin Andy and I tried to go on a January Quail hunt, but our car broke down.

Wow, I was out of breath.

At that precise moment I noticed the scared look in her eyes. I interpreted the look in her eyes as "I feel bad for your future wife!". Then it occurred to me that I am a total addict.

Since adding up my hunting addiction, I didn't dare add up my fly fishing trips, the days I spend training my dog, my horse pack trips, all the other camping trips, skiing, water skiing, and the days I spend day dreaming about doing all of this outside stuff!

I am grateful for a good and flexible job to keep my addiction going. Oh and a special "shout out" to all my professors that believed I had work commitments. Sometimes hunting is work, and I am committed.

Here are a few pictures of the past year. It was a great one!

This is a past deer camp when it snowed on us, but it was also our elk camp in early September. (just imagine no snow)

The montana wheat stubble. Below a Big Sky Sunset.

The South Dakota Blizzard. Dad and I never told mom we got her truck stuck.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekend Outside

As I wriggled my way out of bed friday morning I had my usual happy to be alive face (Fridays I don't have classes, hence the happy to be alive face). As I opened my blinds it was revealed that I should not go to work and my happy to be alive face got even brighter. The ground was dusted in snow, the sun was shining, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

Mountains, upland fields, and trout streams have a way of keeping me from attending class, going to work, and pretty much everything else society tells me I am supposed to do. I have come to the conclusion that anytime spent in the mountains is time well wasted. By time well wasted I mean it makes me that much more productive when I return to society.

Friday morning I made the few phone calls that I couldn't put off till monday. Then I was off to the hills for a day of Alpine Skiing at Beaver Mountain. What a gorgeous day. I skied right onto the lift every run, the powder I found was a little tracked up but it was still invigorating. There is nothing like a day outside, just my Ipod and me.

Here is a picture taken a few weeks back with my nephew Jed and my niece Emma.

Saturday was almost as fun. A group of friends and I headed to the Southern end of Cache valley to Hardware Ranch. Hardware ranch is a feeding ground for elk. This winter they are feeding about 600 elk. I recommend this outing for everybody, especially those of you with little kids. It costs five dollars and they take you on a horse drawn sleigh ride through the herd of elk as they feed. They started this program to keep the elk from going all the way into cache valley and eating at the farmers hay stacks. The ranch is located fifteen miles up Blacksmith Fork Canyon. It was an awesome drive, we saw deer, a moose, the elk at the ranch, and a couple of turkeys on the way home. All in all it was a great weekend in the cold Utah outdoors.

This picture is of my friend Jessica and me checking out the elk.

In ending I want to thank everyone who has remembered my Nephew Andrew in their prayers. It has been working! Thanks!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Baby Update

I wanted to thank everyone for their prayers for my Nephew that was born last Saturday. Prayer really works and everything is looking a whole lot better. He is off the ventilator and the hole in his lung healed. He is breathing without oxygen or assistance of any kind. He now just needs to learn how to suck and suck all his meals for 48 hours, they say he is picking it up quick. If you want the daily update here is a link to my Sister-In-Laws blog.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Favorite Hunting Buddies

My brother Josh and his wife Katie just had their fourth child, a little boy. I am an uncle of 13 now. Those 13 people are my favorite people on earth. I would rather hunt and fish with them then just about anyone.

There are a few issues with the new baby, Andrew, he was born six weeks early and is in the NICU. He is on a ventilator and has a hole in his lung. Needless to say we are all praying for baby Andrew.

This is my call for your prayers. Thanks in advance.

Here is a picture of two of my nephews, ones 12 and ones 13, they both love hunting and fishing. And they can sure shoot a shotgun too.

This is my nephew and I on a very unsuccessful dove hunt earlier this year. Don't worry if it looks like my gun is pointed at the camera it is, but the camera was set on timer... no one was behind it.

We love to fish too.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Women In the Outdoors

This post is in response to an article I read in The American Spectator, you can read it here.

Basically the article reads that hunters are men that drink hard alcohol and shoot stuff and it is not a sport to be shared with women. The worst part is that the writer is supposedly one of our own, a hunter, but I highly doubt that. So I thought I would rant for a minute about women in the outdoors.

I am proud to say that it was a past girl friend who introduced me to deer hunting. She got a buck, gutted it herself, and then she fried the heart up on the coleman stove with some potatoes. She is one of the prettiest girls I know. Her willingness to hunt and her willingness to let me hunt only makes her more attractive.

When I was young one of my favorite things was fishing with my dad and brothers. But I have to say I do recall even better times and that was when my mom and sisters came along. I dare say my sisters could out fish most men out there.

I can also say one of the best dog handlers I know is my Aunt Jill. She shoots a lot starter then me too.

I strongly believe women and men have an equal place in the outdoors. We need all of us (women and men) to help our current world recognize that hunting is needed and an American Family Tradition.

You better believe my daughters will be my hunting and fishing buddies. I'd rather go with them than some drunkard man.

There is a cool site built for helping us Outdoor Bloggers unite our voices together. Check it out here.