As the Christmas holiday draws close the 2017 hunting seasons either end or wind down the ice season, for me personally at least begins anew & we are again afforded opportunities to reflect back over a shoulder and sneak a look at the road ahead. The process seems a natural annual occurrence serving an enjoyable purpose. The backward look makes up memories that allow an unmeasurable amount of enjoyment I reflect on in quiet times to justify, at least personally the large amount of time spent in the outdoor pursuits. Memories that have been a foundation of who I am and who I want to continue to be. Each is probably a bit selfish when listening to others tell of their experiences. To them they are satisfying and personal accomplishments. Mine are a bit different and still personal. Perhaps I am fortunate, maybe more passionate than some and less than others. I believe for each person it is and should be different.
One time Bob St. Pierre asked what my ultimate hunting trip might be? After pausing in thought the reply was not an Alaskan safari or some exotic hunt. Definitely not some high-fence hunt for some so-called trophy that was captive already and any animal taken in such a fashion should be an insult to all who hunt in the truest sense of the word. No my ultimate hunt or fish trip is quite simple and one achieved already multiple times fortunately. It doesn’t require a plane flight or hours on the road, a professional guide or specialized equipment. For some it wouldn’t be special at all but to me it is the ultimate trip. Proof that a life enjoyed, shared and reflected upon has made a difference. A trip that reminds me that hard work, my past and decisions made along the way were correct. It matters not if they were questioned by total strangers who know nothing about me, who I am or what I believe or what a sunrise feels like under the sounds of whistling wings, the intense rush of a rooster bursting into flight, the crushing blow of a bass striking a top water bait or diving runs of a large walleye making an escape under the boat. My ultimate trip can be found most any time right here in Minnesota either on a lake, in a field of grass or near a cattail slough with decoys bobbing in the breeze as long as my companions are either one or both of my sons, Erik and Chad! To be able to see the outdoor passion that’s developed and been nurtured over time through patience each and every fall now moving into a winter season and in a few months transitioning again into the soft water fishing season is my ultimate trip. I have experienced it over and over again and believe me it feels special each and every time! When the boys were young my intention was merely an introduction into the outdoors and if they choose to continue it I would gladly comply. At one point Erik, the oldest was told by a high school coach that if he didn’t attend summer practice 5 days each week he would not be on the team. His reply was that he wanted to “fish with his dad and that was more important!” Chad was approached multiple times too by high school coaches and his reply every time was that hunting was more important to him than any high school football practice. So over the years we fished and competed in tournaments together, we stayed in motels, ate in cafe’s, walked large fields of grass, shot and cleaned deer, birds and fish. We won trophies and cash fishing. Together we experienced successes and failures. We had family puppies and had tearful goodbyes to old dogs.
This was all part of why now on this day I enjoy so much an annual look back and still sneak a peek ahead because the ultimate trip could come any time once again and I enjoy it each time it does!
How about you?
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
See you on Fan Outdoors real soon!