Another year behind us. I know this sounds a bit contrived, but it all seemed to fly by so quickly. A great portion of my year was spent obsessing over a spring bear hunt here in Arizona. When I get into that state of mind, it seems the only way that I end up paying attention to time is sunrise, sunset, and when the next time I can get out in the field is. This is both an advantage and a downfall for me. The advantage is, I stay driven at the task at hand. The downfall? It often makes me neglect other areas of my life. Household chores are put to the side, laundry piles up, my wife watches way too many documentaries, and my dogs turn into ticking time bombs of energy. As it remains, all is well. Just because it works though, doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement on my end. I hope to find an even better balance in 2017. I don’t plan on taking any energy away from my hunting life, but I do plan on putting more into my home life.
Enough of the sappy stuff already! Let’s talk hunting! 2016 was a great year for me and I hope it was for you as well. One of my highlights was going on my first backcountry elk hunt which was also my first out of state hunt! Even though it came up fruitless, as far as filling my tag was concerned, it was AMAZING and we for sure plan on doing it again this coming year, should the hunting gods not bestow Arizona elk tags on us. Stepping out of my comfort zone and doing this hunt did a whole lot for me mentally. It was the longest backpack hunt that I had ever done(8 days), my first archery elk hunt, and like I said, my first time going out of state for a hunt. This gave me confidence in an array of areas in which I was lacking. I had wanted to do a hunt like this for awhile, but just never had the nerve until last year. If you’ve been toying with pulling off a hunt like this, JUST DO IT. Get off of the couch, load up the truck, and pull the trigger(hopefully on a giant bull elk). Make 2017 your year.
So, what’s on the agenda for 2017? My agenda is bowhunting. In 2016, I had a goal of arrowing an elk, deer, and a bear. I arrowed an elk, but couldn’t find it, arrowed a deer and did find it, and didn’t arrow a bear, but did take one with a rifle. This year, I am shooting for the same goal. Getting my first elk with a bow is something I have been dreaming about and I intend on acting on it, whether it is in Arizona or not. As most of you have seen, I was able to shoot my first buck with a bow not too long ago. I plan on building on that experience and hopefully doing it again during the 2017 January archery season. Last, but certainly not least, I love bears and bear hunting. This year I have a goal of arrowing my first black bear. I’ve taken 2 so far with a rifle, which have both been great experiences. Anyone that knows me though, knows of my love of archery hunting. Pair that with my love of bears and I’ve got one heck of an experience ahead of me. On top of all of this, staying in the now is very important for me. Soaking up the rays of life in the mountains and not forgetting why I am out there is paramount. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the objective and lose sight of “the reason.” If it weren’t for “the reason,” we wouldn’t be there to begin with.
I hope that 2017 brings you everything that you desire. Whether that’s a career change, prosperity, a healthier life, or a monster buck. Don’t wait for them to show up on their own though. Go and crush your goals! If you want to get in shape for elk season, make a plan and see it through. Struggling at the archery range? Seek out help so you are ready for hunting season. Have you been kicking around pulling off a certain hunt for awhile now? Make it happen! Don’t let another year, filled with opportunity pass you by.