Post Thanksgiving Thoughts
With Thanksgiving now in the rear view mirror, it got me thinking. So much has happened in the past 11 months that I have to be thankful for, both in the field and out. With our fast paced way of life, it’s sometimes hard to realize what’s in front of us. At least for me it is. For example, I get so amped up about everything involved in a trip, from planning it to actually being out there in the field hunting, that I forget to slow down and take in what is going on in my life at that very moment. I’m too worried about where the elk are or why this bear hasn’t hit this water source yet. Little things like, the fact that I am physically able to hike back into the areas I go. Some people aren’t so fortunate. Another that comes to mind are the things that I get to witness while out in the field. Some people will never get to see the steam like breath of a bull elk hit the cold morning air as he bugles and makes his presence known. That is a sight to behold. I’m also extremely grateful that I actually have the time to get out in the field as much as I do. I hear how some folks can only hunt 2 weeks a year, and while I would do the same if I had to, I can’t imagine only being able to hunt that amount of time. For me, it would feel like suffocation.
As far as out of the field goes, my wife supports me with every bone and breath in her body and I do the same to her. She has never once complained about me going hunting and in fact she actually joins me on scouting trips quite a bit. This might seem normal to some, but here’s the catch. My wife is a vegetarian. Even though she doesn’t eat meat, she STILL supports the fact that I want to go out and acquire my own protein. On top of that, she also helps me butcher my game. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is. On a more serious note, I almost lost my dad earlier this year. The guy that got me into this whole hunting thing. I can remember walking around the desert looking for mule deer with tears in my eyes, not knowing if I would ever get to enjoy the hills with my dad again. Luckily, he made it through and is doing great. We were able to go on our first hunt since his health complications together this past October, where I was lucky enough to shoot a bear. Having him there on that hunt as well as our deer hunt a mere few weeks later, meant way more to me than just another hunting trip. Heck, on the deer hunt, I ended up just hanging where ever he wanted to hunt and didn’t even worry about filling my tag that much. That was different for me. The fact of the matter was, that I almost didn’t get to do this stuff with him again. The tag, for all I cared, could have been used to start a fire.
Archery deer is getting ready to start up here in less than 2 weeks and again, I am thankful. When I am sitting there in my glassing spot, waiting for the sun to come up and give light to what’s in front of me, I will think of this. I’ll think of how thankful I am to be sitting there in the cold, behind my binoculars. How thankful I am to witness yet another Arizona sunrise. How thankful I am for the vast tracts of public land that were secured for us from those before. If I see deer, I am thankful. If I don’t, I am thankful.