I've been thinking about using this time to write a book....or start a blog....or a journal, or something like that.
I've actually always enjoyed writing, so writing it down and documenting the timeframe could really end up being something I'll look back on later in life and be able to share with others. Kinda reminds me of listening to all my grandfathers hunting stories from his younger days.....and I would love to be able to share that with my kids someday. Not only to recount his stories, but to add mine as well.
I guess grandpa has inspired me tremendously, and I owe it to others to carry his legacy forward and share it. I'm the only hunter left in my family, at least until I have kids.
For me, being out there isn't always about packing the freezer. I've never found anything more soul satisfying than being out hunting with my dog and watching the sun cross the sky while laying under a tree or watching the snow fall in total silence. Not to get all softy on ya.....but it suits me more than anything I could have dreamed of.
I can't wait to park my camper somewhere for a few days, sit by the fire with some good cold micros or some scotch.....and watch the crackle of the fire with a tired dog under my feet and a clear sky above my head.
I know I can do all of this already... and I do....but considering how much planning and prep I am already doing to get ready for the blitzkrieg....I would be rather foolish to not document the journey as much as possible.
I've taken two or three day hunting trips here and there to hunt pheasant.....but this will be epic. Waterfowling, quail and pheasant from anywhere east of the cascades to Boise ID. Pheasant hunting in South Dakota. Huns in Montana. Snake River chukkar. Stevens county grouse. The shortening day and the cold wind biting my ears. The snow quietly melting on my face in the layout blind but remaining on my dekes. Hands wrapped around the Thermos for heat. Occasional cheap motels for a shower.
Chocolate mini donuts melting from the heat on the dash, and my 12v heated coffee mug only getting unplugged at the quick stop. The dogs head on my lap in the truck after a good hunt with the heater cranked. I have already driven miles upon miles with that still damp chin soaking through my jeans or sweatpants and scratching behind her ears while she snored loud enough to make my leg itch from the vibration. (She don't sit in the back or the truck or in a crate....ever....she's in the cab right there with me every time. She works way to damn hard not be. And she's a pretty damn good listener too!)
Strange how small things like that affect you when you take a step back from everything else around you, even yourself, and let them.
Sounds like a plan doesn't it? This year I was fortunate enough to spend more time alone with my grandfather than I have in a very long time. Hearing the hunting tales of his youth and on, really changed me and strengthened my resolve to live my life like he did. An unwavering and fearless hunter. No weather too tough, no wind too challenging. No wilderness too remote. No snow too deep. No hike too long for that sly late season rooster. The light in his eyes when describing the thunder of his heavy-as-hell 10 gauge double barrel sending a fat honker to the ground.
His stories of shooting squirrels on his way to school and back to help his family make it through the depression, the solenoid triggered shotguns mounted on the wings of his small plane in Alaska that he rigged up for dive bomb-hunting wolves. Landing the plane to reload and back in the air on the hunt again. (He was a pilot in the Air Force. Him and a couple fellow pilots bought the plane and flew it to Alaska from Alabama.)
We all enjoy a great hunting story every now and then. I plan on living one next year, and while I thoroughly enjoy my time afield alone with the dog, I can't be selfish and keep it all to myself. I hope to share a blind someday with some of ya or work a few fields. Who knows, maybe you'll even make it into the book!! haha
I have full intention of posting up when I am heading to certain areas and throwing out invites to folks who are available or in the area. I wont be asking for too much direction or for your honey holes, and I fully intend to have my own spots picked out before I get there. If you got another spot in mind...well hey, that could work too. (I am however desperately trying to find some flooded timber ANYWHERE in the Pacific Northwest)
I'm already getting excited for this vacation and anxious as hell, as I'm sure you can tell. I really really really hope the world doesn't end in a few days.
So, enough sweetie pie and softy rambling right?!
I'll leave you with a quote I just read a few days ago from a new hunting novel I'm reading called “The Fragrance of Grass”, by a Frenchman named Guy de la Valdene. This quote is the opening line of the book, and somehow it completely jumped out at me. I picked up the book in the bookstore, opened it to the first page, read this line, closed the book and walked to the cashier immediately. Again, strange right? I guess I really am a simple man.
"Between the four pads of a dogs foot, the fragrance of grass"