Seems as though I sit down here about once a year. For someone who likes to write, and who uses writing to firm up my thoughts and hash things out, I can't really explain why. I've got other avenues I use, and still others I could use but don't that often.
I think I'm leery of life online. Lately I've been diving into Matt Rinella. He's got some interesting points that make me think about where I sit as a hunter and as a conservationist, and if the things I do, and try to do, are at odds with one another. More here and here. I'm mostly comfortable with my own hypocritical and paradoxical behaviors, though too much "do as I say not as I do" isn't good for anybody. I drive, a lot, to chase deer, and talk about the meat from hunting, yet pass deer up, and would probably be better served raising or buying local beef with the time, effort, and money I put into hunting, though the intangibles I get from hunting wouldn't be there. For all my concern about the environment, I flew to CO to guide an elk hunt. So, I continue to think about my pursuits, but change nothing. The bottom line is that me being alive has an impact on the planet, and without getting nihilistic, that isn't going to change.
On to the good stuff.
The second half of my year included a lot of adventuring. There was a trip to Alaska in August. Multiple fishing trips. Guiding an elk hunt. Duck hunting. November/December deer hunting. Late December grouse and hare hunting. I'm worn a little thin, but already hoping to do it again next year! A few stories and pictures follow.
We took a family trip to Alaska in August. This was a trip delayed by a couple years, but we finally got to get out there and see it. A couple of stream fishing days, some hiking, exploring and touring. A whirlwind in super cool country. When I go back, I'll start to pick it apart a little more.
Several fishing trips this fall, in addition to Alaska.
Rhode Island ocean fishing trip - this is usually for stripers, but they had moved out, so we caught some tasty black sea bass.
Went to New York and hit Lake Ontario after king salmon. Also miss-timed this trip, the fish had mostly headed into the river and we were on the lake. We managed to come away with one, which I was lucky enough to catch.
Made it to Maine with Jesse to chase landlocked salmon and brook trout at the tail end of the season.
October kicked off with early season grouse.
Then I headed to CO to guide an elk hunt in the wilderness. Two missed shots for the five days, and we saw elk 4/6 days (5 hunting days and 1 scouting)
Squeezed in a duck hunt when I got back, which I really enjoy.
Headed off to the big woods late October through November. Passed up a small guy early, got to help a buddy and my Dad with their bucks. Missed one good one and tracked another good one for a couple days, which I'll try to detail in another blog post. This was all in an area relatively new to us, so a good trip. Then the snow left...
As we wrap up VT muzzleloader season without snow, I managed to squeeze in one more duck hunt and I'll still hunt a couple more days. Then back to grouse. I imagine the fellas with hounds will start to chase bunnies, so that will be fun. Ice fishing will kick up if we ever get cold weather. Heck, sugaring will be here before I know it and we'll start it all over again!