Well if you aren’t going to haul deer with it, you might as well haul something “dear!” Here it is the 13th of October, and I’m ashamed to say I have not been in the woods yet. Hey I’m retired! Something is not right with this picture, or is it. Anyone who reads my blogs knows that I really enjoy hunting and partaking in all sorts of outdoors activities during this time of the year. What you may not know is that I have really cut back on the amount of time I actually spend hunting over the last coupe decades.
As much as I love pulling back on a buck (or doe) my number one priority is my family. There may have been a time 30 or more years ago when that may not of been true. I came from a family of 6-boys, who had a dad that loved to hunt, and loved to hunt with his boys. So when we had family time it included pheasants cackling, squirrels scampering, and rabbits dashing through a new fallen snow. As much fun as that was, it was deer camp that we all had circled on our calendars. The game pole at the Ansel camp was never empty. The odds of 7 of us getting “skunked” were always in our favor. My dad Norm taught us well. Brother Randy (oldest) was an expert marksmen in the U.S. Marine Corps, and shot on his base’s skeet team. Myself and younger brother Darryl qualified as expert marksmen while doing our tour of duty for the Army. My dad was a crack “off-hand” shooter and had downed more than a few bucks with his uncanny ability to hit the vitals. Though the younger brothers are good (2 expert pistol shot policemen) it was us older guys that the gang counted on for backstraps. So you see I grew up in a family where hunting played an important role in our relationships.
Well when my wife and I started our family it was rather unique having the first daughter in the “all male” Ansel household. My dad loved little girls, and carried Tara around on a satin pillow. It didn’t stop at Tara, as Alena, Meghan, Mindy, and Courtney filled our closets with all sorts of frilly things. Oh there were times when I coaxed them into shooting an outdoor bow-hunter league with me, but it never became a passion for any of them, including my son Micah, who showed up unexpected one February.
I have had to curtail my longing, to be hunkered down in a thicket somewhere, with my desire to be with my wife and kids. The older I get the harder it is to make it 5-days, in the field, without throwing in the towel and making a beeline for home. You see now I have 10 grand-kids in the mix and they really need me! Yeh right!
So don’t feel too sorry for me, and my lack of “treestand” time so far. We really did have a great time on our Minne hay-ride with the grand-kids. It was a wonderful weekend, as my grandson Logan was in town from Chicago. We did the apple orchard, cider and doughnuts, smores, bon-fire, horse rides, pumpkin patch, straw maze, popcorn, farmers market, and a couple kids video’s. Whew I’m tired just writing about it!
Hunting is great, but the most prized possession I have is my family. My dad taught me that also, and I’m sure he doesn’t mind one bit that I spend more time chasing grand-kids than I do whitetail deer. I think he would of done the same thing if he hadn’t of left us so soon. (58 yrs old) Just a little side note here. My dad smoked all his life, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he “cut” many years off his life in so doing. Fifty eight is way to young guys. Think about it. You owe it to your family and yourself to quit!
!Tara, Lorna, Logan and Kyle at the pumpkin farm. Mike