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Thread: Escouting...

  1. #151
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    S.E. Mass.- NY Zone 4F/4o
    Posts
    10,305

    Default

    It's Sunday, so no hunting in Massachusetts, and both of my tags are full anyway. I have been thinking a lot about hunting, and life lately. Two major life events are on their way, and in a hurry too. My 40th birthday is July 11th. Obviously, most people dread turning 40. it signals a time in life where you are by most measures "halfway there." You are still strong and have plenty of energy, but grey hairs in the beard, less hair on the head, and new found wrinkles on the face show that you aren't quite as young as you want to think. 40 can be scary, it's not necessarily "old," but you are as close to 60 as you are to 20, and 20 doesn't seem that long ago. But mostly, I am thankful to turn 40, when 30 was once unlikely. This summer is 13 years lymphoma-free for me. A lot has happened in 13 years. 13 years ago, I had never killed a deer, and I had never killed a turkey. Now, I can look at antlers on the wall, turkey beards and spurs hanging, and the many photos and stories of time spent afield, and appreciate the richness that hunting has added to my life. It humbles me to realize how much I have learned from when I started. I hope that 13 years of hunting is just a small percentage of the years I will spend in the woods.

    The second major event, and even more important than turning 40, is the arrival of our first child. A boy, a son, and hopefully someday someone who grows into a better man than me. It amazes me each and every day how the birth of a son feels like such an incredible responsibility. A responsibility to protect, a responsibility to teach, a responsibility to do better for him. I am in awe of how this tiny little boy growing safely inside of my wife makes me feel so excited, yet so nervous at the same time. I cannot wait until I get to be his guide, his teacher, his father. I know that he will have his own mind, and his own interests, but I know that I will do my best to pass on the love and tradition of the woods to him. he may or may not develop the same passion for hunting that I have, but some day he will realize that to truly understand who his daddy is, he will need to understand my love for the woods.

    I am looking forward to the process of teaching and guiding my boy, not only in the woods, but in life. I also am getting more and more reflective of those who have taken the time to guide and teach me. I lost my father at a very young age, and I mostly had to piece together a father figure from those good men who took the time and cared enough to guide me. The first of those was my grandfather, Papa Joe. He was the first to spark the interest of hunting in me. His stories of hunting the Catskill Mountains with his brothers, his showing me deer and bear in the Poconos, and his teaching me firearm safety and handling really kindled the fire. Bob, my old Scoutmaster took the time to show me woodsmanship when I was an unruly teenager who didn't deserve the caring and patience that he showed me. It was Bob who was there to lift me up when I moved back to NY from California at 26, sick and scared that I was in the last few months of my life, and take the time to get me back into deer hunting, something I hadn't done since high school. Bob was there when I killed my first deer, and showed me how to field dress it. Bob was there when I killed my first "trophy buck", arriving just in time to help drag it from the woods. Much of what I know, and how I hunt, was learned from spending time in the woods with Bob. Over the last 5 or 6 years, my professional mentor Tom, has joined Bob and I in the NY woods. Tom hunted as a young man, but life and work kept him away from it for many years.

    Over the past 6 or 7 years, many new friends have been made through hunting. I can remember all of the good times spent in the woods of NY, MA, NH, and Iowa with many of these friends. Although I spend a lot of time hunting alone, the best memories always involve time spent with these friends. The only better feeling than succeeding personally, is to see your friends succeed. I have learned so much from many of these friends, and cherish all of the memories. I cannot wait to introduce my boy to this world, this brotherhood of hunting. The cycle of life really is reflected in my group of hunting friends. Just as I feel like I am really hitting my stride personally as a hunter, I see Bob and Tom slowing down a bit. They need the occasional hand to pull them up a steep hill, or the occasional day off from hunting during the rut. I know that someday, my son will see the same slow down in me, and I hope by then he realizes that those times are really the best times of our lives.
    Last edited by Escout711; 05-07-2017 at 11:47 AM.
    My people call me "Stands on Logging Roads."

  2. #152
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    S.E. Mass.- NY Zone 4F/4o
    Posts
    10,305

    Default Tim's First Bird

    So great to be with a good friend when he killed his first ever turkey, a real nice tom. Congrats Tim, I had a great time in the woods with you today!

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    My people call me "Stands on Logging Roads."

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