As I type this I realize that it has been 54 weeks or so since my last update...over a year....ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? When I first started this blog it was my full intention to update at least weekly...more if time allowed. What I did not take into account is the fact that life would get in the way.
Since last I posted there have been a few minor changes that have taken place:
- Convinced Jennifer to marry me (11/28/09)
- Added a child (Jennifer and I had been married prior so I now have three daughters instead of two)...cool stuff
- Added a dog, Mallary...yes like MALLARD :)
- Continued to work a full time job
- Spent as much time possible in the field hunting/fishing
It has definitely been a full year and I am not complaining...each of the above listed items have added true happiness to my life....well maybe not the full time job part. My point is simple - life will get in the way. I am certain that the three people who were following this blog (two of whom I did not know personally) are long gone. In an effort to win their loyalty back and to record my meager adventures - I am recommitting to the blog. There it is in black and white. I am committing to timely updates on what is happening in my outdoor world.
I am not a world traveling outdoorsman. Do not get me wrong - I have the desire to be, however if you will reread the bullets points you will understand why at this stage of my life I am regional outdoorsman. I have successfully hunted Speckled Belly Geese in Louisiana, Whitetail Deer and Hogs in South Carolina, caught giant Red Drum and Cobia off the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and hunted the Canadian Goose in Delaware. For the most part though, I am a regional guy. I live in what I consider to be an outdoorsman's Paradise....southeastern North Carolina. We are home to an abundance of Whitetail deer, Wild Turkeys, Wild Hog, Black Bear, numerous species of waterfowl, game birds, and small game. We are also home to a tremendous variety of fish. From Crappie and Bass in freshwater to Flounder, King Mackerel and Blue Marlin in Saltwater. The North Carolina outdoors scene is incredible.
I am fortunate to have a joint lease on a large tract belonging to International Paper on the Black River. Joint because I share this lease with an old hunting buddy of mine. I say old -- his birthday is today and he is two decades my senior. As we walk down our two mile stretch of river banks it is not uncommon to see ducks, deer, or turkeys.
On November 12th I set under an old Cypress tree with another buddy. Terry is like a brother to me and he loves spending time outdoors as much as I do. With the demands of life it is a great thing to have a place to unwind. We watched an 8 point buck chasing three does up and down the opposite bank for the better part of the morning. This tremendous deer was not on our property so we just watched hoping that he would chase one the does into and across the river. I must admit though it was enjoyable just watching. Later that afternoon we set further down river and watched a 400 pound black bear bask in the sun on the river bank and we were afforded the opportunity to harvest a nice buck that was sparring a lessor being...an opportunity that we took with pride. That evening we set around a campfire pondering on the great things of life, cooking some venison, solving the world's problems and enjoying a good cigar. It was during this moment that I was reminded once again why it is that I love the outdoors. It was not the kill. It is something far deeper that most people will never understand. Being a hunter or fisherman is respecting the game that you chase and truly becoming one with nature. I have watched a lot of Ted Nugent on the Outdoor Channel and truthfully thought he was out there a little bit. However, I am now seeing some logic in what he is saying. You must respect nature and the life you are taking. It is more than the actual act of harvesting the animal. Unifying yourself with nature and freeing your mind from the demands of life is as rewarding as taking a trophy animal. The feeling that I get when I leave one of my adventures is one that cannot be replaced with any other. Whether I have taken my prize or never even saw what I was after, I still walk away with an inner peace. It is true that I am generally tired and physically worn out but strangely at the same time I am recharged, refreshed and ready to face the next challenge life brings.
For those of you who read this...thanks for the follow. I have clear eyes, full heart, and big dreams. I look forward to again sharing them with you.