Friday, October 23, 2009

Goals & Dreams for the 2009 - 2010 Waterfowl Season - Part II

Someone in our party cannot be accused of shooting early...I think that goose was probably pretty low!


So, after a little bit of reflection about the 2008-2009 season, I can say that it was successful, but it definitely did not go how I believed it would. I think that statement speaks to my naivety and my wisdom at the same time. Being flexible really worked for us last year.


So, what's changed in a year? A few big things:

  1. I have a baby in the house, and I'm getting 4-5 hours of sleep per night

  2. I joined a hunting club (primarily goose) on the Eastern Shore of MD

  3. I have a new job with more money, but a tight leash re: time off

So.....those are not insigificant things! I've really had to think over the last few months about how I can successfully manage my life and priorities, and also strive to have an enjoyable hunting season. So what type of goals should I aim for?

1. Make a point to "be present" when I am at home - be happy to take care of the baby all day on a sunday so my wife can do her thing....knowing that later (usually in the same week), I'll be afield. Be happy to be a father, even when it means staying home on an ideal hunting or fishing day.

2. Keep it safe. This should be on the top of everybody's list. No crazy risks.

3. Conduct hunts in the most stress-free ways possible. Plan well, execute well, have a backup plan.

4. Get to know my new hunt club and its members, and share significant time afield with them at the club. Try not to overextend myself by accepting invitations to hunt on other members' property. Grow the relationships for benefit of future years.

5. Be more openly gracious to the property owners who allow me to hunt on their land.

6. Follow up on last year's successes hunting where/when the birds are (and the correct species), instead of wasting a morning on an accessible duck hole where no ducks are hanging around.

7. Evaluate my current (excessive) gear load, and be prepared to sell/donate some of it prior to the 2010-2011 season.


Downeast Duck Hunter said...

I went from going when and how long I wanted, to going quite a bit, to picking and choosing my times. If I travel to hunt, it has usually become an overnight trip and my local duck hunts are usually slated to be over by 9 a.m. It isn't just me though, my hunting buddies are all going through gfs (growing family syndrome). The only one I know who does more after kids is the Maine Outdoorsman.

On another note, when I moved back home I all but lost out on freshwater fishing but now my oldest (she's 5) likes chasing trout and bass.

We joke about massaging hunting plans by our wives, but we're fortunate to have quite supportive gals in our world.

spotted face said...

The outdoor activities really slowed down after I started having kids (4), but we always find a way to get it done. They may not be as frequent, but they sure can be quality, and your goals will drive you in that direction.

Don't give up on either front! Just get used to less sleep.

Kirk Mantay said...

4 kids!!! Even without kids, I started moving in the direction of "quality" as I learned more and more about "doing it right" and all of the effort & planning required to "do it right."

So if it's all the same, I'd rather cancel two days of "doing it right" except for 80 degree sunny days in duck season, or "almost doing it right" except for the fact that I've heard that all the ducks have flown out of our area, but I'm hunting anyway.

Rather save my time, and "make it happen". But you're both right - it's quite a switch from my attitude of 5 and 10 years ago, which was "you'll never know unless you go." Because sometimes, you kinda do know before you go!

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