I have since moved back to Tennessee and have switched focus from whitetails to the beginnings of the growing season, turkeys, and the rod and reel. For turkeys, the goal is simple. I have never taken a bird and am committed to success this March and April. This is all dependent on the strength of my interest in a month, but that is the idea for now.
A more concrete and immediate affair of interest is the beginning of the spring growing season. One of my goals is to increase my personal involvement with The Lady’s garden, of which I am already down a few points for missing the seed-buying trip. She knows more than me anyhow, so it will probably work out better that way. The CSA begins in May also, but the signups are now and that at the very least stokes some anticipation. The snow-dustings and soft morning frosts still remind me that it is February, but afternoons feel like they are stretching and waking up for spring.
The fun part is the full freezer in conjunction with the garden. Sam and I went back to the cooler the week after the season closed and spent a good three hours slicing and gathering venison to be processed. The results are firmly packed away Tetris style in three freezers. Taylor gets to eat all he can until I come get what I need. Hell of a deal for the both of us.
Bought some new fly gear. New rod and reel, we’ll see if I need money or gear in the coming months. I’m leaning toward keeping it. Logic says that I’ll get to make money for the rest of my life, and there is a finite amount of fly rods in the world. It would be a shame to let any of them slip out of my grasp. There is a little part in every fly-man that truly believes that whoever dies with the most rods wins. I can’t help it.
February is usually the doldrums for the hunter/gatherer. Clay got a new bird dog, and hopefully he gets to hunt over him in the final two weeks of quail season in Alabama. Its a beautiful dog with a strong name. I think that most have a certain affinity for hunting dogs. Strange how the relationship changes a bit when utility is added to the equation, but I can't help but look forward to August and doves thinking about how I don't have to run after those damn birds any more. There is nothing more ridiculous that an grown man hurdling sage and stick with shotgun pointed straight in the air in search of downed fowl. I'm a lanky six foot three and am quite worthless in this capacity, but I will retrieve to hand and I don't eat my own turds. Its all about perspective I suppose.
In the meantime, I think I'll write some, learn to tie some new fly patterns, and enjoy tobacco that actually tastes like tobacco. Cheap beer, venison steaks, cold hands, and not being stressed about not being in the woods. It isn't all poetic, but I thought this picture was great, even though it is plain. I have some friends who are incredible photographers, and I would love to make some trips with them and hopefully show off some of their work. Thinking about learning more about bird watching, would love to know where to start. That’s your queue, many thanks.