Thanking the people who make your hunting season happen
By: Justin Hunold
In a day where we are constantly looking for content to fill our brains and spare moments of boredom with information and entertainment I wanted to take a second and step away from that. This will come out on 12/23/22 or the day before Christmas Eve. I just wanted to take a second to say Thank You for joining us, and also to remind you to take a second and reach out to maybe some folks you might forget to call or text “Happy Holidays” or ask how their Christmas was, cause you see them a lot. Your hunting friends and family.
Well, first let’s start off at home. This time of year is a great time to just take a second, look at your spouse and tell them how much you appreciate them holding it down for the past few months. They pick up the slack while you’re out there chasing bucks, ducks, bulls, bears and geese. Take a second and let them know how much you appreciate it. Acknowledgement goes a long way.
While you’re at it, if your parents and siblings are in your life, thank them too. You put off their parties, holidays and used vacation to get out into the field instead of spending it with them. Again, a tip of the hat and a heartfelt thank you means more than a gift card. A lot of the time just validating the fact that they understand how important hunting is to you is a way to show them that same love in return.
Let’s not forget those land owners. Drop off some cookies, meat or something you know might actually help them. I kinda treat this like I treat my friends who have kids or just got married. I give them a gift card and in the card I put it in I direct them to do something fun and frivolous with it. They either let you or choose you to hunt their land. It’s not an obligation to do something for them, but I would think that most people want to.
Now we are into the tough ones, Your hunting buddies and your dog. Which are basically one in the same. They both care about you, they are normally loyal, there for the trials and tests of hunting season, and there for the celebrations and stories from all that hard work. So, let them know that you appreciate them.
Your dog is not going to associate the holiday spirit and treats, pets, love or any other pampering. They are smart but not capable of that thought. What they can process is that you’re the center of their world and their reason for being. Maybe get them a few extra treats for Christmas and give them options on what to play with. Also, schedule up a postseason Vet check, just because you don’t see anything wrong doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get looked at. Throw a rod on your truck, changing the oil won’t help after. I know that the vet can be tough for dogs, and hard for owners, but that hesitancy is your emotion, not necessarily about making your pal feel good. Better to catch a foreign body from some green briars that could potentially turn into an abscess, or even a weird infection from the muck and the mud. Get them in, out and some more treats, pets and play.
Your hunting buddies, man there is a lot to unpack here. We as tough dudes and chicks can really struggle to put into words what our hunting partners mean to us. I think it’s important to let them know the best we can. So, there are two routes you can go and here they are.
Route one, this is my go to, tell them flat out. I will normally try to let my hunting buddies know how much fun I had on a trip, in camp or on a hunt and that I was happy to spend the time with them specifically. I often try to tell them why they are a good hunting partner and how much I appreciate our friendship. One of my favorite movies is Tombstone. There is a scene, after the Curly Bill shootout in the river, when Turkey Creek Jack Johnson asks Doc Holiday why he’s out riding with Wyatt. Doc answers, ”Wyatt Earp is my friend” . To which Creek answers “Hell, I got lots of friends” and Holiday says “I don’t”. This tends to be my philosophy in letting people know. I don’t have a lot of friends so they’ll know they are important for sure.
Route two, for you tough asses. I have multiple hunting partners who will not reciprocate these complex thoughts and emotions. It’s hard and isn’t in everyone’s nature. So, I often think about it like this. In that very same movie when Wyatt and the Immortals split up and the same Turkey Creek looks at Wyatt and says “ I ain’t got the words”. The feeling is conveyed through his lack of ability to express it. This actually seems to be the underpinning to most of the relationships we have based around hunting. They are there with you before sunrise to after sunset. Lost key, lost gear, lost animals. Success and failure, bad or good mood. All of those actions speak louder than words. So maybe less, is indeed more. Maybe on Christmas day just reach out, tell them that you thank their spouse and kids for letting them get away and that you’re looking forward to the next time you guys get out.
Sometimes it is just the little things. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and best of luck in the New Year. And thanks for taking the time to visit with us. We appreciate you all.