Changing tune

There are a lot of things I did as a teenager that I’m not all-too proud of. And while the statute of limitations has surely run its course on all of those things, I’m still not prepared to share any of them here!

Conversely, I couldn’t be more proud of the awesome times I spent with many of my high school pals chasing wildlife around the Southern Tier of New York State. Those days are top of mind to me right now, mostly because one of my closest hunting partners has given up hunting. He’s actually gone a bit further than that. He publicly chastises hunting (particularly for sport).

High school hunting buddy, Jeff Mattison, and me after a day of duck hunting and chasing "doodles"... Jeff is still a hunter! Notice the gun rack in the '78 Chevy.

This is a friend who I’ve shared duck blinds with, walked acres of poplar woods and driven mature hardwoods for deer on countless occasions! I would like to think that as we grow older, we also expand our knowledge base. That said, my affinity for the outdoors and, moreover, my belief that sportsmen are the foundation of conservation has never been stronger.

You’ll notice the very famous quote from Teddy Roosevelt on the left column of this blog. Many historical quotes by famous dignitaries become outdated. This is one that couldn’t be more relevant in 2010 as it was the day Roosevelt said it more than a century ago.

More high school hunting buddies after limiting on geese. This photo ran in our hometown paper, even though we missed the first morning of school during early goose season!

I invite you to read it … and then share it.

Without question, I still consider the ol’ hunting buddy a friend. It doesn’t bother me that his views on hunting – and probably many other things we enjoyed as teenagers – has changed. Heck, mine have too. But those times afield were some of the most fun times I had as a kid. I know they were for him too. Hopefully, those are not moments he’s ashamed of.

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