Fishing continues to take a back seat to rodeo

I’ve said before that I married into the cowboy lifestyle. It’s hard to avoid getting sucked into it when your wife’s a barrel racer.

I’ve written columns and posted blog entries about being married to a barrel racer, and how all that rodeoing cuts into my hunting and fishing time. Even when we’re not out on the rodeo trail, it’s hard to find time to fill my hunting licenses. There’s always hay to haul, fences to mend, horses to shoe, and stalls to shovel out.

But lately, I can’t even blame it all on my wife. I’ve been hitting the rodeo trail on my own. Not to ride – I think I’m getting a little long in the tooth for that, especially when my event of choice is bulldogging. I know a few steer wrestlers my age, but most of them walk with a permanent limp. I’m not sure I’m that committed to it.

No, instead of jumping off of horses running 35 miles an hour, I stand at the other end of the arena and take photos of the successful runs – or the wrecks, depending on how it all turns out. A couple of years ago, I began the process of trying to get my PRCA photographer’s card, and that goal is only one step from a reality.

I got my PRCA permit earlier this year. That meant I had to shoot five full rodeos, getting at least one good photo of every run from each of them. I’ve turned in the photos from those rodeos, and now I’m just waiting to find out if the judges like my work. I’m excited to get my full-fledged PRCA card, but I’m a little worried about how it’ll affect my outdoor activities.

The plan is to use it as an excuse to get outside, too. I could take off for rodeos a day early and get photos of the outdoors on the way to and from the rodeos (and of course, do some fishing while I’m out). And since the rodeo season slows down in the fall, maybe I’ll still get to do some hunting. That’s the idea, anyway. I’ll let you know how it all pans out.