Happy birthday, Mom! I won’t take you hunting.

Happy birthday to my mom today! As far as I can tell, she’s 37 years old, but she doesn’t look a day over 25.

If I had the ability to head up to Riverton today, I’d take my mom out for a fantastic birthday adventure. We’d start with a duck hunt down on the Wind River, where a few hot springs keep the water open, even when the air temperature is 20 below. We probably wouldn’t be able to expect a full limit, but we’d be sure to have a good morning of pass shooting.

After that, we’d grab some white sheets and the rabbit in distress calls and wander out to a ranch where we could hunt coyotes. We’d wedge ourselves deep into a snowdrift and turn our faces into the wind, then sit patiently, waiting for some ‘yotes to come to the call.

In the afternoon, we’d head out to my parents’ field and take a crack at some crows. The crow population has come down from where it was a few years ago, but there are still plenty of ‘em up around Riverton.

Finally, we’d use the last of the daylight to try to get some geese. Last time I talked to Dad, he said the geese were really starting to show up around his place. I think it’d be great to call in a few for Mom.

Oh, wait. All that stuff involves cold, snow and shooting stuff. My mom’s not against any of that, but she’s not usually very excited about actively participating in any of it. She’d much rather curl up on a warm couch with a good book and a steaming cup of hot chocolate than huddle in a frigid blind with a Thermos filled with tepid coffee.

If I could have made it up to Riverton today, though, I probably still could have done all that. Mom has always been great at letting me chase my outdoor dreams. In fact, if I got Dad to go with me, she’d love the peace and quiet. All she’d ask in return would be that we take her out to a nice dinner.

Happy birthday, Mom. I wish I could be there to take you to that dinner.

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