I’m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions

It’s a brand new year. A time for fresh starts and clean slates. And it’s time I start doing something to make myself a better hunter.

I quit making new year’s resolutions a long time ago. Then I got fat and out of shape, I stopped getting out in the field as much as I did before, and my aim with my rifle, bow and shotgun went out the window. So this year, I’ve decided to get back into the resolution game. But instead of setting goals that are no fun to get to, I’ll actually enjoy the process.

I’m only making one resolution, but it’ll take several steps. The resolution is to get in shape so I can go on an elk hunt without feeling like I’m going to keel over at any moment.

The first step is to walk at least five miles a week. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing, and I’m trying to get over a bad case of plantar fasciitis. That complicates things, but I’ll need to get my feet healthy before hunting season, too, so I have to do this right. I’ll spend whatever time I can in January and February tramping around the prairies and the foothills with a .22 in my hands, looking for rabbits. The added benefit is that rabbit is good, lean meat, so I’ll eat well, too.

When the opportunities arise, I’ll change it up by grabbing the 12-gauge and buying pheasants at bird farms.

By April, hopefully my foot will be back to 100%, and I should be ready for more strenuous activity. I’ll get my turkey license and go out after a gobbler. If my previous experiences with turkey hunting are any indication, I’ll spend an entire month running from ridge to ridge, trying in vain to cut the birds off at the pass.

When it gets warm in the high country, I’ll add some weight to my workout. I’ll strap on the backpack with all the gear I’ll need for a few nights in the woods.

By the time fall comes around, I should be a lean, mean hunting machine. I won’t be running any 4-4 forties, but I should be able to hike a few miles. If I stick to the plan, this is one resolution that should actually be fun to keep.