It’s my birthday, and I’ll shoot if I want to

I don’t take for granted that my birthday often falls on a holiday. I know I’m lucky, so I do my best to make the most of it every year.

I like to joke that much of Wyoming gets this day off because it’s my birthday, but that’s a bit disrespectful to the real reason for Equality Day. We get this day off because Martin Luther King, Jr., sacrificed everything but his dedication to the idea that every human deserves to be treated equally. He did this at a time when having that opinion could be dangerous.

In fact, it cost Rev. King his life. But the work he did to advance civil rights for all has endured, and we’ve made a lot of progress. We still have work to do, but we’ve come a long way.

On a lighter note, it’s now a state holiday. And due to a stroke of good fortune, it coincides with my birthday. Some years I end up having to work on my birthday, but it often falls on the weekend or on Equality Day. When that happens, I try not to waste it.

For the last couple of decades, the waterfowl season has extended into January, so some years I’ve been able to commemorate another trip around the sun by sitting in a goose blind in sub-zero temperatures. When my boys were little, I liked to spend the day chasing cottontails across the plains. When the kids got a little older and were able to endure the cold a little better, we had a few Equality Day coyote hunts.

This year, I’m going to be a little more laid back. Hunting on my birthday is great, but I’ve gotten to the age where sleeping in is a wonderful thing. So instead of getting up at oh-dark-thirty, I’m sleeping in today. When I do eventually get up, I’m just going to head out to the range and spend a leisurely day shooting.

And because it’s my birthday, I’ll wait to clean all the guns until tomorrow.