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. I may never get my old football physique back, but I hope to be able to go on an elk hunt without feeling like I’m going to keel over at any moment. And I’ll have fun doing it.
The first step is to walk at least five miles a week. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing. 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. If I’m feeling pretty good, I’ll ask the owner to release the birds as far apart as possible.
By April, 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 days and nights in the woods, as well as everything my boys’ll want. I’m sure they won’t be carrying their own weight. In fact, I’ll probably wind up hauling one or both of the kids on various legs of the journey.
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 fun to keep.