This weekend, the penultimate of the general big game season, I find myself in a familiar and reflective state of mind. It’s the weekend of the “Brawl of the Wild,” state high school football championships on all levels, and of course, in a few days we celebrate our Thanksgiving Day.
With Thanksgiving Day in mind, some gratitude on my part; the Giants are once again baseball’s champions, the election is over, bitter cold weather has not yet arrived, and next fall, the Grizzlies will be stronger and more competitive. My family is healthy, happy, and safe, and I am still alive and kicking in my beloved Montana.
As we enter the last week of the general hunting season I’m pleased to see so many youngsters plying their skills in Montana’s outdoors. Many posts on montanaoutdoor.com show the smiles, even the great big grins of our young hunters. It has truly been a pleasure to see so many happy faces, filled with the joy that comes with the hard work of the hunt. For those who at the end of the season have unfilled tags, well, there’s always next year. Work harder; be more ready, you will succeed. Sadly, this year we have also seen way too many poaching incidents. I urge everyone to please remember that the perpetrators of these acts are criminals, not hunters, and it is up to each of us to help stop them.
Personally, my hunting season has had some mixed results. I found that the mountain grouse populations were in really great shape in western Montana and I did my best to somewhat alter that situation. I have greatly enjoyed eating the fruits of my endeavors. Dusky (Blue) grouse are really yummy when accompanied with wild rice and a fresh tossed salad.
Unfortunately, my big game season has been cut short by an arthritic knee. At the direction of my personal physician, I’m taking it easy this big game season. While I don’t like it, I’m following doctor’s orders to “wait until they get closer to the road.”
So now, I guess it’s time to enjoy Thanksgiving, and maybe begin planning for next year’s fun. The Grizzlies will be back, trap tourneys will return, and maybe a new treatment for my aged knees will put some wary wapiti in jeopardy next fall.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone.
Be safe and good shooting.