A Wee Bit of Gratitude: Colonel Smoothbore Takes Inventory of What he’s Thankful for
By OutdoorAly

Posted: December 1, 2013

In this week before Thanksgiving, I’ve had a little more time than I usually do to contemplate what I should be and am grateful for. One the things I did this past week was to read last year’s Thanksgiving post. A few things have changed, mostly for the better, some are much the same, and some are in worse shape.

Staying the same; we still have too many criminal slobs poaching our wildlife. The grouse season, like last year, started out quite well. Big game harvests are now approaching average numbers. My niece Liza got her elk; that’s four in a row for the fifteen year old. The Grizzlies are back in the playoffs, but the Giants pitching failed them greatly in the last half of the season. Lastly, the inevitable gridlock and chaos following last year’s election is much, much worse than any of us could have imagined.

About a week ago, I underwent total knee replacement surgery; thus the extra down time. I guarantee that 12 months from now the wapiti will not only be wary, but in full fright as I will be able to competently stalk them again. I can’t hardly wait. This surgery is near the top of my “A wee bit grateful” item list. Some of the others are:


  • The doctors and nurses and all the staff at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula. The level of care and concern I received was wonderful. I found nothing “broken” or “needing reform” at St. Pat’s.
  • The men and women of FWP that work so hard to care for our resources, sometimes having to put their lives on the line.
  • The many students who attended my firearms and related classes this past year; you are terrific.


  • The Wendy’s portabella mushroom burger.


  • My family that I will share Thanksgiving with and those who won’t be there.
  • Aly and Angela, the online editors of montanaoutdoor.com. You’ve save my backside on many occasions, thanks.

Finally, to my wife Jean; I cannot possibly quantify how grateful I am to you for all that you have done and do for me. You have been here for me when I’m not a very pleasant person to be around. You have doted on me, making sure that I take the proper medications and in the proper dosages. Getting up 2 or 3 times a night, always smiling and cheerful, my dear you are very special and I can never repay you for making my life so enjoyable.  Thank you.

Be safe and good shooting.

Colonel Smoothbore



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