It’s that time of year again when we take time to reflect on the year that has passed and anticipate the new year. And 2020 is the beginning of a new decade, and therefore it takes on a special meaning. Not only am I looking back over the past year, but also back over the last decade. And I ask: What can I do in the next decade to make a difference in the things that matter most to me?
The next generation
My family is the centerpiece of my life, and I strive to be my best for every member of this precious tribe. We welcomed a new grandson, Boden, to our family this past September, who joins our sweet and precious granddaughters, Gibbes, Caroline, and Elinor, ages 9, 6, and 3, respectively. My desire is to help as much as possible to promote wildlife conservation, so that future generations can enjoy all the outdoor activities that are available in our beautiful country.
The year 2019 also came with lessons learned. We pledged not to climb household ladders without the assistance of another person after my hubby took a fall in August, resulting in seven serious fractures. Not a day goes by without our gratitude that his injuries were not life-threatening, and his healing is going well! It was also another reminder that climbing into and out of tree standsneeds to be done with the utmost care as well!
That’s why they call it hunting
There were indeed some highs and lows this past year, and I remind myself that it is not always about success. It is about the experiences I have had doing what I love to do: hunting and fishing! Hunts for quail, turkeys, ducks, whitetails, coyotes, hogs, and bobcats—as well as fishing—brought smiles and tears of gratitude that I was able to provide food for my family as well as help with predator control. There were also some tears when I crushed my thumb in the truck door during an early morning turkey hunt in March. I didn’t utter a sound, and it did not disrupt my determination to continue the hunt. Making matters worse, I shot a turkey that flopped over but managed to make it to a thicket of briers. Not a good day for me, but hunting is never easy and successes and failures are part of the experience.
Why I blog, and why it matters
The most significant measure of my success has nothing to do with my own hunting. What matters most to me is this: Did I make a positive influence in spreading the values of hunting? Was I able to reach more people about the importance of protecting our gun rights? After all, that is why I started my blog, Camo365.com. Did you know that I committed to wearing something camo for 365 days straight to bring attention to the importance of our Second Amendment? It was fun and challenging, but most of all, it was a conversation starter.
In September, I will celebrate five years of promoting hunting, fishing and shooting sports through my blog and freelance writings. I am so grateful for the positive feedback I receive from hunters and nonhunters alike. I am proud to be at the forefront of the conversation regarding the importance of our gun rights and to be able to promote our hunting traditions and encourage others to speak up and show support. I encourage others to come out of the shadows and show off their hunting photos. Trust me, there are more people who support hunting than people who do not.
We need your help! Hunters spend millions of dollars every year on licenses, tags, gear, and memberships in organizations that support conservation. The outdoors is for everyone to enjoy, not just hunters. I can’t imagine what would happen to conservation measures without our hunting and fishing communities! If you love nature and being outdoors, you can help with conservation regardless of whether or not you hunt or fish.
I am very proud to be supporting many outdoor organizations that strive to promote a healthy habitat for all wildlife. The Quality Deer Management Association, The National Wild Turkey Federation, the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, and the Coastal Conservation Association are just a few groups that I support each year. How can you help this cause? You can donate your time or money to organizations that promote conservation. You can attend local conservation banquets, where you’ll enjoy great food and chances to win amazing prizes, all while helping to promote these essential organizations.
Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous 2020! In the coming decade, I plan to make a positive impact on wildlife conservation for future generations. I truly appreciate all my subscribers and followers, and I look forward to bringing you more stories about hunting and fishing adventures! I would be so appreciative if you would share my blog (https://www.camo365.com) with your family and friends!
Written for Waccamaw Outdoor Magazine, January, 2020 Issue