10 New Year’s Resolutions for the Hunter/Angler/Outdoorsman
Randall Bonner 01.01.18
With the 2018 New Year comes a vehicle for change and renewal. As hunters and anglers, we are used to adapting to our surroundings and conditions to improve our success. There’s always room for improvement, and here are 10 resolutions to ponder and promise to ourselves to become better stewards for the outdoors.
1. Become an advocate for public land.
Join organizations such as Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. Call or write your elected representatives to preserve access to public lands and national parks. Get involved and network with other public land advocates to work toward common goals.
2. Clean up the mess others leave behind.
Take the time during each outing to not only leave areas as you found them, but to improve their existing conditions. Picking up after yourself isn’t enough. Take a few pieces of garbage with you from the beach, river, or the woods and dispose of them properly.
3. Study hard.
After realizing I have only read a couple instructional books this year, I felt compelled to stock up on some more in depth story telling and adventure oriented selections. I’ve wanted to dive into Aldo Leopold’s writing for a long time now, and was super excited to find A Sand County Almanac without any trouble at all. #breakingamentalsweat #literature #conservation #aldoleopold #ernesthemingway #stevenrinella #backcountryhuntersandanglers #yougottimetotakeashityougottimetoreadabook
Do your homework. Put in the time and effort to learn more about animal behavior patterns, new areas, changes in landscape, regulations, and new techniques or gear to improve your success. Don’t just read a few articles online, but go to the library and check out a few books on different subjects that are pertinent to your outdoor experience.
4. Take up a new hobby.
Been asked a few times today my choice for a lady’s carry weapon. I got Miss Lee a S&W 642 Airweight. It is a hammerless, easy to shoot & carry pistol. Just remember having a gun is a huge responsibility, make it a habit to visit your shooting range and shoot at least once a month if not more. Being familiar with your weapon is most important. BDL
If you’re a target shooter, take up hunting. If you shoot a rifle, take up archery. If you fish with a baitcaster, try out a fly rod. You don’t have to be an expert at everything, but diversifying your portfolio will prevent you from becoming limited to enjoying only a small facet of one particular activity that can be done in more ways than one.
5. Bring a friend.
Introduce someone to an outdoor activity that you love. Share the joy that it brings you with someone else, as well as your knowledge. Pass your wisdom on to someone younger. Experience the rewards of being a mentor.
6. Document your experiences.
Leave more footprints, take more pictures. Sure, you can share them on Instagram, but make it a point to take some photos worthy of printing and framing. Compile some of your video clips into a short film. Write about it in a blog or a journal. If you really want to get creative, capture some of your favorite scenes and memories by turning them into works of art.
7. Make more time for the outdoors.
Whether you need to re-arrange your schedule, or simply commit to staying motivated to devote a little time after work to get outside, rain or shine, make it happen.
8. Get more exercise.
My first day #hunting #elk began with walking a couple hundred yards, stumbling on a herd in the fog, and posing the question “Is it even legal shooting time yet?” I passed up a spike in the crosshairs that only gave me a split second to decide. It was mixed with some cows and I couldn’t get a clean shot. I have no regrets about passing on the shot, and learned a lot from getting after them the rest of the season. I saw some great views and got in some exercise, walking well over 30 miles of brush and steep ridges. Thanks to everyone that offered guidance, help, and advice. I’ll be better prepared next season. #NoRegrets #Outdoors #RainOrShine #GoodOlOregon #RMEF #WalkAbout #OutdoorHub
Sure, this is a bit of a cliche New Year’s Resolution, but there are plenty of ways to apply it to your existing outdoor activities. Walk a little farther down the riverbank. Use your oars instead of your electric motor. Pack a lunch and track your animals a little longer on your hunts. Push yourself to the limit, and then go just a little bit further.
9. Reflect on your own behavior and improve your ethical standards.
You don’t have to open a self-help book for this one, just take a moment to reflect on mistakes you’ve made or things you regret from the past year, then make a promise to yourself not to repeat them. Did you lose an animal? Did you mishandle a fish you intended to release? Did you throw out freezer-burned meat because you harvested more than you could eat? How can you prevent yourself from making the same mistakes this year?
10. Waste less, enjoy more.
Honey Sriracha duck legs. They’re as good as they look! I did these with mallard and pintail legs, but store-bought would work fine, too. Easy to make, and a great use for duck or goose legs! Recipe? It’s in the link in my bio. #duckduckgoose #ducklegs #wastenothing #thingsthatusedtofly #helltotheyeah #hunteranglergardenercook
Instead of breasting out your ducks and geese, then tossing the rest in the trash, check out some of Hank Shaw’s recipes for legs and wings. Save the livers for making ravioli. Use the caulfat from your big game to make crepinettes. The possibilities are endless, explore new culinary territory and expand your palate.