To most people hunting is all about booze and occasionally suiting up to shoot a deer, if one can even see straight. Being a recovering drunk (my hunting buddy is recovering as well), our hunting camp is mainly work with little time for sitting around. We work pretty hard, whether hauling bait out to the blinds, tending to firewood or cooking/doing dishes – with the exception of an hour during the afternoon and then finally, after the evening hunt and dinner is cooked we sit down to eat and watch a movie on my laptop.
We camp well.
The other day I was hiking a bag of sugar beets (they’re hammering the sugar beets this year, not so much the carrots) to my blind, a mile out… I think each bag weighs 40 or 50 pounds and we just throw one over our shoulder and start walking. Twelve or Thirteen minutes later, we’re splitting it up and storing the rest for later use. Then we head back to make up lunch. In addition, we hike out there twice more each day just to hunt, when we’re carrying loaded backpacks and our bows. Six or eight miles a day, over hills, down valleys.
It struck me yesterday as I was hiking back to camp that I am eternally grateful for being able to do what I do. I see people struggling to waddle from the handicapped parking spot to the front door at a grocery store, let alone hike six miles through the woods. Not just for having ten fingers and ten toes connected to two hands and two arms, but for actually taking the time and making the effort to stay fit and eat right.
But for a few different choices in life and I’d be just as bad off as those who are relegated to handicapped parking spaces and that constant waddle.