This morning I was listening to the radio and a broadcaster mentioned their sports wishes for 2013. While a huge sports fan, my brain immediately went in a different direction: outdoor wishes.
And here is my list:
1) to find myself lost at the Valentine NWR this spring, wading through cattails in search of bass and pike for at least one day with a pile of friends within shouting distance.
2) to squirrel hunt with my Ruger 10-22. Several years ago, I spent about a month after the deer season in Tennessee hunting squirrels in big timber next to a pine tree thicket, and have never had more fun in the woods. I’d like to capture that again.
3) to take my daughter Madeline straight from school to the lake, again and again. Last March, when our weather turned surprisingly warm surprisingly quick, Maddie and I were leaving her school and going straight to the water about 4 out of 5 days of the week. It was my fondest memory of 2012 and I’d like to repeat it again.
4) to introduce Eli to his first fish. He’ll be 1 year old in April, right about the time to spend his spring and summer on the water.
5) to try something new. This year it was coyote hunting with Chris Pokorny and his friends near Thedford. In past years it was vertical jigging for walleye and smallmouth bass fishing on the Missouri River. Trying something new is one of the neatest parts of my job. I’d like that to continue.
6) to live vicariously through my colleagues. This year we will have three new regional editors working for us: Julie Geiser, Justin Haag, and Jenny Nguyen. They’ll give the entire Commission more coverage throughout the entire state by being stationed in North Platte, Chadron, and Norfolk, respectively. And each time they send photos back to the Lincoln office from their travels, I’ll be like a kid in a candy store wanting to see what they’ve seen. Plus, I’ll still be able to do that with Eric Fowler’s work as well, always a treat for me.
7) to fish more afternoons. I love watching the sun go down when I’m fishing, to be in a john boat when the first mosquito bites after a successful day on the water.
8) to fish new water. No reason to elaborate.
9) to see a big buck while in the field. This fall I was in a conversation with Roger Kuhn, division administrator for the parks department at NGPC. He said something that has stuck with me all fall and winter: “I feel like I’m going to get one chance every year at a big buck while I’m hunting.” Whether or not a hunter ever makes a shot is past the point. It’s seeing that deer that keeps me going back. And this year, I never saw that buck even though I did see him over the last 4 years. So I’m hoping I have an opportunity again.
10) to hunt dove over wheat. I had the opportunity a few years back to hunt dove over a cut wheat field, and birds were there for several weeks into the season providing perfect jump-shooting. I’d love to do that again.
Now, send me a few of your wishes because if I keep thinking about this I could go on forever.