Driftless Trout Anglers

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stan b  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, December 27, 2017 6:18:31 PM(UTC)
stan b
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As I age (you all hear me whine about this) I find my values readjusting quickly.
One example of this is my understanding of what I participate in outdoor sports for now.
Like Aldo Leopold said ;
"So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory."
It took a while to get that……….I believe I am there.
I’ve always been an in the moment guy, but now more so than ever.
I always taught the players I coached “yesterday is gone and by definition tomorrow NEVER happens.
There is only today, NOW!”

So on Christmas Eve I went on a hunt at my favorite place on earth, The Highlands!
My wife, Elvis and me were fortunate to have a young couple and their fine young pup join us.
And things started a little chaotic and nervous and exciting but settled nicely.
We hunted, saw some beautiful property, got some great exercise and sort of watched the old timer share some wisdom with the young pup.
It was a thing to behold!
One moment to remember was watching the old timer and the pup chasing a low flushed rooster and watching the old man staying with the pup stride for stride.
You know the saying, “he ain’t as good as he once was……”

All of this happening in a snow globe type setting.
No wind, gentle snow fall, light covering on the ground.
Picture perfect.

Then it happened.
The moment I was there for.

My young friend and his young dog were on a bird.
His dog was birdy as hell and you could sense what was about to happen.
I stopped, stayed to the side and watched.
Mack (my friends young pup) became more intense by the second, his tail was working hard, he was takin care of bizness!
My friend crept closer and you could see the excitement and enthusiasm in his body language!!!!!
This was their moment!

Finally, an explosion of noise, color and the excitement of a flushing, cackling rooster pheasant!
1 shot, 1 bird down, 1 dog, 1 retrieve to hand!
It made me realize that we aren’t necessarily there to kill game, but to share a moment in time, to share the soul, to share the spirit of the moment!
This made my heart feel warm on this 16 degree day.
The final piece was when I looked to my side, Elvis was at heel, watching……passing the torch if you will to these new young up and comers!
You may find that hard to believe for a dog that at 10 years old still doesn’t know what sit means, but it happened!
It's as though Elvis was thinking "You learned well young friend, carry on!"

I am not as good with words as some writers, but I know what I felt writing this and watching it, if any of you got even a small portion of that feeling I’m happy!

"What was BIG was the chance, the being there!"

This was my Christmas Hi~Lite!!

Edited by user Wednesday, December 27, 2017 11:47:17 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

"So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold
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WI-fly on 12/29/2017(UTC)
vmthtr in Green Bay  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, December 27, 2017 11:08:27 PM(UTC)
vmthtr in Green Bay
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Very Nice, glad you shared it
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stan b on 12/29/2017(UTC)
#3 Posted : Thursday, December 28, 2017 3:18:14 PM(UTC)
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I'm glad someone's had the courage to get out in the cold and chase pheasants. I'm trying to work up the cojones to do it tomorrow.

Sounds as if you had a great hunt. It's always fun to see a dog develop practically in front of your eyes.
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stan b on 12/29/2017(UTC)
#4 Posted : Friday, December 29, 2017 1:33:49 AM(UTC)
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Great story Stan. Thanks for taking the time to share it.

As I was driving through South Dakota earlier this week, I went by many of my favorite pheasant hunting spots from many years ago. One of these years, I'll go do it again.
Curt Rees
Coulee Region Trout Unlimited
Catch fish, have a good time, protect the resource.
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stan b on 12/29/2017(UTC)
#5 Posted : Tuesday, January 2, 2018 5:33:05 PM(UTC)
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Great observation on your part. Thank you for recognizing it and for sharing such a wonderful experience with us!
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stan b on 1/2/2018(UTC)
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