The 39-Year Old Pheasant Hunter Contemplates Growing Up

Last December, I turned 39, which means that I will move into a new demographic bubble at the end of 2013. As I get older, I find myself doing a lot more reflecting on things; hunts, dogs, relationships, and my own life’s legacy.

Case in point, in years prior I’d hunt one field and move along to the next tract of public ground on the map. I lived in the moment asking “what’s next?”

This year, however, I’d get to the end of the field and contemplate how I may have been able to more effectively put the pinch on an extra bird here or there. Or, how I appreciated the work of a beloved bird dog, the beauty of a rolling grassland or the deepness of a rooster’s colorful plumage. In other words, I’ve found myself living in the moment asking “what have I learned?”

The same contemplative trend has greeted me in the New Year as I reflect on my hunting adventures of the past and future. While I’ve never been one to endeavor for a lifestyle filled with “resolutions,” I’ve come to recognize the invincibility approach of my younger days is impractical. I’ve found the compelling need to address my personal goals defining my own version of the meaning of life.

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