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What brings you the most joy?


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I don’t have children so very jealous of those who hunt with theirs. I bet that’s the greatest. 
 

for me- a steady dog. Whether on point shaking with excitement/pride or a retrieve when they launch themselves into the water. All about bird dogs for me. 
 

The surprise of a wild flush pheasant or cupped mallard wings are up there 

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it's all good, the great outdoors has been with me my entire life.  My Italian grandfather was one of 14, all the men hunted and fished.  One of his brother's was Gyp - of the famouse Gyp's tavern near Stokes.   It's in my blood.   Grew up small game hunting and catching trout and bass with my dad or grandfather.  Deer hunting by age 10 was strictly a gang thing and frankly - not fun at all just remember guys drinking too much to be carrying guns and never seeing this mythical "buck" although they somehow got some.      My dad and I had our best times in my teen years with our beagles and GSP - god we had so much fun pheasant and woodcock hunting, and depending on the beagle got some rabbits too.    When I picked up the bow at age 20, it was most liberating experience of my life.  I got a young 6 point that first fall in late november after many misses, and I was hooked.    I don't think ANYTHING will ever replace seeing a very slow probably un-tuned arrow hit deer in heart and watch it walk off 5 steps and fall over. I was hooked!    Later on I payed it forward and got my dad into it, and even he realized "this is SOOOO much better than hunting with a bunch of a-holes".     While he never shot any big bucks with the bow, every one was a trophy to him and he got plenty with bow and x-bow when his shoulders finally gave.       Then there is the fishing... He got me into it, I always had that drive to take whatever he or my grandfather taught me to the next level (or 10 levels more likely) and continued to pay it forward weather it was live-lining brown trout in lakes or shad fishing.      To me - just being outdoors with a rod or a bow or a gun in my hand is the ultimate joy, and even when I am on a hike and none of that is happening - well that's not too bad either but always enjoy it more when IN PURSUIT of something!  

This pic here, is my favorite outdoor memory, which is probably the last time I ever got my dad (RIP) up in a tree...  On my property, that I carefully selected for it's hunting value (while my wife, god rest her soul - was looking at the kitchen potential and bedrooms).    One of his better bucks ever - made a 70 yard running shot with my HR 20ga, with a gun he never shot before in his life.   He wanted buckshot but I said "NO - you are using this".    I no sooner got up in tree 1/2 mile away with my bow and hear him shoot...  2012, 6-day opener. 

 

 

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