All my life I have, as have millions of others have, hunted things. Be it animals or pictures or items, hunting is ingrained in my soul. I have hunted with my eyes, numerous cameras, rifles, shotguns, bows, crossbows, fishing poles, traps, and cages, you name it and I have probably tried it. The degree of success depends on what you think the outcome should be. There are times when I could walk out my door and trip over something I wanted to hunt, and there have been times that entire seasons have gone by without me getting any game at all. Both to me are victories as I get to participate in a sport/hobby/lifestyle that I love. I have written a few times about being out in the wilds and finding my “peace”, and sometimes it applies when I’m hunting, not always though, as it’s a different mentality to me.
There’s not a lot of danger hunting where I do, yes there are some bear at times, and wild boar, and even a white tailed deer can mess you up if you get it cornered and are careless. But for the most part it’s accidents, the occasional snake or your own clumsiness that will be your undoing. There are ways to make it challenging and even the playing field a bit. The object of hunting is to take game to consume (for me anyways I DO NOT trophy hunt, you can’t eat horns) and to do so in a humane fashion. Granted I could shoot an animal from 500 yards away with today’s modern rifles, but in my humble opinion, this is not hunting in the true sense, it’s more sport shooting. I have NOTHING against this way, it’s just not hunting to me. I prefer the close combat hunting where I pit my stealth, woods knowledge and skill against an animal that lives there, where it knows all the paths and ways. Out foxing a wild animal at close range in its “home” to me is the definition of hunting. Slipping up on a sounder of wild boar within 20,15, 10 yards armed with a bow or crossbow or even a handgun, is thrilling and scary as all get out, especially if all you’re doing is taking photographs and the “weapon” you have is not really adequate to stop a determined charge of a boar or momma sow with piglets. My point in this being, given the right circumstance even modern hunting can be challenging and dangerous. I can describe things like this and people might get it, here wait, come along on a hunt with me and see…
Quietly closing the truck door in the darkness after getting all my gear out and on, I look up and listen to the night sounds. 05:30 am, still at least 2 hours before first light, may have gotten here a bit early today, but it is the first day of the season. Silently slipping into my back-pack and then cocking the crossbow I get set, and take a few quiet moments to look up at the sky full of millions upon billions of stars and thank God for another day. Some days you just feel “it”, there’s something here not quite right today, but you shake it off and begin to make your way to the ground blind that Peach and I set up a few weeks ago, this will be the first stopping point until it gets bright enough to see to legally hunt. Moving slowly along the trail, listening to try and make sure I don’t spook any early morning game on the way to the blind. Hearing the softest sound of a footfall in the palmettos and briars to the side of the trail and immediately freezing, to try and determine what it could be. It’s pitch black, I truly wish there was a better description of the kind of dark it gets in the deep woods before dawn, an inky blackness that blocks all light, it’s like swimming in black paint at times. At times like this it’s the other senses that I trust, closing my eyes I listen, and try to catch a whiff of any scents (animals do have distinct smells and we can sometimes pick up on them) that may be drifting on the almost non existent wind currents. Time slowly ticks past, and here and there the errant mosquito buzzes around and still I stand perfectly still like an old oak tree with its roots firmly sunk in the rich earth. There is a feeling something is there but no sound, no movement, no smell to give it away, so I wait. Slowly the feeling subsides and the night creatures go back to making their soft noises, and I, even though I cannot shake the feeling that I’m being watched, move on down the trail towards the blind. Finally I reach the blind and settle in one of the two camp chairs slowly relaxing and waiting on the first signs of daylight.
Waiting in the blind, listening to the world wake slowly, the feeling is still there, muted, subdued but still there, the feeling of watchfulness. The first hints of daylight start showing through and yet I still wait, not time to move yet, cannot legally hunt. Slowly things start to take shape in the graying light and something moves across the trail I just walked 25-30 yards away, low but moving like silk undulating in the wind without making a sound. What was that? No idea, but it was quick! Silently putting my back-pack on again and picking up my crossbow I emerge from the blind. Put a bolt (crossbow arrow) on the crossbow and stand still preparing to begin my hunting.
Today I’m “still hunting” which unlike its name, involves moving. Taking two preplanned steps I settle and look, slowly all the way around me, starting close up and moving my eyes in ever widening arcs over the terrain. It never ceases to amaze me how animals can be standing right in front of me and I don’t even see them until I make a mistake and get too close or move when I shouldn’t and they bolt. Still hunting brings into play all the senses and skills learned.
Ever so slowly I move in the same pattern, 2 steps, stop, look slowly around me. In this fashion I take a great deal of time to go anywhere. The sun still hasn’t breached the horizon, so the world is a gray pallet and distant things blend into the background. Making it to the fork in the trail I have to decide to either go into the deeper woods or stay along the edge. Today I enter the trail that will eventually take me past a ladder stand and into the woods deeper eventually running into the creek and swamp parts. Slipping deeper into the woods I stop by the ladder stand and just wait, watching an open area where game travels at times, partially due to its location near wild persimmon trees. Squirrels hop about gathering the abundant acorns and chasing each other and I slip quietly on. The sun finally erupts over the horizon behind the trees in a burst of color like blood and orange all across the sky behind the trees lighting the woods. Carefully I move trying not to be noticed by the animals seen and unseen that I know are here as I can see and “feel” them. Freezing mid step I see a flicker of movement ahead, and try to determine what it is. Bird? Or maybe it’s the tail of a feeding white tailed deer. It’s a deer! Walking away it hasn’t noticed me, not in a position to shoot either, walking away, to much growth between us and farther than I like. Winds ok, blowing to me off my right front so it won’t smell me, so I ever so slowly, like the decay of time, inch forward on the trail behind it trying to stay where I can keep it in sight. It’s amazing how they can brush past bushes but make no sound, if I could do that I’d be the most efficient hunter in the world. Despite my trying to, I’m unable to keep the deer in sight and be quiet, so it fades off into the trail ahead, not spooked that I can tell, just feeding along. I slip along, hoping to catch a glimpse but never do again. Breaking through to the edge of the creek line the woods are darker but the undergrowth much thinner, making visibility better but not as much as one would think. Slinking along in the same fashion I make my way through the woods cautiously, stopping every 2 steps just as before.
I stop and watch a raccoon family tromp past and cross the creek 15 yards to my right, never noticing I am there, too involved with whatever thoughts raccoons have. Slowly and steadily, I make my way in a long circle eventually coming back to the opening in the woods, by the persimmon trees, again this time from the opposite side and as I approach the hair on my neck stands up and I know I’m being watched. Freezing in place I start methodically picking apart every piece of cover, searching for whatever it is causing the creepy sensation, my senses in full alert as my heart pounds in my chest so loud I think it’s audible. Nothing! I can’t see…wait There it is, holy cow He’s huge!! And he’s looking right at me!!! Bobcat “Lynx Rufus” aka “red lynx” Florida’s #1 ambush predator, sneaky, stealthy, ghostly killer, efficient at its art. Not normally a threat to humans unless trapped or cornered. This is what I have been “feeling” since I first arrived, why is it not slinking off like normal. Watching it sink lower almost flat to the ground it’s floating shoulder blades allowing it to almost appear flat, claws digging into the ground to get a better grip it is getting ready to charge! Honestly I can’t believe what I’m seeing, leveling the crossbow scope on his shoulder I hear the audible click as the safety clicks off not even realizing I did so and at that instant he explodes from cover, leaping 5′ before I realize, I drop the sights rapidly catching up to him and release the bolt and it travels the 20′ left between us in seconds hitting home and passing completely through. He somersaults mid-stride Breaking off his charge and dashing towards the briars where I hear thrashing and growling for a few more seconds then silence. I had no idea I had backed up so far as I try 3 times before I can get another bolt from the quiver and cock the bow never taking my eyes off the spot I last saw him. Letting my heart sink back outta my throat I finally slowly (and I cannot stress how slowly) I move towards the spot. Scanning scanning don’t see him, gotta be there, where.. there he is, not moving, not breathing. I drag him out and look at him, big “Tom” bobcat, looks healthy, why did he act so odd? Bolt hit him right in the shoulder and passed clean through, he was dead before he knew he was hit. The scared ****less shakes hit, and subside with time and I gather the “cat” and slowly make my way back to the truck. I will skin, and sell the hide as I am also a trapper and bobcats are in season.
Funny how hunting goes, sometimes when we think we are the hunters, we become the hunted. I did nothing to the bobcat mentioned earlier, for some reason he chose to stalk and eventually try me. Today was my day, next time…
I’m a creature of the woods like all the other creatures God put here, I’m at home there as much as I’m at home in my house. I know there are dangers in hunting as in every walk of life, but with the “Armor of God” and faith in Him I will continue to hunt and live my life with Peach.
“Next time you get to tag along Peach, 4 eyes see more stuff than 2″
“Peace” has a multitude of meanings (look it up yourself) and often we forget what it can mean to us as people.
I like to think of it as the most unstressed, relaxed, calm and happy feeling. The kinda feeling one gets walking in a brisk wind along a vacant beach where no signs of humanity intrude. Or snuggling in a favorite chair and getting lost in a good book where the story carries you away. Or sitting outside after dark in a quiet place watching the stars migrate across the heavens. Peace to me is that content feeling, that place where I’m not distracted by man’s noisy need to control everything and be heard all the time. Walking around photographing pretty things with Peach, holding hands and just being, not having to speak to know that you are happy just being together. Taking sunrise pictures while at work to send to my “pretty girl” Peach to let her know I always think of her.
There are many other things that help me find peace, wandering around outdoors is one of my favorite ones. Think I mentioned before Peach and I like to hunt, trap, fish and generally wander the woods, always have. Getting into a blind an hour before the first hint of light, lets things settle. Night creatures are headed home and the dawn patrol are waking up. I get settled, squirm around, and finally settle comfortably and wait. It is a wonderful world deep in the woods away from man’s intrusion that slowly reveals itself. Owls, sing their haunting hoots and purrs and crackles, and shuffles in the bushes made by mice, opossums, raccoons and others add to the suspense. Still too dark to make out any real detail, I close my eyes and just listen to nature’s symphony slowly give its first performance. Birds flit quietly from their homes into the bushes, still not quite ready to play their tune. Usually the first animal I can actually see and identify are squirrels, as they slink around and find seeds and acorns to nibble on and sometimes stash buried in thousands of secret spots. They too are still silent, not wanting to break the silence of the morning, and then it happens. Somewhere, could be close, could be far away, the first bird clears its throat and to my surprise it’s the gobble of a turkey. Unless you have heard one in the wild you haven’t heard a real turkey, folks. Then the other birds perk up, and soon there’s music all around in the form of this bird and that, each seeming to try to outdo the other. Sometimes a squirrel interjects it’s voice into the symphony but mostly they are too busy eating and chasing each other around.
This continues for 30-45 minutes then settles to infrequent chirps from birds, and solitary songs as the sun breaks the horizon. Then the squirrels slink off and up into the trees and begin their turn at calling to each other and clattering and chattering away, trying to drown each other out.
All the while, I sit (sometimes, when I’m really lucky Peach joins me) and listen and watch silently. Letting the sounds from the animals that God created wash over and through me. As it does I can feel tension and stress piled on from the week of work and strife, slowly start to break up. The longer I stay the more I find my “Peace”, the kind of feeling that is hard to explain, but everyone knows when it happens. For a time, no worry no fear no pain no insecurities nothing, just “Peace”. It’s what I expect to feel every day in heaven when my time is up here. Till then I have found a way to find true “Peace” and be as God intended us to be, happy, content and blessed to be alive and in God’s masterpiece. Those of you whom hunting offends, I do not apologize for being a hunter, God made us that way, I do think there is a reason for me being one, but to be honest the actual taking of game has become much less important to me over the years than it used to be, I still do take game but if I let something pass sometimes, it does not bother me as it once did.
Finding “Peace” means many things to many people, but to me it’s meaning is as described above, and none of it would be possible without God’s input and my Peach’s companionship. Once a week or more if I’m lucky, I slip away to one of these places and “breathe the free air” and feel my “Peace” seep into my tired body to enliven me for another week.
I truly hope each and every person can find the kind of “Peace” that they need at a time when they need it most and it does for them what they need. Everyone needs a cleansing of their minds to function as God meant. Folks, He watches us, He listens to us and He gives us ways to reboot, for me it’s through “Peace”
Hope this ramble makes some kinda sense to someone that needs it, if not *shrug* makes sense to Peach and I 😬
“Right Peach, makes sense to us right? Peach? Peach?…not funny”
Sitting out on the deck early this morning before most of this part of the world wakes up, I closed my eyes and just listened. Ever do that? Just listen? Interesting what the result may be if you do. Because I was outdoors, and Peach and I live out in the country (not deep in the woods away from all sounds of man like I wish but, still country folk) I get to hear nature, sometimes mans noise butts in, but mainly nature. Early like this, there are still night creatures about but also the day crews are waking up and moving about. It’s a peaceful time, and the amount of nature that could be heard (probably could hear more, but for years of teaching shooting numbing my hearing 😳) night hawks, whip-or-wills (Chuck-will’s-widow more often) early morning Cardinals, Mocking birds and of course, the always present sound of roosters crowing, Horned owls, Barred owls, and Screech owls… you get the idea. All add their voices at one time or another, together or separate, frequent or rarely, and just listening to them relaxes me.
There are at times no sounds at all, it’s creepy still, the time of morning or night when as Sherlock Holmes put it “the powers of evil are exalted”. Times like these some get nervous or frightened, but as Don Williams sang “Nothing makes a sound in the night like the wind does, but you’re not afraid if you’re washed in the blood like I was”. Night sounds (early morning, too) can stir up fears in people, an involuntary reaction stemming back to the days when it was kill or be killed, and wild carnivores roamed everywhere, it also stems from man’s evilness to one another where certain elements prey on weaker victims. But in the here and now, the sounds I hear are stealthy, and then some are musical, neither cause fear as I have and still hunt the evil most refuse to acknowledge exists and fear little in doing so (“Fear profits no man” ..13th Warrior). Settling more in my comfy chair I hear leaves rustle, probably a mouse or mole looking for edible yummies, as I look up thru the live oak leaves to the crystal clear ink black sky with its brilliant sparkly lights (them is stars in case you didn’t get it) flashing colorful lights from far away. You can almost hear the trees talking to the wind and each other (probably wondering why we get to move around when they can’t) with soft subtle voices that you either believe in or don’t. If you believe, you can quietly hear the soft voices on the wind, maybe not understand them but you can hear them if you listen. Most refuse to hear those quiet voices from things in nature, especially those they hear when it is dark, and they do it out of fears. Fears of the unknown, fears others may not have heard it and would ridicule or belittle them, fears they would lose friendships or companions.
“Fear does not stop death it stops Life and worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles it takes away today’s Peace”
If you must fear, the fear should be that you have let God down by not following his word. (Squirrel ran by…apologies)
Listening teaches us so much more than talking does, and if most people would open their ears and close their mouths, they would learn tons and there would be way less conflict. So I sit, when I can, be it at home or at work (rare but I do sometimes get the chance) and I listen to what the world is trying to tell me. I hear the sunrise, I hear the wind, I hear Gods creations great and small. I don’t always understand them, but I hear them all, each has its own unique voice, some booming some barely perceptible. None of these would I be able to hear if all I did was talk. The gift of silence is often underestimated, but having the ability to let someone talk or vent, without interjecting, is a rare ability that more people need. Take the time to shut up and just listen, I bet you hear a lot and maybe learn to appreciate silence more.
Raise your hand if you like camping 🖐🏼🖐🏼. Peach and I are, and pretty much have always been, fans of camping which is another one of the thousands upon million of reasons I love her. Her family, like mine, were brought up as campers. Cars were packed up stuffed full of tents and paraphernalia as well as kids, then off to some spot, usually a known place where they feel comfortable, and the camping set up begins.
Dads all over the world will get this..the frustration level increases to just before nuclear meltdown stage right about the time the !*%!%**%#! tent is finally up. Then when the blood pressure comes down from the stratosphere, the relaxing can commence.
I have fond memories of all night fishing trips on the river where we kids were forced to finally go to sleep in a huge old Army GP medium tent that my dad and uncle put up (can’t do it anymore as there are bleepin houses where we used to camp). But anyways, they were fun trips. Also remembered are the trips early in Peach and my marriage with the rug rats all crammed in a small tent, nothing could make these trips or the memories of them better that they are. Road trips to the camping spots also hold many fond memories along the way. We once stopped off in the Echota Cherokee Capitol Historic Site in Georgia and wandered around old log cabins and buildings where old settlers lived. No school classroom on the planet could replace the effect of actually being there, feeling the wood, seeing how the Cherokee people lived and survived in a completely different environment than they were use to….(I feel a squirrel running by). Our boys were products of both private, then public, and finally home schooling (Peach is a wonderful and patient teacher with the smarts of one of those people with all the alphabet letters attached to their names, and she came by her wisdom the right way, she lived and learned). I will not bash any form of schooling, I just believe that learning math you can use, English you can speak, and the history of your country as it was not as someone thinks it should have been, prepares kids better for real life than study guides set down by committee (you take God out of the equation, you aren’t worth the paper all those alphabet letters behind your name are printed on), just my opinion, again I’m not trying to change yours so don’t try and change mine. Told ya, Squirrel!
Anyways, we explored several places along the way to that camping excursion, and we learned a lot. Some of the trips were hot and sweaty, some cold to the point of ice, all were trips I would not change for anything in the world. I believe the time out in the fresh air, be it at a spring and river, or on a mountain top, did wonders for myself and the family. Working together to set up camp, exploring, building the camp fire and keeping it going, cooking meals, cleaning up, all have their places. Gathering around the fire at night roasting marshmallows or other stuff, talking and laughing, it freed the soul of stress. The downside to any of it, if there is one, is that it never seemed to last long enough, before long it was the night before packing up and going back home. Everyone’s movements slow, but time speeds up. No one wants to leave but we eventually get packed up and away we go, headed back home.
Seldom were there trips that we did not have a really nice time. It seems camping and the trips to and from always seemed to agree with us. Everyone returned with a happy disposition which sometimes lasted well into the week following.
I think the fun of camping is just being together “roughing” it for a couple days as a family. We slow down, we bond as a group, we “Live, Laugh, Love” and repair ills that society piles on us.
Just my opinion…yes you too can “chuck it in the bucket” difference is, I’m not trying to change yours 😉.
It starts as the darkest part of the night, then barely perceptible it begins. The darkness lightens, tantalizingly slow at first, then if all is right, color starts to erupt from below the horizon like dragons fire spewing forth. It continues to grow and strengthen impossibly bright and the glowing red orange ball we call the sun breaks the horizon pouring forth its warmth and light.
I have always been fascinated by sunrises, dawn skies with their promise of new beginnings with brilliant colors one day, dull and gray the next, and a myriad of in between looks that keep us guessing. Attached are a few sunrise pics we took over different times, hope y’all enjoy them, and get up early with a cup of coffee (glass of juice, whatever), settle into a comfy spot and watch the dawn light rise like a phoenix displaying Gods handy work for all to see
All these are as they were seen, we don’t tinker (means muck with) the photos by filtering or brightening them.
God created them, we figure that’s good enough.
“No Peach I did not put all the sunrise photos in one post thank you very much”
When I was little (yes everyone I once was little and didn’t have adult cares, how long ago? None of your business cheeky bugger), I was born (not hatched or beamed down as some believe) in a very small country town. I was actually the only one of my siblings born in this small town, but my moms family was from there and we lived there a short while. We moved to a different place, not to far away from where I was born and made frequent return trips there, so much so when I was small, it was as if I never left. Many memories of those days are gone, lost or pushed aside by other information garnered over the many years of my life (no you don’t need to know how many!). Some are still there and pop up at weird times to remind me of something (I truly wish I knew what that was) and they sometimes linger about showing up off and onto annoy me.
Like my grandpa’s place where we stayed at times, he had a tater field and would pay us kids a quarter for whoever dig up the biggest tater (by hand of course). Even fonder memories were of visits to my Aunt and Uncles house (10 minute walk across one dirt road and a couple fields) where they had rabbits (for eating, sorry no pets) and a pond that I would spend hours catching and releasing bream and catfish in (unless my uncle said “keep’em we will eat them for lunch/dinner”). My childhood memories of these times were to me idyllic and I’m saddened that they slip out of remembrance only to pop up occasionally now days.
My grandpa, my uncle and sometimes dad if he were not off helping someone fix something (seems I remember him always fixing stuff for people when we visited there) would take me fishing on a river that ran thru our little town, and at this part of the country, separated two states acting as part of the state lines. When it was summer and it hadn’t rained much, you could basically walk the river for miles without ever getting past thigh deep (on a small boy) except for parts around stumps and widow-makers (underwater snags).these deeper pockets is where the “Stump Knockers” (google it) were hiding and where the lines from our cane poles were put to catch what we could then move on to the next.
Sometimes my grandpa or uncle would stop and stare off into the woods as if seeing something but try as I might I never caught what they were seeing. I asked over and over ‘what are u looking at grandpa /uncle ” and would get “nothin son” or “just looking”. My aunt told me later that they were seeing “forest creatures” and she would laugh. Now as a small boy this fascinated me to no end, but soon I would be off to other small boy things and it would be forgotten.
Fast forward a few years (again, don’t ask how many, it’s rude) and I spend as many spare seconds as I can in the woods or creeks, hunting, fishing, photography, just being outside with Peach, or whatever. This is my happy place, my forget all your troubles, relax and just “breathe” place. Took me several years to catch on but I think I finally get it..
People who spend time in the fields, forests, swamps and natural places will know immediately what I mean in a couple seconds, some others will also as there are other types in the world. Here you are, let’s use photography as the reason you are there in nature just as a for instance. Strolling along slowly maybe with purpose in mind of something to photograph or maybe not, then, without knowing why or even thinking about it, your focus is drawn to a area or specific spot, why? Did u subconsciously see something, was it a memory of something from a time ago, or something else?
I have come to believe in my own silly mind it is done with purpose and you were drawn to that spot where one of the Unremembered Forest things was, or had just been. Your mind saw it before your eyes could catch it and your vision focused on the spot it just vacated. Good hunters have a developed sense of where game can be found, same goes for good photographers and other nature lovers. We all have in us a Predator instinct, that’s why our eyes are set in front of our head and not out to the sides (look at a cat as opposed to a deer). This instinct does not go away, but now days it’s suppressed by societies belief that “hunters are evil” (sorry squirrel ran by).
When we were children and out in nature I believe we could see the unremembered Forest things, and they weren’t afraid to be seen, but as we get older and refuse to believe, they have become skittish and we only get to see the places they just were when we spooked them.
There are so many unexplained things in nature that scientist and nay-sayers roll their eyes at, doesn’t matter, I still believe. I spend lots of time outdoors, exploring the wild, and I am constantly being drawn towards things without knowing why.
Here is an example of not seeing what’s there, I took this picture without knowing why, the colors are ok, but I didn’t really think it was that awesome. I was drawn to it without knowing why, snapped it and moved on. As I reflected upon it later I recognized the image before my eyes, if you do not see an “Angel praying” then you need to get outside into the forest for several days to reset your brain before it’s to late.
Seeing for the first time in ages the hiding places of these “things” sometimes leads one to make up rationalizations for why we chose that spot to focus. That’s cool If that’s what you believe, who am I to try and dissuade your beliefs? Just like I chunk opinions of others who try and dissuade mine into the “bucket” with the other rubbish.
I call these things “Unremembered Forest Things” because I believe that when we were small, and well before our brains were polluted with things society thinks we should know, we knew these “things” be it creatures or something else. But over time we have forgotten them, only to be reminded every so often subtly by our unconscious mind, a tugging of your focus for no apparent reason to a certain spot, and hint of a smell, or whatever. Watching the stillness of a pond where no breeze is blowing, when suddenly there are ripples on the surface as if a stick was drawn across it, Water Faries dancing on the surface? Naw just the wind right?
In the stillness and quietness, I find my peace, and I find those parts of myself from my childhood I thought were gone forever. Sometimes I can just stand still in the woods, for hours at a time and be content. This refreshing memory inducing time is only ever bettered, when I have my Peach along with me. Peach gets it, she gets me to, she knows there are things we cannot explain, nor do we have to try, we should just enjoy them.
God has filled this wonderful earth with creatures great and small, and it’s up to us to “remember” them all, and to take time to go seek them where they are.
Hope you all enjoy this ramble, and it’s my wish that if you want to, you go into nature, and let your unconscious mind guide you, follow it, and see if it does not reveal some of the “Unremembered Forest Things” that you knew in your childhood years.
“Did ya see how that last pick looks like it has a turtle in it Peach?”
Click and “poof” whatever you want is delivered to your home, you don’t ever have to leave again. Some call it convenient, I call it the slow death of “Stores”.
Remember going to the store? It was a trip, a journey where you met people, said hello and actually conversed. It was a time away from the house, sometimes it wasn’t convenient to have to go, others it was just fun. I remember during the summers when I was young (again, none ya business when that was) we would sometimes ride our bicycles the 5 miles down our barren county road to the wooden country store in the middle of the ‘tater’ fields just to get a NeHi soda and sometimes even candy. We sometimes played the worn out pinball machine, sat in the shade and talked to the “old guys” that hung around and we just had fun. Then we rode back home down that lonesome road.
As we got older the trips were made in trucks and we somehow didn’t have time to sit around and talk. And the trips to the “store” became less important. We found more “important” things to do I suppose. Shame, I kinda miss it now that I’m “growed up” supposedly.
I think somewhere along the way from childhood to adulthood we lose a special part of ourselves that if we kept, we would never not want to always see, hear, and visit places and things, and “stores”. Now with modern tech, it’s all too simple to become a hermit and just have anything you wish, dropped outside your front door. I, for one think it’s sad, I’m not saying I don’t use these options here and there, I’m saying we should never stop totally, taking the trip to the store. Giving up the chance to see an old friend, or make a new one, is not worth missing just for convenience.
Take it from Batman, you’re never too old to make new friends and renew old friendships, chances are better for both if you’re out and about as opposed to being a hermit.
“No Peach this does not mean I go to town every time you do”
Today, today was a good day, with many things accomplished, some partially, others put off till another day. Today started with a perfect breakfast of Bacon and eggs cooked to perfection by Peach. I used the French press to make a batch of Black Rifle “Coffee or Die” coffee (yes, that’s a thing here). Showers, load the truck (watch Peach go back inside because she forgot her phone), head to the range for a class with one of our long time clients and she is bringing her daughter for the first time.
Great range session, I think some new skills were learned and I believe all had a good time. Peach and I try and be attentive to clients needs and wants at the range and tailor training specific for them, this one is a photographer, often off on her own. She is a super shot (trust me on this, she’s really good) so we worked on scenarios where she was photographing and had to drop the camera, draw and shoot, all which after a few slow repetitions, she did with moderate speed, and excellent skill. Her daughter who also is a great shot and safe gun handler, shoots a rifle with skill that would make some tough guys stand up and take notice (I did, as this was the first time meeting her), both mom and daughter made the morning very fun.
Backtracking a bit, I have been teaching people to shoot for a long (very very in case you must know) time, I am a NRA pistol instructor, a Police firearms instructor, a Class K (can give armed security guard firearms classes) instructor, and give Concealed Carry classes ( CCW classes to Law Enforcement and Military families are always free thru Peach and my Company). All this is done as a side to mine and Peach’s full time jobs, we do it because we feel people need good, safe and friendly training and the two of us together, do our best to give it.
So back to today..
Peach took the time today to do a little shooting with her Glock, and I did my best to help her do it right. She is already a good shot, and more important, she is SAFE WITH FIREARMS any time she handles them. Peach has a “block” issue, I’ve come to recognize this when she shoots. She is such a perfectionist that when a bullet does not go EXACTLY where she thought she was aiming at the point of trigger break, she gets frustrated and unconsciously blocks out any instruction.
At this point I’m going to point out an old saying I heard someplace “a husband should not try to teach his wife to shoot”, why? Because it can, and often does, lead to hurt feelings or worse. My personal belief is that if your relationship is a strong one, and you (that means you husbands, or boyfriends) can show superhuman patience and kindness, all the while smiling and being gracious, then by all means then teach them to shoot (yep, your prolly right, hire someone else). Ok back to the “block”….
Patience and repetitive skill sets will get you past the “block”, as stated earlier, Peach is a good shot and has the right mindset for self defense and for sport shooting. She wants to improve and wants to shoot more than we do. So today started what I hope to be a recurring theme of getting us out there shooting more together.
Today’s only issue with shooting for Peach was rounds impacting lower than she thought she was aiming. I could see the muzzle dipping at the point of trigger break (some would call this recoil anticipation but that was not why she was doing it). Peach’s issue wasn’t recoil anticipation it was lack of trigger time with this new gun, which has a firmer trigger pull. I had her dry fire (first time without her knowledge) and she immediately saw the muzzle dip. We worked a few times with dry fire and letting her use a bit more finger (leverage works no matter how small the lever) and after less than 5 minutes, the dip was gone. Live fire and she was back on the money, now after each reload she was still sending a few rounds low, but she recognized it and concentrated on the trigger break and front site and it all came together. She wanted to stop after one particular round of shooting, but me being somewhat obtuse ( think I used it right this time Peach) I had her shoot one more magazine, and I just stayed back and out of the way. Six rounds in the 2″ circle was the result, Peach was happy and I was happy for her (always try to end any skill contest on a good note).
None of this will mean much to a lot of people, it will offend some, and some will get it. Today was a “good day” for Peach and I and I hope it was a “good day” for you all as well.
I’m going to end this post with a hopeful request..
Say a prayer for their safety and give thanks for their sacrifices, and if you see a Soldier or a Police Officertell them you appreciate all they do.
“No peach you cannot shoot an apple off my head no matter how good a shot you are”