It’s March 5th and I am bored out of my mind. I haven’t been in the field in more days than I can remember, and things are starting to get weird. Having left my job, undergone a major shoulder surgery and started adjusting to my new life, I feel trapped, like I’m playing out my own version of Steinbeck’s Winter of Our Discontent. Though not nearly quite to that extreme.
Now that’s not to say I haven’t been out of the house, sure I’ve made trips to the store, ran needed errands, gone to dinner with the wife and even gotten out for the occasional beer with friends and former work associates. But I haven’t been in the woods at all. If you’re a hunter or any other kind of outdoor addict, then you know this feeling. You know how you get irritable and frustrated with modern living and your fellow man or woman. How you long for wind in your hair, sun in your face and no one else in your general vicinity chattering about this or that or whatever the hell they are talking about that you have been keenly ignoring. Go hiking, shed hunting or scouting you say and sure that would be nice but lack of mobility and other obligations has me on lockdown…for now.
That said, out my windows, I’m seeing signs of spring beginning to appear. Buds on the trees are fattening with leaves, green daffodil sprouts are peeking out of the brown grass and my spirits are beginning to warm. Soon enough red buds will be blooming which means morels will be popping up. Which in my mind is the ultimate Easter egg hunt for adults and something that even the rest of the family can enjoy. Soon thereafter turkeys will be strutting and gobbling and I, hopefully, will be in shape to chase those glorious devils. In the meantime, I’ll have to be content with dreaming and scheming of those days to come.
Before this, however, I do intend to scout and shed hunt, though shed hunting in my part of the world must be different than those northern states because I haven’t ever found a single shed with which to make one of those glorious “picking up the shed” posts that we are all too familiar with. Maybe it’s the leaves of our dense oak forest or maybe it’s that my home range doesn’t hold wintering bucks, whichever the case it isn’t of concern. My search will likely not turn up any fruit, so to speak, but I don’t mind as my purpose isn’t to find antlers it’s to be outside, ease my mind and loosen my tensions.
To those of you who are presently more able I hope you are getting out there, making ground, studying the land and putting your soul at ease. For no matter what you are doing it’s being outside that puts the Hunters mind in order and everything else in its right place.