Real Resolutions

Admittedly, we are getting into the whole “New Years Resolutions” deal a few weeks late this year. However, by now most people have realized that going to the gym every day is a drag and drinking brown smoothies only improves your gag reflex, so we are here to talk about some resolutions that are actually exciting!

Outdoor goals are an important part of life for someone who leads a busy schedule, but desires to be in nature. Creating something to work towards drives an individual to make time throughout the year to go hunting, fishing, hiking, etc. It is very easy to fall into the habit of watching other people do these activities on TV or the Internet; which is not near as enjoyable as getting out yourself. The important thing to remember with an outdoor resolution is that it is merely the means to get you off  your butt and into an experience. Do not let the inability to meet a goal ruin the experience you have along the way. Let the force of an unmet goal push you outside, and once there, go with the flow.

Summer fishing is just around the corner.

Summer fishing is just around the corner.

In a previous post, Ethan talked about his goal of catching a trout in 20 new PA streams this year. It’s a worthy challenge, and one that will no doubt open his eyes to the many differences inherent in Pennsylvania trout streams of varying size, shape, location, and productivity. This semester, Ethan has finally realized that an engineering major consists of studying, homework and more studying, so his available fishing hours have been greatly reduced. The chance to explore new streams, however; will propel him to forego those few extra hours of Saturday morning sleep and get out on the water.

Jordan has also decided to take up this challenge, however; he will be catering his fishing to the numerous trout-rich waters of Michigan. With approximately 1,500 designated trout streams across both Peninsulas; the Great Lakes State provides ample opportunity to chase wily fish all year long. Being only his 2nd year as a Michigan resident; the majority of waters have never felt the imprint of his Korkers, while a select few have left him skunked and plotting revenge.

The Clinton River. 1 down, 19 to go.

The Clinton River. 1 down, 19 to go.

As an addendum to the aforementioned resolution, Jordan has taken keen interest in netting a Great Lakes steelhead this year. This is partially due to winter regulations closing all local trout streams to fishing, except for a stretch receiving a significant steelhead run. Also, he is quickly coming down with a bad case of cabin fever; with the only cure being calling for coyotes or coaxing anadromous rainbows with a meaty looking tangle of feathers. To add an extra degree of undesired difficulty, he will be carrying out this pursuit with a 1970’s fly rod found in Dad’s garage. This was Dad’s first fly rod, and the glass Shakespeare 7-weight will undoubtedly meet its match should he hook into an angry steelhead this spring.

With winter firmly gripping the northern hardwoods, hunting activities are in a bit of a lull right now. However, it is never too early to plan for the year ahead. Having never hunted during spring turkey season, and only having enough calling skill to get the attention of domestic turkeys at the fair, Jordan is planning to hit the woods this May to find some organic lunch meat. Many mornings this archery deer season were spent ducking turkeys as they dive-bombed from their roosts, and a chance to harvest the first turkey of his life will be pretty tough to pass up. An early morning gobbler hunt paired with evening stalking for brown trout sounds like the perfect way to spend a warm spring day.

A side benefit to spring turkey hunting, is the chance to do some early deer scouting and find out how the herd is faring after the long northern winter. On the heels of an unsuccessful deer season Jordan is hankering to get back in the stand looking for a mature buck. Even though he was unable to harvest a deer this past year, he learned a great deal about archery hunting and is beginning to lay the framework for future success. This year he will be focusing more on off-season scouting and developing knowledge of the travel and feeding patterns the deer on the property live by.

Scouting in the spring pays off come October.

Scouting in the spring pays off come October.

Ethan looks to continue his success this year with his turkey and deer hunting. The lure of archery has yet to grip his whitetail endeavors; although schoolwork and college finances are likely the main culprits for this depravity. On top of the usual suspects, Ethan will continue to work towards harvesting a black bear this year; completing the Pennsylvania Grand Slam. Anyone who hunts bear in Pennsylvania knows that a successful hunt for a bruin usually is a back-breaking effort. Hiking 10-15 miles a day through head high Mountain Laurel, stumbling over rocks and roots, and continuing to keep an eye out for a darting black ball of fur is certainly not most people’s idea of an enjoyable day in the woods. However, anyone who has harvested a PA black bear knows the incredible feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment accompanying that feat.

So there you have it; our goals and resolutions for the year ahead. We will do our best to keep you all updated on our pursuits via this blog and our Instagram. We want to thank everyone who takes time from their day to follow along with our attempts at being better hunters and fishermen. We have found immense enjoyment in running this blog the last few months; and dare I say it may have even made us better outdoorsmen! We would love to hear from you all about what goals you may have for the upcoming year. Leave a comment and subscribe to the blog to get email updates on new posts.

We do not make resolutions for our outdoor pursuits in order to place a check mark in a box and move on, nor for the ability to plaster the internet with trophy photos and boastful stories; but for the simple pleasure of allowing ourselves to step beyond our comfort zone and experience moments which otherwise would pass us by.

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