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Field Report: The Backyard

J. Alain Smith reports on coping with COVID

Asia is closed to hunting until further notice

Unfortunately that is pretty much the news around the world as far as hunting goes. For those of us who are used to being on the road constantly, travelling to hunting destinations across the globe, these have been extremely trying times. Ok, that is probably the understatement of the century…

Not getting to travel for the past six months has been brutal.

My mother actually made the observation at dinner the other night, “I don’t think you have ever been in town this much since you were in high school?” I’m not sure how to take that statement, is that a good thing or a bad thing, because Shelley said something similar to that the other day as well?

The good news is that for a lot of us, staying home has given us the chance to reconnect with all the wonderful things there are to do right here in the good old USA. Many of us have had the chance to join up with family members and friends and go on excursions we have not done in decades. Those destinations have been waiting for us to come back and they welcomed us with open arms.

I know living here in Washington State I had forgot about what quality fishing opportunities we have in the lakes and ocean surrounding us. We have taken full advantage of every invite we have received to venture out with friends on their boats to chase salmon, halibut, tuna, trout and bass. The fishing has been so good that it’s even made me think about buying a boat once again?

On second thought no.

It’s better to have a friend with a big boat than to own one.

That also applies to airplanes. 

Then there are the local hunting opportunities such as doves, ducks, geese, coyote, squirrels and rabbits! Fun, fun, fun and more fun! And right here in our proverbial backyard! The Lovely Miss Shelley and I went on an outstanding dove hunt in eastern Washington for a few days and had super shooting only three hours from the house. I’ve killed and eaten more rabbits this year than many years combined and my vegetable garden is all the better for it! Early season goose hunting was slam bam thank you ma’am only thirty minutes from the house! The coyote population at our farms has taken a beating this year from family and friends looking for something to do. The ducks and deer thank them all.

Duck season will be in full swing come October and my goal is to hunt as many ducks as one man can and still stay married.

So the point is that while it has been a very trying year on all of us, if we just take a minute and look around, we can find new fun, or perhaps revisit some old fun, right here at home.

Not saying that I won’t be on the first plane to Asia when it finally opens up again, but hey, we’ve gotta stay positive and make the best of the situation and reconnect with family, friends and destinations that we might have forgotten about in the past few years.

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