New Year’s Resolutions For The Outdoor Enthusiast

New Year’s Resolutions For The Outdoor Enthusiast

Arizona Game and Fish Department
Arizona Game and Fish Department

Arizona –-(AmmoLand.com)-The following resolutions come from Rory Aikens, editor of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s weekly Fishing Report, who describes himself as an unrepentant hunting and fishing addict.

Be it resolved that in the Year 2010, I will not:

  • Pull a thrashing smallmouth bass out of the water and have my expensive new polarized sun glasses ungraciously fall to the bottom of the 150-foot-deep lake despite my cold crash dive to retrieve them while my wallet and cell phone still reside in my unprotected pockets.
  • Forget to put the plug in the bass boat, especially when taking TV media out fishing;
  • Take another cold swim because I decided to unhook the boat from the trailer’s hand winch to save time while launching the bass boat (makes for terrific viewer-laughing video though);
  • Set the hook so hard that I flip backward over the bass seat and land on a big topwater lure with painfully sharp triple-treble hooks (the cameraman was too busy catching fish to catch the craziness on video);
  • Fall asleep and melting the bottom of my expensive hunting boots while warming my icy, exhausted feet at the campfire on a cold snowy night after chasing elusive elk all day at 9,000-feet-plus elevation.
  • On no account will I let another lunker bass impale my hand with a hook, especially when the other treble hook is stuck on the boat’s aging carpet while the big bass flops around while I hear the laughter float across the water from anglers in nearby bass boats (who had once been friends).
  • Never again hike arduous miles to my favorite whitetail hunting spot way up the steep mountain and leave all my ammunition back in camp during the only day of the hunt when inattentive randy bucks are chasing does on the hillside during the rut.
  • Take those once-in-a-lifetime wildlife photographs of an obstreperous mule deer buck facing down a bobcat with no memory card in my fancy digital camera;
  • Fish with brittle older line and lose a trophy-sized bass – again.
  • Never tell the public the exact spot where I found the fish biting before I at least offer to take my wife there first (sleeping on the bass boat isn’t as fun when it’s in the garage).
  • Never, ever leave my best spotting scope on top of the Chiricahua Mountains and remember it after I tiredly pack my deer all the way back into camp as darkness falls on the last day of the hunt, which is also the last day of my vacation.
  • Always remember to carry plenty of band-aids for cuts along with a pocket comb to remove sharp jumping cholla when tiredly hiking by flashlight at night up and down a rugged, unforgiving mountainside to recover my forgotten optics.
  • Don’t eat a cheese sandwich while fishing during a dark confusing night using cheese-bait for catfish;
  • Plan an out-of-town fishing trip with the buddies on my forgotten wedding anniversary day;
  • Painfully bang my shin on the protruding trailer hitch – twice in the same camping trip.
  • Forget to stow away the stink bait and night crawlers while camping in skunk country.
  • Forget to bring matches to start a campfire on a cold night camping;
  • Leave the sleeping bags at home when going camping and having no matches to start the fire or even a coffee pot for the morning (or not have ear plugs for enduring my wife’s description of my mental capacities while she goes through caffeine withdrawal);
  • Hand my wife a donut after helping my little boy put a juicy night crawler on the hook (especially when my child told her after the digestion was already underway).
  • Neglect to immediately buy a spare tire for the camp trailer after one tire shreds itself during a long vacation trip in a remote mountainous area.
  • Pronounce the prime topwater season as being over and then have an angler hit a topwater bonanza, including a new state record striper.
  • Forget to sign my name to our four-person elk permit application and getting us all rejected.
  • Sit lazily reading my favorite Louis L’Amour Western by the campfire with my camera locked away in the truck while a bachelor band of trophy-sized elk wanders through camp and a 360-plus bull uses my tree-bound hammock as a velvet rub.
  • Foolishly attempt to carry my favorite two-piece ultra-light fishing rod strapped to my mountain bike while negotiating a steep winding brush-lined trail to fish the Upper Verde
  • River and ending up with a four-piece rod and broken wheel spokes.
  • Try to photograph a running antelope from the moving truck on a bumpy two-track with my wife holding the steering wheel so I can work the camera as a swirling dust plume clouds the expensive telephoto lens.
  • Never forget the extra gas can when running the bass boat at high speed the 70-plus miles to fish the San Juan Arm of Lake Powell.
  • Take a much-needed bath in a stream at sunset while backpacking a wilderness area just to discover a group of giggling campers on a nearby overlook.
  • Never let my wife read my annual New Years Resolutions when I am within ear shot (or pistol shot for that matter).
  • Rory notes that although he can’t claim all of these as being his, he confesses to ownership of way too many of them
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