I'm standing inside my house, shaking my head as I survey the scene in our hallway. My duffel bag is full, seams bulging. I've already reached my bag limit without first reaching my hunting grounds!
The forecasters promise rain, so I've packed two sets of camo for bow hunting, along with my Gore Tex rain suit, hat and boots. I'll need long underwear for the imminent cold front moving in Saturday night, a couple of turtlenecks and extra socks.
Fall turkey season has started, so from the hunting closet in the basement, I've searched out my turkey vest, hat and facemask, which have hung there since April. Then I headed to the garage for decoys, opened the gun cabinet and brought out my 12-gauge and some shells. I put those next to my bow case and archery tackle box. Dry feet are a must, so I also pack my knee-high rubber boots and my chest waders in case we decide to try duck hunting again. (We could fit it in sometime after I return from my morning deer stand and before I head out to try some fall turkey tactics.)
After I quick glance at my ever-expanding duffel, I decide to tuck in another DU camouflage hat and my brush pants. I'll need to spend some time in the woods, walking among the thick popples with our English setter, Cody. I haven't grouse hunted yet, but the numbers are way down in our area anyway, so at least I won't be packing a vest or my 20-gauge.
But you know, just this morning the weatherman promised a beautiful day Friday...with warmer temps, and it sure would be nice to toss a line in the water and try out the float tube. It might be my last chance till spring. However, it would also be nice if there were enough room left in our vehicle for someone to join me. I suppose the fishing tackle can stay. I don't know how we ever managed to fit everything in years ago when all we had was a little Chevy Luv pickup. I can't imagine what we'll do when our 10 year old starts to hunt in a few years.
We could scale it down, I suppose. We could limit our hunting to one specific type of game at a time and limit our equipment. We could limit our enthusiasm for all kinds of hunting in all kinds of weather, but I see no real solution in any of these. What fun would that be? We simply love to hunt and to be outdoors...rain or shine, warm or cold. So, for now, I'll grab another duffel bag, fill it up, and add it to the pile. We'll manage to fit it all in or else we'll be searching for a U-Haul soon.
© October 2002