February 7, 2013
by Gary Miller of Harrogate Tennessee
I'm still not sure about this whole global warming thing, but I do know that the winters where I live are not as cold and snowy as they used to be. I can remember the days when you could always count on hunting in the snow on Thanksgiving Day. Now there's no guarantee that you'll even have a measurable amount of snow at any time during the winter season. The same goes for February. The last couple of days have warmed up considerably and our good weather folks are predicting temperatures in the 70's tomorrow. If it's even close, we'll think that spring has sprung.
I've noticed over the years how the changes in weather have affected the hunting and fishing seasons. Years ago our wives could rest assured that Saturdays in February would find us at home doing some chore that we had put off for too long. But last Saturday the boats were out in full force, headed to the lake like a tired horse headed for the barn. The lines were once clearly defined as to when the fishing and hunting seasons opened and closed, but today the line is vague if not altogether gone. Deer season at one time closed early in December in my area. Now it's nearly the middle of January. It once opened in October, now Kentucky opens the first day or two of September. All of these changes have made us hunting and fishing types have to discipline ourselves when it comes to the time spent in our favorite outdoor place. And for most men this self-discipline is difficult. The truth is we need structure. We need parameters. We need rules and guidelines. This makes life so much easier, even though we bark against them from time to time. We don't want anyone telling us what to do… but we need them to. We need to know when too much is too much. We need to know when we are neglecting the things that we shouldn't be neglecting. Women seem to have a knack for knowing these things. Men don't and that's why we need the accountability that comes from a caring spouse who understands the deep desire we have to return to our "hunter" side and the greater desire we have to please the one we are with. The Lord puts these loving people in our lives in order to help us when the lines of life get undistinguishable. Don't turn them away. They'll give you a healthy balance so that you'll be able to enjoy, not only your hunting or fishing, but every other part of your life as well.