Life — as in hunting — requires time, patience

Life — as in hunting — requires time, patience

Two years — yes, it’s been two years since we’ve been big game hunting. Not that I don’t consider deer a big game species, but I grew up with hunting deer, rabbits, squirrel and, of course, everyone’s favorite, groundhogs. Just recently we added turkeys to the list. I guess it’s a matter of where, when and how you were raised as a youth.

Speaking of youth, I spend a lot of time talking with young people about hunting, sharing our pictures and our experiences. But let me tell you just seeing their eyes light up makes my day. I was talking with a 14-year-old boy from Pataskala a few days ago about getting involved in applying for limited draw areas out west for all kinds of trophy big game. He listened intently as I gave instructions. I can only imagine what other adventures we would have pursued if we knew what we know now at his age.

But that’s exactly what I’ve been writing about. Life, as in hunting, is about setting goals and finding your priorities. Both require time, patience, determination and, yes, in a lot of cases, money. And they all tie together.

Some limited draw areas for trophy big game can take 20 or more years and cost thousands of dollars, but that’s the extreme end. So many other hunts are more affordable and can be purchased over the counter. Wildlife organizations often hold auctions where you can find some great deals.

We all have waited patiently (there’s that word again) for this pandemic to ease and allow things to open up again. Especially on the international scene, many outfitters have lost their businesses, just like here. Taryn and I send our prayers and hugs to those who have lost friends or loved ones to the virus. We have kind of isolated ourselves for the most part here at Sanctuary Hill, basically going out for groceries and a meal once in a while to keep our sanity.

It’s been seven years since we went on our first safari. We are just a few weeks from our second one in South Africa, and final preparations are being implemented. We got our second round of vaccines with minor effects. We purchased emergency medical insurance, should anything happen, so we can be airlifted to a medical facility for treatment and even brought back to the United States should that be required.

If we do take some trophies (that is one of our priorities), we have made arrangements through our outfitter to have the hides cleaned and treated over there and shipped through a clearinghouse here in the U.S. to our taxidermist in California. I had to purchase new safari attire because that closet shrunk our old ones.

All the meat harvested (except what they cook for us) will be donated to a hunger bank for the locals who rarely get meat protein in their diet. If you get a chance, even if you’re not a hunter, watch a safari hunt on YouTube or television and see how much the locals appreciate the meat. In most cases it’s the only source they have besides their own cattle or goats for protein. We ask for your prayers for our travel and their welfare.

I also got a part-time job at a building supply store. Remember that part about patience and money? This helps cover both.

Oh, by the way, Samson says, “Hey everyone.” Remember the 6-week-old male Collie we told you about last time? Well, now he’s 8 weeks old. I didn’t know it was possible for a puppy to grow by at least 50% in two weeks. We might have to give him his own room.

God has been good to us. His love and protection is what we seek, not just on a hunt, but every day.

God’s blessings to you.

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