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George Little: Start the New Year right

January 04, 2014 at 03:09 PM

The State Journal-Register

My grandma used to say, “The older you get, the faster time goes.” I understand that a lot better now than I did in the last century. It seems just a week ago that we were talking about the first spring fishing trip.

Like all years, 2013 had peaks and valleys, but as one of my friends says, “Every year above ground is a good one.”

The deer season that is fading fast was disappointing to a lot of hunters. It was also the best one ever to young hunters who harvested their first deer.

It was better than great for the adults who were there to share the experience. Those people achieved immortality. No matter how many deer we harvest, none of us ever forget the first one, and we’ll never forget the person who was with us when it all came together.

If you made New Year’s resolutions and are still sticking with them, good for you. The first few days are the hardest. If you didn’t make any, or have already seen them go by the wayside, don’t worry about it. Experts say most resolutions don’t make it until Feb. 1 anyway.

I’m not a big New Year’s “resolver.” My bucket list is already the size of a washtub. It has been suggested that I don’t participate in the annual tradition of promised behavior modification because I wouldn’t know where to go to start. The person sharing that insight with me should resolve to enroll in sensitivity training.

For me, the resolution thing is very simple. There’s never really time to start anything new on Jan. 1, because Buckwheat and I go bird hunting that day.

This late in the season, upland game has moved to the food sources. Hunting the edges or even the middle of cornfields can produce birds. On public land, if the strips of milo, beans or corn have any grain left on the stalks, those are better bets than hunting the timbers or tall grasses.

A circling hawk might give you a hint about finding pheasants or quail. The big guys know where their food sources go to eat and often get there ahead of time. This time of year, game birds are likely to feed early and late in the day and do their digesting where Mr. Hawk can’t get to them.

Some cultures believe that the first person that enters your home on Jan. 1 can bring a year of good luck, or a year of misery. That’s why I play it safe, load up the dog and meet Buckwheat at a neutral site on New Year’s Day. If he were going to bring me a year of good luck, he would have done it by now. I’m not superstitious, but a whole year of misery is an unpleasant prospect.

My best bet is to always play it safe and not blow a raspberry at Lady Luck so early in the year.

Contact George Little at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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