Here’s why a hunting journal matters: birds hunters become nostalgic five minutes after their first hunt.
Within a few seasons the condition is nearly a disorder. The world whirls around, hurling us into an unknown future, while we look back into a mist-tinted memory of a hazy afternoon when the points were intense, the shooting perfect, the flushes strong, and the retrieves to hand. The company timeless.
We can’t wait for the next day afield. And yet, they are never as right as the days perfected through years of remembering.
Ironically, the burden we carry with us is not that we remember too perfectly, but that there are so many days we don’t recall at all.
The remedy is simple: keep a hunting journal.
Here are three reasons why you should:
A Hunting Journal Reminds You Who You Are
No two hunts are the same. The cast of hunters change, dog work varies, birds behave differently. The weather is in constant flux.
If you don’t jot these details down they run together until they’re indistinguishable in your mind. A journal carries the deeply personal benefit of clarifying in your memory the words, thoughts, and actions of a given day.
A hunting journal helps you to accurately “know thyself.”
A Journal Is A Record Of Proof
A great friend of mine and I had a duck lease years ago. Recently, we were trying to remember how many ducks we killed that season, and specific details about a certain hunt. Neither of us could recall. I went home and found it in my journal.
Right there. As though it had just happened.
It’s also great for settling long-standing arguments among friends… but I digress.
A Hunting Journal Benefits Posterity In Profound Ways
Probably the most important reason for keeping a journal is it becomes a direct conduit between a parent’s past and their child’s present.
One of my favorite pastimes is getting my father’s journal from the ‘70s and ‘80s and reading about the hunts they had in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi then.
I’ve spent many days afield with my father, but reading of his hunts then, when he was the same age as I am now … is a special treat. It allows me to know him better. I’m also now a father.
One day my daughter will read several generations worth of her family’s sporting history. This is one way the culture we all love is passed down, likewise substantiated in the words, thoughts and actions of future generations.
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