Three days from now I'm going deer hunting. Always before, I hunted with a gun - .30 .30, 12 gauge, .30-06, .357. This will be my first time with a cross bow.
As a young fellow, Dad and I hunted together. I have to admit, that the first time he let me into the group to hunt big game, I was a pretty proud kid. I'd been around guns all my life, was respectful of them, familiar with handling and shooting, and careful. We were hunting for bucks only because it wasn't legal to hunt does then.
My first day out in deer country, I could look a pair of antlers onto a 100 year old pine stump. But, no deer came into sight. That night I didn't go to sleep for excitement. The next day, I dozed off under a tree. When I woke up I could feel something, and thoight maybe someone was trying to steal my gun that was laying across my lap. When I opened my eyes and moved, I sure surprised that black-cap chickadee that was pecking on the toe of my boot! OK, settle back down here, and get back to deer hunting.
Dad and I hunted together for 9 years until I left to go onto active duty in the Air Force. Twenty five years later - after retirement and completing a degree - we hunted together again. Dad was slower in the woods than before, and we hunted for only a few hours. We were in the woods on the back of his property. In the intervening years while I'd been gone, deer had expanded their territory from upper Michigan, to include the entire state, so we could hunt at home without having to drivr 6-12 hours north. So, we hunted some, then walked back up to the house for pie and coffee at our leisure.
But now, Mike and I are going to his old stomping grounds in Michigan's thumb. We'll "camp out" in his little trailer, and hunt mornings and evenings. In between we will go to lunch in the nearby burg of Argyle. If you look it up on the msp, a magnifying glass will be helpful. It's tiny.
Fact is, I don't know how enthusiastic I really am about getting a deer. As a little kid, it was very helpful when Dad brought home venison. It was during the war, and meat was rationed. Fortunately, we had a lot of small game to add to the pot, and venison was greatly appreciated. Now, having extra meat isn't anywhere near the priority that it was 75 years ago. sigh
Go ahead and go hunting. If you do not want to shoot anything, no problem. Take a good camera instead of a gun unless you have things out there that are higher on the food chain than you are. my BIL would shoot a deer now and again. Most of what he shot was to cull the heard. He shot lots of hogs and coyotes. He mostly took pictures. On his managed lease it was not unusual to have anywhere from ten to twenty-five deer in front of your stand at any one time. I told him one time that it was not a deer hunting lease but that it was a deer shooting lease. Go enjoy the outdoors.
About 45 years ago that's what I changed over to. My guns , bows and the rest were set aside ( but not forgotten ) for a camera. Found a great advantage to using a camera , I can hunt all year long , in and out of season with it.
I'll enjoy the trip, outdoors, and camaradarie with Mike. I grew up watching Mother Nature and am always fascinated by what's out there. I have no problem with harvesting and eating wild game. It's probably just my laziness; it's a lot of work to butcher a deer. As opposed to, say, a ringnecked pheasant.
So far, the only "wild game" that I'm handling for the trip is ground beef and boneless-skinless chicken breast. sigh
Alas! We do get lazy in our old age. Well, I guess there is a difference in being lazy and not capable of doing it. The last deer my BIL shot like to have killed us trying to get in into the back of his Ranger. At one point I ask Andy if two old men equaled one 25 year old. He replied, "not in our case".
I've written about this befire. It bears some repeating.
As we grow up and go through Life, we encounter thousands of people. Some by our choice, most by somebody else's choice. The first people we meet are at birth. We didn't choose any of them, neither our parents nor the medicos that help us into the world. We have only blind trust here. The riskiest of all the kinds of trust.
Later on, some playmates become close, some at a distance, and some are avoided altogether. We begin to learn some lessons, and begin to apply them. We learn that some people simply are not trustworthy under any circumstance, period. Others, a few others, we learn can be trusted. They kerp our secrets, let us know when we forgot to zip up, share lunches, don't break the toys we shared with them, and don't steal our stuff.
In college, and later on at the job, we are still immersed in a population of people that we didn't choose. We learn to extend conditional trust to some, and not to others. As we gain some authority and autonomy, we can be more choosy, more selective. In retirement, we may have the most autonomy and freedom of choice of any period of our lives. So, that's the period I'll address here., to
I hadn't taken the time to sit and think through this "trast" thing very much, until I was on active duty in the Air Force. And in particular in Viet Nam. Tactical jet fighters that are loaded wirh bombs, rockets, and 20mm high explosive ammo get your attention, and right now! You learn to separate the flyspecks from the pepper quickly. You simply cannot afford to be in combat with someone along side you whom you cannot trust. What I learned there, I have applied through the rest of my life.
Some folks can be trusted under some circumstances. Say, to show up on time, be ready to do whatever it was that you'd agreed to be doing. Some can be trusted to pay back a loan of, say, $100, or a wrench or pair of pliers, to pay their way at lunch and at the bar. But, don't let thst guy around your wife, or there's going to be trouble. Others, you can trust around your family, but not around your money. Different people under different conditions and circumstances behave differently. We have to learn to extend conditional trust. Otherwise, we're going to get burned.
Actions speak louder than words. It is a lot more reliable to believe what we see people actually do, than to carte blanche believe what they just say. When we feel a bit uneasy, or recognize that "something isn't quite right", it might well be because the speaker's body language is a mismatch with their oral language. When there is dissonance between what they say, and how they are behaving - use what you see, and don't buy what they are saying.
In my book, trust is the first, and most important, characteristic that I look for. It's a deal killer out and out. The next thing that I look for is, are they good to get along with? Are they pleasant, or disagreeable? Understand that we can disagree pleasantly. We don't have to - indeed, cannot possibly - agree on everything. Can we handle those areas so that trust and friendship can live and grow? Or, is that particular point or area going to be an explosive mine field? I treasure friends and companions.
Other characteristics that I look for include:
Are they active? Physically, socially, mentally, etc.?
Are they seeking, questing, growing, learning?
Are they sought out? Do others like them too?
Are they playful? Do they laugh and smile? Stoic is OK, sourpuss isn't.
Are they serious? Can we discuss weighty subjects?
I enjoy lots of friends. Family and friends are pretty important. That' where trust lives.
Thanks for posting, Jack. Sometimes my trust is misplaced and I get burned. Other times I cautiously hold back trusting someone only to discover my fear was unwarranted. The toughest thing for me to learn was that, in most cases, co-workers, no matter how pleasant and congenial are not friends in the truest sense.