This “Hunting with Bill Miller” post is going to leave you shaking your head and thinking, Miller needs to see a shrink. He’s crazy! Though I’ve written and said, “I have the best job in the world,” more times than I can count, I’ve decided after nearly 28 years with North American Hunting Club it’s time to move on down the trail … or at least around the next bend.
Nothing has changed in my belief that working with and for NAHC members is the greatest job in the world. However, one major requirement of this job is if I’m not on a “work hunt” I’m required to be in the office day in and day out. (Those of you who have been in camp with a writer or TV camera understand there’s a huge difference between “work hunts” and “personal hunts.”)
Staunch in my belief of the virtues of self-discipline and careful financial planning, I vowed I’d never permit myself the luxury of a “midlife crisis.” Yet, I’m sure some of you are going to believe that’s what this is. So be it. But there’s no Corvette, motorcycle or 20-something blonde. In fact, there’s not even a hand-crafted 20 gauge side-by-side involved—of course, that can always change at any moment, midlife crisis or not.
Of my career, I’ve always said, “All I ever wanted to do is be an outdoor writer.” In all my years at NAHC I’ve gone a good ways down that trail, but there remain many miles to go. Having been “inside” the hunting industry for so long, I realize there are many things I still want to do that I’ll never accomplish sitting in an office.
I want to be a cook in a hunting camp somewhere for at least a season. I want to watch and document my young Lab, Callie, retrieving at least 1,000 birds in the field in 1 year—which means I’ll need to hunt and guide a lot in multiple states and Canada. I want to spend a winter in the tiny town of Port Menier on Anticosti Island “catching up” on all that put-off writing. I want to “go home” to hunt for 10 days, or even a month, at a time rather than squeezing in a couple of harried days between work trips.
For the immediate future, I’ll be going on the “Outdoor Legends Tour” you read about on HuntingClub.com earlier this week. Then I’m going to do a truckload of turkey hunting. And when that’s over, I’ll figure out what I’m going to do when I grow up.
Of course, little of that will put gas in the truck, let alone pay the mortgage … so I know we’ll be meeting again. The guts of the shows for the 2012 season of “North American Hunter-TV” are already in the can, so you’ll be seeing me there. I hope the NAH magazine editors will let me write articles now and then. And, of course, I hope to continue this blog as long as you all will have me. That’s just a start. I have many miles to hike before I hang up my boots or my guns. So no doubt, I’ll see you down the trail.