There were a ton of great entries in the "Share Your Hunting Plans, Win A Calendar." It sounds like plenty of you North American Hunting Club members have solid hunting seasons lined up!
Below are the three entries I chose as winners, along with a few personal notes from Yours Truly. Plus, I chose an additional two members who will receive calendars because I was extremely inspired by their comments.
“This year I plan to go grouse hunting and take my 5-year-old stepdaughter with so that I can introduce her to joys of hunting. I don't care if we take anything—just showing her the woods is going to be a lot of fun. I'm also planning on introducing my girlfriend to hunting; it'll probably be for blacktail. For my third hunt, I'll probably go with my father again for deer and possibly elk. Last year was the first year that I harvested a deer with him, and I've only hunted with him twice. I didn't know him growing up, so this has been an exciting time.”
-Jon Lahoe, Washington
Jon, thanks for sharing your plans. I chose you as a winner because you're "spreading the love" of hunting with others.
“Well, starting in the fall I am embarking on my mission to take a whitetail in every state that allows their hunting … with my T/C Omega. I will be hunting the early October Hunt in Pennsylvania, and then the week leading up to Thanksgiving I'll be in New York for the start of their gun season. Then, if no luck in Pennsylvania in the early hunt, I'll be back the week after Thanksgiving to give it another try. Oh, and I'm doing it all on public land. I'm just starting out on my own and on my mission, so I'm hoping to knock off two states this year. Of course, to do this on public land I'll be spending every second I can in the woods scouting/small-game hunting. If only I didn't have to work!”
-Jeremy Caldwell, New York
Jeremy, I'm definitely jealous of your plans. You're embarking on a serious quest and I wish you the best of luck. You might want to take a look at Whitetail SLAM if you haven't already ... I think it will fit into your plans perfectly!
“This year I hope to do some hunting with my wife and grandchildren, starting in March with coyote hunting with my 10-year-old grandson. In or around June, I’ll take a trip to South Dakota with my 6-year-old granddaughter and 10-year-old grandson and wife for a prairie dog hunt. In October, it’s back to south Dakota for pheasant. In November, it’s deer hunting back here in Wisconsin with my wife. It should be a good year for a 72-year-old.”
-Joe Roiger, Wisconsin
Joe, I hope when I'm in my 70s that I can be as active in the outdoors as you! You're a big winner in my book, especially because you're sharing your passion with the next generation of hunters.
“I hope to be able to go hunting for deer for the 2012 season, and maybe hunting for some rabbit, squirrel, pheasant and maybe turkey. But for the last couple years I haven't been able to go hunting because of my service-connected disability that I received during my 11 years in the military. Because of this, I haven’t been able to find a job since 1997. So, I am not sure about being able to go hunting or not, but I sure hope so ...”
-Ronald Lee Ray Jr., Iowa
Ronald, I chose your entry to not only thank you for your service, but also to commend your motivation for striving to get into the field. I wish you the best of luck, sir.
“I doubt my hunting plans will make any headlines. It will consist of turkey season, then into deer. For now, it is scouting and shed hunting. I DREAM of making a living in the hunting industry. I am looking for the back door to get in. I don't have the wildlife training like most. I don't have the connections that most had. I am currently laid off from the world of creating mattresses and box springs where I am a production supervisor. I am not sure if we will even reopen. The layoff allowed me to hunt the entire season and learn a lot about myself. I have found that, if I can find that "back door" into the world of hunting for a living, I will jump at the chance! So, as far as the calendar goes, give it to someone who will have a stellar year. For me, all I need is a door!”
-Ed Holden (Spotted Crow), Connecticut
Ed (aka Spotted Crow), I want to provide you with a calendar because I feel you, brother. It took me much effort and blessing to be given the chance to join the outdoor/hunting industry. Don't let "the man" get you down, and remember that you need to keep searching for doors and knocking on every one, because there is no "magic door" that will open for you.
Thanks to everyone for participating. Visit my "Mixed Bag" blog regularly, along with all the other HuntingClub.com blogs, for your chance to share and win often.