For many of us, our hunting or guiding season is winding down. I want to personally congratulate all of you that were able to get out and hunt this year with the travel complications of “life in a Covid-19” world. I’ve received many texts and photos and have seen that many of our members have had a very good Fall and I congratulate you.
As I write this, we are on the verge of the American tradition of Thanksgiving. This National holiday celebrates the first shared Autumn harvest celebration between the Pilgrims at Plymouth with the Wampanoag Native Americans in 1621. It was declared a national holiday during a time of crisis during the American Civil War in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln. This year we mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, which holds special meaning for me as I am a Mayflower Society eligible member. I reflect on how my life would be different if my family did not endeavor to challenge the unknown and cross the Atlantic Ocean at great personal risk and peril.
So, with a renewed spirit and appreciation for Thanksgiving during these trying times, though I may not celebrate with my family, I will, never the less, celebrate. In the tradition of the “Giving” and the Native American tradition of sharing the Autumn harvest with the village, I have been sharing my Colorado bison meat with my neighbors. During these trying times, I have been so blessed and have so much, it was an easy decision to help those around me and share. As an ambassador for the hunting community, it has been rewarding to see the positive support I received from the community, many of whom had not had any previous contact with a hunter. For many, they would be trying Bison for the first time this Holiday season.
I often quote Alexander Pope (1734), “Hope springs eternal...” Those words ring truer now than ever before. And as sheep hunters, we have a keen understanding of maintaining PMA, positive mental attitude. Hope is at the center of maintaining PMA. Hope is at the center of maintaining control over your own happiness. Do not lose hope. There’s hope for an end to Covid. There’s hope for a return to normalcy. As we approach application season, there is hope of finally drawing the tag of a lifetime. And there’s hope that all of us will be able to get together in person and celebrate 20 years of wildlife conservation on April 24, 2021 at the Doubletree by Hilton. Have hope! ...and make plans to attend today. I’ll see you in Sacramento.