Thanksgiving usually signals the end of harvest season and points to the cold weather months to come. This year, those signals have come early, prior to Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is a special time for many, including a morning hunt prior to a good meal, often with family. And, importantly, it is a time to be thankful for our many blessings.
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.
According to Wikipedia, several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada.
Thanksgiving has its historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, and has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well.
The early settlers and the Indians gathered for the first Thanksgiving. Hunting had been good as had nature's bounty of corn and other vegetables for the Indians, according to most historical reports.
It had been a tough year in 1621 for the settlers, but the Indians shared their bounty with them to start a long-standing tradition.
One of my greatest blessings is health. It’s not the best, but I’m still above ground, and enjoy the wonders of nature. We are fortunate to have the freedom to enjoy the outdoors -- to travel freely without fear to fish, hunt, camp, hike or just watch an eagle soar above the river
I’m convinced ISIS terrorists and others aren’t finished trying to take away our freedoms, but I’m also convinced they won’t be successful in the end..
Thanksgiving is a time for family. My wife, Phyllis and I both are of German heritage, and family always has been important to us. Our family has scattered a bit, but we’ll still be in touch one way or another.
Part of my Thanksgiving tradition is a morning hunt. Sometimes for rabbits, some times for quail or pheasants. Whether or not we come home with any game doesn’t matter. It is just the tradition of getting out in the field for a few hours while the women do their thing in the kitchen.
This year, Thanksgiving morning may involve casting a few lures rather than hunting. A leg problem has limited my mobility for hunting,
One of the first hunts I remember was when I was eight or 10. I didn’t yet have a rifle, but I had a Red Ryder BB gun. After breakfast at my grandparents, the guys decided to hunt a cornfield on the small Illinois farm. We hoped to scare up a rabbit or two nestled in the downed cornstalks amid the remnants of an early snow.
The men and older boys humored me and let me tag along with my Red Ryder. An ample supply of BB’s had been purchased with my allowance at the Western Auto Store.
We hadn’t walked far, when up jumped a startled cottontail. Guess I was the first to see him, and I quickly raised my trusty Red Ryder and squeezed the trigger for a shot.
No one told me I couldn’t kill a rabbit with a BB gun. So, to everyone’s surprise, I did.
The guys were amazed. The BB hit the cotton tail in the head, and dropped it in its tracks. It was the only rabbit we shot that Thanksgiving morning.
Well, I wish it had been an early indicator of great shooting ability on my part. But, that wasn’t the case. I grew up to be a lousy shot. But, that Thanksgiving morning was something special. It was a hunt I’ve never forgotten.
Thanksgiving this year probably won’t involve a hunt. A little fishing may substitute. But one this is sure. Like most Americans, I have much for which to be thankful to our Creator. A wonderful family, a wonderful country, and the wonderful outdoors.