Thoughts From The Forest December 2021

Thoughts From The Forest December 2021

Thoughts From The Forest Rick Bramwell

When I was in my late 20s, I rabbit hunted with a man named Albert Wente. He was about 77 and had endless energy. I remember a long day of hunting with the sun beginning to set. We were kicking around an old homestead where briars and brambles had grown where a house, yard, and garden once existed. This was our last stop before heading home.

After killing a couple of bunnies from this little honey hole. Albert started heading down a fencerow that led to a woods a half-mile away. I called the old fellow back, my legs were aching.

I once asked Albert how he and his wife stayed so active? He replied, “When you wake up and don’t feel like doing something-make yourself do it.”

Toby Keith “Don’t let The Old Man In”

When Toby Keith asked Clint Eastwood the same question, he said, “Get up and go outside, don’t let the old man in.” This was on Eastwood’s ninetieth birthday. His plan for the future was to direct another movie. Toby went home and wrote, “Don’t Let The Old Man In.”

I left a family dinner Sunday evening in time to give me an hour or so to hunt. I’ve always hunted the last day of the muzzleloader season with unfilled tags.

At 4:10 pm, I pulled onto a country road at my hunting area. There was a lone doe grazing about 180 yards out in a field. I drove on. Several times, on my way home, I told myself, “Turn around, go back, you still have time.” I heeded not, my own advice.

When I pulled in the drive a red ribbon laced the western sky where the sun had been. I took my beagle Tramp out behind the barn where he quickly got on a rabbit track. I walked to the edge of my fencerow and looked both ways and then looked down. No deer and no tracks. That was a poor excuse for hunting until dark on the last day.

Did I let the old man in? I’m not sure. 

My plans were changed at the beginning of the firearm season and we had a lot of wind and rain. I don’t consider it old age, but good judgment not to go out in inclement weather anymore.

October was warm so I chose to fish instead of bow hunt and scout for deer. It seems, I never caught up. I still have a reduction zone to hunt until the end of January and archery continues through January 2, 2022.

Christmas Eve will see the temperature reach a high of 54 degrees. Christmas Day, we are promised 60 degrees.

Normally, I would be quite busy and want it that way. This year, my house will be empty. Jourdan and Ryan are visiting his folks in Vermont. Neither of the twins, Brittany and Brianna will not be visiting with their babies and I don’t have a family get-together until Saturday afternoon. An old friend is in the same boat. His daughter just moved out earlier this week. There is a good chance we will be fishing while you are cleaning up the cookie crumbs Santa left.

Merry Christmas to you all.

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About Rick Bramwell 30 Articles
Grew up in rural Indiana fishing farm ponds and hunting woodlands. Bramwell has been writing outdoors for 48 years. He harvested the record typical whitetail for his county and hunts rabbits with his beagle Tramp. He fished bass tournaments, including Red Man, until 1989. Bramwell has put together an ultra-ultra light system for catching panfish that mostly involves tight-lining a small jig. He attended college at Indiana State and Anderson University. Bramwell has two sons in their 50s, Brian and Gregory. A daughter Jourdan age 27. His greatest memory: fishing trout, salmon and halibut in Alaska. Bramwell's passion, apart from the outdoors, has been coaching high school age fastpitch softball.