Get More Time in the Field: Plan Annual Trips

Written by: Mike Quartararo

Seve Hunt III
Annual Seve Commermorative Hunt
Mike Quartararo

All of us who have experienced a good day afield with dogs working and birds flushing feel anticipation as each fall bird season approaches. Leaves start to fall, the temperatures starts to drop and memories of wonderful times spent outdoors with friends and dogs enters into the mind. The question is: How do you make time to get out there as much as possible?

After Hunt Conversation
Post Hunt Conversation
Eric Rickstad

The increasing time commitments of work and family take their toll on our ability to get outside and enjoy days in the field. I have learned that the best way to ensure quality hunting time every year is to lock down annual outings or trips, and then try to work in as many additional day trips in as possible. I hold an annual hunt with my buddies every year on the first Friday of woodcock season here in Vermont. It usually comes around the middle of October. The hunt was started three years ago as a commemorative hunt for my best dog and worthiest hunting companion Seve, who had previously passed away that summer. This hunt has become one of the highlights of my season.

Paul and Tom sharing a story
Sharing Stories After the Hunt
Eric Rickstad

Locking down annual outings or trips sets expectation levels and allows you to ensure that you and your hunting buddies can get out in the field as much as possible. Or, at least that is the theory. If your hunting buddies are anything like mine, they can flake out on plans as fast as a skittish grouse busting out of a thorn apple when it comes to plans made on the fly. With a planned annual trip, they know that there will be consequences associated with backing out and they cannot bear the thought of disappointing their friends at the eleventh hour and screwing up a great weekend with a phone call or cancelation message. It’s unacceptable. It also gives them an excuse to their spouses: “Hey it’s once a year, it’s an annual event, I can’t back out.”

That’s another benefit of locking down hunting weekends or time to hunt on a regular annual basis: It becomes a regular part of your yearly activity schedule and does not cause consternation with the spouse. Any single men and women are most likely laughing right now. Everyone is an armchair expert when it comes to managing free time with their spouses or significant others. Planning and annual hunting trip or day soon becomes a regular part of your autumn season. This blocking off of hunting time seems like a fairly obvious point, yet most people end up looking back at the season saying “I wish that I was able to get out more.” Set some dates early and keep them on the calendar. You’ll get out more.

POt of Sausage Chili
It’s not a Seve Commemorative Hunt without chili and sausage, together…
Eric Rickstad
Paul’s Lab Pickett Wants a Sausage
Eric Rickstad

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