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    My 2010 Goals - Desert Rat - The Premier Hunting and Fishing Blog of the Southwest!

    My 2010 Goals

    I stopped making New year’s Resolutions a long time ago. They’re too cliche, and it’s too much like failure if/when they don’t come to fruition. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to have some goals. Here are some of mine, in no particular order…

    1) To take my daughter hunting more - if she wants to. We make it out once or twice a year. She seems to enjoy it, but it’s hard to tell. It’s hard for us to get out, but I am going to make a concerted effort to take her afield more this year. It’s hard to tell sometimes whether she really wants to go hunting, or whether she just doesn’t want to hurt dad’s feelings. If she wants to go, we will. If she wants to do something different, we’ll do that instead. I’m feeling more and more mortal these days, so I think its important to spend a little extra time with her. She’s a good girl, and a pretty darned good writer.

    2) Do more fishing. I used to love to fish, even more than hunting I think. That being said, I haven’t been in well over a year. I want to get fishing on a “natural” waterway this year, preferably a river. I think the Urban Fishing program is an awesome program, but it in the past, it just hasn’t “done it” for me. I grew up in fishing paradise (to me anyway) - alder choked streams for brook trout, big rivers for smallmouth bass, the mighty Miramichi for salmon, beautiful wilderness lakes for landlocked salmon. It’s time to expand my boundaries here in Arizona. Hit the urban lakes for sure, but beyond as well. I really miss fly-fishing.

    3) Buy a new rifle. I’m not a “gun guy”, more by economics than by choice. Basically I keep a deer/elk rifle, a predator rifle, a muzzleloader, a bow, a handgun, and a general purpose shotgun in the safe. Last year, with a heavy heart, I sold my deer/elk rifle. Finances were tight. The rifle was a Remington .30-06 Semi-Auto, the 3rd one I have owned in my life. It was a gift from my wife and I hated to part with it. That said, the funds got us out of a bind, and we are back on the road to some stability. I’m really sold on the .270 WSM and have my eye on the Weatherby Sage Country, but we’ll see. I try pretty hard to only spend “side-money” on hunting stuff, so we’ll see how the economy treats me in 2010.

    4) Go dove hunting. I didn’t get out once this year. ‘Nuff said. I prefer the evening shoots.

    5) Learn more about predator hunting. Go to the AHT Forums and there’s a bunch of guys who eat this stuff up including my good friend John Petrello. This is gonna be my year when I officially become a “beginner” instead of a “dabbler”. Mikaela too, if she’s up for it. See #1.

    6) Improve my photography skills. As long as I’ve been writing magazine articles, pictures were a part of the job. I seem to have a knack for this, and am ready to move on to a new level. Maybe a course or two. Besides, based on my hunting skills/luck, I think my efforts would be better spent towards photography! My employers hosts community art exhibits constantly and this year we held a staff exhibit. I have some photos entered, and I kind of dig it. I enjoy the compliments, and it’s nice to have some recognition.

    7) Shoot an elk. My first and only elk hunt ever was a disaster. Time for redemption. I don’t care if it’s a cow, a spike or a 380-class bull. Whatever I have a tag for. Time to get drawn again and kick this particular monkey off my back!

    8 ) Start a new organization. I’m passionate about matters relating to hunting and fishing but due to my situation have limited time afield and not much ability to travel. I want to contribute though. I have an idea floating around my head. I have tossed this idea at another media member and he seemed to think it might have merit. here is how I presented it to him. “What about some kind of “southwest media for hunting ethics” organization where we hyper-promote responsible hunting, anti-poaching, education, recruitment, etc? We could form the nucleus and invite other media members to participate.

    I am driven to eradicate “slob hunters” from our midst as it is becoming harder and harder for the rest of us to disassociate ourselves from the irresponsible jerks. I just don’t quite know how to go about it. As you know, there are lots of Arizona hunting-related conservation groups that promote habitat improvement, etc. I envision a local group focused on raising the bar for ethical hunting and I think as media members it would be a great fit for us to lead the charge…..” Stay tuned, we’ll see if this picks up any speed.

    9) Buy a new camera. I have a great used camera that I bought from friend and outdoor writer Tony Mandile. I’d like to have one with more “oooomph” - the Olympus I bought from Tony has a max size/resolution of 3 MP. Modern cameras boast 10 or better. Maybe the guys at CameraLand will hook me up with an awesome package. Not sure if I want Canon, Nikon, Pentax or something else. Will need some help sorting through that from the experts. See Goal #3 though, this must be financed via side jobs!

    10) Grow the site. I have been extremely happy with the growth of my blog, but feel there is lots of room yet. I want more than traffic - I want to be a “Who’s who” in the outdoor industry. I want to build strategic partnerships with manufacturers. I want to make the blog better known. That sounds a bit egocentric, I suppose but I don’t want it to be. I’m just driven to be better.

    The AHT Forums have also grown nicely. Friends Dan and Roger have done a great job building the site but I think we are still a diamond in the rough. There are good folks and a lot of great features on that site, and it is still relatively unknown. I’m hoping 2010 is a breakout year for the Forums.

    Finally, the main site needs work. Owner Steve Remington and I want to find some willing contributors/volunteers and jazz the central site up some!

    All of the best to each and every one of you in the new year. Interested in sharing any of your goals?

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