A family emergency. That’s what ended my Devil’s Garden muzzle loader hunt. My 93-year-old dad came down with pneumonia. And, the pneumonia nearly killed him with fluid buildup in his lungs. When he entered the ICU and took a turn for the worse, I knew they needed me at home.
I had a lot invested in the Devil’s Garden hunt, mostly emotion, as it was the hunt that I prepared for the most. In order to come home, I had to put on my emotional blinders. Maybe I’ll buy an Open Zone Tag again. We’ll see.
One of the problems with hunting is that you are usually very limited by season dates. I’ve made it a personal policy to only cancel or return from a trip due to dire circumstances. If you’re a hunter you know that you need to make your hunts a high priority if you plan on continuing. My wife and I discuss this about once a week.
Dad is doing better now and we hope to have him out of the hospital in a few days. I’m continuing to plan the Doyle muzzle loader hunt as if there is nothing wrong. That could change, but I believe things will work out. They usually do.
The other good news is that, if something goes wrong with the Doyle hunt, I can still hunt Anderson Flat and Goodale. Sooner or later I’ll probably take a shot, but if not I’ll be thankful for the opportunities.
In a lifetime of hunting I’ve only returned home early twice, not too bad when you figure how many times I’ve gone hunting.