Monday, December 31, 2012

New year

The year has gone by quickly, every turn in the trail has had its trials and deadfalls. There are reasons for every trail chosen and mistakes that I have made. In hindsight I have few regrets, there are only memories good and bad. I am thankful for my family, my frinds and for the many people I have met along this years journey. I traveled thirty states this year and three countries. Sunsets and sunrises from the oceans to the great lakes and weathered storms both natural and human caused. I have learned who my true friends are and who were simply imposters pretending to be for their own personal gain.. I emerge from this past year a little wiser a little older a lot better than I had hoped. Looking into the future I foresee a great year, new beginnings, new adventures old ways revisited .The wild places will beckon, and I will answer the call with a quickened step and a lighter heart..

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bullets fly overhead as tracers light the path of deadly projectiles. Two men crouch behind a bullet riddled truck pulses quickened in the heat of battle. Both men signal to one another to move forward in the late evening gloom toward the source of The incoming fire. One is a battle tested veteran, the other a newby from some remote town in Idaho. Capitain Reynolds tells the greenhorn to stay low and move on his six, firing on any hostiles they encounter. Private Grant flies through the streets, eyes searching for enemies.Reynolds goes down so fast that Grant trips over him in full run. The fall surely saved his life, a barage of bullets and tracer rounds sails through empty space where he was standing seconds ago.Grant pulls the captain to safety behind a burned out personell carrier. He returns fire on the building across the street and sees two ostiles fall to his well aimed shots.He lies patiently as the gunfire subsides and waits for any sign of more bad guys. Years of now hunting in the Idaho wilds have honed his patience, and hunting skills. After what seems an eternity he spots movement along the rooftop acros the street. He aquires the target, breathes, releases slowly and squeezes the trigger. The man throws his hands upward and falls forward from the rooftop. Behind Grant he hears the Capitain moan, he looks at him surprised to see he is alive. "A ricochet off my hard skull."he says. I'm knocked silly, but gonna live. Private Grant saved Captain Reynolds and himself that day from certain death.. It was July forth two thousand three. Theyalso saved thousands of innocent lives through their service. Many of our heroes have fought, died, and sacrificed all for us.. God bless The U.S.A. Happy birthday tomorrow.. We will never forget.. We will always be the United States of America..

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Days

I love the moment just before sunrise, the anticipation of new light always brings me to a heightened sense of awareness. The way rays of light reach across the entire sky just before the sun makes its grand entrance is awe inspiring. There is one thing for sure in this world and that is that the sun will rise in the east. Every day the bright orb makes its entrance into the sky and with the light comes another opportunity for those who wake to its brightness to begin anew. No matter where in the world we are or who we are the sun will announce a new chance, a new day, a new beginning. I have been fortunate to enjoy forty two years and eight months and four days of sunrises. That is fifteen thousand five hundred and eighty sunrises so far. I have been blessed with the gift of all these sunrises and they seem to me to be brighter with each rising. As I look toward my future and all it holds for me I embrace every climbing of every sun across broad expanse of sky. The days do seem to go by slowly when looking toward our future and all the mysteries waiting for us to enjoy every moment. Yet at the same time every day also flies by, in the blink of an eye fifteen thousand sunrises have become sunsets and we wonder how it has passed by so quickly. I cannot complain, I have found true love, love beyond the boundaries of sunrises and have two boys who are my greatest accomplishment,my greatest joy. I have walked and ridden many trails and traveled to many places. Yes I really do enjoy the prospect of a new sunrise. It is as if the creator is lighting up the sky just for me,it is his way of saying here comes another moment. Here comes another ray of brightness to remind you that I am here. No matter what the reason for the rising I will always long for its magical and faithful coming. And yes I do long for the future,with a quickened step and a faithful heart I live each day looking forward to the sunsets. Because with every sunset there is a sunrise just around the corner.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Nuge gets nudged by feds.

http://www.outdoorhub.com/news/ted-nugent-explains-guilty-plea-for-illegal-bear-hunting-in-alaska/
My brother of the bow Ted Nugent speaks out about the new law that caused him to be threatened by our radical government, environmentalist, non hunting, eco terrorist, idiots. Keep on keepin on Ted ... Without the conservation efforts of "we" hunters and outdoor lovers, there would be no creatures to enjoy.  I am so tired of hearing about our new government and their solutions to our way of life.   From our wounded warriors, to our guitar playing, deer eating, brothers and sisters. There is no grey area when it comes to doing the right thing. Lets keep to our side of the line and not allow stupid to push us around. ~Hawk

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On the wings of hate.

For Sargent Kelly these cases always seem to drag on. For the last few months he has been working this case day and night. This week he finally caught a break. In the form of an informant from the fifth district.The man laid out the information he has been searching for. According to the informant two men from the gang known as the El toro were directly responsible for the death if the young lady. Kelly has Been lurking these streets and filthy backyards waiting for the chance to nail the two murderers. His baggy pants and dark hoodie have done well to hide him among this sea of evil doers. Twice he has purchased drugs from scumbags today and makes a mental note of their faces and location for future busts. The young girls face is still burning in his mind as he recalls the brutal rape and destruction of her small body by these sick bastards. Kelly rounds the corner of twelfth and oak and is suddenly surrounded by dozens of hoodie wearing individuals. A tall young man pulls Kelly's hoodie off and a shockwave of gasps escape the crowd. In an instant he feels fists and feet colliding with his body. Pavement meets with his face as he is beaten to the ground.He hears them screaming that he ha no right to wear the hoodie, white trash, cracker, die they shout. He tries to stop the horde of angry black youth as they beat the life out of the veteran police Sargent. The last thing he thinks of is the young black girl whose life was taken so easily. He has no idea that one of the assailants who is beating him is actually the brother of the young girl he has been trying for months to help. Finally one of the attackers lands a blow to the temple that renders him unconscious. The grey of the streetlit night fades to black for the officer. The angry gang has no way of knowing that officer Kelly has been fighting the good fight for this neighborhood for years.They will have no way of knowing that their anger over Treyvon who was himself a gangbanger has costs the entire community dearly. They have taken the life of one of the few who really cared for this community. Kelly feels a hand lifting him from the pain, he looks up into the eyes of the young girl from the crime scene. He cries as the realization of his final moments upon the earth are seen. She holds his hand and whispers it is ok! "Why do they do this?" he asks."They are afraid." She answers. I tried my best to find your killers he tells her.I know but they will not be judged until they get to where we are going now. The simple truth of the matter is that fear has ruled the day when it comes to this whole Treyvon case, racism is alive and well in the black community as well as in the white and hispanic. I fear that many more lives will be lost over the emotions of this case. And the simple truth that an angry troubled young man attacked another and paid with his life will be overlooked when the battle ground happens on our American streets. Hate, Jealousy, Fear. A dangerous combination.. Remember the Rodney King riots. He was guilty and still many were killed ar beaten while Los Angeles burned. Wake up brothers and sisters before it is too late.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rainy days

Cold rain cascades off the barn roof as the spring storm roars off to the west. Heavy grey clouds open up across the mountainside bringing life giving rain to this high place. The mud is a foot deep in the corrals. Four wet soggy mustangs stand with rumps facing the driving rain and wind. I catch the big grey gelding and slip a rope halter over his head. After brushing his wet back and saddling I mount up and head for the higher pasture. Near the forest line the rain suddenly stops, followed by instant illumination. Bright rays of sunlight burst forth from the clouds and touch down all across the high country. Every ray brings to light some rare treasure of beauty in the wet landscape. A pine tree sparkles with a thousand diamonds of raindrops, the ridge line above me looks like a burning fire of gold and orange sage. Far off grasses dance in brilliant color amidst a spotlight of perfect natural beauty. The mustang notices too and announces his disapproval at my remaining in one spot for too long. He paws the ground, shakes his head rattling the bit and showering my face with horse water. I wipe my face with a wet sleeve and release him from his imprisonment with a sligrely ouch of the reigns. Bright sunlight returns to the heavens as quickly as it came and the rain starts again. A thousand thoughts come and go in my head as I ride through the rain. Memories, thoughts of the future and moments remembered. A lifetime, all gone over on a wet ride through broken country. The grey decides the day is going too slow and sidesteps. This is his way of asking is we can do what mustangs do best... Run across big country. I give the cue to go and we are off, wet earth and mud fly up in the air as sharp hooves take flight. The ground slides by and for a moment I wonder if he actually did somehow defy gravity. We race through the rain, he loving the freedom of the run, me living for the ride. For nearly a mile we race headlong through grassland and sage. Finally the horse begins to slow and we return to a walk. Steam rises from his now heated body and the smell of wet horse permeates my senses. We turn and head back toward the barn, several miles to go and he will have fresh hay and a dry barn. I will dry my wet body by a warm fire while nursing a hot cup of coffee. But for now we are wet, wild and free riding through rainy days and moments of pure bright sunshine. Kind of like life I guess, some days are wet cold and miserable while others are bright and shiny. I always look forward to the shiny ones... Even while rain is falling. Hawk

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Love is in the air.

From across the room their eyes meet, he knows without her ever saying it that she sees him. Not just sees him but sees through him. Their souls touch their eyes meet and no one else in the room seems the wiser. She feels the butterflies in her stomach as he approaches her. He can barely keep his hands off her even as the other people move about the room too near their souls locked together by simple eye contact. How many kisses have they shared how many intimate moments? Only they know for sure as he takes her smaller hand in his. In a language only lovers know they walk hand in hand to the dance floor near the center of this place. Where people and music fill empty space. He with practiced hands guides her close to him and she accepts the invitation willingly. Every part of their being wants the other as together they glide across the floor unaware that every eye watches their loving dance.They only have eyes for one another, it has always been this way for them and shall remain so until their meeting with the creator. Love is so much more than an emotion, so much more than a commitment, love is for some people unattainable. But for some love is all they need all they strive for and simply put all they will ever be. For the passionate, committed, loving couple on the dance floor love is like that. Simple beautiful and all consuming. After the song is over the two walk hand in hand back to the crowd of loud people who all cheer the couple. He holding her hand she loving his touch. He knows without looking around the room that she is the most stunning lady here. She won't even bother looking around the room . She knows her man is all any woman could ever need or want. As they take their seats among the crowd a pretty blonde woman asks how long have you two been married? He answers quickly and proudly, sixty three years today . Wow! That is amazing says the lady. He knows it sounds amazing to most but to him it has been the easiest thing in life loving this woman who loves him back so completely. She feels the same way about him and couldn't imagine life without him beside her. The young lady asks how do you keep the passion alive after all these years. Neither answers, they just look at one another and speak to one another in the language only lovers speak. Through eye contact they answere each other and excuse themselves from the crowd. She takes his arm and whispers I love you, he gently squeezes her arm and answers always!

I am so fortunate to have love in my
Life. Thank you for being my reason for breathing, my reason for looking toward the future with open eyes. You have tought me that true love, absolute trust, complete commitment aren't chains that bind.. But rather the reason love was created in the first place . I love you baby girl.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring

Spring air has a way of awakening long dormant desires to cover new ground and stretch out your legs. It is funny how the first stretch of a long walk can invigorate a wilderness wanderer. Yet the last legs of a high mountain climb can leave even the most seasoned hiker gasping for air and wishing rubber legs would quit. Somehow every spring I find myself covering large pieces of realestate in search of adventure, clean air , sunshine and elk sheds. I am not sure why but the prospect of finding a shed antle for me is like finding some secret treasure. A treasure left in the wilderness just for me, hidden in secret places by the creator hoping I will take the time to search. I have walked thousands of miles over the years searching out these treasures. It seems to me the rubber legs come on sooner and last longer than they used to and the mountain air is somehow completely without oxygen. Places where I once ran up steep slopes have become steeper. Where I used to trot across broken terrain carrying a hundred pound pack of shed antlers. Now I have to crawl up the last few yards hoping for some sort of emergency response personell to revive me once the summit is reached. The antlers are heavier too and gain weight with every mile traveled. I carried two six points that weighed fifty pounds. Yet when I weighed them at home they had shrunk to a total of twenty pounds. In my youth I spotted a shed from nearly a half mile away through my spotting scope. I ran through the wild lands, giddy with anticipation as I finally laid hands on my newfound treasure. Today I see a large six point shed across the valley and begin my track on wobbly legs through unforgiving and often hostile territory. Three hours later I finally arrive at the sight of the giant shed only to find someone has replaced it with a stick that slightly resembles the actual antler. My legs burning and my chest heaving with the last of the oxygen on the planet I retreat back up the mountain, I carry a piece of paper in my wallet, a will telling who should receive all the treasures I have accumulated in my life. And what to do with my remains should the climb back up run completely out of oxygen. This spring I finally made it back to the truck, I crawled the last few yards. I managed to suck some hidden oxygen from near the ground and rise to my feet. Three elk sheds attached to my pack weighing nearly five hundred pounds. I take the pack off and wait for the dizziness to pass before finally loading the heavy burden into the truck and driving toward home. Yes this is no place for the old, weak or faint of heart, the wilderness if there to enjoy if you have the strength, stamina and a lions heart. And the creator will keep making sure that the antlers get dropped farther and farther back in every year. While those mountains will keep growing and the air will eventually be completely free of oxygen. Until then I'll keep coming up here and searching for the treasures nature has laid out for me. Hawk

Monday, April 2, 2012

Honor.

Even at night, crossing through Sioux lands is a hair raising experience for a lone white man and his horse. Not many would even consider the prospect of crossing through here considering all the scalps taken from settlers in recent months. For Henry ODonnell there is no choice but to make the trek. He told his brother Frank that if ever anything were to happen to him that he would look after His family. Since Franks death two days ago Henry has been crossing through hostile lands in route to his late brothers ranch near Sheridan Wyoming. Twice he had to hide for hours while Sioux warriors rode by painted for war and looking for fresh scalps. Henry is sure his red locks would be highly prized were to to fall prey to the savages.
As dawn breaks over the Black Hills Henry is crossing broken country heading due west. Bear butte is looming off to his right in the distance. The weathered tower reminds Henry of a giant beer stine. What he wouldn't do for a pint of strong beer right about now. Suddenly the morning air is pierced by a shrill war cry, arrows rain down on the beautiful landscape. Henry spurs his horse into a hard run hoping he can outdistance the half dozen warriors who are now in hot pursuit. For the next mile Henry is in a race for his life , he rides headlong into the west wind hoping beyond hope that the horse will not falter. Several hours later Henry leaves his dead horse and continues westward . The savages have long since given up the chase and Henry is determined to make his destination no matter if he has to fight the whole Sioux nation.
Two weeks later Mary ODonnell sees someone staggering Up the lane to the ranch, she readies her rifle and waits the man's approach. Henry walks up to Mary with tears in his eyes she understands immediately. Henry holds her tight as she sobs her grief into her husbands older brothers shoulder. Henry lays a small locket in her hands, he says "Frank carried this with him until the very end." Mary opened the locket and stares at the wedding likeness of Frank her. "Thank you Henry ." she says . Henry is not sure what she is thanking him for, he was only doing what he said he would do.

I wonder why in our modern society why people don't seem to do what they promise. Few even bother to listen to what is asked of them much less care what the consequences of their actions may be. When did it become OK to make a promise then just throw it away because it was too hard.. I would love to see a person make a promise and then actually follow through .. Wouldn't that be something to see in this modern world of me, me, me ..... I guess I am just too old fashioned for our modern world and all it has to offer. Hawk

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A warriors reason.

Sweat slides down sergeant Lawson's face as he stares into the desert heat for signs of the enemy. Every nerve is on edge,a slight breeze of super heated Afghan air stirs his shirt sleeve. He sights down the scope of his fifty caliber rifle and whispers to his spotter "nine hundred thirty yards, wind ten, from our six.." "Confirmed Sargent" answers the voice at his left. He sees a slight movement in the scope of a man shifting in the sand. The spotter whispers" wind still ten ,temperature 110 , range nine hundred thirty even." Lawson adjusts his scope to allow for the heat, wind, and range. With practiced precision he breathes in, starts to let out the air and lightly touches the trigger. The rifle roars and he loses his sight picture for a split second. About the time he reacquires the target he sees the bullet impact the man. A red spray announces .comhis shot was good. The devastation of a fifty caliber round on human flesh is indescribable.Two Taliban soldiers break from the hillside and make a feeble attempt at escape. The enemy having no idea where the shot came from run straight at certain death. Two more echoes from the fifty at eight hundred ten yards and again at seven eighty and the threat is no more. Lawson and his spotter wait two days before leaving the area under cover of darkness. Patience is something that has kept them alive for years and hurrying has been the downfall of many of their targets. They once waited five days for a shot after wounding the enemy from nearly a mile away. The enemy felt the threat must have left after so long and paid dearly with their lives when they finally made their move to retreat.
Flash back ten years earlier and you will find the future sergeant slowly moving through the forest. In his hands is a homemade bow, a self bow made from a hickory sapling he learned to build bows from his granddad. His hunting prowess and skills he learned from his father, uncles, granddad and from good old trial and error. Nothing sharpens the senses like a lesson learned through the school of hard Knox. Lawson is no stranger to the hunt nor to the patience required of the hunter to be successful. By the time he joined the army his skills as a hunter were well refined. Eight years of combat, training, and finding out what it really means to become a warrior have made lawson a force to be reckoned with. He has eighteen confirmed kills some over a thousand yards. Yet his finest shot ever made if you ask him is one at ten yards on a elk while hunting with his dad. The bull went only twenty feet before expiring beside a clear creek. Lawson recalls that last hunt with his father before his passing later that winter and smiles at the memory.

Now here he sits beside his lovely wife trying to enjoy a meal at the local steakhouse. Three loud obnoxious young men who have been drinking at the bar stand and make a rude gesture toward Lawson and his wife. Both avert their eyes from the trouble makers and try to ignore the rude behavior. The leader of the group approaches the table on wobbly legs. He tells Lawson that he believes his lady should be eating with some real men. The waiter asks the men to leave and is rudely pushed aside. Lawson reacts without thinking, he catches the man across the throat with a stiff elbow and follows it up with another fist to the back of the head as the man goes down. The man stays down,followed closely by both his friends who try in vain to protect their fallen comrade. Lawson calmly returns to his seat and his wife sees for the first time in her life a glimpse of the man who defends her, her way of life and her country. She is frightened by what she sees behind those eyes, yet her love and commitment to him remains steadfast and she must admit she is proud this warrior belongs to her.

Outside Lawson is questioned by police and released along with his wife to return home. He never mentions the incident again and she never brings it up. He wonders as he boards the plane for his final tour with the army. Will she still be there when he returns, if he returns. Yes! She will always be there for him no matter how long or how tough. She will remain his closest friend, his ally, his reason for keeping up the good fight. And lord help any Taliban fighters who stand in the way of him returning to her. The shortest distance between two points is through a rifle scope and the quickest way to meet your maker is to stand between a soldier and his reason for fighting. He may be able to shoot farther and more accurate than most. But the boundaries of his love for her are endless and farther reaching than any other weapon in the American arsenal.


High country archer