Ahh…Yet Another Year Is About To End

It’s become somewhat of a tradition in this blog to have a year end post where I reflect on where I’ve been, but more importantly, it’s a time when I make plans for where I am going.   Let me just say this past year was a tough year in my personal life.

Dealing with a parent in the twilight of her life and finally laying her to rest toward the end of May tapped much of my energy.  I guess it was one of those years that just overwhelmed me — both mentally and physically.   That being said, I did NOT experience as much hunting and fishing as I had intended to do.   Therefore, I will be the first to admit this blog suffered because of it.

But putting those challenges and struggles behind me, it is now time to look forward.   I am excited for 2013!   During the past 12 months I only averaged about one blog post per week.   Worse than that…there were some months I barely scratched one post together for the entire month.   That has to change…and it will as soon as the clock strikes midnight tonight.


I am starting the year with this as my new blog motto.   I hope my loyal readers know that I just don’t put words on this blog for the sake of making a post.   I can’t tell you how many blog posts I’ve written…and then carefully edited…only to eventually hit the delete function button.   Why?   It’s simple.   This blog must do something for my readers.   If it doesn’t educate, entertain or in some other way provide value to the reader…well, I just don’t want my name associated with it.

In about two weeks I, like many of my outdoor communicating comrades, will be heading off to Vegas to cover the 2013 SHOT Show.   Man, I’ve lost track without checking back how many shows like this I’ve attended.   It must be pushing about 25 of them.   Each year I learn and see so much.   This year, in fact, with the current events shaping our world it could be one of the most intense and exciting shows ever.   More on that later.

I hope to take this SHOT Show intensity and run with it far into the new year.   Already on the calendar I have a turkey hunt, a trout fishing trip, several lake fishing trip outings, to name but a few.   Indeed, I am approaching this new year with much less burden on my shoulders and a renewed vigor I intend to harness and properly display on this blog.

Honestly, we are living in some exciting times when it comes to the outdoors.   Never has there been as much opportunity to explore diverse ways to be entertained in the outdoors pastime as there is today.

This blog has always been about my opinions and sharing my experiences in the outdoors.   I make a pledge to you, my readers, to be far more engaging and communicative during 2013.

Here’s wishing all of my readers the best, the safest and the happiest of New Year’s to come!

©2012 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

12 Important Lessons I Learned During 2012

BLOGGER’S NOTE: This blog post is greatly inspired by another blogger, the Strategic Monk, and his post similarly titled to mine—12 Lessons That I Learned This Year 2012.

1. Sometimes the demands and the responsibilities of life take priority to the time spent blogging—and that’s okay!

2. It’s not the gear I purchase from Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops or Gander Mountain that makes me the outdoors person I strive to be.

3. The true mark of a successful sportsman is not necessarily best displayed by the pictures of me holding fish or game animals.

4. Passion for the outdoors can be very contagious, but others must be in close proximity to catch the bug.


My daughter, Elsie, after winning a fishing competition this summer at the fishing lodge.

5. A person is NEVER too old to be tactfully reminded of safe gun handling practices.

6. An 8 ounce crappie weighs more to a 4 y/o than a 3 pound bass does to any adult.

7. Maintaining a healthy body is even more important than taking good care of your fishing and hunting equipment.

8. Carry a camera at all times.  Trust me, as you grow older pictures help fuel the mind’s ability to live out those fond memories.

9. Outdoors pursuits should never contain a contest component, except for good-natured fun among peers in camp.  Competitiveness beyond that indicates a motivation to be outdoors for all the wrong reasons.

10. Time spent in the woods and on the waters has better positioned me for dealing with and understanding the natural process of death.

11. Dry, warm feet always makes for a happier hunter.

12. The lawn can always be mowed tomorrow, but the fish might only be biting today!

So, let’s hear about what you’ve learned during 2012.   Any great advice that we can use as we inch closer to 2013?

©2012 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.