New year, new life

By Josh Sheldon

Outdoors Writer

The New Year is a chance for everyone to reflect on the last and attempt to rectify anything unfavorable. And for some of us, itís the beginning of a new and amazing journey in life.

I hope everyone had a Happy New Year and have been able to stick to their resolutions. This is the beginning of the happiest and most memorable year of my life. The announcement was made that we are expecting a baby in June and everything businesswise is in check to begin guiding outdoor adventures. As most things in life, the amount you plan tends to reflect in a final product. A business and a child are much the same, in that they both require a lot of work and care to sustain and grow. I donít like going blindly into things, so I guess itís time to hit the drawing board.

It wasnít long ago that I didnít want children. I was pretty much disabled and could barely care for myself, let alone a family. I suffered for a long time and was given little hope by doctors that there was anything they could do for me. Long story short, I was able to find a laser surgical center and was patched up. I had lost a lot of time, so I had to catch up fast. By a stroke of fate, my high school sweetheart was also single and we reconnected. In less than two years, we were able to move her here, find and move into a house, and reach the final stages of opening two businesses. Stuff like this doesnít happen overnight, but was sped up by planning and implementation.

We planned to have a child as soon as we had a stable environment and were blessed pretty fast. I canít find the right word to describe the feeling you get when you find out that you are going to be a parent. For most it was probably a lot like me somewhere between terrified and ecstatic, although this is a weak description. All you want is the best for this precious new life, so you start planning right away. I was lucky enough to have worked in daycare for about eight years and as odd as it sounds, training dogs is helping me prepare. I started training dogs long ago and immediately recognized similarities when teaching children, mostly those that canít speak yet. Children and pups are like sponges, they absorb good and bad behaviors equally. They can also be taught easier if an organized routine is implemented. Babies, like dogs, canít talk, so hand signals, or sign language, are the best early training methods. We had children at our center that were able to communicate their needs through simple signals before they were 10 months old. Now itís time to raise my own and I couldnít be more excited!

I pretty much feel ready for the raising part, but am much less prepared for the necessities and purchasing part. We will surely be tackling this obstacle soon and from the sound of it, diapers are at the top of the list. Three people in a week said start stocking up now and take what is offered. Looks like Iím probably not going to have time to get out with many of you this season, Iím going to be pretty busy. Nurturing and providing for my indoor and outdoor family is at the top of my priorities list and Iím sure they will require the majority of my time and effort.

Like my child, food and shelter are a necessity to our deer. I fully intend to keep up my routine of plot feeding and manipulating landscape, to provide our herd the best life possible. By doing this, I increase the carrying capacity of the land, the health of the herd, and in return, I am able to be choosey as to what animals I take. When I say choosy, Iím mostly referring to not shooting yearling bucks and fawns. One of my biggest pet peeves is the line ďif itís brown, itís down.Ē Have some respect for new life and value the resource they can provide in the future! Do some research as to how to judge whether an animal is mature or not and if you canít tell, do as I do and pass. In my world, all deer are not equal and I wish more hunters felt the same.

I have the candle burning at both ends and another on standby, so itís back to work for me. Business and baby are not going to wait. Thank all of you for following and supporting my column, I so value all of your feedback, gifts and friendship. I canít wait to share my new little outdoorsperson with you all.

Good wishes and celebrate new life.

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