Along The Trail 3-12-15

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Editor’s Note: This is a column written by Switzerland County’s David Hewitt. The articles center on all things ‘outdoors’, from hunting and fishing to woodsmanship.

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A quote from one of my favorite movies of all time, ‘Jeremiah Johnson’, hits it squarely on the head:

“March is a green, muddy month down below, some folks like it…”

Or another: “Winter is a long time going”.

Either one could be appropriate for this year, but short of March being the birthday month of two of my favorite people, maybe watching a little college basketball, I’m ready to fast forward into April and hearing the gobbling of turkeys and feeling a warm breeze.

There’s not much for the sportsman to do in March other than wait. Wait for the ground to thaw and dry out, wait for a hint of green or that tease of a warm day, the kind that makes you grab your fishing gear and head to the nearest pond and hope to pull out a crappie or slab sized bluegill.

March is usually a holding pattern for me.

This year will be different though.

This March will be full of outdoor challenge. Spring break, or the abbreviated version of it thanks to February’s snowfall, will find a handful of my friends and I in south Texas. Longbows in hand and quivers full of arrows chasing wild hogs and javelina in the arid scrub.

The dry heat will feel good after old man winter’s grip here in the Midwest. Five days of hunting, hiking and seeing new, wild country and if all goes as planned, some backstraps and bacon will make the trip back home with us.

An adventure for certain, from the planning stage to the 20 hour drive to slipping through the cactus and mesquite.

But not only will the hog hunt be a change from the normal routine of March, but another new opportunity for me will take off.

A few months ago, I decided to toss my hat in the ring for an election. No, not a political position or anything to do with the government, but as a board member for an organization I belong to, the Compton Traditional Bowhunters.

CTB is a national and international organization that speaks for traditional bowhunters and is deeply invested in promoting and preserving traditional archery and bowhunting. I’m not big on belonging to clubs or organizations because – all too often – those groups, especially national ones, become nothing more than lobbyists and push an agenda that becomes more about power, position and prestige rather than keeping on point and spreading a positive message.

But the Compton Traditional Bowhunters seemed different to me, so I joined up several years ago and began to become more involved. The way I saw it, I’m passionate about the outdoors and the sport of traditional bowhunting and it’s a huge part of my lifestyle, so why not try to give something back to it and help introduce others to it?

Well, a couple nights ago, I received the call that I had been elected to the board of directors. Humbled and honored at the same time, I gladly accepted the position and now the elected group hits the ground running this month to plan for the upcoming year and the future of the organization.

It’s quite an honor for a small town, southeast Indiana guy to be mentioned with some of the fellas who are on the board or have served in the past. Most of them would mean nothing to many of the readers of these articles, but for the folks that follow Along the Trail that know much about traditional archery, many of the previous board members read like a who’s who in the small world, the niche of traditional bowhunters.

I’m looking forward to the new position and the doors it will open and sharing my love of the outdoors and bowhunting with others.

Maybe March isn’t so muddy and boring after all.

- David Hewitt