by Leon Archer
If I had $20 for every time a hunting trip didn’t go as planned, I might not be a millionaire, but I could certainly take a couple of really nice cruises. Even with good planning, there are so many variables that can go awry when it comes to hunting. The “sure things” often turn out to be not quite as sure as one thinks. But not getting whatever one is hunting for is not one of the things I think of as going wrong; it’s just why they call it hunting, not shooting or killing.
I am not a person who has to come home with game in order for a hunting trip to be enjoyable, but I am honest enough to admit that it is always my overarching purpose, and returning home with a deer, turkey, or whatever critter I went after is usually much more successful in my estimation.
I know guys who claim that just being out in the woods is enough for them; they could care less about shooting anything.
While I understand what they are attempting to say, I’m also pretty sure they don’t carry old betsy just for ballast.
The Indians had a name for braves who claimed they enjoyed a day in the forest just as much without bringing home anything for the pot as they would have if they had won the tribe’s big buck contest. The name translates loosely in English as “poor hunter.”
To be sure, true hunting usually includes a lot of time for observing the flora and fauna of the natural world. The hunter may bask in his surroundings and he may revel for a short time in the freedom from the more mundane and troublesome things in life, but whatever peripheral attributes hunting may have for the hunter, it eventually requires the final move or it is not hunting. The noted Spanish philosopher, Jose Ortega y Gasset, wrote, “One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted.”
I am not sure I completely agree with the illustrious philosopher, but it does help illustrate what I’m saying. If someone never kills his prey, then he is only spending a lot of time taking long walks outdoors. Most hunters may say the day spent hunting without success is just as rewarding as a successful day, but I believe that may be more fluff than substance.
To read the rest of the column, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397
Can you believe the first quarter is already over? First quarter report cards are being mailed Friday! Just three more quarters to go and it will go faster than we think.
Today the Symphony will be in residency for the day at GRB! Music students will have the chance to listen to the Symphony perform and then sit in on a professional rehearsal. This is really a wonderful opportunity and GRB is very lucky!
Tuesday, Nov. 20, there will be a VIP celebration for students with at least 95 percent attendance, no major behavior referrals, and at least a 70 percent average for the first marking period. If you are a VIP student, don’t miss out on some great snacks.
It’s open skate time again! Fulton Youth Hockey will be hosting open skate at the hockey rink on most Friday and Saturday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. It costs $3 to get in and $4 to rent skates and the snack bar will be open as well.
Winter sports are officially in full swing! These sports include girls and boys basketball, wrestling, hockey, bowling, girls cheerleading, indoor track and swimming and diving.
Good luck to all teams starting to practice and preparing for their first scrimmages and games!
To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397
by Pastor David Grey
“They have rejected me as their king” — 1 Samuel 8
In this passage, we read where Israel rejected the priestly judges God had appointed to rule over them, demanding instead, a king, “such as all the other nations have.” Samuel was greatly disturbed over this and took it to the Lord. The Lord, however, said to Samuel, “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king…Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”
Samuel did so, but the people would not listen. Therefore, God’s judgment fell upon the wayward nation through the simple expedient of giving them exactly what they demanded. Saul, who was very attractive to them and for whom they clamored, was appointed king. Their chastisement would come through the man they both wanted and deserved. I see a strong parallel in our nation today. God, through the wisdom and faithful obedience of our Founding Fathers, gave us a form of government that recognized both the frailties of man and the immutable laws of God.
Our founding documents, governing structures and statutes were steeped in the principles and precepts of the Word of God and for nearly two centuries our nation operated under their rule.
In recent decades, however, an increasing number of Americans, including our national leaders, began to reject those laws and structures. In reality, they have rejected God and His right to rule over us through the government He gave. Perhaps the culminating act of rebellion has been the tendency in recent years by those who vowed “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” to govern and pass judgments with total disregard for that Constitution.
by Jim Farfaglia
The potted plants are being attacked;
their soil suffering wound holes,
their dirt strewn ‘round the porch –
someone’s using them for storage.
The local groundhog drags a belly
grown full from his foraging,
making once last trip through my yard –
using himself for storage.
The deer show themselves less,
gunshots echoing their warning,
moving them deeper into the forest –
deeper into the dark
as a cricket fills the night air,
offering a song he’s practiced all season,
working on his finale –
ushering in the coming silence.
by Leon Archer
The final week is here, and I’m not talking about the elections – thank goodness they are behind us as I write this!
As of today, we are one week away from the opening of gun season for deer in the Southern Tier. It’s hard to believe, but the DEC figures show a majority of all venison put in the freezer each year comes from that one day.
Black powder and bow season, North and South, plus the Northern gunning season account for the rest, but that all indicates that there are more hunters in the woods that one day than on any other.
As I have grown older, I find my preoccupation with hunting safety has only grown greater. I have moved my preferred hunting area a couple of times simply because the woods were becoming too crowded for my comfort level.
I used to hunt near Genoa, and my son, my grandsons, and I took one to three deer from there every year, but a few years ago, in spite of getting three deer there and seeing quite a few more, I saw a much bigger herd of hunters.
I miss the farm I hunted on, but I’m not sorry I made the move. I’ve shot less deer, but I’ve felt much safer where I’ve been hunting since I changed.
No matter where I hunt, one of the first things I try to determine as I go into the woods and as I settle down on a watch, is where are other hunters, if any, in the same area.
A few days ago I thought I had finally answered a question that I had asked much of my life. When I was very young and it was raining outside, my young inquisitive mind asked, “When it is raining, where does it stop?”
Everyone I asked looked down at me with a bewildered gaze, but no one had an answer. As I remember, some of them asked, “Why in the world would you ask that?”
A few days ago I was upstairs in my house when it was raining outside. Looking out the window that faces south it seemed to be raining hard and a lot of rain drops had accumulated on the outside of the window.
The scene was much the same looking towards the street outside the front window, which faces west.
Trying my best to be an impartial observer I hurried to the room with a north facing window. The road below was wet and I knew it had been raining, but from the window, with the trees blocking much of the view, I couldn’t tell how hard it was raining at that point of time.
Curious, I hurried downstairs, put on my hat and coat and headed outside. Sure enough, outside the door on the south side of the house, it was raining, not too hard but steadily. The rain continued as I walked up the driveway and around the front of the house.
As I walked toward the corner and turned, the rain seemed to have stopped. As I walked further, there was rain dripping from the trees, but away from the trees there was only a slight misty rain.
I continued walking to the back of the house, back to the driveway and the door where I had come out of the house a minute ago. It was still raining steadily on that side of the house.
After all these years I had the answer to my question: When it is raining it stops when you turn the corner in front of your house. Why did it take me so long to figure that out?
Now I can work on a different problem. Where are all those missing socks, and why is it that I never lose the ones with holes in them?
* * * * *
I received a note this week from Patrick LeClair of Somers, N.Y. He noted that this month will mark the third anniversary of the passing of his father, Alton “Al” LeClair.
From Patrick’s note: “You may find it of interest that my father never finished high school, however he had one of the best mechanical minds I’ve ever encountered. My Dad took a back seat to no one. With the exception of some brief coaching in his late 20’s, early 30’s by a local expert, my Dad was self-taught.”
In this column the week Al died, I wrote: “Al was my friend, and in recent years, the caretaker of my collection of antique clocks. Al was a skilled clock repairman and always seemed to know what to do when one of my clocks stopped ticking, tocking or chiming as expected.
“A trip to Al’s shop for one of my brood was not unlike a trip to the hospital. Many times after a quick look at the clock, Al knew exactly what the problem was and could fix it immediately, but suggested that I leave the patient with him for a couple of days so he could check it more thoroughly and make sure it was running properly.
“When I went back to Al’s shop to pick up the repaired clock it was no quick exchange. Sometimes Al would wrap the clock securely and place it carefully in a cardboard carton for the trip home. Other times the process seemed more like picking your child up from the day care center. Al would bring the clock carefully out to the car and place it on the seat. Then he would wrap a towel around it and fasten it with the seat belt. And there I was, ready for the trip home – in the driver’s seat with my seat-belted passenger behind me in the back seat.
“My clocks and I had a friend in Al LeClair. He will be missed.”