Although I rarely comment upon this site, it is deeply important to me. I will ask for a bit of latitude as I attempt to swallow this most difficult bite and reveal the nature of why I address Hal, this forum, and all its learned members this eve.
My mom passed away unexpectedly in her sleep three days before Thanksgiving. She was an Octogenarian who ardently supported hunting and trapping. Her support for my trapping endeavors began in the spring of my youth when her father would take me to run his Beaver line. She would smile asking me, “Well, did you catch anything?” Then it was the purchase of this new trap and then another with my allowance money as I entered High School. Supportive she was but ever careful to teach me the value of saving equal parts of what I spent. My mother believed strongly that should we ever have another financial Depression that the people who could earn a living off the land would come out on top.
My mom taught me how to recognize every plant, leaf, weed, seed, and tree in the forest. She would quiz me about what certain tracks looked like and how her father could read “sign” and always knew just exactly where to place a trap. She possessed an infinite interest in nature and I am certain I will carry this devotion all my life as well. Her questions about earth anchors, soft catch traps, dog-proof raccoon traps, and double stake swivels, which at the time were all the latest craze, seemed to transcend half of a century of my trapping interest and I like to think she also benefitted from my return dialogue.
Now at 60, my most loyal supporter is gone. I have listened many more hours than I have spoken upon this site. I find an impeccable character in the advice written here and I thank you. The advice I ask of you this eve is different however. I am having difficulty picking up my pack basket and moving forward. An ocean of tears drowns me now and I humbly ask for your guidance in navigating the terrain in front of me.