Good hunting and fishing partners are tough to find. In addition to sharing similar hunting or fishing ethics such as whether you’ll fully endorse catch and release policies, your beliefs on the use of mechanized waterfowl decoys, and whether you like steak or ground beef in your pasties, this has to be a guy you can fully trust and with whom you can enjoy spending time.
I feel fortunate to have a number of good hunting and fishing pals. Two of them are brothers, and they are as different as night and day. Without a doubt I can say that if I were lost in the woods and our very survival depended on my partner, I would choose Kevin 7 days a week and twice on Sunday. But if our rescue was only a matter of time or nonexistent, I’d sit there on a log and listen to Pauly all day long.
Pauly is the entertainer; I’ve watched him fly headfirst out of boats trying to help a fisherman net a big fish, he has the best stories in the duck blind, and the ride to the hunt and back are full of jokes, stories, and comical musings. I floated part of the Smith River with Pauly and between our hitting rocks and missing fish I was constantly in the company of a great sportsman.
Kevin is the survivalist; as a high school senior he wanted a water purifier for Christmas and when stranded on a river island during a January goose hunt, he simply stripped down and swam across the ice-filled river channel to retrieve the errant canoe. And it was Kevin who patched the raft the day after Pauly and I bounced down the Smith.
Life is too short to hunt and fish with guys you feel lukewarm about. And by the way, I like my pasties with ground beef.