Making the decision and signing on as Pro Staff with Up North Journal has changed several things in my hunting agenda that are great personal sacrifices in the way of bringing enjoyment of the hunt to others through media. I knew when I considered the position that my obligations would be much larger than they currently were.

Even though I was the one who was approached about a Pro Staff position and the one who signed on; Richard is my cameraman—a very crucial element to “MY” team. Now I was not only a hunting partner with Richard; now, as a pair, we are team players with greater obligations to the cause. Without him I could not fulfill my duties as Pro Staff to the best of my ability. Richard made more profound sacrifices than I had to bear—he obligated himself to put down his weapons and pick up the video and DSLR camera to capture the hunt so that it can be shared with others. We made the decision together that this endeavor was something we would like to do. So we put forth the investment to set ourselves up with the imperative equipment we needed to do our part as team members.

Both of us being new to the sport of filming hunts, we extended the effort to learn all we could and to get out in the field and learn from experience. This included both of us attending seminars, clinics and classes in videography and photography. I am thankful for professionals who have shared their knowledge with both of us…those wonderful people know who they are and a great friendship will be borne from this union I am sure. We already had one advantage over most hunter/cameraman teams; we have been together 16 years and with those years came the experience of reading each other without saying a word. Add to that the fact that Richard has been my mentor in this sport and nearly everything I have learned or experienced has been through him, with him or because of him. Not only has this opened up a new and exciting adventure to our hunting as partners, it has also been a challenge we are both sharing together and working hard toward that one goal. In our book, a good challenge is what makes life more interesting.

This was never more evident to us than it was this past weekend. Alabama’s turkey season opened on Monday, March 15, 2010, but we were not able to hunt the entire week. We are now leasing turkey hunting property that is 45 miles from the house and an hour and a half from the city we work in so we are not able to hunt in the mornings before going to work like we have in the past. This past weekend was our first chance to turkey hunt. Continued in the next entry: My turkey season opener: You Mean “DON’T SHOOT?”