If you have your health and your family you’ve got a lot to be grateful for already on Thanksgiving, of course, but there’s more. There are lots of little outdoor blessings to count, too. This has been a great season for me so far, and I have lots to be thankful for. Most recently, I have been reminded how thankful I am that I live in a place where many people are ridiculously friendly and hunting remains more or less free.

This picture was taken by Steve, who is the son-in-law of the owner of the field where we shot these geese. When we had asked Steve about hunting in the field behind his house he said permission wasn’t his to give, and his mother-in-law wasn’t too keen on hunters, but he would ask her.

Evidently Steve went to bat for us, because we got the call that we were good to go for Monday afternoon, and that he wanted to meet us in the lane. Steve then led us out into the field, watched us set up, asked a lot of questions about decoys and blinds, then, we when moved our vehicles to hide them after unloading gear, he gave us a ride us back to our blinds in his truck.

It turns out we were his afternoon entertainment. His house was 437 yards from our blinds by my rangefinder. Steve sat in his kitchen and watched us shoot geese for two hours until we limited. Then he drove out into field and took pictures both for us and to send to his son. He drove us to our trucks so we could come back and pack up our gear.

We had a great hunt, and it was the first “hosted” hunt I’ve ever been on. I asked Steve what kind of beer he liked to drink, thinking I’d get him a case. “Oh no,” he said. “This was just fun for me to watch you guys hunt.” A little later he said “I don’t drink much beer, but if you could find Diet Pepsi on sale I’d take some.”

So, hunting isn’t exactly free where I live. This limit of geese is going to cost me a 24 pack of Diet Pepsi. I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m downright thankful.
Your turn: what outdoor blessing are you grateful for this season?