Sometimes Life Just Gets in the Way

If any of you have been wondering whether I have just gotten lazy with this sudden onset of summer, the answer is “yes and no.” We have finally dried out a bit, so I can get outside and get some things done. My friend from church who I am teaching to shoot wanted another lesson, and we got that done. I finally got the Dillon XL650 loader mounted and running, but I still need to get the GSI bullet feeder mounted and running. Ruger sent me a lightweight, Commander-style 1911 to play with—I think I am in love—and there are a couple of writing assignments I need to get a move on with.

Lest you think that the life of a gun and/or hunting writer is full of nothing but great trips, shooting and general BSing, let me enlighten you a bit. Because I had been a virtual invalid for several months before my back surgery, things around the old Wyoming homestead went to hell in a handbasket. I’m not the most fastidious housekeeper under the best of circumstances, but when I could not stand for more than a minute or so without nearly collapsing from the pain, even the little day-to-day stuff didn’t get done. My shop is a disaster area as was the reloading bench prior to me tearing into it to get the Dillon going. Now with all the rain and heat, the homestead is beginning to look like a jungle from all the weeds. So I am spraying like billy-be-darn. Nothing is simple, of course, so when I hooked up the spray rig to my 4-wheeler one of the stainless steel ball valves that controls the sprayer was broken. I spent all morning checking the farm supply stores in town and coming up empty, I was forced to drive 25 miles each way to Cody, whereupon all I could find was a brass valve to get me through this weekend. I’m still working on finishing up the spraying today.

Beartooth Lake and Clay Butte behind it is my favorite place on Earth. The fishing is superb, there's usually elk on the face of the butte, and it's just a stunning piece of real estate on the border of the Absaroka Wilderness.

Beartooth Lake and Clay Butte behind it is my favorite place on Earth. The fishing is superb, there’s usually elk on the face of the butte, and it’s just a stunning piece of real estate on the border of the Absaroka Wilderness.

I did throw myself a bone last Friday, and I’ll be doing it again tomorrow. Believe it or not, I spend way too much time working—and sometimes snoozing. I had not been fishing yet this year, so Friday Jim Zumbo and I went to a reservoir near here and limited out on some fat trout in about an hour. Tomorrow we’re going up to my favorite place on earth, Beartooth Lake, for another few hours of fishing and general fooling around.

Sometimes a guy just needs to get away for a day or two and recharge the batteries. I’ll be back in the saddle with some gunny stuff later this week.

Dave Campbell
Dave Campbell began his hunting career with a spear off the southern California coast in the late 1960s. It did not take long for him to graduate to the gun on land. Campbell is the founding editor in chief of the NRA’s tremendously successful Shooting Illustrated magazine. In 2006 he also edited the iconic book of terminal ballistics, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter—A Definitive Study. He returned to his beloved Wyoming in 2007 as a freelance writer, though he usually refers to himself now as a “recovering editor.”

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