On the Ridge with Joe Judd: Ridgeline resolutions

Published: 01-24-2024 4:00 PM

Here we are skirting along into the last week of January and I’m just getting my 2024 resolutions in under the wire before we say goodbye. Illness, and eventually COVID, have kept me down this month. Plus, the recent illness and passing of my dear friend and longtime fellow selectman (until I left office in 2017), Bob Manners, threw me for a loss. But from where I roost, I’m starting to feel a little better, and beginning to accept the fact that Bob is finally resting in peace but will always remain a trusted colleague and devoted friend who I will never forget!

And we all know that in any given year, the first of January is just like any other day, so when it comes to setting New Year’s resolutions and working toward new goals, does it really matter if you do it exactly on January first, or that you just go ahead and get it done during the New Year?

So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m getting started, because a year passes by so swiftly and suddenly, it’s just gone! And it’s a consistent dilemma that introduces new topics for discussion as we leave the old behind and bring in the new. In other words, resolutions come with the territory. That said, I like to start every new year, a little later than usual this time, with some resolutions. Just four or five are all I usually dare to come up with, so sit back and relax with this ridge runner as I reveal my New Year’s resolutions for 2024.

1. I resolve – to stop thinking so much about politics. And right now, as Shelburne town clerk, that’s not an easy thing to do. But I must stop listening to courtroom drama and worrying about primaries or who’s in what state saying and doing what to whom. I mean it’s just too much to deal with this year. I need to just go on with what I believe, do the job I have fairly, and leave the rest to Fox News and CNN to sort it out!

2. I resolve – to continue my ever-lasting conversation with my dear wife Linda about scent, to try and help her understand why it’s critically important that she keep her baked goods out of areas where my hunting clothes live. This is an extremely important resolution as it causes continual family strife when my hunting clothes end up carrying the scent of pumpkin pie, cherry coffee cake, Christmas cookies, or Kringlas into the woods with me. I mean, I keep everything on the porch in carbon-lined bags out of the way, but every so often something gets left out of the bag, or the drawstrings aren’t drawn tight enough, and BAM … it happens. I’m just saying there must be a way to fix this, and I resolve to work toward that end in 2024. OK, Lin?

3. I resolve – to continue, to not make hunting a competition. This is something I’ve never really done anyway, but it’s important for hunters to remember as we head into a new year. I mean, so what if we’re having a bad stretch of hunting at times. That will always change if you stick with it. Just don’t let it erode the joyfulness of someone else’s good fortune. Hunting is supposed to be fun, not a competition. Take delight in every opportunity you get to hunt and be outdoors, and never compare your own success to others.

4. I resolve, to continue advocating for the importance of scouting, no matter what it is you’re hunting! Because scouting is fun, and it’s practiced the most by hunters who just seem to have a nose for where the game is. And I promise you, it isn’t luck with these people – they scout with determination and purpose. They don’t see it as a chore, they see it as fun. I mean, I always have. Plus, it keeps me in tune with what’s going on in my areas! So in 2024, more scouting while having fun at the same time. You’ll be a better hunter for it!

5. And finally, let’s resolve to continue to pray for peace, everywhere. Let’s resolve to keep ourselves, our families, and each other safe. Let’s resolve to thank a police officer, a firefighter, a doctor, a nurse, a first responder, or a grocery store clerk for all that they do for us. And let’s resolve to continue to hope that the world will soon become a safer place to live. Personally, I can’t wait to get this 2024 party started! Here’s hoping that 2024 will be the greatest ever, for everyone, as we continue to make more memories than ever before, “On the Ridge”!

Joe Judd is a lifelong hunter and sportsman. He is an outdoor writer, seminar speaker, member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association, and a 2019 inductee into the N.E. Turkey Hunting Hall of Fame. Joe is also on the Quaker Boy Game Calls and Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Pro-Staff. He can be reached at jjontheridge@comcast.net

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