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Change Is Difficult, But Inevitable

Daryl Kirby | May 31, 2019

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Most of us have heard that saying.

Well, I’m not buying it anymore.

The phrase is credited to a 19th century French writer, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr. Most bios on Karr mention his love for fishing, so we will give him credit for that. But that saying about change… I don’t think it applies so much. Not in today’s world where the most critical concern for many folks is how much charge is left on their smart phone.

Change is difficult. It’s also hard to see it coming. It reminds me of how I felt when I heard the news that a hunting lease we’d had for a decade was gone. I should have seen it coming. The hunting was so good, my connection to the land so strong, I think I blocked out the reality that the end was imminent.

It was a dark day when I got that dreaded phone call… “The land’s been sold. Gather up your deer stands.”

Several years later I had a chance to drive by that property. When I saw it, I felt sick. People who don’t hunt, who have never made a connection with a tract of land, won’t understand. Driving to the property, you round one last bend and the woods come into view. That view, a beautiful hardwood bottom that gave way to a thick tangle of planted pines, was a comfort and contentment. Seeing it, going there, simply made life better. Stresses or worries would melt away at the sight of that hunting land.

It had been almost three years since we lost the lease, and I hadn’t been back down that dirt road since. Now as I rounded the bend, I literally had to stop the truck. The woods were gone, wiped clean, replaced by ribbons of paved roads and houses. One road ended in a cul-de-sac where my favorite stand had been, a spot where I could count on a mature buck cruising by during the pre-rut. The property now seemed so small. I could see all the way across to the other line.

Change is tough, no doubt, but as devastating as the loss of that hunting lease was, it turned out to be a blessing. A forced change can be like that, a blessing. We weren’t going to give up hunting, so the loss of that lease forced us to figure something out. We bought three little adjacent tracts of land in Morgan County. It’s not much, but I can walk out my door and be in a deer stand in a few minutes, a lifelong dream. Had it not been for the loss of that lease, we might still be content in our slice of hunting heaven, driving more than an hour and paying someone else’s taxes with our lease fees.

So, last month my father sold one of our little tracts of land. That was always the plan. It was part of his retirement, money that was parked in dirt rather than an IRA or the stock market.

Change is difficult, but inevitable.

A lesson for me is to not take anything for granted, certainly not something you value. I’d like to have a few of those mornings back when I slept in rather than slipping off to the hardwood ridge down along Sugar Creek.

Don’t take anything for granted. That applies to hunting land, and it applies to your favorite magazine.

I mentioned that the most critical concern for some folks these days is how much charge is left on their smart phone. There’s an entire generation of folks growing up in this smart phone era who literally have never picked up a magazine. Many of them never will. If it’s not something they can look at on their phone, they won’t see it. To me that’s sad. But change is inevitable.

While the rest of us still can’t wait each month for that feeling when you open the mailbox and the new GON is sitting there, we can’t ignore the folks who only want to see it on their phone.

So, now each issue of GON, every picture and every article, is also available at gon.com. You can look at it on your phone sitting in the deer stand or waiting on a fish to bite.

Each of you have a member number on your mailing label. You simply have to create a user-name account at gon.com and link your member number to it. Call us if you need help.

That’s a pretty big change—reading your entire GON on your phone. But like lots of forced change, this one’s going to turn out to be a blessing.

With fewer people reading magazines these days, those of you who do read it are more important than ever. Renew, and please consider giving someone a gift subscription.

Father’s Day is coming up…     

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