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BRAD DYE: Looking back and looking forward

photo by Gena Dye

Pip, Grover, and Jack (pictured here) made their debut at the farm over the July 4th weekend and the goats have been the perfect addition.


Most historians attribute the New Year’s tradition of making resolutions to the ancient Babylonians who it seems most often resolved to return borrowed farm equipment. The Babylonian New Year was later adopted by the Romans, as was the Babylonian tradition of resolutions.

The Babylonian celebration of the New Year began with the vernal equinox which marked the first day of Spring and their festival of Akitu. The Romans kept the timing of the New Year celebration until the Julian calendar which moved the start of the new year to January 1.

According to an article by Catherine Boeckmann in The Old Farmer’s Almanac, “January was named for the two-faced Roman god Janus, who looks forward for new beginnings as well as backward for reflection and resolution.” While I did spend time thinking about resolutions for the New Year this past Sunday and Monday, I also spent a great deal of time reflecting on the past year.







BRAD DYE: Looking back and looking forward

photo by Chase Hines

One of the highlights of my 2022 outdoor experiences would have to be a Memorial Day weekend fly fishing trip in Idaho with my son Dan, my brother-in-law Michael Van Veckhoven, and my nephew Billy.


January 1, 2022, found me traveling to Leroy Percy State Park for a chapter hunt with the Mississippi Christian Bowhunters. One of my best childhood friends, Trey Humphreys, had invited me for several years to join the hunt, and in 2022 I was finally able to make it happen.

The hunt offered the perfect hunting camp experience with fellowship, great food and a chance to get a shot at a giant public land whitetail in the Mississippi Delta. I had a wonderful time, got to meet an amazing group of Mississippi bowhunters (both young and old–with me being one of the old), and experienced one of the coldest whitetail hunts of my life accompanied by the first ice and snow of the year.

The winter storm on January 2nd proved to be only the first to come in 2022 as January 16 found the farm blanketed in snow and me living out my childhood dream of hunting in the snow in Mississippi.

After deer season, I didn’t have long to wait for my next outdoor adventure as the first weekend in March found me in the South Zone of Florida chasing Osceolas with my son Dan and one of my best friends and the best turkey hunter that I know, Steve Brown.

Our alligator-filled excursion into the Jurassic landscape of the Florida swamps did not disappoint as Dan punched his tag for the next leg of his turkey hunting Grand Slam by taking the coveted Osceola. In fact, we both left out heading north after six days in the swamp with a South Florida “Hookdaddy” Osceola and memories that we will never forget.

Back at home in the Magnolia State, while waiting for the March 15 opener, Old Man Winter unleashed another surprise with snow on March 12. The gobblers, however, were ready to go by opening day. Three days into the season, I had already hauled out two Mississippi longbeards.

It was shaping up to be a fantastic turkey season here at home. When my phone buzzed on April 3 with a photo of my nephew Billy Van Veckhoven posing with his first solo gobbler, I knew that was to be the case.

It truly was a special spring. As we chased gobblers here at the farm, our son Dan was hiking his way across Spain on the Camino de Santiago. It proved to be a trip that would change Dan’s future and a spring that we would never forget.

As Memorial Day neared, I could hardly contain my excitement as I prepared for a fly fishing trip in Idaho. Dan and I would be joining my brother-in-law Michael Van Veckhoven and nephew Billy on a fishing trip to Idaho. The three-day fishing excursion with the Lodge at Palisades Creek was one for the record books as each of us caught a bevy of trout including browns, rainbows, cutthroats and cutbows.

In July, the farm became “bonafide” with the addition of three Nigerian Dwarf goats–Jack, Pip and Grover–and I’ll be the first to admit that the trio was just what we needed. What’s next? I guess you’ll have to wait and see what 2023 holds for our “Green Acres” on Brooksville Road.

As we wound down 2022, G and I celebrated Thanksgiving with our son Dan (and beagle Birdie) in Cody, Wyoming, and in December we found ourselves “meeting the parents” high atop the Threefoot Hotel with our daughter Tate, her beau Jake, and his parents Mark and Tracy Lindow .







BRAD DYE: Looking back and looking forward

photo by Chase Hines

One of the highlights of my 2022 outdoor experiences would have to be a Memorial Day weekend fly fishing trip in Idaho with my son Dan, my brother-in-law Michael Van Veckhoven, and my nephew Billy.


In the midst of these celebrations and life events, I found myself kneeling in the woods at the farm giving thanks for the life of Mr. Crabs, the best whitetail I’ve ever taken and one I’ve had quite a history with over the past five seasons.

2022 was an amazing year in the outdoors and 2023 is shaping up to be as well. In just a few weeks, Lord willing, I will be in the swamps of South Florida again chasing Osceolas with my nephew Billy as he takes the next step in his quest for a Grand Slam.

Until next time, here’s to the memories of the past and the adventures of the future, and here’s to seeing you out there in our great outdoors.

Email outdoors columnist Brad Dye at braddye@comcast.net.



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