The third annual Gentleman’s Wild Game Dinner was quite the success, with no shortage of great food, beverages, cigars and fellowship. This year’s event will be remembered for a very high level of energy. The silent auction included a number of new and unique items including a silver liquor flask from Meierotto’s with an engraved MHHF logo adorning the front. I hope something like that is available next year since I did not have the winning bid.

Dinner committee chair J.D. Selby stepped in as auctioneer for the live auction and demonstrated considerable prowess in keeping the bids and laughter coming. Three beautiful CZ long guns and an elegant dinner for four at Affare were snatched up! Funds from the event will be used to support future MHHF Clinics. Thank you to all who joined us for dinner, participated in the auctions and showed your support for Missouri’s hunting heritage.

While enjoying fine dining and city life with friends is fun, few things this time of year beat sitting in a quiet deer stand in the wooded bottoms of Big Creek. From my perch, I had time to reflect on  Missouri’s hunting tradition and all it encompasses. Those who don’t hunt, can’t imagine how this activity connects individuals with each other and with nature. The active, face-to-face fellowship within the brother and sisterhood of hunters is becoming increasingly important at a time when “connectivity” is so often limited to text, social media, emails and telephone. When we teach hunter education we are reminded of all that goes into the hunt, from planning and preparation to important choices we make in deciding to harvest or “let one pass,” to the responsibility to locate, process and use the gift of game. No matter how much we know, there is always more to learn, right?

Another aspect that I feel has become even more important today is the opportunity to sit in the wild, often for hours at a time reflecting and connecting with the natural world. We know (and the studies back this up) that having that ‘downtime’ is important to maintain mental balance.

As we enjoy this November season of gratitude, thank you for being an active supporter of the efforts of MHHF to preserve this wonderful hunting tradition. And thank you for your friendship.