Hey Mike, I WISH YOU HAD WON! I didn't even buy a ticket for that raffle, but my mind drifts off every night dreaming I am going (hunting). I spent a lot of my former career away from my family. At that time it was difficult to correspond, other than by mail, snail mail!
We made it through those times as many others had before us. I'll tell you all that living far away and being shot at is not the life any man wants. For some of us, it is/was the life we chose, however. For me, the trick was not to dwell on my family constantly, not to make them overpowering in my life, because there was no way to visit with them, except in letters (ink and paper)
I learned to go to sleep dreaming of hunting. It simply made me smile... rather than cry.
So, perhaps this is why I am such a fan of hunting and family too.
Jim Zumbo, Craig Boddington, Ron Spomer and Wayne Van Zwoll are all solid contributers to the modern hunting literature. Through their gifts (both hunting and writing) they make us better hunters. Whether it is letting us learn from their mistakes or by teaching us new techniques,they help us harvest more game. But I suggest looking to the oldies, the fathers of the outdoor writing craft, to learn tricks that you might have not used.
I chose to shoot the 270 winchester because I grew up...