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.
I have done everything possible to get my kids involved in hunting. Every time out whether it be scouting, camping or during the actual hunt, I will challenge them to find their way back without using any electronics (GPS). Also without a compass. They know by now that I am going to challenge one of them, so right off the bat when leaving our vehicle or camp they will start picking out land marks to help them out. Makes me and them feel confident that if we were to somehow separate that they...