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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Today is…

Today is…
Today is December 28.
Today was my accident.
Today was Wednesday.
Today is no different.
Today is no easier.
Today changed lives.
Today sometimes I forget.
Today is no harder.
Today is the same.
Today gets remembered.
Today made me stronger.
Today is just a day.
Today bothers some.
Today is a reminder.
Today I went hunting.
Today doesn't bother me.
Today I will never be the same.
Today will make me better.
Today will open eyes.
Today was 23 years ago.
Today will never be the same.
Today doesn't have to be sad.
Today my life was saved.
Today I am thankful.
Today I am still here.
Today can help others.
Today is December 28…

Nothing happens unless the day is seized. Don't look back on what you should have done. Trials in life are just that. If you get that second chance, grab it…

Thanks for reading, Clint

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

ND Game & Fish license drawing process

I have to commend the North Dakota game and fish for a lot of things they do. Their dedication to the youth in the state is unmatched. From Hunter safety through the different youth seasons, the opportunities for youth in the state are endless. Upland game and waterfowl populations are at an all-time level. Big game have been affected by things no one could've predicted. But still the opportunities are plenty to fill a tag.

But one thing that needs to be addressed is the length of time it takes for drawing results for big game. In 2015 the game and fish tried to get everything electronic to speed up the process. In the last couple years the process has actually dragged out longer. One excuse is that there are still some who apply using paper applications. But this excuse doesn't hold any water seeing that other states also have the combination of paper and electronic applications and they get through the process much quicker.

When the game and fish is asked why the process takes too long, they of course say there are many factors. One factor they say is it takes a long time to process the gratis tags. This should have no bearing on the process at all. Other states have gratis tag systems like ours and it does not add any time to the drawing at all. If the state is auditing applicants who are applying for gratis, that shouldn't affect applicants in a whole different category. Or just make the gratis due date earlier.

Another argument is that is the game and fish needs to do their aerial surveys in order to find out how many animals are available to hunt. It is through the surveys that they determine how many licenses are available in each unit. The surveys are done in January and February because the snow covered ground makes it easier to spot game. So from beginning of survey through hunters actually receiving their tags, or knowing they are going to receive a tag, the process takes months. In other states this process takes weeks even sometimes just hours.

You might be thinking why we need the drawing results sooner. It is not because we as hunters are impatient, it is that we need to plan. Many people need months in advance to take vacation with their jobs. Getting lottery results in late July or August is not enough time for some people to plan and get time off from their jobs for the hunting season in November. A lot of time and money goes into every season for hunters. We all know waiting for the results is part of the process no matter if you are hunting your home state or applying in states throughout the US. It would be nice to know if you had a North Dakota tag so you can plan on hunting trips.

All we are asking for as hunters and sportsmen is that the process be sped up. There is no reason why with technology these days that the results need to drag out as long as they do. The quicker the results get posted the sooner sportsmen can plan, scout, get vacation, make arrangements and do their best to have a successful hunt. Like I said before, the game and fish does a lot of things great but the licensing division is one thing that needs an overhaul.

Examples from this year's drawing times:
  • North Dakota deer rifle applications were due June 7. The results came on July 31. - 54 days waiting for results. Seasons started November 10.
  • South Dakota West River deer applications were due July 19 at 8 AM and results were July 26. - 7 days waiting for results. Season started November 11.
  • South Dakota pronghorn applications were due at 8 AM August 16. Results were posted at 11 AM August 16. - 3 hours waiting for results. Season started September 30.
  • Montana big game - nonresident deer application deadline March 15, results were April 17. - 33 days waiting for results. Season started October 21.
  • North Dakota pronghorn applications were available July 18, 2017, results were August 21. - 34 days waiting for results. The season opened September 1.
  • Minnesota Bear Hunt Lottery - Applications available late March. The deadline was May 5. If you have been chosen to receive a 2017 quota bear license, you will receive a postcard as your notice in the mail by mid-June 2017. The season started September 1.
Thanks for reading, Clint

I have to give credit where credit is due. The North Dakota Game & Fish released the 2018 deer application results almost a month earlier this year than previous years. Good work.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Getting something for nothing

I truly appreciate all of the donations. But I can't get over feeling totally guilt ridden. I don't deserve this generosity. This is no one's problem but my own. It sucks getting handouts. I don't want to sound like I am ungrateful because I am truly grateful. Beyond words grateful. But it tears me apart being on this side of the dollar. I don't know how anyone can take something for nothing. People congratulate me and tell me how much they like the pickup. They should be congratulating themselves. They are the ones who deserve praise. I wish I didn't feel like this. I wish I could just be accepting of everything that has been donated. But I don't think I will ever get over how much everyone supports me.

The other day I got $100 cash sent to me randomly through the mail. What am I supposed to do with that? I know most will say go and have fun with it. But how can you possibly do that knowing that money was probably hard earned and given to you with no questions asked. I know you don't expect anything in return or expect money donated to be earmarked toward something when given randomly but when you are on the receiving end it is different, at least for me. I don't know what to do with this money. I'm pretty sure they don't want me blowing it in the jars or buying rounds at the bar. I guess it will go towards gas for the pickup. I don't know why but it gives me an uneasy feeling.

Thanks for reading, Clint 

Monday, December 11, 2017

It's too late for me…

A lot of people ask me, "I bet you can't wait for a cure." Of course I would like a cure for paralysis. But it is too late for me. I do not want a cure for myself. That might sound a little not right. But it is the truth. My body now is kind of like a trophy with a lot of battle scars that is unfixable.

Like a lot of things about paralysis it is hard to explain. If tomorrow there was some miraculous cure that could repair spinal cord injuries and I took it that would be a day I would be in a lot of pain. I wouldn't even want to imagine the amount of pain I would be in physically and mentally. But even if there was a miraculous cure it wouldn't help because of the bullet in my spinal column. That is another story.

After years of not being able to feel, a paralyzed body starts to break down and deform. The joints, the cartilage and stuff are pretty much shot after five or 10 years. All of the cushioning between the bones has deteriorated. So as you could imagine the pain would be unbearable.

Along with that there is also the muscle atrophy. When you do not use muscles they become almost dead. I used to have spasms in my legs, the spasms kept some muscle tone in my legs but I haven't had spasms in my legs for many years. My leg muscles are pretty much dead. That may be a hard pill for some to swallow but that is the reality. I wouldn't want to even imagine the feeling of being able to feel and not being able to move an appendage. That would suck.

The amount of surgeries that it would take for all of my joints and muscles to get back to somewhat of a normal function would be unbelievable. I don't think I could bear that many surgeries.

So for the above reasons I do not want a cure for myself. But of course I want a cure for people it could help. I myself am beyond repair. I am pretty much just spare parts now pieced together. Kind of like an old junker car that somehow keeps on running.

I have hope for others of course but it is too late for quads like myself. The sooner people realize that the sooner they can focus on living your life as a quad.

For more information about issues after spinal cord injury follow the links below.

Thanks for reading, Clint

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Hunting New Territory

Here is an excerpt from a blog I wrote for SAFESHOOT. A new hunting product on the market designed to lessen the chance of shooting accidents.

"It seems that the non-hunting public believes that the premises of hunting are to use a weapon and fulfill some inner need to kill. Not to say that we take pulling the trigger lightly. But most hunts are about the relationships made, experiences gained and the memories lived…"

To read the rest of the blog click here: SAFESHOOT Blog