Column: I have a lot to be thankful for

Published 1:21 pm Thursday, November 23, 2023

I’ve spent many mornings leaning up against an oak tree with my eyes looking up to heaven in prayer of thanksgiving. Those prayers of thanks are more of a thank you for this beautiful day, thank you for the rain or a preemptive thank you for allowing me a chance to harvest an animal. 

I have a lot to be thankful for each and every day. I’m grateful for my savior, my church, my wife, my shelter, my access to running water, my hunting mentors, food and a job to buy food when the hunt doesn’t pan out, my cats who keep me warm in the winter time and never cease to amaze me with their antics just to name a few blessings. 

Living in Mississippi I never thought I would be thankful for rain after a drought but I sure am. The wheat and oats I planted for deer and turkeys have germinated and hopefully sustain them through the winter. 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

I’m thankful for the people in this community who have allowed me to tell their stories over this past year. It is not easy to trust someone with telling your story and it’s a privilege I do not take lightly. We have some great coaches here and wonderful student athletes. 

I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made through this job and the opportunities those friends have given me. Bruce Gray allowed me to join his podcast Outdoor Addictions for a few episodes and then invited me to help with the Southwest Mississippi Branch of the National Deer Association banquet. My first Dart victim Keith Kavitz is also a great friend from over there at McDaniel-Gray Properties. 

Thank you to Chris Reid for tolerating all of the texts and phone calls about wildfires this past year. I’m equally thankful for all of the volunteer firefighters in our communities who have worked so hard this past year. 

Thank you to our elected and appointed officials who faithfully serve our community. 

Thank you to the veterans like Kris Xifos, Ronnie McNulty and Roffie Burt for their service and allowing me to share their story. 

I’m thankful for the relationships I’ve built with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks over the past few years. They do tremendous work to conserve our natural resources while offering recreational opportunities on great public land. Some of them have helped with technical guidance as I manage the habitat on my property. 

I’m grateful for the people I work with. Brett Campbell keeps the spirits high in the office with his personal stories, wisdom and rock ‘n’ roll. My editor Stacy Graning with her coaching, encouragement and understanding when I need to travel home to Arkansas to visit family. Randall Lee, our Ad Salesman, who is a great guy and brings new business story ideas to the table. Justin Clarkston, our director of revenue, has been running around and working his tail off since he started.

I’m also grateful the Egg Bowl is played once a year. I can’t handle this kind of stress. 

Last but not least, thank you to our readers. I especially appreciate the people who have taken time out of their day to compliment my work. Your support is one of the more fulfilling parts of this job. We could not do it without you. 

Happy Thanksgiving.