But it would always get worse. Around the middle of December or so, the regulars and I would start shaking our heads and clucking our tongues, discussing and dreading the slovenly army that would be moving in in mere weeks.
During the holidays, we Americans eat like King Henry VIII, and by the end of December, we're racked with guilt about it. So we commit to turning over a new leaf and finally getting in shape in the brand-spanking-new year.
So the first week of January rolls around, and we join a health club.
The crowds at these clubs triple, and the regulars cringe. It would be bad enough if these people stayed, but the regulars all know they are part-timers. They'll run the treadmill once or twice, maybe even climb the stair-stepper, but they'll soon re-remember why they didn't exercise to begin with.
By February, they'll be eating too much Valentine candy while sitting on the couch watching The Biggest Loser.
My new year's resolutions are a little bit different, but unfortunately, I'm just as bad at keeping them.
But this year I know will be different. Here's my list:
• This year I resolve to really take care of all my honey-dos in the summer so I can hunt more in the fall and winter.
• This year I resolve to clean all the shredded lures, melted corks and rusty jigheads out of my tackle box.
• This year I resolve to tie on the lures I know I'm going to be using the day before at home rather than on the boat in the morning while my buddy's raking in fish one after another.
• This year I resolve to finally sacrifice one of my October bow hunts to target instead the 14,000 squirrels I see on every hunt.
• This year I resolve to charge my trolling-motor battery when I get home rather than forgetting about it until the night before my next trip.
• This year I resolve to never again hunt my favorite deer stand when the wind's wrong.
• This year I resolve to spend more money on dates with my wife than I do on trail-camera batteries.
• This year I resolve to stop bringing home in my hunting bag bottles full of my own urine.
• This year I resolve to go outdoors more, complain less and thank God I live in the greatest state on planet Earth.