My previous article was called "Balancing Hunting and Family." I wrote it to explain just how important family is to me and the need to balance my passion for hunting with the needs of my family life. Little did I know that the article would be brought up again - to me - so soon!

My wife and my mom were talking with each other recently in the midst of the extremely cold spell. My mom asked my wife if I was going hunting with the temps so dangerously low. She replied that I was and, even worse, that if my hunting partner couldn't go I was going to hunt solo. Well, they quickly came to the conclusion that this was a ridiculously bad decision on my part. They also agreed to try their best to change my mind, no matter what it took.

Now I have hunted by myself (at times) for the last 27 years. Ninety-nine percent of the time I have a buddy to hunt with, but at times no one is available so I go it alone. I know that is not recommended by hunting authorities, but I am extremely careful and take no unnecessary chances. I leave a plan with a buddy so that if my boat breaks down, they know where to find me. I have never failed to come home while hunting alone, and actually have only spent the night out once while hunting with my dad when the fog prevented us from making it back from the Delta.

But with the extreme temperatures of the past week, even I had to give it some thought. So when my lovely wife brought up the facts about the dangers of hunting alone, I had little I could say that would justify my taking that chance.

She brought up the article and asked if I really meant what I said about hunting and my family, and I assured her that I did. I could see where this was going, and knew that I was not going to win this one. After a brief and very weak (I must admit) protest, I agreed not to hunt alone on any day when the temperature was bitterly cold. My family does mean too much for me to risk my life in such a foolish manner.

The next morning the temp was to be around 23 degrees and I was planning to hunt, but my buddy couldn't make it due to a prior commitment. So I passed on the morning hunt, but thankfully we were able to arrange an afternoon hunt.

I have talked the talk, so now I guess it is time to walk the talk. I love my wife and family too much to let something like this interfere with our wonderful life. I do know that this is the not only the right thing to do, but also the responsible and smart decision to make regarding this situation.

Maybe this will get some of you guys to rethink hunting alone. Even if you don't worry about your own safety, think about the affect your injury or death would have on your loved ones. I did, and I do thank God for giving me a wonderful wife and mom who care enough about me to help me make this important commitment. Be safe guys!