In a non-scientific study intended to deliver the results I desired, I discovered that August is the most desired month in Southeast Alaska. I collected a staggering amount of data that supported my hypothesis and ignored anything that might prevent me from reaching my desired conclusion. I made diligent observations in my head over a specific amount of time — a couple months — and found an overwhelming body of evidence that supported the conclusion I hoped to find.
Evidence #1: Since I love alpine deer hunting more than pretty much any other outdoor activity, I paid attention to everyone who started countdowns in January and found that more people looked forward to deer season since that was the opinion I tried to find.
Evidence #2: Someone said something about how they like hunting the rut in November more than alpine in August but I don’t agree, so I am going to assume that that person is unable to hike a mountain and therefore can disqualify this opinion because it is wrong. I instead will focus just on valid facts because facts don’t lie and facts don’t care about your feelings.
Evidence #3: August is universally respected by Nature, so much so that salmon really start coming into the rivers allowing me to fly fish. Some might think that this phenomenon is a coincidence, but it is not. August makes the fish return, it’s not a coincidence. August is the most spiritual month because of stuff and things, which clearly shows that of all the months, August is best.
Evidence #4: Partway through my research I bought a new 9-weight fly rod because I have fly fished for longer than I have hunted, and I have always wanted to try to catch a king salmon on a fly rod. Plus, one January I want to go somewhere tropical and fly fish for permit or bonefish in warm, thigh-deep water. I then saw a cartoon on Twitter that showed how catch and release fishing means you have a lower IQ. Since cartoons and Twitter can’t be wrong, I quickly fell back in line and rejoined the winning team. If I end up using that fly rod, I won’t tell anyone about it, and will make sure not to have any fun.
Evidence #5: I carefully waded through my social media and muted, deleted, or scrolled past anything that was not related to alpine deer hunting, berry gathering or fishing in August. That way I was free from all the narrow-minded points of view that would prevent me from reinforcing the truth that alpine deer hunting is the most enlightened form of outdoor activity, and that August was the best month of the year. My buddy, Jaden, likes to archery hunt but he lives in Wyoming and he shot an elk during September last year.
So, I canceled him.
Evidence #6: Once I had eliminated all other distractions and we drew closer to the first of August, I felt better about my decision. My echo chamber was distraction free which enabled me to take even better notes of why August is the best month of the year.
Evidence #7: I saw a 7-second clip on Facebook that showed someone smiling in August. Seven seconds. That’s more than enough context to show that clearly, August is universally enjoyed and therefore I am correct.
Friends, it’s scary out there among those who aren’t enlightened enough to know August’s value. But hang in there. We’ll get though this apart.
Also, if you see anyone wearing the wrong brand of camo on opening day of deer season, make sure you report it.
• Jeff Lund is a writer and teacher based in Ketchikan. “I Went To The Woods,” a reference to Henry David Thoreau, appears in Outdoors twice a month.