Outdoors with John Perkovich

Posted: Tuesday, February 01, 2005

This time of year, many Alaskans head to Las Vegas for some sunshine, gambling and a show or two. At the end of next month our daughter, Kim goes to Vegas to shoot in the World Archery Festival. She is the Alaska state champion in her division and this is her first venture into competition at a contest "outside". She has been able to achieve this position through a lot of hard work while still taking care of her horse and being the main keeper of about 135 chickens, 20 rabbits, 8 turkeys, and 2 geese. Kimberly is one of those kids that loves animals (she has 5 chinchillas in her room besides a chicken that was too weak to make it in the coop this winter) and she strives to do her best in whatever she does.

She has had the guidance of some tremendous people like Charlie Black, Dean Maloney and Todd Eskelin. Charlie and Dean's vehicles are in our driveway either picking her up or dropping her off for some shoot so much that the neighbors think their vehicles are ours. It is the dedication of guys like this that helps keep our young people interested in positive activities. You can find tremendous mentors in just about every youth activity in this area, be it sports (like Boys and Girls Club and Pop Warner, just to name two) work (businesses that have our youth working or shadowing) or school (After the Bell for one). Thank you for all your work.

Archery is a wonderful sport for both the competitor and the hunter. Shooting at a target helps develop hand eye coordination plus a steadiness that not many of us possess. Hunting with a bow and arrow is a whole lot different than with a gun. Not only is it quieter, it takes a different level of skill to accomplish the same thing that you can do with a gun, mainly putting meat on the table.

Archery is a wonderful winter time activity. When there is an indoor range to shoot at, it gives the archer a chance to hone his or her skills plus provides a wonderful opportunity to gather with other archers and exchange hunting or competition stories or both.

Archery is but one of the many outdoor activities we can enjoy right here. There is always the snow machining, sledding and ice fishing to partake in as well. That is for us that love the outdoors. For those that prefer to spend the winter days inside, there are many fun card and board games that can be shared with the family. Picking up some of those many unread books can also help to pass the dreary days of winter. Of course there are always those indoor projects that there just never is time for during our busy summers. Cleaning the garage or that overstuffed closet are two that come to mind.

Whatever your pleasure is be sure to take the time to enjoy life and not get bogged down in the poor me's, "it is so dark", "it is so cold", and all those other familiar " I hate winter" feelings. Winter is a great time to reflect on what needs to be done and prepare for the busy summer months. Have a great week and I will see you next week.

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