Dan was born and raised in Camden, NY. His commitment to hard work and love of the outdoors was instilled in him at a young age. He attended Paul Smith’s College and graduated with honors in 1981. In the years to follow, Dan “stayed the course” by working as a woodlands caretaker, hunting & fishing guide, forester, logging supervisor, timber cruiser, and an acquisition agent. It was Dan’s love for the woods and his desire to provide land to “everyday folks” that prompted him to form Christmas & Associates, Inc. in 1989.
Dan’s interests include hunting, fishing, trapping, canoeing, Alpine and Nordic skiing & snowboarding but he will say that his greatest accomplishment in life was raising six beautiful children. Dan’s devotion to family, love for the land, generous spirit and strong work ethic have shaped his life and formed the foundation and success of Christmas & Associates, Inc.
This is post is by Dan Christmas. Originally posted on Facebook the last day of traditional deer hunting season in the ADKS in 2017. Thanks to Dan for letting us share it.
For the first time in many years I’m facing the last day of hunting season without a buck.
My wife says, “honey this has become an obsession with you” and as she continued in not so friendly terms “ I’ll be glad when it’s over” Actually she didn’t say “ honey” in addressing me…I made that up.
Obsession you say, “I doubt it!”
Yes I did take way too much time off work this November, and maybe I forgot a couple of birthdays, and ok I’m still driving a few thousand miles on the under sized spare tire on my truck but obsession you say?
Every piece of hunting gear, clothing, radios, binoculars, food and water is piled high in the back seat of my truck which proves I’m careful in my daily preparations, certainly not the habits consistent with someone obsessed.
Ok maybe my ankles and torn up knees are stiff and throbbing and my boots leak a little but I take my Advil and sleep with the heating pad on my back each night. Clearly I’m considerate of my body!
“Haven’t I been promising you a foot rub every night just before I doze off till 5 am?”
Obviously well rested, would an obsessed man be so worried about his rest? Of course not!
This morning as I put my boots on, starring at a plank floor that’s not been swept in a while, (approximately one month) I think about the first time hunter with his eight pointers, the little teenage girl with her first buck (also a big eight pointer) and even the Syracuse city slicker with his ten point buck and my mood sours a little.
I used to love sharing pictures on Facebook now I skip over anything with an antler!
I love to listen to Christmas music in my truck, until I song comes on about Rudolph the red nose reindeer, that pisses me off too!
When you grow up in the North Country and it’s November you don’t get asked about your kids, how’s the wife? or the weather. NO, you go to Byrne dairy, the mechanics shop, the hardware store and even the elementary school and there’s one looming question.
“Did you get your buck yet”? Usually followed by, “did you hear about the one so and so got?”
It is more than a man can take!
Then if the last day comes and goes you start to stew and fret over next year and what if you go two years without a buck????
Well, that’s when you start hearing guys talk about their age, all the Buck’s they used to kill, how they just enjoy “being out there in the woods” and worst of all you may hear a man who has accepted his fate talking of a fall wine tour with his wife!!!!
Well that my friend is when you know you’re washed up, a failure, a forgotten man. A has been!
There’s one more day to get my buck, tomorrow is it, bottom of the ninth, fourth quarter, last gasp, Hail Mary, wing and a prayer, last bite at the Apple.
At 5 am I’ll begin my morning ritual. Turn off the heating pad, forget to brush my teeth, no time to shave, down four Advil, choke down two cups of very dark coffee (spilling at least 30% in my lap) turn my socks so the heel hole faces up, boots on, medicated patch on back and knees. Heading to the woods, the cold, dark woods. I’ll sit in a chair left by another old hunter around 1966 and wait for a deer, teeth chattering, shoulders and legs quivering uncontrollably until just after daylight at which time you begin your stalk. Up ridges, down valleys, across swamps and icy logs spanning fast moving streams. That’s when you remember it’s just nice to be in the woods!
OBSESSION. WHAT THE HELL DOES SHE MEAN BY THAT!