Hello Friends! Thanks for visiting my virtual home.
First things first, what is with the title, “The Slow Hunt?” Well, I am glad you asked…
I am a retired combat veteran, 24 years in the U.S. Army Infantry has slowed me down a bit physically, but all the cumulative mileage has made me mentally tough and gritty as hell. There’s nothing I cannot do, that I used to be able to do. I’m just a little slower now. Then there’s the philosophical side of being, “slow.” When it comes to small individual tasks, simple or complex, it doesn’t matter – the best philosophy is, “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast”. Try tying a bowline knot ten times and time yourself. Go slow for the first ten and as fast as you can for the second ten. The slow ten will be faster. When it comes to larger things, like entire missions, I always taught my young officers to slow down and get it done right the first time. I would usually say something like, “There is no prize for getting there first, if you get it wrong, because you have to do it again.” Plus, things are more enjoyable when you move slowly, you see more, you smell more, and you feel more. Finally, if you think about it – life is a hunt from the womb to the grave. I’m not going to run down the mountain and get one. I am going to walk down the mountain and get them all.
I have one very simple goal – to help my fellow middle-aged adults get their butts in gear and live their lives to the fullest before they’re too old and regretful to do it right. Yep, that’s it. You see, I simply cannot stand to hear the following phrase, “Wow! I wish I could do that kind of trip. That’s the trip of a lifetime.” Seems like every time I break out my phone and show pictures of some adventure at least one guy or gal says that terrible phrase. So, I have decided to campaign against the mundane and droll existence that some of my peers, men and women, fall into. That rut of giving of yourself and your time, to the family and the job, until you don’t even recognize the old you. There’s got to be a way to carve out something you want to do for yourself at least once a year. The elk hunt in the Rocky Mountains, that float trip down the Flathead River of Montana or the trip to see the Great Wall of China are possible, trust me.
About half way into my life as a big game hunter and fisher I started taking friends and acquaintances on trips with me. If there was room in the truck and they wanted to go, Aline and I took them with us. Now, as a retired guy I want to reach out to a greater audience, something a little bigger than simply who will fit in my truck for the next adventure. All my stories will end with a “recipe” of how you can do it yourself. I will also be available to correspond with folks who need some help filling in the details of how to “cook up” their adventure. And if I recruit some middle-aged hunters back into a sport their fathers or grandfathers did, well that’s a bonus for me and the hunting, fishing and conservation community.
A little about me - I grew up in a very diverse urban setting in Metropolitan Washington D.C., but my extended family were all from rural areas. I got to see both ways of life, spending school days in the city and time off on a farm, in the woods or on the water. I realized early on, that I was happiest when I was away from the hustle and bustle of the city and in the quiet of wild places. I’ve done many things, in my short wonderful life. Started off playing a little small college football, before being commissioned as an Infantry Lieutenant upon graduation. I met my lovely wife, Aline, when I was on Active Duty and we were an Army Couple for a while. Later I left the Regular Army, so she could be closer to home to help run her family’s business. I started teaching school and became a small city mayor at the age of 27. Then 9-11-01 happened and like many young men and women in the Army National Guard, my life changed dramatically. I was deployed shortly after 9-11 and never went back to teaching school or public office. I stayed in the Army another twenty years and retired in 2017. Somewhere along the way, Aline and I rekindled our childhood passion for wild places. We’ve hunted and fished all over the world and the adventures continue today. This website is really the modern evolution of my handwritten adventure journals that I’ve always kept. In fact, I will be writing or rewriting some of those adventures and publishing them here for the first time. I plan to keep challenging myself with different adventures, because if the war taught me anything - life is too short and if you don’t take your time, someone else will.
Slow Down, Sincerely –
Colonel (Retired) Michael A. Abell spent over 24 years total in the U.S. Army Infantry, in both the Army and the Army National Guard. His leadership positions include: Rifle Platoon Leader, Scout Platoon Leader, Company Commander, Battalion Commander and Brigade Commander. His major awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Ranger Tab, Airborne Wings, Air Assault Wings, Pathfinder Torch and Expert Infantry Badge. He holds a Masters of Strategic Studies from U.S.A.W.C. and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from FSU (MD).