Looking Back at 2022

Predictably, 2022 didn't go as planned, but it wasn't half bad. In fact, it was pretty good. Here is a review of what went down in the context of hunting, competition, and self defense.

Every year, right after Christmas, I like to look back at the year and consider what went well and what didn’t. The things that went well are likely things that I want to continue doing next year while the things that didn’t are things I’ll focus on changing or at least try to avoid. It’s all part of the annual goal setting and planning process which rarely pans out according to plan, but that life. This year has been no exception. Many goals were missed and several parts of the plan for it went out the window. Nevertheless, there were some amazing highlights and fantastic achievements that are worth noting and carrying forward into next year.


I had big plans for hunting this year. I was hopeful about a hunting club a buddy and I joined in late 2021 and was planning on one hunting trip per month (unless that month had a major competition or I was attending training course) for this year. That didn’t happen. It wasn’t even close. I did manage to make a couple trips out early in the year, but after a handful of trips I began to realize that the hunting club wasn’t what I thought it was. The return on investment in terms of both time and resources just wasn’t there. We considered other options, but the means to make those happen just wasn’t in the cards.

The net result was an empty freezer and basically no new hunting related content on the blog this year. I did manage to try out a new hunting rifle scope and review it. I also got a chance to write about my first deer rifle. But that’s about it.

This might be something that I will attempt to change next year. I’ve certainly had the itch. The freezer most definitely needs filling. Yet I’m not ready to commit to changes until I’ve finished this year’s retrospective.


Like my plans for hunting, I set a goal to participate in one match each month unless that month had a hunting trip or training class planned. That goal was crushed. I ended up shooting 33 matches this year and there is a good chance I will shoot one more before the year is over. That’s an average just shy of 3 matches per month. I also ventured beyond IDPA and tried my hand at USPSA and Steel Challenge. Last but not least, I also shot my first two gun match.

I suppose I might as well dub this year the year of the pistol. Given I went through a little more than 4,000 rounds of 9mm attending those matches. Not to mention there was quite a bit of dabbling with competition gear and pistols that yielded a fair number of blog posts this year. Here is a list of competition related posts in chronological order:

Honestly I think this is just the tip of the iceberg for me as far as competition goes. I had a lot of fun and improved quite a bit this year. I want to keep the party going as it’s also yielded some fantastic friendships.

Self Defense

The bulk of my goals for this year were around developing my knowledge and skills related to self defense. That plan included receiving 44 hours of instruction. Granted 16 hours of that was oriented towards competitive pistol shooting, but nevertheless shooting is shooting and I strongly believe participating in competitive shooting yields many benefits for armed self defenders (a blog post on this topic on the horizon).

Those goals were met and exceeded. I ended up receiving 68 hours of instruction last year. Some of the notable accomplishments include receiving a coin for completing the KR Training Defensive Pistol Skills Program, becoming a Rangemaster Certified Instructor, and being awarded a light pin by Gabe White.

As one might guess, there were a fair number self defense related blog posts published this year as well. Here is a chronological list (excluding the posts already linked in this post):

My interest in self defense hasn’t waned. In fact, I’d say it has grown and it appears to be the primary topic most of y’all seem to have questions about. Therefore, I’m going to keep on training and growing my knowledge on the topic. That means the posts on the topic will continue to flow. With a little luck, Karl Rehn will keep reading the blog and continue pointing out things I’ve overlooked or failed to consider in the self defense and pistol shooting skill posts I author. His comments are valuable contributions that benefit both readers and me.


Readership continues to grow at a steady pace. That growth provided opportunities to review a number of products which were provided at no cost to me by retailers and manufacturers. I’m very thankful for these opportunities. Especially, since the parties involved have agreed to allow me to freely criticize their products and services. It’s also pretty neat to see some of my feedback make it all the way to design teams. At the same time, the relationship with these organizations has helped to fund the operational costs associated with running this blog. It’s a win-win-win in my book. Readers get honest reviews. Organizations get some business. Blog gets some funding. 

Here is a list of content that may not have otherwise happened had it not been for these relationships:

The thing is these relationships wouldn’t be in place if it wasn’t for y’all’s readership which I am sincerely thankful for.

Beyond the relationship sponsored reviews, there were many other reviews that took place this year. Some of these were a result of unplanned impulse acquisitions fueled by curiosity and perhaps the occasional libation. The unplanned acquisitions are something I’m working on avoiding as it steals resources away from other planned goals and activities. Nevertheless, here is a chronological list of reviews not previously mentioned in this post from 2022:

Overall, it’s been a good year. Sure things didn’t go exactly as planned, but they rarely do. Now it’s time to take this info and start figuring out my goals for 2023.

1 comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.