While my days as an athlete have sadly come and gone. I continually find myself looking for avenues to productively spend my time. Always finding myself on the carousal of life, bringing me right back to hunting season.
Since I was a kid growing up in rural Oklahoma, the woods have always played a huge part in my life. From hunting escapades with my older brother and lil cousin; to exploring uncharted territory with my mom and pops, but nothing will ever excite me the way opening day does. Each year I look forward to the frigid mornings, even with little to no sleep, each sun rise and sun set. I think of just how lucky I am to be able to hunt and harvest my own wild game.
Whether you’re sitting in the tree stand, watching a monster buck stroll so elegantly through the woods, analyzing his ever so changing domain. Peering into the distance, snorting at any un familiar sound, trekking lightly, cautious of the dangers lurking ahead. Rut in full swing nothing but his instincts are driving him. Aware of his surroundings, but unknowing of the true predator watching his every move. Not rushing just silently adjusting, watching and waiting for the perfect opportunity the hunter gathers himself for the perfect strike. Or may you be nestled by the water’s edge, hiding in plain sight, waiting on a group of birds to work for you. So elegantly floating, having traveled thousands and thousands of miles in search of warmer weather. Shotguns ring out and the countless hours of scouting, freezing boat rides and 4am wake up calls become more than worth it.
Killing is never fun, no matter the circumstances. We don’t live for the kill yet are driven by the hunt. There is no life without death, no joy without pain and no reward without sacrifice. Hunting is often soured in the minds and hearts of people thinking we are just out for blood. I challenge you to get up and get out because you’ll quickly see this is far from the case. There is nothing like the crisp winter air hitting you on the chin. Patiently waiting for the sun to rise as the woods come alive and face yet another blistery winter day. So, no matter what you do, or how you get there; exhaust every resource, prepare, prepare, prepare. Such is life, you get what you give and there is no supplement for hard work.
Seasons come and go, but the memories and friendships will last a lifetime. Do more, go further.