I had my first session with my bow of the 2022 season tonight. I observed six deer at different distances and could have taken any of them if I had chosen to do so. Something I do every time I hunt is get into my head. It leaves me way too much time to sit and think about everything bouncing around in there, which can be very dangerous.
When I arrived I found that my usual hunting spot had harvested the corn the night before, which usually means lots of deer will come to visit me that night. I was super happy. Within minutes of being there I had doves bombarding me and a hummingbird that either apparently thought I had a flower on me or looked really nice because he wouldn’t leave me alone. It had me all excited because when everything is this active, something is going to happen. I don’t know what it is, but something sure.
Once the initial excitement wore off, I ate all my snacks and drank all my water and changed my dip three times. I was starting to get bored. So I started dreaming about fishing. To be honest, I’m more of a fisherman than a hunter. I could fish until my arm fell off, then I would just stick a rod and keep fishing. I guess you almost call it an addiction. It’s healthy, right?
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Now that we’re all okay, my attention span and patience have diminished with age. When I hunt, I can’t just change my fly and figure out the pattern in minutes, solving my day of slow hunting like I can fish. So this trip made me question my dedication to sitting in the woods waiting for a nice buck to pass by when I could just be in my office tying flies, planning my next fishing trip .
Let’s go back to my journey… I discovered that I was simply not paying attention to everything around me. Nature, whether I hunt or fish, is the same thing. Instead of paying attention to the cork handle of my reel and the perfection of my loop with my fly rod, I need to feel the perfectly smooth wood in my hand from my recurve bow. Also, those arrows with real feather fletches that I’m so obsessed with being straight and clean, ready to fly through the air to their destination. You see, you can find art in anything.
In summary, I was a case of total space today. We had a few weeks that would make some people question their belief in God and in life, but that’s exactly what I needed – time to clear my head. In life there will always be an end, and sometimes the end comes sooner than expected. We lost a very close family member last week that affected us all in different ways, and I guess today I realized that it affected me in ways that I didn’t understand. Sure, I keep myself busy, but I overworked myself trying to help everyone and didn’t realize I was just putting my emotions aside.
So did I use my time in the woods to vent my emotions rather than to hunt? Yes, but it made me feel better and put me in a better emotional state to be able to help the rest of my family. Did I feel like a fool? Yes, but I finally understood everything. The outdoors can heal. Is it unorthodox? Yes, but I promise you it works. It’s not my usual kind of column but that’s what came out of me when I decided to write this evening.