Why do you hunt? This tends to be a common question – especially for woman that enjoy something that has long been considered a “man’s thing” or a “man’s sport.” I cannot count the times that I have heard people ask this question, often while following up with a derogatory comment about “killing innocent animals.”
When I am asked this question from someone that has never experienced a day in the outdoors, rather than giving them a lengthy list of reasons why, I find it more effective to share a hunting story.
This is one that I believe sums it up perfectly!
Several years ago, I purchased a lever action 45-70 from a friend after a successful bear hunt, and I decided it would be really cool to take it deer hunting as well. I had really high hopes of taking a deer with it that year. I carried it with me several times but had no luck. I saw deer on many evenings but never got close enough that I felt comfortable taking the shot with the open sights.
As the hunts went on and the season started to dwindle away, I began to get discouraged.
On the last day that I was able to hunt for the season, I went to a spot that my Dad suggested…he had seen deer feeding in this spot several evenings. Dad showed me on the map where he felt I should set up for a close shot, and I headed on my way! After finding a good tree to lean against, I sat down and got comfortable for the evening. While sitting there (trying not to feel the pressure of the final hunt) out came two large cubbies of quail. They walked right down the edge of the field 5-10 yards in front of me and began feeding. I had enjoyed watching them for quite a while when flock after flock of geese started pouring into the field. Between watching the quail and the geese I almost forgot I was hunting and was supposed to be watching for deer. Then to top off all I had already witnessed that evening, the sun was beginning to set, and it was absolutely beautiful!! As I sat there taking it all in, I thought to myself, it doesn’t even matter if I get a deer or not…this has been an amazing evening and I have been blessed to experience so much of God’s beautiful creation in one setting!
Why do you hunt?
Still sitting there in awe of everything, I noticed deer coming out of the corner of the field, headed in my direction. There was a young buck and three does, the largest doe in the back. The first three walked by about 5-10 yards from me and my adrenaline started pumping. The larger doe took her time (it felt like forever), but she finally followed along. I took my time, aimed carefully, and squeezed the trigger. It was a perfect shot and I watched her go down.
After I was able to catch my breath, I thanked God for everything he had allowed me to experience that evening!
Once everything sank in, I thought about how often we put so much pressure on ourselves to make our boss happy…to make lots of money…to get the big buck…to limit out…etc. We feel that unless we accomplish these “things” we are unsuccessful or a failure. This hunt helped me realize that we need to change the way we see success – and make sure that we don’t get so caught up in these “things,” that we forget what is actually important.
Don’t miss out on spending time with family and friends, as well as taking time for yourself!
If you are a hunter, don’t get so caught up in getting the “big buck” or “limiting out” that you miss all of the amazing things that are going on around you. If you are not a hunter, I encourage you to get outside and watch the sunrise and sunset. Sitting in the outdoors is in my opinion the best stress reliever there is! So, get outside and enjoy nature…who knows you may decide you want to try hunting too.
Are you interested in reading another hunting story? Check this one out, Hunting Elk in Montana.