In 2019 I found a public figure who also has a podcast and he talks often about doing the right thing. I agree with many point of views that me and this individual have, and nothing has stuck with me more than doing the right thing, and surrounding yourself with positive people. I want to bring up a few examples of how this has been portrayed in my hunting seasons. Not saying you have to but I believe strongly in hunting karma.
The day is November 12th. Our second day of our rut-cation and we were looking at 17 degree temps and about 25-30 mph winds. During that previous weekend we had seen this front coming in, Monday dumped about 3 inches of snow and Monday night we froze in the stand. Thinking about the morning we were undecided if we were going to make it out, you only get so many days. Before our mind was set on way or the other a friend had called and needed help tracking a buck he had shot the night before. He had extended the opportunity for us to hunt his place one afternoon in October when we weren’t seeing much. He wanted and extra set of eyeballs to see exactly what the deer were doing on that property. We didn’t look at as us helping him out, we looked as him helping us out. So as we look for his buck Tuesday morning the mobile cam sends a pic. It’s Bud Heavy. This marks the second time that he had day-lighted this year and now both times we had missed him. He was right where we were most likely to hunt also. I didn’t dwell on the fact that we should have been there, it was past 9:15 a.m. which we wouldn’t have likely made it that long in the stand anyway, but I had a good feeling about trying to help a friend who had helped us earlier in the year with a change of scenery. It is all about perspective and attitude.
Put Others First
On the morning of December 7th, our second shotgun season, the wife and I were texting back and forth. She was at work I was home with both the boys and had planned on leaving to hunt when she got home. She had mentioned that she would like to go hunting as well and that we should take the oldest boy out also. The weather was warm, and there was no reason not to say NO. If I hadn’t gotten it done yet, after 2 weeks off for the rut, and a poor placed shot on a dipping buck in October, how could I put myself ahead of getting them two out in the woods with me. I had gotten all our clothes gathered and ready and out to the woods we went. Me not putting any focus on shooting anything but wanting my son to have a great experience on his first legit hunt. A mere 10 minutes into our hunt 12 does came running by about 70 yards, but with him being 3 years old he wasn’t tall enough to see them. About 10 minutes after that 2 more does came running in and stopped. I got ready to shoot made sure his ears were covered and I took a round at this doe, which he did see, and saw me shoot. His immediate response was “Good Job Dad!” I knew I had put a good shot on this deer at about 90 yards and figured she wasn’t far. After a 50 yard blood filled track our freezer was full on my son’s first hunt. I put trying to give my son the best experience possible ahead of everything else and I was rewarded with a doe for the freezer because I feel I had done the right thing.
Be Happy For Other Hunters
This next one really sticks with me. I was lucky enough to be able to grow up in a big deer camp with a lot of hunters. After I had finally shot what was a “big buck” I didn’t have the congratulations like I felt I should had. It made me think had I done the same for them? When you do shoot a big buck and feel accomplished and excited that you got it done, you might as well put the story on repeat because you want to tell everyone. For me that wasn’t the case and I was kind of down about that. From that moment on I have decided that when I was with or somebody I knew shot a deer that I was going to be overly excited for them. As time has went on I truly am overly excited for people because I have spent so much time and effort trying to shoot a big buck, or a deer with archery equipment, and nothing is guaranteed. So when it all comes together, you have to really soak in the moment and never take it for granted. Just be happy for other hunters that you know and are around, for each animal taken is a trophy, and when you are the successful one you will want an attentive ear to hear your story 67 times too.
The right thing to do is always and will be the right thing to do. Even though you can not control what other people do you can control what you do. You can put others first, you can help out somebody in need, and you can be that person that every one wants at camp because you love to hear the stories. Being a good human is not hard, you just have to slow down and think what you would want in those moments.
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