The first hint of cooler weather has tickled South Georgia and the trees are slowly staring to show signs of shedding their green leaves. The corn has been picked and the fields have been host to early season bird shoots with the popping of shotguns ringing over the horizon. The peanuts are being turned over daily in preparation for the thrashing they will receive when they are harvested with red and green combines spitting out discarded vines and dumping the nuts into waiting wagons. The cotton has been sprayed and the dried up leafy foliage is opening its camo curtain to reveal fields of snow white bulbs that will be gathered around the same time hunters are climbing into their tree stands in October. All of this tells me that fall is here in South Georgia and my heart knows it's hunting season.
It is very hard to express the feelings of those who have the pleasure of living "The Hunting Life". People outside of our world do not understand the emotional ties and bonds that we as hunters feel with the outdoors and the game that we pursue. I am never more at peace with myself or my world than I am when I am outdoors with a fine gun cradled in my arms walking along with my dog hunting wings or sitting in a tree stand watching the sunset as deer are feeding along in a dark green food plot that I prepared. Being outside in this environment for me is being as close to God as I can get. I know me made this world and I am more than happy to allow myself to be immersed in its beauty that can be found on a pine hill in South Georgia or a 2 mile long field of Milo under the bright blue skies of Kansas.
But I don't just get caught up in the moments that I am in the field. The Hunting Life consumes me in just about everything I do. If its not hunting season, then I am waiting for hunting season. From September through March when one season ends, I prepare for the other. It's the summer months that are hard to live with as I wait for fall to arrive. I often find myself cleaning my guns as I recall great hunting memories with each one of them. I constantly scan magazines and read about hunting all over the country. I sit up late at night and watch the Outdoor Channel to see them chase long beards, big bucks, and fast flying game birds. I long to be a part of it.
Sometimes as I sit and "look for answers that ponder me so" (a little Jimmy Buffet reference for ya), I find myself wondering why the Hunting Life gets to me so. I think I know the answer and I will give it to you, but I would also like to hear what the Hunting Life means to you my fellow blogger. I challenge you to write your own blog about your Hunting Life and what role it plays in your life. I think the self reflecting will do all of us hunters some good and it might just be a little fun.
Here is why I think the Hunting Life tugs at my soul. Memories of the perfect hunt! We all have memories of perfect days in the field. Those kinds of days where we think that it just can't get any better than this. But you know what we do? We go hunting again and try to relive those precious memories afield and at the same time we are constantly creating new memories. It is a never ending cycle. Each and every hunting experience has the opportunity to be our next "perfect" hunt. I have so many perfect days stored in my memory banks that I can recall on a regular basis.
- The first time I sat by myself on a dove field. I killed two doves with a single shot 410.
- The first deer I ever shot and how I yelled with excitement ruining the rest of the hunt for other hunters in the area.
- The first time I ever killed more birds than my Dad.
- The deer hunting trips with a camper full of friends.
- My first turkey hunt is one for the ages!
- Every time my Dad and I "double up" on two big toms. (It's happened 4 times)
- Killing an 8 point while Reid was in the stand with me.
- And on and on and on....
If you think about the adrenalin spent on these hunting adventures and the excitement felt at the end of the day, then it is easy to understand that a hunter's body and soul could just possibly crave and need that rush. We want it and we want to share it with others, especially those that we love. During the off season we spend time away from the sport that we love and we start to miss it. By the time fall comes around our craving for the outdoors and a shotgun in our hands has reached a fever pitch and we are over come with anxiety and a strong need to get back out there and do the thing that we love most! That's why I'm glad I'm a hunter! That's why I live for fall!!
I live the Hunting Life. How about you?