Does Success Define Your Hunting Experience?
Y’all, I have a confession to make. I didn’t hunt on opening day. Heck, I didn’t even buy my license till the 26th. All the reports from friends said there weren’t many birds flying. I’m sure some of y’all are crushing it. Limiting out in the first hour etc, but the general consensus seems to be that everyone is struggling. I went out with my brother and two friends on Saturday for a few hours and we were posted up behind the farm pond in the tall weeds. We mainly sat in silence scanning the fields and sky looking for the perfect shot. It never materialized. At dusk, we returned to the ranch house, made some taco bowls, and just sat and talked. Then drove the hour back to Austin. I ran into a friend who saw my Instagram post and asked “How was hunting?”. “Good Enough,” I replied. He looked puzzled and said, “How many birds did you get”. “None I replied”. “Then what’s the point?” he further interrogated. I smiled and said, “It was good to see you man” and walked away.
It’s a fair question. Not uncommon and I suppose if you never shoot birds it might be time to change venues or techniques or look into some instruction but here’s my take. The point is not found in simply harvesting game. Sure, that’s a huge part of the pursuit but the real purpose is to get away from all the polarizing bull crap drama, politics, struggles, worries, woes, and other junk plaguing our daily lives. To quote the great artist Post Malone. “I want you out of my head”. I like to think he wrote this song about hunting but bets are it was about a girl.
So whatever you’re going through, even if the birds aren’t flying, take some time to get outside. Watch the sunrise, sip some gas station coffee, and wrangle your bird dog into the truck. Drive out of town and forget all the nonsense we deal with in daily life and just be still.
I talked to a guy who said yoga does the same thing for him (I live in Austin) but let's be honest, wearing camo, loading shells, and choking down protein bars in the early morning is a hell of a lot more fun. No great story has ever started with “So I was standing there on the mat, stretching, with thirty other people in an 85-degree room.