Almost all of us who are hunters also maintain some sort of full-time job…it’s how we afford to be able to go and hunt in the first place (and…you know…feed our children and stuff). But, every hunter knows that when we’re at work, we’d almost always rather be hunting. Even if you genuinely enjoy what you do for a living (as I do), hunting just gets deep in your soul and takes over most of your mental free time. But, if you can’t put in as much time as you’d want at the range, scouting, or dialing in your gear, how can you keep the ball moving forward without getting fired?
Anxiety sucks! Okay, that’s an overgeneralization. The kind of anxiety that’s hard-wired into our human existence as a means of survival, that’s a good thing (preventing us from walking down dark alleys and whatnot). But, the kind of anxiety that is a rising epidemic in our modern society – the kind that lingers and builds and we can’t seem to shake even when there’s no logical reason to be filled with anxiety – that part sucks! And as men, by in large, we suffer from it in silence.
For the last six years, I have continued shooting the same budget release I bought when I first started bowhunting. I’ve upgraded my bow three times since then, but never stopped to really consider if my inexpensive Cabela’s brand release might be negatively impacting my accuracy. But, once you start looking into higher-end releases, the sticker-shock can scare you back to your old release in a hurry. Is it really worth it to drop well-north of $100 (minimum) for a high-quality release? In the case of the Spot Hogg Wiseguy…ABSOLUTELY!
My middle child (the 6-year-old) has been all about hunting for years. He is constantly asking when he can go, if he can come with me, when we’ll go scouting…the kid just wants to be in the outdoors. Now, as a squirrelly boy who can’t sit still through a single meal, he’s not exactly ready to come out on a hunt just yet. But, a few weeks ago the whole family headed up to the woods for some much-needed R&R, and I made a plan to take Gibson out with me to hang a couple game cameras one morning. We both had a terrific time out there together, and here are the 4 things I believe I did right to make this a success…
Over the past five hunting seasons, I’ve put a lot of miles on three different pairs of hunting boots. All were from different manufacturers, all were different in terms of function and style, and all had their pros and cons. When it comes to hunting (especially Western hunting), boots are one of the pieces of gear you don’t want to skimp on. I’ve done long treks in $50 boots in the past, and I definitely paid for it in terms of blisters and pain. However, boots and the way they work with your foot is a complicated equation, and just because your boots cost more than your truck payment doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be comfortable or last for years.
Hunting is hard enough without adding cameras to the mix, and most of us aren’t going to recruit or hire a guy to come with us simply to film the whole thing. But, can a cell-phone pic here or there really capture all the memories you’re hoping to preserve? Probably not. So, what can you do if you’re not a photographer, don’t want to mess up your hunt dinking around with cameras all day, and may even be hunting on your own a lot? Here are some thoughts on what you may or may not need, depending on your goals for the video.
Well, it’s been a couple months since my first post walking through all the facets of planning an out of state hunt. At this point, I will be hitting the mountain in almost exactly three months, and I couldn’t be more excited! I also couldn’t be more aware that there is still so much to do. So, at the three-months and counting mark, here is what I’ve done and where the whole process stands.
Sarah and I just celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. Not exactly a major milestone or anything, but we’re three kids into this thing and still extremely happy (tired…but happy). We also find ourselves in a season where we seem to have a bunch of younger people in our lives getting married, engaged, or becoming Instagram-official…love is in the air, I guess. And because of that, I find myself talking to a lot of guys asking the same question: how do you have an awesome marriage? Here are three things that have kept Sarah and I going through even the toughest seasons of our marriage…
No one likes to talk about it (or even admit they’ve experienced it), but it’s real…very real! Something about hunting and the outdoors tends to bring out our most puffed-out-chest, manly-man, I-can-handle-anything version of ourselves, and so we minimize those parts of us that feel like we can’t handle anything. And because of that phenomenon, no one wants to talk about how frightening it can be to find yourself alone in the backcountry. All by yourself, not another human for miles, just you and whatever you can’t see out there in the dark…I don’t care who you are, some part of you is going to be afraid. But, how do you get past it so you can stay out and keep hunting???
I was afraid this day would come. Thinking back on my 10 year-old self, I would have LOVED the chance for someone to take me hunting. I was an outdoors kid in a non-outdoors family, and ever since my little ones were babies, I was determined that they were going to have the wild, outdoors childhood I wished I could have had. But, fearing the answer, I asked him: “buddy, do you even like hunting? It’s okay, just tell me the truth.” Even though I knew it was coming, it still stung like a hot knife in my back: “No, dad…I hate hunting! It’s so boring! We have to walk a million miles carrying heavy stuff, and we usually don’t even see anything. I hate it!” The ball’s in your court, Dad…what do you do with that one?