I knew that Fall was near the other day when an acorn hit me in the head. The leaves are turning color and the days are growing shorter. Something inside a hunter awakens with changing seasons. Our senses signal our minds, body, and spirit to fulfill our hunter and gatherer roll once again.
Hunting is an addiction. It is in our DNA and will not let us escape it’s call. I tried to give hunting up this year. My older hunting friends are no longer able or willing to head afield. Hunting alone is no fun. Younger hunters don’t want the “Old Guy” to slow them down. These “Young Bucks” need apps, cameras, gizmos, gadgets, and super gear to help them be successful. Older hunters just need some company.
As kids, we came home from school and were out the back door with our shotgun. Homework could wait. We would go to work sick so we could save our sick days for hunting. Girlfriends would come and go when hunting came first. The food, stories, memories, and companions are a legacy to our experiences. The stresses and anxiety of life disappeared as the forest and field fed our addiction. Every hunting season is one less in our lives.
It is amazing that when many hunters retire they seem to hunt less. Hunting licenses have a senior discount in most states. We have all of the gear and plenty of time but Father Time starts to take his toll. Our bodies, minds, and energy decline. Getting up early to hike up a mountain is less alluring. It is easy to not head out and let the hunter within us die. The Lazy Fat Boy chair and comforts of home are so tempting. We need to be coaxed and prodded harder.
Once afield, we begin to sense why we are there. The smells, sights, sounds, and sensations awaken and strengthen the hunter within us. Our aches, pains, and excuses are forgotten. Just being able to hunt is a measure of the quality of our lives.
The sound of a cackling cockbird, bugling elk, gobbling turkey, honking, whistling, and quacking of waterfowl… well maybe there is enough in the tank to hunt one more season.
So, here we go again.
For more Montana Grant, visit his website at www.montanagrantfishing.com.