I’ve only heard it within the fly-fishing context, but I’m sure there’s a hunting version …
When you embark on your journey, you want to catch something, anything, no matter its size. As you progress, you want a lot of fish. Then, your grail is big fish. Ultimately, though, you reach angler’s Nirvana and don’t need to catch any fish.
I won’t deny it. I love a full game bag and watching Buddy suss out new bird covers. When he skids into a rock-hard point and stands, trembling, my heart races. If there was a twelve-step program for adrenaline junkies, I’d join it.
But I’ve come to the conclusion that there is so much more to a hunting trip. Can we better savor the memories of an outing if we stop and smell the (wild) roses? And pine? And juniper? And:
- – Look up and down, and appreciate the fall colors (note: look on stream bottoms as well)
- – Carry a Zip-Loc bag for berries or mushrooms
- – Brew a cup of tea at noon just so you have a reason to stop and breath deep
- – Bring a non-hunting friend
- – Spend gas and grocery money near your destination
- – Attend the local “hunter’s breakfast”
- – Donate to the local PTA, Boy Scout troop or bake sale
- – Visit the government biologist during the off-season
- – Study the area’s history
- – Carry enough coffee (jerky, candy bars) for anybody you meet in the woods
Got something to add to this list? It’s a long season; I welcome your suggestions.