Well, several big game hunts have came and went, but the popular rifle deer hunt will begin this weekend. This means that hunters will be heading for the hills to participate in the sport of tracking down Bambi.
Although I am not a hunter, I am also not against the sport. I figure that if a bunch of grown men and women choose to withstand bitter cold weather and hike mile upon mile to shoot at a target that can outrun just about any top athlete, then I say go for it. Shoot it up and have a good ole time. After all, I think that's what hunting is all about. Having fun.
I have gone on my fair share of hunting excursions with my dad when I was younger. It was a lot of fun to ride around all day with dad in the truck drinking sodas and eating stale sandwiches.
It was even more fun to bounce through the backroads and pass numerous big bucks while dad just simply missed sighting them. I would just laugh silently as dad's little spotter kept quiet about the possible trophy buck.
Like dad always says, "You have the best little eyes around. You can see anything for miles."
Well I did see a lot, but most of what I saw during hunting season was not worth sharing as long as dad had a rifle in the truck and a permit in hand.
I must admit, I do miss these days and it seems as if dad has finally caught on to my game because it has been years since he has taken me along with him during hunting season.
I think that the majority of hunters are quite similar to myself. Sure, most of them are out there attempting to tag a buck, but the majority of them are out there for the enjoyment of being outdoors.
It seems as if hunting stories are quite similar to fishing stories. They always begin with the animals stats.
"Yeah, I saw a 10 point buck up there on the ridge. It was just waiting for me to tag it, but as I pulled the trigger, nothing happened. The gun jammed and the buck got away." Sure. Likely story.
The realistic stories that are told about hunting are usually about the adventure itself. About the camping experience and the waking up to a hot pot of coffee on a cold autumn day.
The stories of how friends and family get together each October to stake out their favorite hunting spot are numerous. While the laughter and the memories that are shared at these camps are endless.
And the stories about how old Joe had a little too much to drink and ended up in the campfire seem to sprout up each hunting season. These are my personal favorites I must admit. It's just too bad that I wasn't there to witness the annual event.
This is what I believe hunting is all about. Sure if a buck is tagged and brought home it is an incredible feeling, but if the buck seems to have got away, that's fine too. It was an adventure that was worth the wait.
I know that I miss the days when dad and I would travel hundreds of miles in a week looking for big game. We would simply enjoy each other's company.
I don't know why trips like these can't be made more often in the year and without a purpose in mind. Why not just go out into the wilderness and savor the sights, sounds and memories which are made during any outdoor adventure? After all, that is something that can be done without a permit and can happen any time of the year.