Don’t Lose Sight

Dialed In Hunter Stock-105When I was a kid, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to a lot of great memories out in the field that I will have for a lifetime.  The first time that I had deer walk into an ambush set up is something that changed me forever.  It felt like my legs were going to fall off, I was so nervous.  On my first archery hunt I had a beautiful mule deer buck walk right past me at 10 yards.  I was so worked up and in awe that I couldn’t even pick up my bow.  The first archery javelina hunt that I went on, I missed 6 times before I actually harvested one.  Some of these might come across as failures, but underneath the surface they are lessons and added chapters to my library of outdoor experiences that I can reflect on and share with others.

In recent years, it seems as though there has been a huge focus on inches and the score of an animal.  I, like most of you, can’t deny my love for big antlers.  If there is a 340 bull standing next to a 200 bull, I am gonna take that 340 bull every day and hour of the week.  Is that what is most important though?  I fear that some would say, “yes.”  Some things that I read on the internet are just downright disturbing when people post up the score of an animal that they took.  There are your normal “congrats”, but then it seems like there is always someone that has to question the score of that animal.  Who cares?  Can’t we just be happy for that person and their harvest?  It puts across a bad message in my opinion.  A message that says that the value of an animal is to be judged by the size of its antlers or skull.  That is not something that I will be teaching my children in the future.

What I am trying to say here, is to not get too hung up on score.  Instead, why not support others in their achievements?  I would much rather spend 10 days chasing bugling bulls every day and harvest an “average” bull then chase bulls that aren’t bugling and kill a monster in the end.  If you want to target mature bulls and bucks, then do it!  It is an awesome challenge and test of wits.  Just because you do that though, you shouldn’t ridicule someone for shooting what you would consider a lesser animal.  We all have our reasons that we hunt, be it meat in the freezer or a complex game of chess in the mountains.  In the end, we are all hunters though.  Let’s not lose sight of the true trophy in front of us.

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