That First One

dialed-in-hunter-2134Anytime a new endeavor is taken on that has an ultimate goal to it, it oftentimes seems hard to imagine actually achieving that goal.  At least it does for me.  Things like buying a house for the first time.  After my parents raised me and I spent so much time with them growing up, the thought of moving out and owning my own house seemed foreign to me.  Life without Mom and Dad everyday?  It was a foreign feeling, but one that would inevitably be thrown upon me.  As with other things in life that might intimidate us, once we get passed them and achieve those unimaginable goals, we realize that it’s not that bad.  Sometimes, I questioned why I would even let such things intimidate me to begin with.

The same principle applies to hunting.  For instance, the first time I decided to go bear hunting, it was not just hard to imagine me killing a bear, it was hard to envision even seeing a bear to begin with.  Another thing that comes to mind is when I started deer hunting as a child.  I had never seen a buck before, so I found it difficult to picture one standing on the hill in front of me.  It didn’t matter how many magazine articles I read or how many pictures of big bucks I saw in those magazines, it didn’t seem real.  When I finally did have an encounter with a buck, and a big one to boot, I couldn’t even react.  I was in such awe of the fairy tail like spectacle that was going on before me.  It was that deer’s lucky day and mine as well in a sense.

It’s quite easy for me to see how this might interfere with someone “crossing the finish line.”  When someone hasn’t been faced with the reality of getting their first deer, for them it’s not a reality at all, at least not yet.  All of the hard work and dedication that it takes to do so can also act as a blockade.  I’ve seen it with people that want to lose weight and get in shape as well.  Monotonous and arduous workouts quickly get old and start doing more mental harm than good.  We know that these things need to be done in order to reach our goals, but for some reason people stop.  They convince themselves that what they are doing is not working and pointless.  That goal is now farther away than before.

The mountain is often tall and steep and the top seems unreachable.  The trick here though is to not look at the mountain as a whole, but to look at it in sections.  You don’t have to run up the whole mountain in one go.  In fact, I think you would miss out if you did and not take in what’s around you.  What I am trying to say here is recognize small victories in your hunting and in life in general.  All of them bring you one step closer to what you are trying to achieve.  By doing so, I think this builds more and more confidence within us.  Maybe, you are trying to kill your first deer with a bow, like I am.  On your last stalk, you got to within bow range of the animal, but did not get a shot.  Some might look at that as a fail.  I see that as a win.  The win is, you were successful in stalking to within range.  That is no easy task.  Another win for me would be that it is getting easier and easier to imagine this actually happening, for the first time.  What I am doing isn’t “impossible” after all.  Dedication leads to persistence and persistence will lead to that “First One.”  From then on out, it’s not that bad.


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