“I’ve never been motion sick in a tree, but today may be that day.” –Actual text message to Tim Kjellesvik.
A few days before this was written, my good buddy Tim wrote a great article and posted it on his website, The Thinking Woodsman. It was titled, “ An Open Letter To Casual Deer Hunters”. In the article, Tim poses some great questions. I won’t spoil it, you’ll have to go read for yourself. As I sat in the tree on that cold December afternoon, I came down with a case of the grumpys.
To set the scene, it was an overcast day, with the temps in the “50s”. However, the wind decided to howl and whip and the temperature felt a balmy 30 to my precisely calibrated ears. I was decked out in Nomad gear outer-wear, and plenty of base layers underneath. My tree moved constantly, and the wind came in what could only be described as a cyclone. There was no wind direction, there was just wind. In the midst of the weather, I began to think that mother nature, and by some extension, God, owed me a deer.
I was somehow entitled to a deer because I was sitting in this weather, archery tags unfilled. Thankfully, this was a fleeting thought, and it’s thanks to the article above. I may have had bad weather, but I was hunting. Better yet, I was hunting two hundred and fifty acres of prime deer habitat. Add to the list that I work on the property, and it becomes ridiculous to even begin to complain about my situation. I am blessed with a job that pays me money, and allows me to hunt on the land. I can walk from my office to a stand in less than 10 minutes, and I can do it every day of the season. Some people aren’t blessed with a stable income, and fewer are blessed to enjoy the outdoors where they work. Tim’s article isn’t about being grateful for the land you hunt. In that moment, it was a needed reminder that I hunt the bad days so that great days are great. It was a reminder that for me, hunting isn’t a choice. It’s an addiction, and a way of life that I can’t quit. There will be great days, and there will be days where you hate all 8 hours of your sit.
By the way, at the end of this self-reflection, my target buck walked out at 50 yards. A skinny rack, but a tall, beautiful ten. There wasn’t a shot, and in 50mph winds I probably wouldn’t have tried anyways. His presence put my butt in the stand at 6am the next morning.