It’s All Connection and Little Bit of Grit

The closest shot

“Your most important “want” should be the one you can control!” – Shannon L. Alder

Grit and connection have become the two words I can define my 2020 deer hunting season by. Even though I am still chasing deer this year I want to share how those two words have shaped my time in the deer woods this season.

For me just like most hunters in my area my season started in October. It kicked off with my trip to find a spot of public land I had only been to once before on a chilly night a few years back. Most of that trip was met with obstacles and challenges that ultimately led to cutting my trip short with a trip to the hospital.

After I recovered, I set my sights on a small chunk of private land where I would seem to be drawn to spend most of my hunting season. Upon pulling up for my first hunt there I noticed a young doe off along the tree line. This hunt coming right after a morning filled with personal aggravations, so my mind was not totally focused.  That led to a rookie mistake of me missing another doe off to the side that I would later form a connection with. It would be two days that we again locked eyes in passing and she earned her name NYX the Greek goddess of the shadows. Over the next few weeks as I would pick up our chess match as time allowed, there have been many days of waiting for her to pass through or her just sitting out of range. Those days have been the most tedious ones held up in the blind waiting for a shot that has never materialized.  As November rolled in and the rut was starting to kick up things circled back to the original young doe that started this quest and she introduced me to new character in the game.

During an early morning sit Link as I’ve dubbed her came strolling down the path my blind over looks followed by a nice-looking younger buck, who on this morning earned his name Deflector. It only took seconds for our journeys to become one. Just as I relaxed myself to grab a swig of coffee before I was planning to ease in and connect with my surroundings Deflector came out of my blind spot. It was clear that my window of opportunity would be exceedingly small at best as I brought my bow back up and readied for my shot. With only a spilt second I took a deep breath and did all I could to clear my head with him in my cross hairs I let lose my bolt.  As the release of the string rang out in my ear and I took another breath I saw him flinch, Deflector had jumped the string thus taking my rushed shot and making it even worse. Just a simple non-fatal shot that he would recover and live from. I know this for certain as he has joined NYX in the game of cat and mouse that is played on more days than not when I have since gotten back into the blind. Still with plenty of time left in the season and plenty of free time coming up this game will go on until I win this game of chess or the sands of time run out on the season.

It truly has been a tale of playing chess with two animals that do not know they are in game of life or death with me and the whole story is merely words put together by me to what I find compelling for both myself and you as the reader. Yet I cannot help but think about just how my hunting narrative holds a deeper meaning to be put into practice in my life and perhaps yours as well.

There is nothing in life that plays out in a scripted matter. Any situation worth being will hold its unforeseen challenge. Even the most rehearsed things we do in our life’s can and will have hiccups along the way to its finale. It is these uncontrollable events that we must learn to accept and overcome. There are some famous stoic words that I am often reminded of “the uncontrollable events are what shapes us, but it’s how we overcome them that makes up who we are”.

For myself, while I have my share of hiccups from uncontrollable elements on the way to my goals this year, I will be spending the free time I find back in my blind immersed within the chess match this season has become. I will continue to do everything within my power to embrace the unforeseen obstacles and enjoy the ride of this journey no matter the outcome. It is the grit and connection just as much as the want that drives me to do so. As I close this article, I ask you the reader just where will grit, connection, and want take you?

It’s a blank canvas but you gotta want it

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