“The Real Archer when he goes afield enters a land of subtle delight. The dew glistens on the leaves, the thrush sings in the bush, the soft wind blows, and all nature welcomes him as she has the hunter since the world began. With the bow in his hand, his arrows softly rustling in the quiver, a horn at his back, and a hound at his heels, what more can a man want in life?”
– From Hunting With The Bow and Arrow by Saxton Pope, 1923
Sometimes I feel weird about sharing my passion for hunting online because I am so new to the pursuit. Hunting is one of those things where you really have to earn your stripes, and time is your only friend in this regard. But I’ve been obsessed with it since day one and it has quickly become one of the things I think about most throughout the day.
I come from a long line of hunters. My grandfather was a hunter and he taught all of my uncles and cousins how to hunt. My parents however moved to the west coast before I was born so it wasn’t part of my upbringing. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do as a late onset hunter in my 30’s.
There are a lot of accomplished men out there sharing their successes and inspiring others to do more. Guys who have put in years of hard work, many who have had mentors and have hunted since childhood. Sometimes, it seems like an impossible feat to ever match their capabilities. It’s extremely inspiring and provides a standard to aim for.
But I’ve thought about it a lot, and there is value in sharing your journey as a newcomer as well. You see, most people look at high achievers and think “it’s too far out of reach for me”. But when you see your buddies or other people you follow taking a leap into the unknown it’s suddenly within your realm of possibilities. I encourage anyone who has considered getting into hunting to take that leap.
You’re going to suck for a while, but with some relentless hard work and dedication, you will suck slightly less. I’ve been learning this the hard way through hard lessons. And perhaps the hard way is the only way around it.
That seems to be the nature of the game and ultimately what I think gets people hooked for life. It is an endless voyage of self discovery with no final destinations, only further and greater horizons… and it is damn beautiful.