Updated: Dec 15, 2021
It's been awhile since I've last penned a blog/article (September 14th), recorded a podcast (September 11th) or shared a video on YouTube outside my buck hunt from this year (September 19th).
While I'd love to have some in-depth reasoning for my near silence, truth be told I've been dealing with an intense anger (at first) and extreme exhaustion (came later) with the onslaught of issues which have arose this fall/deer season. There has been numerous times I would sit down to record a podcast or write up a thought...and it would just turn into a hate filled rant about trespassers or issues I shouldn't have to be dealing with. Numerous times this year I came awfully close to packing up my hunting gear, carrying it down to the basement and just being done if I'm brutally honest.
I mean truly, where does one go or what does one do if the one refuge they have used for years for their provision of peace and a recharge ceases to offer that?
What do you do when you intentionally avoid hunting your own ground just because you didn't want to uncover another case of trespassing or sit there with the surrounding land only serving as a memory of such cases?
How do you work past the mental concept of needing to institute a must carry a handgun with you at all times order to your father and yourself, because the man identified that stole half a dozen cameras is a convicted violent felon?
Hunting is supposed to be that challenge we look forward to taking on each fall...sure failure happens a lot in it, but it gives back in so many different ways enriching our lives for the better because of it. 2021 however, anything having to do with hunting provided the exact opposite for me.
Where release, rest, peace, joy and excitement should have existed only anger, fear, worry, anxiety and hopelessness existed.
If it wasn't one of the nine different trespassing occasions, it was issues with landowners...if it wasn't that it was food plot failures or the construction site occurrences right up to the property lines (all legal); disrupting existing bedding off the property and mine which bordered it.
The wave upon wave of issues erodes a person's psyche...just two weeks back discovering on a card pull another instance of trespassing confirmed.
The end still as I type this doesn't appear to be on the horizon either.
Perhaps this is just another example of why I guess many can relate to me. I don't own hundreds of acres, nor is what I do have surrounded by law abiding neighbors...I don't have the equipment or the money which greatly decreases the chance of plot failures....I don't have a property which can handle multiple intrusions due to it's limited acreage size...in short - I'm you to many of you.
So with that in mind, let me for a few more minutes speak to you some words and thoughts which I am having to force into my mind and ultimately my heart each day this fall/winter due to everything. Perhaps you have similar issues...or maybe you're facing or presently living in a terrible hunting season for any number of reasons (misses, injured and unrecovered deer, loss of properties). However it is that you find my situation relatable I have four main points you must force yourself to hear and reflect upon:
This too shall pass. Such a cliche answer to what seems an insurmountable issue in the moment, but it is true. Whatever it is, I can with certainty say this too shall pass. In time one way or another the issues we face today, will solely belong to the past. Yes, sometimes the fallout from our present troubles can switch or impact our future - but that is a problem for another day, and it is just as likely to be a negative fallout as it is positive. My seven year relationship with a woman whom I was engaged to ended abruptly one day in the parking lot of our church...what appeared to have zero good about it in the moment, became possibly the biggest factor in me becoming who I am today, the husband I am today, the father I am today. If that event had not occurred we may never know if I'd come close to any of the above. I thank God for the event now. Surely if something far more crucial than deer hunting can pass into the past tense, what we face now will as well.
We can choose to respond positively or negatively, it truly is in our hands. No one desires to face issues or troubles in life, but ultimately those that see a successful tomorrow are typically the ones that choose to allow events to trigger good actions rather than negative actions. Don't for a second allow the events of today steal the joy of tomorrow, if we must concede any time it is the now - NOT THE FUTURE. Some things just suck, and cannot be presented in any other way, best to declare it, accept it and make a plan from it.
Embrace the suck. Just like any aspect in life, as hinted in #2 and #1 - sometimes things are just going to suck. Adapt and overcome are the only options unless we desire it to overcome us and in the end destroy "us" as we are known. This is all part of the journey we are on, embrace it and face it - for you really have no other option but to quit and I promise, that is not what you were made to do.
Whatever it is, MAKE it MAKE you stronger. I've seen folks face adversity or life's "suck" moments and let it destroy the person they are and any semblance of strength they had ripped away; be it spiritual, physical or even mental. Don't let the current events weaken you, like a sword forged through fire and the countless tolls of a sledgehammer forming it, allow it to strengthen you - NEVER let it create a worse version of yourself, NEVER.
So, 2022 plans are in place and massive efforts will be taken to counter the onslaught of issues the 2021 season and year has dealt out. If more issues are to be had in the future, it will not be due to throwing in the towel and doing nothing - there is work to be done, and done it will be!