With the onset of a new hunting season just around the corner, we hunters become filled with so much excitement. We break out the hunting videos again, even the ones we have already seen 100 times! We spend all the money we saved all summer just for our new equipment, we become re-addicted shooters, getting ready for the big day where “HE” just may walk about in front of our sights. With the longest part of the year winding down, we take advantage of the end of the offseason to prepare ourselves for the long, hard season of hunting to which we are immensely inclined to donate ourselves.
We begin to over analyze our shooting, shooting over and over again. All hunters know that frustrated feeling in the beginning of the “preseason,” where we feel like we will never be ready for the start of the year. We place our arrows with tack-driving accuracy into the vitals of our 3-D deer targets, but when one lands astray, we go nuts to figure out why. As hunters, we lay an enormous weight on our shoulders to get ready, and although we have plenty of time, we scurry around fanatically, convincing ourselves that there is still too much to accomplish.
As we get closer to our time of year, we root through entirely too much equipment that we’ve gathered over the years to make sure each piece of camo is scent free, neatly folded, and packed into our over-organized bins. We make sure our knives are sharp and that we have too many batteries ready for all of our gadgets. All of the duck and goose decoys are scrutinized to make sure each one is in top shape. We make sure the wings on our Mojo-Dove spin emphatically in the slightest wind. We buy new bowstring wax, because wasting the time looking for where we misplaced it last year isn’t worth the $2.99. The new boots we purchased get warn every day after work to make sure they are broken in and feeing perfect for the season. We have all worn the bad pair of boots; that really puts a damper on our day out in the sticks.
Added to our almost neurotic behavior, is a great deal of stress, because this is what we love to do. There are so many anxieties and emotions that wear down on us while getting ready for the upcoming season. Frustration is absolutely necessary as we never feel prepared enough for the season. Even though those feelings of aggravation and dissatisfaction annoy us to no end, we do not allow it to be a hindrance to our possible upcoming success. That would defeat the purpose of all the other feelings that we experience when the season begins.
We undergo a major change in ourselves as the summer winds down. Excitement comes over us every time we reminisce about last season’s successes; those of our own and those of our brothers. We feel like a part of us is back; revived vivaciously in anticipation as our imminent season approaches. Our minds become reconverted back into hunting mode, where almost nothing but our obsession with the outdoors can be let in.
Finally, the feeling of obscurity consumes our minds as we truly have no idea what our upcoming season is going to bring us. That may be the most thrilling part of the preseason. We are completely in the dark as to what will become of our season. This elation, however, brings us right back into that vicious circle, because it is actually the foundation from where all of our frustrations and stresses stem. But it is those feelings that we live for.
In addition to breaking in camo boots and breaking out our camo hats, we begin to spend more time with those who make the hunt worthwhile: our hunting buddies. It is this time of year, where the grass can be cut or your jeans can be folded, tomorrow. For it is when they call, that you contribute your time to them, knowing that we all must be successful to have a great hunting season. The necessity of helping our fellow hunters is what makes for the best hunting seasons in life.
Our relationships strengthen with each preseason, as we all know; as no hunter embarks upon the season alone. These bonds we create and reinforce daily throughout the short part of the year are significant to who we are as people. Without the support of our hunting kin, we truly cannot experience the hunt in full effect. It is being able to share the outdoors experience with our companions that make our obsession so meaningful.