Layered up in camo and fluorescent orange apparel, I head out the door at 7:15 am. Sunrise at 7:40, just a small window of time to get to the woods. Dad and I jump in his blue GMC and head over to the field of choice.
This is my first hunt. I enjoy shooting sports; I’ve been eager to go deer hunting for a few years. With anticipation building, it was time to practice what I preach and shoot a deer!
In preparation for Ohio hunting season, there were only so many things I could do. I’d be using my dad’s shotgun, I had my apparel and boots, and had reviewed kill zones and deer anatomy. What else was there to do?
We arrived and stepped out of the truck. Loading our guns and placing extra shells in our pockets, dad directed me towards one corner of the wood line and he would be at another.
“Find a big tree and get ready,” he said hurriedly.
My uncle was going to push the deer from the opposite corner to the side of the woods my dad and I were on. Getting in to position behind a tree, I had my shot gun loaded and the safety off. Let the wait begin.
It felt like an eternity. As I was standing there, just thinking and listening, I recognized a key characteristic that accommodates a successful hunt: the power of observation.
The sound of rustling weeds, the sight of bedded down leaves, the chill in the air before a young doe and a six-point buck jump out from behind a thicket.
I froze. The buck and doe slowed, then started up again. I had to make a split-second decision. I took the shot.
The pair ran out of the woods and across the road in to the other woods. Those were the only two deer in this woods. So, on we went to the other woods we watched them run in. As we approached, two other does ran out the other side.
We spent the next hour set up again and waiting. Nothing. No more deer. The next morning, we tried again. Unfortunately, we saw no deer at all. I missed my shot.
However, I made many observations. They weren’t just the physical ones like tracks, bedded down leaves and scratched trees. It reminded me that taking time to observe the details in our lives can bring fulfillment and get us closer to accomplishing our goals.
Think about a dream or vision you have. Do you know every detail, every step you need to take to get there? If not, how can you clear that vision, practice it, prepare for it to see it come true? I was not ready for the hunt. Part is because I’m an amateur, the other is I did not envision myself taking the deer that weekend. If I had, the results may have been different.
We are approaching year end. It is a time many reflect on the past 11 months to plan for the upcoming 12 in the new year. Some select new year resolutions. Others set goals and action steps.
Do you say you want to lose weight? Do you say you want to lose 15 pounds in 4 months by working out 5 days per week and eating a clean diet? That is the difference I’ve observed.
Which will you do? I’m setting a vision, goals and action steps. I’ve got a bigger hunt ahead, setting my target and ready to aim and fire.