• 600 words
Though I’m not much of a hunter anymore, these feelings of connectedness still ring true. I wanted to keep this article published and unaltered/unedited from the original, as it represents a time in my life. I hope you enjoy.
The time has been approaching for quite some time and is now officially here. The air is cooling and the sun is setting sooner and sooner each night. Instincts within us are leading us out into nature once again to escape, to survive, to hunt. I normally wear a neat, trimmed beard, but the time has come where it is filling in across my whole face in preparation for the change of seasons. Just like the animals can tell that winter is on its way, I am starting to feel it in the air, see it in my face, and prepare for it in my mind.
The sun setting in the foothills of the Mission Mountain in Montana.
This time has been approaching and is finally here where many, like me, are strapping up their boots, packing up supplies, and heading out deep into the woods in search of our primal connection with the earth. It is time to escape from our regular daily routine and jobs to carry out a long-lived tradition. I find it amazing that while out in search of meat one can simply live with the supplies you can carry on your back, leaving behind all of the junk that has built up in storage sheds, garages, and closets.
For me, at this point in my life, it is honestly not about the size of the buck or elk that I harvest, but more about providing and economically filling the freezer until next year. I have been feeling more and more honed in to that instinctual drive that sends me deeper and deeper into the forest to find what I am searching for. It’s that same voice and conscious that tells me to “stay at this spot a little longer” or “wait here in this natural blind” and “don’t give up or call it a day because night is coming and the snow has thickened”.
Venture on and reap the benefits that you have been working so hard towards all year!Just being out in the mountains and connecting to my senses and surroundings is what I continue to seek. I do not take for granted the times where I feel so connected to my surroundings: where I can hear every pine cone falling from a tree, the fast current of a distant natural spring flowing through the earth, or the crack of a downed tree limb as I quietly wait in suspense completely unknown as to what might be coming out from around that bend. It is then, when I am deeply connected to, yet at the complete mercy of the wild that I feel whole and centered.
I’ll be continuing to ready my mind, body and soul for the hunt as you are reading this. I hope, for your own sake, that you too will dedicate this season to connecting with your senses and instincts out in nature. I know it can be hard to find the time to dedicate to this, trust me I do know, but the benefits gained are far beyond the consequences of calling into work sick a day or two this fall.
Again, best of luck to everyone out there this season reaping the benefits of your hard work and dedication. Venture on and explore hard this year!