I feel that I am not alone when I say that there is most definitely a bittersweet side to the harvesting of game and the hunt being over. I was fortunate this year to once again fill my Minnesota archery tag with a nice buck. Not only that, but it also was the third consecutive year that I took my buck on Halloween weekend. So to say harvesting my 2011 buck made me happy is an understatement, although deep down there was a strange feeling that was oddly not surprising.

Looking down at my buck lying in the bed of my truck, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat upset. I had spent the last 364 days since I killed my last buck getting ready for that moment, and now it was over. The thought that my 2011 season was over really struck at me, and thinking about a whole year of preparation until the next season seemed depressing. I found it very interesting that despite my success I had mixed feelings about it. This was supposed to be a time of utter celebration and nothing more. Which we did celebrate the harvest, and I most certainly couldn’t have been more happy with a happy ending to a hunting season, but the emotions I felt still kept me uneasy deep down.

Finally an epiphany happened, and I realized why I was feeling these mixed feelings. The happy feelings go without any need for explanation. However, the unhappy ones I found to be caused by the end of a season. I would no longer get to go out into the woods, sit in a tree stand, observe mother nature, and enjoy God’s work. I anticipate that opportunity all year, it is what I essentially live for among other select things. I have also found that it is inevitable that these feeling will come when you put in so much time and effort into the preparations for your hunting season, then have it all come down to the climax and have it end only to start the cycle all over again. The important thing to remember is that you get the opportunity to do it all again. For many this chance doesn’t come. Half the fun of hunting is the off-season preparation isn’t it? The anticipation, the prepping, all working up to that fleeting moment, that is why we do it. So don’t let those end of the season woes get to you. Always remember there is another season coming, so reap the rewards of the recently ended one and start getting ready for next year’s adventures, and remember why we do what we do.

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