Last year, I knocked down one of the biggest bucks I’d ever seen from my favorite hunting area… or so I thought?!

It was the last day of the 2009 hunting season. The plan was to try and  fill my last doe tag. I still had a tag left for a monster buck too, but that was not the plan.

As the clock was winding down on one of the coldest Michigan days of hunting I could ever remember, it seemed like everything was falling right into place. So I waited… and waited… nothing. For hours, I sat in my tree stand, posturing quietly. It was everything I could do to keep the feeling in my toes (and my backside) from chasing me out of my tree. Finally, I gave in… twenty minutes of daylight left …I was done.

I gathered up all of my gear, climbed down from my tree and headed back to the warming shed to meet up with my hunting buddies to reflect on another great season.

As I turned back to look over the area where I just left one last time, I noticed some movement. There she was… the one beautiful doe that would have filled my ticket. As I began to laugh in disbelief– there was another one. Then, a buck… looked like a six-pointer. Then another one… and another. Holy Crap! Suddenly, out of the shadows of the treeline, there he stood… a majestic monster. Like a parade of nobility all on display for me to see. “Why couldn’t I hold out just a little while longer?”

Well, it’s the end of May… still thinking about that moment at the end of the season when I gave in.

So for this coming season, I have made a pact with myself– I will try to last a little longer on those days when I feel like leaving. I will pick up some warmer clothing to be better prepared for battle.  More important, I will always remember this,  “…it’s why they call it HUNTING– NOT gathering!”