From a very young age I spent a lot of my spare time in the outdoors. My dad would take me out hunting all the time as a kid, and I was hooked the very first time my he threw me on his shoulders and waded across the backwaters of the Flathead River for a morning duck hunt. The passion only grew with the more time I spent outside. Throughout the years I have spent a fair amount of time in the outdoors, and I still fall in love a little more each time I get out there.
I have come to learn that there is so much more to hunting than the hunt itself. Being outside, away from civilization and able to completely unplug and disconnect from anything or everything. Its liberating. Not to mention the experiences with family and friends that serve as some of the best memories. Hunting has become somewhat of a lifestyle for me, and from that lifestyle, here are a few of the things that hunting has given me.
5 Most Valuable Things That Hunting Has Given Me
1. A Lifelong Hunting Partner
The bond that my dad and I have developed from our years of spending time together away from civilization is something that is incomparable. He has passed down his love for the outdoors to me, and has taught me many things on our adventures. Whether it’s in the truck on the drive out, around the campfire after a long day, or sitting at the top of the mountain we just climbed, the time that I have been able to spend with my dad is something that I will cherish forever. He and I still have many, many hunts left to go on. My dad will always be my hunting partner.
2. An Escape
Something about the solitude and isolations in the mountains makes all of my problems, stresses, lingering due dates, or whatever else it may be, disappear for a bit. Every time I get away from civilization for a while I come back recharged, clear minded, and humbled by the realization that I am just a very small piece of this puzzle.
3. Memories- and the friends they are made with
Some of my favorite memories and best stories come from hunting experiences. My brothers first elk. The annual antelope trips. My childhood best friend chasing a grouse through a field after he shot his last .22 bullet, or found a fish in his pocket that he had caught a few days earlier. Pool games and shuffle board at the last chance saloon. The chicken fried steak at Trixie’s. My first solo elk with a bow. Or sitting around the fire at low camp and drinking an ice cold keystone light, as if it were tradition or something.
4. A Passion
What are you doing if you’re not doing what you love? Hunting gives me something to do with my free time, to put effort into and concentrate on, to prepare for, and something to feel very passionately about. Everyone needs a passion, something they love to do simply because it makes them happy.
5. Food for the Winter
A freezer full of elk meat is one of the most beautiful sights that there is. As someone who has doesn’t buy beef, I couldn’t tell you exactly how much I’m saving a year on red meat. But as someone who typically eats meat 2-3 times a day, I can say that it’s probably somewhere around a metric s**t ton.
Beyond the Hunt. Its about the places you go, the things you see, the people you do it with, and memories made.
Author: Shelton Todd