It comes in many shapes and forms. From the mountain ranges of the Rockies to the rushing rivers of Mississippi; in the field, or at home. For a long time I’ve contemplated this subject on what truly gives us the fulfillment of success. We all have a different perception on what it means to be a successful outdoorsmen and that’s exactly why I ask the question, what does it mean to you?
No matter what type of hunting or fishing you do, it all starts the same, with that alarm clock sounding off early in the morning. Followed with the same two conversations in your head; wondering if you should take up another hobby that lets you sleep in or the other side that’s filled with pure excitement and determination, that 10 times out of 10, wins the conversation.
Whether you’re a big game hunter, waterfowler or fisherman, the first thing that might pop into your mind are limits and/or trophies. It’s okay. We’ve all been there. No matter if your trophy is how long the tines are, how long the backstrap is, or even if you bagged your limit for the day, we have all felt that sense of success when we are fortunate enough to bag what we came for.
After a long hunt or even a long day out on the water, we may not always come home with a harvest. That’s a given. But for most, you can bet we will be feeling it the next day. You may have spent days out in the field getting your tail whipped but to some its almost impossible to explain the amount of fulfillment you endure knowing that you put out an all out effort with an all in attitude. Although that next morning your body may be a little tender from your trip, you still wouldn’t change it for the world and look forward to the next one.
For those who are fortunate to bag a harvest, you sit and wait in anticipation on your return trip home to throw your game into the smoker or even the deep fryer. Normally, it’s an internal debate if you should make the ole tried and true family recipe or that new recipe you just discovered. When all is said and done and the table is set, digging into your harvest is probably one of the most filling sensations (pun intended). Afterwards, when you and your family sit back with bellies full of delicious food, you can hardly wait to get back out there.
With many of us, what we do was handed down in some way, shape or form from previous generations. As we look to the future we can only hope to pass down this tradition and lifestyle to the future generations. No matter if it’s seeing your son or daughter reel in their first fish or taking the niece and nephew out to the blind for the first time. During those moments, we feel a sense that goes beyond words, that even during crazy times, restores our faith in humanity.
Big bucks, sore backs, full bellies, and lessons learned. We have all experienced it in our own way. No matter where our journey may take us we can always look forward to reaching beyond our potential. And maybe that’s the same reason that we keep coming back. The same reason we refuse to push the snooze button when the alarm sounds early in the morning or pushing through the teeth chattering cold. Whatever it may be, it’s really up to us to determine what makes us a successful outdoorsmen. Take it. Make it yours and keep it close.