A harvest is much like a gift, you never expect or anticipate it, but you are extremely thankful when you are presented with it. When a hunter expects a harvest or sets their decision to hunt on the sole expectation of a guaranteed harvest, they have sadly missed the joy and nature of the hunt. To measure the hunt by a kill is riddled with, if not deserving, of disappointment or failure. Such an attitude robs one of the many rewarding insights into Mother Nature gained by the time spent afield.
The sport of hunting involves much more than a successful harvest. It is a culmination of endless preparation, dedicated work and various challenges for most hunters and certainly those who spend countless hours and hefty financial investments in the pursuit of hunting. Hunting also encompasses the anticipation of time spent in the outdoors and the mere satisfaction of the comradarie of sharing the experience with others.
Surely, if a hunter were to harvest every visit to the field, there would be no challenge, no thrill, no imminent gratification in hunting.
The attitude that one has toward the expectation of a hunt separates the “sport shooters” from the “hunters”. In other words, to make the decision to put forth the time, money and effort into hunting based on “will I harvest or not?” versus the attitude “I may have the opportunity to harvest” separates those that should stick to the guarantee of saying “Pull” and shooting a clay target at the shooting range versus those who are dedicated to expending their resources in hunting preparations and strategies—regardless of time and money; ultimately everybody’s time and money are equally important.
It is true that hunting is in anticipation of a kill but it is also so much more. The kill is the culmination of preparation of the hunt, but not a guarantee of the outcome of a hunt in its own right. A hunter should hunt for the thrill of the chase and for the peace of just “being” with nature…connecting with the laws of nature.
For many, they receive the same gratification from hunting as they do from gardening to enrich their dinner table. There are no guarantees that a garden will reap fruits and vegetables—but tireless hours are still spent in the garden preparing, weeding, watering and just peacefully being. The pride of doing the work yourself, regardless of the outcome, is a deep-rooted fulfillment of satisfaction.
The guaranteed odds of a harvest is surely not what one should debate when deciding to participate in the sport of hunting. The time and effort you have expended in preparing for a hunt is important to the equation, much like the expense however there are no guarantees.
Most successful hunters will readily admit the hunt is sweeter than the kill.