The Hunt is Sweeter Than the Kill – Nancy Jo

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.

A harvest...a divine gift....success that is derived when opportunity and skill meet by chance,

A harvest…a divine gift….success that is derived when opportunity and skill meet by chance, Photo Credit: Rusty Cockrell

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.

"Sharing the work and the time afield with others builds special bonds of partnership and friendship; not to mention reaps many grand memories." Credit: Life in Camo

“Sharing the work and the time afield with others builds special bonds of partnership and friendship; not to mention reaps many grand memories.” Credit: Life in Camo

Surely, if a hunter were to harvest every visit to the field, there would be no challenge, no thrill, no imminent gratification in hunting.

Photos of Harvest on the left of the scale and unfilled tags on the right. There is no measure for the good times and memories. Photo Credit: Life in Camo

“Weighing the cumulative harvest on the left versus the several thousand dollars in unfilled tags on the right…rolled into one it could not match an ounce, ten-fold, in what I have gained in my soul from the experience of the hunt. ~Nancy Jo” Photo Credit: Life in Camo

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.

Countless hours spent scouting and glassing on a 1 week long turkey hunting trip in Montana. No harvest taken but amazing memories made. Photo Credit: Life in Camo

Countless hours spent scouting and glassing on a 1 week long turkey hunting trip in Montana. No harvest taken but amazing memories made. Photo Credit: Life in Camo

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.

"No need for a caption here.....only one hunter was fortunate enough to harvest, but memories for a lifetime were made." Photo Credit: Life in Camo

“No need for a caption here…..only one hunter was fortunate enough to harvest, but memories for a lifetime were made.” Photo Credit: Life in Camo

Follow the author on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn at Nancy Jo Adams and/or The Guru Huntress.  Read more about Nancy Jo’s hunts and adventures at Shenanigans From the Field and Ladies in Camo.

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