A lesson I learned young that helps me to this day...
Growing up I remember watching all the old school Karate, and Western movies with my Dad. You know the great Karate movies by Bruce Lee, Jean-Cluade Van Damme, Jackie Chan, and Steven Segal, and the classic Westerns by Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, and Terence Hill. I remember watching these movies and wondering why they would let the bad guy kick their a$$ for so long. They would always put themselves into a bad situation before striking back with a vengeance, or gunning down every low life scoundrel in the local saloon.
I didn’t realize it then but these movies were preparing me for life. They were instilling in me a lifelong lesson that motivates me every day. The lesson wasn’t how to fight, neither was it to buy a six shooter and take revenge on those who have wronged me in the past. The lesson these films taught me was that you are never out of the fight as long as you don’t lay down and quit.
This lesson has served me well in my hunting career. I am not saying I go into the field and start throwing round house kicks into a deer’s face. Only that a hunt can sometimes feel like a battle with the most seasoned villain. Hunting can be ruthless, unforgiving, and a struggle for survival. And just like our hero in the old Westerns we wouldn’t want it any other way.
We need to feel that struggle to reap the rewards. We need to be knocked down in order to stand up and find success. So why do we do it? Why do let the hunt beat us down so bad? Maybe it is because success feels so much greater after failure. Maybe we need that feeling of being punched in the gut in order to push us over the next ridge on the mountain. Or maybe we think back to our heroes from the past that never retreated and didn’t surrender.
Whatever the reason we will always get back up, no matter how daunting the challenges may be. We will always prevail whether we fill a tag or not every season. We will be successful because we will never give up, we will never quit. At the end of the hunt we will have blood on our hands, either from the animals we chase, or from the beating we took while chasing them.