At some point, hunting goes from being something you are interested in, to something you ARE.
Whether it was the kick of your dad's 12-gauge or your first taste of wild venison at your neighbor's cookout, something enticed you to get started as a hunter.
But it's a whole different ballgame when you realize wild game has become a true way of life for you, as it has for so many hunters before you. It's a tough urge to fight, so most of us don't.
Here are the top five times you know you were meant to be a hunter, and there's no going back.
1. The time you're in a ground blind, and you get that same feeling you got when you were a kid building a fort.
Not to mention, you've finally gained the power of invisibility... How many times did you wish for that growing up? Hunting can make you feel like a kid again in ways nothing else can.
2. The time you notice the reactions as you drive down the road with a rack in the back of your truck.
Depending on where you live, it could be camaraderie, jealousy, or sometimes outrage - but no matter what the reaction is, you earned it.
3. The time, at the start of deer season, when your alarm goes off at 4:30 a.m., and you're already awake waiting for it.
You can sleep when your deer's down!
4. The time you realize you flat out don't have the money to switch to a new hobby.
You're stuck with the one you've got, and you wouldn't have it any other way. How could you ever give up the entertainment of hearing "I didn't know venison tasted that good!" from guests at your home?
Might as well throw in some 'variety' by heading to the range.
5. The first time you start passing the tradition and joy of hunting down to the next generation.
It could be your own son or daughter, your niece or nephew, even a friend's kid. There will be a day (if it hasn't happened already) when you'll be listening to a youngster tell the story of their first hunting trip with you to somebody else, and you'll feel just as excited about it as if you were re-living your own first-time experience. Like it or not, that's when you know you were meant for this life.
Do any of these moments ring a bell for you? What about the moment you knew you were in for a lifetime of hunting? They're all memorable, and hopefully more and more folks keep having them.