What does hunting mean to you?
For me it's a way to get away and reconnect with nature. Sometimes it takes me a few days to be able to shut of the noise in my head and just enjoy the beauty God created around me.
I develop almost a sixth sense when I am hunting, when I am able to truly connect to my surroundings.
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I don't spot the animals by looking as hard as I can and scanning intently the landscape. I can almost feel the animals' presence; it just appears almost out of no where.
Instead of thinking about all of the chores I have at home or what needs to be turned in at work, I can truly connect with the earth and all of God's creatures. My focus changes, I can feel the earth, smell it and hear everything around me from the crickets humming to the birds singing, and it's as if they are putting on a symphony just for me.
The thrill is the hunt itself and the chase, what it takes for me to get there, how many miles and how much rugged terrain I have to cover. The trophy isn't always in the size of the animal but in the hunt and the journey along the way.
My favorite place to hunt seems almost magical. It's tucked away in an area that most people don't even know exists. The landscape changes from open fields to rugged hills with deep valleys and a spectacular view of the Arkansas River. It's as if you are magically transported into a Lord of The Rings movie with huge boulders and large pinion trees that are gnarled and dead from lighting strikes.
It is full of rose quartz, and I often find myself looking down at all of the beautiful rocks instead of watching for animals. I think they are part of the magic that makes this place so amazing. The small babbling brook that sits between the steep hills makes for a picturesque scene where you can stop for a moment and enjoy the trout as they dart quickly, trying to escape your shadow.
For a few hours every day, you are experiencing a great story. God is the author, and if you let yourself go and truly experience it for what it is, you escape the mundane and live an exciting adventure.
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Instead of spending the entire time desperately looking for game, if I stop and watch the world around me and make that connection, it becomes a much deeper experience. I get to let go and step into a world of wonders, if only for a little while.