Most of the past week I have been doing my own version of “tree bathing”. (If you missed my previous article on this topic you can find it on my website, www.theFPGgroup.com, or on my Facebook page. It’s titled “Take a Hike” dated June 5th). I call it deer hunting; my wife calls it sitting in the woods freezing for hours on end. To each his own, I guess.
There is much I’ve learned since my Uncle first introduced me to this sport. I’m not only referring to hunting itself but, on a larger scale, what I’ve learned FROM hunting. For those of you who don’t favor hunting, you have little need to worry. One could say, for the deer’s sake, the safest time for them is when I am sitting in my tree stand.
My 12-year-old, Rachel, wants to hunt with me and she is currently working on her safety course. Perhaps she’ll be ready to go out next season. As a result, while sitting in my stand on Saturday morning, I couldn’t help but reflect on lessons I’ve learned from being in the woods that I hope to share with her (and later with her sister).
The first that came to mind is the peace and beauty that nature provides. Watching the woods wake up and come to life is truly a beautiful experience. I’ve had birds land on my arrow inches from my face, squirrels run through my legs, and was once nearly walked on by a racoon.
Another lesson is patience and perseverance. As in normal human life, wildlife does not always move on our schedule either. Learning to be persistent and not give up on one’s goal is a skill that needs to be learned. In a world of nearly instant gratification due to technology, Mother Nature can humble a person quickly once in the woods.
Preparation and Safety also came to my mind and how these seem to be intertwined in nearly all we do. In hunting, there is the obvious firearm safety which takes time to learn and practice. There is also the safety of being in the woods tethered to a tree 15 feet above the ground. Who or what are you tethered to for safety? I hope you have someone or something to help catch you from falling either physically, emotionally, or spiritually when needed.
Finally, I thought of how the journey is more important than the destination. There were many trips into the woods with my Uncle and Grandfather, and there wasn’t a single occasion when we harvested an animal together. Yet, those memories come back to me every time I hit the woods now, and I wouldn’t trade those trips for anything.
I look forward to getting my own daughters out in the woods with me. I hope they can pick up a little bit of what I have learned and can create their own positive memories as well. On the other hand, they might come to their own conclusion that getting out of a warm bed at 0500 to sit in the freezing cold/rain is a foolish endeavor and that their Dad really is a silly man. Frankly, I can see them going either way on this one.
Please remember that we are “here” and available for you. If you have any questions or concerns, financial or otherwise, please do not hesitate to call or email. If you have friends, family, or neighbors you feel would benefit from a conversation with me, I’m more than happy to have a call or jump on a Zoom meeting with them.
As always, I hope that you are doing well, and staying safe & healthy!