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Is deer hunting worth it...if you don't get one?

Updated on October 3, 2016
David Winters profile image

I've hunted and lived in Michigan, Montana, and now Indiana. I've taken elk, mule deer, and whitetails. Enjoy the hunt and remember to aim!

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Of course it's worth it....

  • Nature
  • Adventure
  • Family & Friends
  • Patience & Perseverance

Decide 2016 will be a great season no matter what

Are you dreaming of a putting a trophy buck on the wall? All your friends have one already. So you declare, "THIS IS THE YEAR!!!" with confidence but your spouse just shakes their head at your big talk and on the inside you feel anxiety as you start the new season.

Are you looking at an empty freezer and feeling the pressure to put some meat on the table? You feel the pressure to put some meat on the table. This article is about enjoying the new hunting season and remembering the many great benefits of being on the hunt...even if you don't "get" anything to put on the wall or in the freezer.

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You don't always "get" one, everyone misses sometimes

If you think you will see, shoot, and recover a deer every time you deer hunt you are in the wrong sport. Many times you won't even see a deer, let alone have one within shooting distance. And if you do get a shot with a bow or gun, everyone misses at some point...the deer moved, there was a small branch you didn't see, your heart was pounding too hard...you missed, you are human. Or you hit the deer and failed to recover it. You were sure you had the perfect kill shot, you watched the video footage, you found lots of blood at first. Probably all of us deer hunters have had that sick feeling of having to finally give up a deer as gone or unrecoverable. It happens. And the stats show in any given state that we don't all get one. When I lived in Montana in the early 2000's and hunted elk the success rate for bowhunting elk was 8% and for rifle it was 17%. For Wisconsin deer hunting in 2015 the success rate was 32%. Now let's talk about reasons to go hunting even if you don't "get" one.

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Hunt to be refreshed by the majesty of nature

Nature is strengthening and calming to our human nature. Sunsets, sunrises, fall colors can be therapy for the soul. There is nothing like walking into the woods with bright stars through the trees overhead to be replaced by the pink and red hues of dawn. What better way to close out the day then watching the light and color fade and a brilliant sunset?

Hunting is a great way to escape noise and experience quietness and stillness. Fresh air is good for the lungs. Even when you endure rain, cold, or snow during a hunt you can be refreshed walking back into a warm home and getting a hot shower. Deer or no deer it's good for your heart, mind, and body to be outdoors.

Hunt for the love of adventure

If you go out for a hunt you come home with a story to tell, often a story of adventure. You never know what you will see or experience. One day elk hunting I never saw an elk but saw five moose. You might see a red fox, a badger, a coyote, or a wide variety of birds. What about walking back to a stand in the dark with no stars to give you light. Everything usually looks different in the dark and harder to recognize. You get to see wildlife living and moving around you unaware of your presence. Hunting is about adventure. You want to make it home safely whether it's climbing down from a tree stand in the dark or coming out of the mountains back to the truck by dark. When you go hunting you get to come home with a story of adventure and wonder.

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Hunt and learn patience and perseverance

No matter how many times you have missed or seen nothing you have to keep going. You will only "get" one if you keep going. There was one season I was seeing no deer at all until one night I finally had a buck in front of me. It was a buck with a cool looking busted antler on one side and four points on the other. I certainly had buck fever, shot a bit high, found great blood for a hundred yards, but never found it after an exhaustive search that night and the next morning. I was ready to destroy my bow and take some time off. Instead I went to my other spot the very next night and made a perfect shot on a doe which only went 30 yards and went down. Everyone misses, everyone has times they see nothing, hunting teaches us to keep going, get back in the woods, patience, and perseverance. Patience and perseverance are great character traits for any man or woman. Hunting helps shape young boys and girls with patience and perseverance.

Hunt and develop great relationships

Some of your best friends will probably be the ones you hunt with or share the passion of hunting with. You may make an agreement to help each other on difficult tracks or recoveries. I have been there for a couple of friends helping them recover there very first deer. Great friendships are created by enjoying the glory of nature together. Great friendships are created by experiencing the adventure of hunting together. Great friendships are formed when we help each other be patient, not give up, and persevere hunting. We all need a hunting buddy to encourage us when we have a bad hunt. Even in seasons when I have had little or no success deer hunting I can still share in the excitement or success of a friend getting a great buck...because next season it may be the other way around. Also, it's a great family experience to hunt together. Time hunting with my daughters and son is unforgettable. Hunting creates lifelong memories for those we hunt with.

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