Keeping Relevant Perspective And Priorities, And The Art Of Practicing Patience

I’ve been a hunter since I was a child, and no matter how good I’ve gotten at it over the years (if you don’t show progress, you aren’t really trying, are you?), I always have it pointed out to me by reality, that I still have things to work on. Regardless of whether I actually get what I’m hunting for, or I just go out and sit in or stalk through the woods for the morning or afternoon, a day sitting in the woods, enjoying God’s creation, beats any day sitting in an office, going to or being at work (unless that is your office, but relaxing as opposed to working is still pretty awesome). I went out Thursday morning for early muzzleloader season, hoping for the best, expecting the worst, but knowing that generally the “worst” is not getting anything, and it’s still better than most alternatives.

First Fox

First fox as a youngster. For any of you that know me by my nickname “Deadeye D”, well this is where It came from, and my Dad started calling me that after that shot. No, it wasn’t a cool name I was given or gave myself in the military, sorry.

Perspective and Priorities

As I sat in my stand, I realized that it is very hard to keep little things I was enjoying at that moment in perspective and priority, especially when we are constantly being dumped on by all the outside influences of the media, etc., which tell us in no uncertain terms that we have a pretty shitty world to deal with and it’s just getting worse.  Then that just reinforces for those of us with a preparedness mindset that it’s going to Hell in a hand basket, and time to prepare is very short. Is it bad? Yes! Can we do anything to change the direction the world, and specifically our country is going in? No! This is the reality. The only way there will be a reset, is if the “worst” happens, and it ceases to be the United States of America. There are those that argue that it already has ceased to be the USA, and looking at certain areas, it’s hard to argue their point without looking like an apologist FedGov cheerleader, a fool, or both.

So what did I determine while sitting in that tree stand Thursday morning, while passing up a shot at a huge doe that was unfortunately sky lined in front of cattle in the farmers field (I could have made the shot safely, but honestly, is it worth the risk?). 1) I determined that I’m glad one of my favorite hobbies is also a “survival skill” (albeit a soft one compared to some, since it’s just drive to the farm, get in a stand, and kill deer), and I need to do it more than I have been. 2) I determined that living life and recognizing and enjoying the little things more needs to be a higher priority. It’s fortunate that I enjoy “Survivalist” skills stuff, but I need to do other things that aren’t related, because if all you do is prep, it can steer you towards a negative bend in your overall mental health, and that’s not good for you, or anyone around you.

Patience

So later that afternoon, I go back out to the same stand, hoping to get a shot at the doe I saw that morning. I sat there for about an hour and 45 minutes, mulling over what I was thinking about that morning, and just enjoying having squirrels come to within 2 feet of me, then determine that the tree in front of them appears somewhat…..different. As I look up to my right, what do I see about 125 yards out, but a whitetail buck, running right towards me. He kept looking over his shoulder ( I heard coyotes yippin’ about 15 mins before in that direction, so that’s what I figured he was lookin’ for, since they generally don’t look over their shoulder that much if it’s a human that spooked them) he was running fast enough that all I could determine was that he had at least three horns on my side of his rack ( I use a 4x scope on my muzzleloader not a 3-9x, or 4-12x, so I don’t shoot beyond the range/effective deer killing power of my rifle).

coyote 2008

Hunting coyotes and fox (predators) are good “skill builders” too. It also helps the farmers with the problem we’ve developed here in the last 20 years.

I took a running shot right before he disappeared into the woods, and listened to him run about 30 or so yards, then start coughing. Anyone who has hunted deer for any amount of time, knows that means you probably got a lung hit. I had only seen brief snippets of him running through the woods before I lost sight of him, so I waited.  About 5 minutes later, he starts thrashing around and I finally get a glimpse of where he was. He thrashed for about 2 minutes, the nothing. While he’s thrashing around I got sight of a small patch of white that I was able to maintain sight of when he stopped moving. Due to how thick the brush was, I couldn’t see anything else of the deer, trust me, I TRIED!

Now comes the “patience” part of this post. I am usually a pretty patient guy. I have never really had issues with patience, whether in my military life and tasks/duties I was assigned, or as a civilian, waiting for something that I was looking forward to. EXCEPT FOR THIS! I have always wanted to “jump the gun”, after shooting a deer, whether it was up close, and the first deer I shot at 14 years old with my bow, or whether it was the longest rifle kill I’ve made at 623 meters with my daughter in the stand with me (it’s harder when you have to follow the ‘rules/proper way” because you’re teaching one of your kids how to do it “right”.). So I stood there with that patch of white in my binos, approximately 50 yards away, and I determined I would wait 30 minutes and get him before it got dark. 30 minutes is nothing right? AND I WAITED, AND I WAITED, AND I WAITED!!! I swear the second hand on my watch was going backwards at one point.

So 30 minutes is up, I don’t know anything about the buck I shot except he was at least average size, and had some horns (I’m not a horn hunter, It takes too long to boil them to make them edible, I hunt to fill the freezer), and he hasn’t moved for 30 minutes. I start stalking into the woods, rifle at the ready, waiting for him to jump up, hoping he wouldn’t and thinking about the others I’ve “jumped” and had to try and shoot it a second time (destroys more meat), because of my lack of patience in times past. Guess what, he didn’t jump up. He was dead and done laying under some thorn bushes, and I took the next 30 minutes, dragging him through the brush to the edge of the woods, because he was a monster (yes, it is a subjective term based on what I know is average in our area).

Why am I relaying this to you? The answer is simple. I’ve had people say, “Oh, you don’t understand JC, you already are squared away in training, PT, and preparedness, you don’t have to worry about not being ready for bad things to happen.” My answer to that is that we ALL have something that needs work. Whether it’s your PT (yup, right here buddy), learning new skills (I’m always trying to learn new things), perfecting the ones you’ve already learned (never ending if you’re a serious Survivalist) , or simple crap like having the patience needed to bag that deer in the thicket, and not “jumping the gun” (because you were an impatient ignoramus), and losing food that could feed your family during hard times.

Early Muzzleloader Oct 22 2015

18 inch 8 point, dressed at 155 lbs.

That deer ended up being the biggest deer I’ve ever shot in the area I live in. To say I was happy is an understatement, and after getting it home, I was able to give Mason Dixon Vixen a block of instruction on dressing big game (up till now it’s just been small game). Patience is one of your biggest assets or greatest failings, and can make a difference between surviving, or dying. Find what you need to work on, and by God, work on it. Don’t fool yourself into a false sense of complacency, believing you can make up for skills, mannerisms, and mindset with gear. You will fail, and have no one to blame but yourself. Don’t  “JUMP THE GUN”, take your time, make a realistic plan, and implement it when the time is right.

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

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21 thoughts on “Keeping Relevant Perspective And Priorities, And The Art Of Practicing Patience

  1. I failed miserably on Mordor today. I’m good with that. I’ll own it and build on it to do better the next time. I’ll go back and back again untill i get what i need done there..I like that old saying “A master has failed more then a bigger has ever tired”…Patients and perseverance is what makes a winner…If you’re going head down, ass up, full speed ahead you’re doing it wrong and destined for troubles..

    I’ll never be an S.A.S Survivalist..The “Saturday And Sunday” survivalist can suck a rotten cunt. I’m sick of these people..

    Again nice harvest on the buck… well done, Sir.

  2. Nice buck.
    The wait to go find the deer-or find out if you hit it where you thought you did- always seems like hours.
    Also seems to be one of the hardest things to teach new hunters.

    • I was teaching my son how to track a wounded deer one time. A few times we had deer take off in the same general direction that the track was leading us in. I kept telling him to stay on track, and it changed direction right after seeing those deer. Every time we lost it, we did a spiral till we found it again, and we found him after about a 1000 yard track, and my son learned that if we had gone after the other deer we saw, because they appeared to be the same group, even though they were in the general direction the buck went in, we would have lost the track, because it wasn’t the deer we were following. I told him life is like that, stay on track no matter the distractions, and you will generally end up with the goal you have sought after.

  3. Excellent hunt,you got a nice one,hope you use the skin or pass to someone who will,I get a few from friends who do not suffer my “rug fetish”.I will say you are smiling,and with good reason,enjoy some back strap/stews/sausage ect.Deer season opened in my area for bow but have not as of yet put enuff time with bow lately,have till Dec. 31 and getting daily practice,perhaps in a week or two will feel confident in my skills.

  4. Spot on article my friend. Well said! I think we have the same watch though….. That’s an awesome buck as well. My mouth is watering as we speak.

  5. Nice buck – venison tastes better when you know it came from your effort to bring it home. Our season begins 1st weekend in November (Texas). I can’t hardly wait – I missed out last season due to heart valve replacement surgery recovery last year. November 6 – I’m one years old! :^)

    Staying on task in the woods can be difficult. I enjoy the scenery, sounds and even the smell of the rurals. Just brings peace to my mind. Almost hate to make the shot and spoil the peace and quiet.

    Almost. :^)

    Again – congratulations on your good fortune.

  6. Pingback: MDT: Keeping Relevant Perspective And Priorities, And The Art Of Practicing Patience | Western Rifle Shooters Association

    • Sorry to hear that Buddy. I’m very fortunate that my Father is still alive and we always go out the first day of rifle season together. I just had a conversation with him yesterday about the topic, and he reminded my of my first deer, and that I was fortunate that the shot I made with my bow killed it quickly or I would have been chasing it forever because I couldn’t wait. Ahhhh memories.

  7. “because if all you do is prep, it can steer you towards a negative bend in your overall mental health, and that’s not good for you, or anyone around you.”

    Which of course is why the Ministry of Truth spends so much time on negative stories. Not to mention the drama of the IIIper/Prepper community in general. In constantly looking for disaster, they fail to look to solutions.

  8. Pingback: Hunting tales and a life's lesson - Knuckledraggin My Life AwayKnuckledraggin My Life Away

  9. Thanks for sharing that. My time in the woods saves my sanity. Hunting has to many lessons to absorb in one lifetime and thats just fine by me. Fine looking buck sir, congrats!

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