Everybody knows that planning and preparation are key to successful hunting and fishing trips. It is also healthy to mix in some spontaneous hunting and fishing trips in order to spend time with friends who otherwise might not be able to make it. Often, we make our trips so complicated that they become almost impossible to achieve without significant stress, time and headaches.
There is a better way. Like much in life, the key word is “simplify”. I remember when someone introduced me to a group of guys who played 9 holes of golf every morning at 6:30. They were done by 8:00 and went to work. My first thought was that this was a lame idea…I mean really…to play golf you need to have a half day set aside, a brand new sleeve of ProV1s, and 18 holes in front of you. I soon learned that these guys had a better way. They got to spend time with each other and actually enjoyed the outdoors and friendly competition without ruining the day for their family or work projects. I soon fell in love with the concept.
Recently, I contacted my friend Wallace @smallcirclehunting that I have never hunted or fished with, and invited him to go on an afternoon hunt. We would meet in the afternoon, drive to the camp, get in a stand for a couple hours and come home. No big grocery shopping lists or getting a day off from work. He wisely said, “Let me check with my wife and I will get back to you!”
I had given him several days from which to choose and was pleasantly surprised when he soon responded that he could go the next day. He lives in a town about thirty minutes from mine so we set up a time and a place to meet. The next day started out as normal. I got some work done and took care of errands. I spent time with my wife. Little time was required to prep for the hunt. Later that afternoon, he was at the appointed place at the appointed time and we drove out to the hunting camp in my truck. The hour drive was a great time to catch up since we have rarely seen each other over the last several years. I also enjoyed learning more about his family and their traditions. Wallace and three generations of his family were some of the recipients of our 2018 Limited Edition Wild Woods Legacy Hats, of which only 20 are awarded each year.
Once at the camp, we unloaded the truck and got changed. I introduced him to our Wroxx Wild Woods Camolith gloves which had just arrived at the warehouse and are the latest in our Gear for the Journey apparel selection. We toured the camp and looked at a couple of nice bucks still hanging in the camp cooler. There is a strict quality deer management program in place that we adhere to so we reviewed the parameters required to take down a shooter buck.
We loaded up the swamp buggy and headed out to the two tree stands I had erected for this hunting season. I already appreciated that he was a good hunter but it soon became clear that he was an excellent hunter with extensive knowledge and experience in the woods. As we drove by familiar places on the long dirt road, I shared hunting experiences from my family who has hunted this 12,000 acre Central Florida lease for over 40 years. We saw several deer and turkeys on the drive out to the stands so our mood was enthusiastic.
Once we got settled in each of our stands, the woods grew quiet. Each rustling of the wind or squirrel making a noise in a bush, heightened our awareness. A dark cloud passed overhead and for about ten minutes, we endured a rainstorm. A rainbow reminded me of just how special this time in the woods is.
About twenty minutes before we needed to get down from our tree stands, the woods started to come alive. I saw a hog from my stand and he saw several doe. We passed them up as we were both waiting for a shooter buck to appear.
The mosquitoes were held back by our Thermacell mosquito repellers, making our hunt buzzless and pain free. I had an extra one for him but he was an old pro and brought his own. Those things really work! I even kept mine running on the ten minute walk back to our swamp buggy, happy to have all the protection I could get.
Once back at camp, we cleaned up, changed and headed home. We were home by 10:00, both totally satisfied with our time together and with the hunting opportunity.There is a time and place for a well planned multiple day hunting or fishing trip with family and friends. There are also a lot of great times we may be missing by not making spontaneous trips happen too.
Make it simple. I recently called another friend who is undergoing chemotherapy. He is tired and busy with medical professionals. I know he loves to fish so I invited him to fish off our dock. I told him we would make it simple…no boat involved…no prep work to do. All he needed to do was just show up, and we would sit on the dock and fish for an hour or two. I am looking forward to spending the time with him. We are going to make it happen.
Let’s create more times together with people we want to be with by being more spontaneous in our hunting and fishing trips and by keeping things simple. We may not make the front page of the latest outdoor magazine but we will fill up our book of memories with great ones while still keeping our family and work life in balance.