The Spirit of the Hunt

The Spirit of the Hunt

Photos document a moment in time, but they only tell part of the story. Our hunting stories come to life every time we tell them, but no story is as vivid as the experience when it happened, and the words pale in comparison to the actual hunt. But for me, as with most hunters, the storytelling is part of what we love about hunting, along with the connection to nature that surrounds us. Opening day for turkey hunting on private land in South Carolina started with the threat of powerful thunderstorms, but we decided to make the hour-and-a-half trek to our hunt club regardless, knowing that the weather often changes quickly. Quite sure that it would be a short hunt with the storm threat, we decided to sit together in a blind that we had originally set up for my husband, Trippett. Being a gentleman, he was good with letting me take the lead with the calling as we worked together to get the decoys set up and got ourselves situated so we could quiet down and listen for the sound we dream about hearing . . . gobble, gobble, gobble! Daybreak was a good 40 minutes away, and we sat quietly and waited for the forest to wake up. The skies cleared, the rain stopped pelting on our blind, and we were so happy we didn’t forgo the opening day hunt because of weather. One of the things I love most about hunting is the spiritual connection I feel as I sit and wait. Day after day, we find ourselves exhausted from the constant stimulation we are exposed to, both physically and mentally. The opportunity to sit quietly and peacefully grounds me, and this is a spiritual break that I look forward to so much. Typically, I would be by myself, but today I shared this sanctuary with my hubby, who is not too proud to get comfortable and take a nap, knowing that I was on full alert watching for signs of turkeys. As for me, I soak it all in . . . every tree frog that croaks, every crow that caws, every owl that hoots, and every noise I can’t make out keeps me in the moment. This spiritual break is what I seek when I hunt. The big bird in the photo is very important, trust me, but bringing home my quarry is only a part of what compels me to hunt. As I sat there in the darkness of the blind, armed with my favorite slate call, I gently sanded the surface of the slate and sat ready to respond to the sound...

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