This past week, like many of you, I took time to reflect on the year and celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family. Before we move away from this amazing holiday, I wanted to share a powerful HuntLeague Community story that turned my season around.
As many of you know, I set out this year in hopes of harvesting the buck of a lifetime. All my scouting efforts and preseason preparation lead me to a specific buck that I simply called “The One”. This was the first time in my life I had selected a specific animal to pursue before the start of the season and made the commitment not to just take the first buck I saw with a coveted Colorado archery mule deer tag. I had all my eggs in “The One” basket.
This was the first time in my life I had selected a specific animal to pursue before the start of the season and made the commitment not to just take the first buck I saw with a coveted Colorado archery mule deer tag. I had all my eggs in “The One” basket.
I wish I could go into great detail about the way everything unfolded and if you are interested in taking a more in depth look you can dig through my hunt logs posted on the community page. To summarize, “The One” was taken right in front of me by an out of state hunter that paid big money for a landowner tag and phenomenal outfitter.
It was a devastating blow! Although I was surrounded by other incredible deer it crushed me and my expectations. For the last few days of my season, I couldn’t muster the energy or excitement to even pursue them as I held on to the disappointment of losing “The One.”
What was supposed to be the dream season (first time with a deer, elk, and bear tag) was now almost over and I had lost all joy. The dream season was feeling like a nightmare until one HuntLeague member, Crayson McBride, messaged me a simple but powerful statement that turned my season around.
As I was driving out for the last few days of the season, those words stuck in my head. Everything shifted in me as I had encounters with elk and deer. Rather than feeling disappointed I was overwhelmed with gratitude and felt like every sighting, every bugle, every sunrise/sunset, and the wilderness around me was now all a gift from God.
Slowly the weight of a disappointing season began to dissipate and gratitude began to take over.
I set out with the goal of harvesting “The Buck of a Lifetime”. In the last few moments of the season I was able to harvest my widest, oldest, and heaviest buck. Was it what I was after? Not at all, but was I grateful? More than you could even imagine! For those of you craving the full story, check out the hunt logs I posted on the community page in September. You can find them by typing “jnew” in the search bar and selecting deer in the filter settings.
As I reflect on this story and we all move away from the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s important for me to take a moment and thank each of you for being a part of the HuntLeague Community. No matter if your involvement has been big or small. I have passionately poured myself into developing this platform with hopes of it being a blessing to you and hunters everywhere. I never expected that blessing to return to me the way it has and I am truly grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from the HuntLeague Community.
Let’s continue to build this Community together knowing that a simple statement has the power to turn someone’s season around and impact them for years to come.