A Hunting Story – The Old Hunting Chair
Funny thing about hunting, every year it seems to get better thanks to that old hunting chair. I don’t mean to sound as if every year I have been successful, but my successes mean more now; because I have a greater appreciation for the things that some people never get to enjoy, or simply put, never get to understand.
Hunting success or failure is entirely up to you, and it helps when you find a simple solution to success after all else has failed.
Now to my story, which I hope will enlighten you and give hope to all you hunters, some of which have spent more time just trying to catch a glimpse, never mind shooting at something.
Year after year, I would hunt. Sometimes I was lucky, sometimes I was not. Never any consistency. I would scout, I would track, and I understood the elusive Whitetail better than they understood themselves— or so I thought. Then it happened; five straight years of nothing. I panicked. I would move all over the place, looking for that perfect spot.
Year after year, I would pass by the old chair. It was trying to tell me something. Almost as if it was saying, “Good to see you. How are you? Sit, and join me in marveling at Life’s mysteries. Sit and enjoy the warmth of the sun on your face, watch those crazy squirrels, forever testing our patience, and breathe in the air which we so often take for granted… I am just an old chair… Won’t you join me…?”
For some strange reason I would never stop; my life was so busy, so complex. No time for thought. So I walked and walked. I was determined to find that perfect spot. Eventually I was tired of all the walking, and sensing another year of disappointment, I looked up at the old chair, once again asking, “Now, won’t you join me?”
Something was wrong. I had lost touch with hunting reality. I had hunted so hard that I was now the hunted/haunted. I drifted into a relaxed state and thought of my years hunting as a kid: the fun, so non-political, such a sense of adventure, not worrying about the rewards, such a closeness with nature.
Perhaps it was this sense of loneliness that made me stop one beautiful, sunny day in November of ‘96 and take-up the invitation from the old chair. It was the chair that said, “I cannot move. I am here year after year. Won’t you join me?”
As I look around, I suddenly heard the crackling of leaves. The old chair instantly pointed me to all the fuss. A nice eight-pointer. Boy, what luck. As I looked at this beautiful animal, what was missing finally became clear.
In September of ’97, with a new sense of adventure, I rushed to my new friend. As I approached our usual spot, I felt the return of despair; my friend, the old chair was no longer there.
The deer season came fast upon me, and November brought the usual itch of autumn. Beauty surrounded me. The color of the leaves, the smell of the air… But something was missing… The old chair…
As I walked up the road, it suddenly dawned on me: with the removal of the old chair, things would never be the same. Something gone, but not forgotten. Memories that I would cherish for years to come. I carried this thought with me as I walked. Then, I thought I heard someone speak. Much to my surprise, when I looked back in the direction of the old chair, there it was! As magical as it seemed, the old chair has reappeared, almost as if it had been testing me and my new-found wisdom, “Good to see you, friend. Won’t you join me…?”
As I sat there, things started to appear: the crazy squirrels, the falling leaves… Things which I had so often overlooked because I was blinded by the rewards of hunting. These things were so simple, and seemed so perfectly right. And as I looked up, marveling at the reappearance of the old chair, a ten-point buck looked right back at me. He had a stare as if to say, “That is my old chair. What are you doing there…?”
As I approached this fine animal it suddenly hit me; this was the piece of the hunting puzzle that was missing. In all my years of despair, I just hadn’t taken the time to appreciate nature like I did as a kid. I needed to marvel at God’s creations, from one of man’s creations to understand, that wise old chair, “Won’t you join me…?”
A hunting story from the Squirrell’s Nest at Big Bear Outfitters.co your hunting and fishing guides for Nova Scotia, Canada written by Brian “Bear” Squirrell.