Enjoy the Journey

Enjoy the Journey

Enjoy the Journey – Do Not Lose Sight of Enjoying the Passion You Love

So often as a nation of hunters and outdoorsmen we love to do everything we can to pursue greatness in our sport. We use every tool at our disposal. We use trail cameras, climbing stands, scent free spray, and Sitka gear. During the off season we have grown smarter and we use minerals, plant food plots, and cut trails for our deer herd. We spend so much time focusing on the end goal that I feel right now we forget to enjoy the journey.

Do Not Lose Joy in Deer Camp

Over the years we strive for bigger bucks and there is nothing wrong with that but sometimes with age and antler restrictions we lose joy in deer camp. This past deer season I passed countless bucks. I have some encounters with bucks that I would have mounted on my wall a mere 10 years ago. Now I said those famous words “one more year”. I honestly write this article and believe my decision was right, but it is how I responded towards the end of the season that is not. I was upset that it was a failed hunting season because I did not kill a 150+ inch buck.

Like most hunters in the world I am a weekend warrior. As such, I try to hunt the rut as best I can but with a 8 month old son during deer season it was hard to find time. I felt so defeated after this season because it was the first year since I was 10 years old that I did not even kill a deer. I saw tons of does and bucks. There were amazing encounters with quality bucks for a small Tennessee farm. I even had our largest buck on camera within 16 yards and my muzzleloader misfired. It was an amazing season, but I lost sight of my passion and stripped it of all the joy.

Find Joy Where You Should

enjoy the journey
My mom with her 2017 Tennessee 6 point.

I didn’t find joy where I should have. I should have had more joy in the buck my nephew killed that was a spike, or the buck my mom killed that was a young six point. The joy of spending time chasing a passion I love yet lost it in the epic battle for bone.

I am so excited for the 2018-19 deer season I can hardly stand it. I am ready to feel the adrenaline when I see that first deer. Right now all I can do is put out minerals (RAKS is all I use), food plots, and feeders. That is perfect. That is what I need to do. Doing these things in the off season will help my chances for big bone in the fall. But I can not allow the joy to be gone like I have done in years past. I am ready to take the first step to recovery and that is realization of a problem.

Joy is Time Spent in the Woods With Family and Friends

Antlers are wonderful but it is the journey that is the joy. The time spent in the woods with family and friends. The stories of the encounters and the chase. That is pure joy and I am more excited about this hunting season than I have been in a while. So we as sportsmen must stick together and not get mad when someone shoots a small deer. We need to be glad that they are passionate about our sport and enjoy the love of the outdoors like we do.

I look forward to writing another blog in the fall with a picture of me and a deer. It might be a doe or a beautiful three year old buck that “needed one more year” but you will see my smile and my joy again!

Please share your enjoy the journey moments with us.

Like what you see here? If so, click here to read more about Will Tenpenny.  Also, check him out on Instagram and Twitter.

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2 Comments on “Enjoy the Journey

  1. Last year I had my first unsuccessful season in over 15 years. Toward the end of it I stopped putting so much pressure on myself and started to enjoy it more. No since in hunting if you aren’t having fun.

  2. Last year was my toughest year of deer hunting I have faced, ever! I normally kill quite a few deer because we work with farmers who are overrun with deer and other nuisance animals, and we donate to meat to food banks. I have 7 kids so I do laugh when I see someone with 1 baby saying they cannot find the time, but I get it. We all start somewhere.
    Anyway, O have more memories from last year because of the journey that the 3 deer I killed burned in my brain. Lots and lots of failures last year, but it was a great learning experience to say the least!