Our buddies tend to make us better; pushing us to do everything a little better, a little more thoroughly than some of us would do if left to ourselves. I don’t know whether you can call it a fundamental flaw in human nature or not, but I think it’s regrettable.
With hunting, it’s no different. My hunting buddy Bobby and I share a pretty good relationship. As an older and wiser man than myself, I’ve learned a lot from being in the field with him, like the advantage of using a whisker biscuit compared to regular arrow rests. He’s given me advice both on equipment and tactics.
So it comes as no surprise that I was disappointed to learn Bob fell over a concrete form at work last week and roughed up his knee. He swears he’ll be hunting by late-season doe hunting – although it could be as bad as a torn ACL, so that would be a stretch.
But I found myself sitting in the woods Saturday thinking about the hunting buddy relationship, and it’s a bond unlike others you take on in life. With this sort of relationship, the friendship is drawn from a mutual appreciation for nature and the appreciation for being a part of it; even, dare I say, triumphing over it.
But there’s no jealousy in the hunting buddy relationship. Seldom are we altruistic enough to accept others’ success and not be envious. However, when Bobby shoots a deer, I don’t wish that it was me instead of him. He made the shot, and I’m thankful that one of us saw something and it was a productive hunt. Maybe you could even say I don’t want the deer he shoots, because they’re his deer from his hunt. Jealousy doesn’t come into play because, although he may have the meat, I still have my hunt. There’s nothing to be jealous of. In this day in age, rarely is that type of altruism evident.
The relationship makes everyone involved better, too. It’s been my experience that I’ll sit a little longer, and I’ll go out more frequently, if there’s another person going along.
When I’m out by myself, I don’t need to worry about spooking deer off of anybody else, so instead of sitting for that extra 15 minutes as the sun goes down I’m making my way down out of the tree and back towards my truck.
You always here the saying, about not appreciating the good things in life until they’re gone, and I sort of feel that way now that Bobby can’t hunt.
What about you? Who are your hunting buddies and what can you say about the quality of your friendship with them?
Caleb Regan and his wife, Gwen, live in rural Douglas County, Kansas, where they enjoy hunting, fishing, and raising and growing as much of their own food as they can. Caleb can’t imagine a better scenario than getting to work on a rural lifestyle magazine as a profession, and then living that same lifestyle right in the heartland of America. Connect with him on Google+.