On the fourth day of my recent elk hunt - I was starting to lose steam. Every day we awoke before dawn and stalked the woods until well after dark. Hours upon hours had gone by creeping through the dark pines at a painstakingly slow pace. Fully alert and vigilant to every sound and movement on the horizon. Maintaining this intensity of vigilance can only endure so long.
We saw plenty of elk on the first day but now they had vanished. It seemed they had taken with them our high hopes and positivity. On the fourth day I sat on a log and contemplated my state.
Why was I so sad? Why so frustrated?
Then it dawned on me- Attachment.
I had so much riding on this: months of preparation, thousands of dollars in tags and gear, three mouths to feed and a freezer in dwindling supply. I let it all go. I dropped the need for this to workout in a way that I thought would be "success".
I told my hunting partners I was going back to civilization for a couple days break. Just before packing up I decided to take "one more look" at a productive spot we had walked many times. When the cow elk ran across my path and stopped 50 yards away - I knew this was the opportunity. One shot and she dropped right there on the spot.
I rejoiced, gave thanks and began the long process necessary to stack steaks up like gold.
The hunt is done. All is quiet now and I'm left with the lesson of letting go. It's more a constant reminder of how hunting gives us more than food and adventure - it teaches us how to live.
If this resonates with you: join us for the next WILD Meat Retreat and see what hidden treasures this way of life has in store for you...