I have approximately 15 days left in my bow season. It’s officially crunch time and coming down to the wire. Sometimes I feel it would be so nice to be able to tag out early in the season. Filling my tags right away would allow for other adventures, like fall musky fishing. I've heard that’s the best time to catch them and I’ve always wanted to try. I can’t imagine not sitting in a tree in the Fall during my downtime. Tagging out early would allow for more pheasant and/or waterfowl hunting, or filming for my family and buddies. It’s a double edge sword.

Tagging out early would mean not getting to hunt the rut, watching the ultimate chase when hormones are in full swing and behaviors are their most bizarre. Tagging out early would mean not sitting in a stand for hours or all day, everyday on end, freezing my butt off, trying to stay awake, waiting for the moment of truth. Tagging out early would mean not waking up before the crack of dawn week after week to drive almost an hour, jamming the whole way, to sit in my stand. Tagging out early would mean more time to focus on other priorities, but tagging out early wouldn’t be as fun.

It’s January 16th and I’ve put in countless hours and seen loads of deer. The conditions have been right, and I’ve had several moments of truth. I like to think there's a reason I’m not tagged out yet, and while I wish I was, there’s something exciting about a hunt coming down to the wire. A quote I recently heard from a friends Dad was, “It can happen just as easily in the last hour, as it can in the first,” and it’s true. I’ve had many hunts in my lifetime where everything has come together on the last day, in the last hour, and those hunts are some of my favorites to look back on. You put in all the time, and all the work. Then, it all comes down to that very last hour or even the last minutes, and finally, you have success. It’s a bittersweet feeling.

This season I’ve had so many encounters where things just didn’t work out the way I expected them to, and at times it frustrated me to the point of tears. Without a doubt it has been one of my most challenging seasons. I told my buddies, if I have to hunt until the very end, I will, so, here I am. While I’ve never known the feeling of tagging out early, I would rather have my hunts come down to the wire. I would rather have months of excitement, challenges, and lessons to learn from. I’ve gone back and forth from feeling hopeless, to hopeful, and that’s what keeps me going. That’s what keeps my love of what I do as an outdoorsman, alive. In these instances, I want to push myself until the very end, and see the season through. I won’t give up until that last sunset of late season.

If your season is still open, keep at it. Get out, hunt hard, and take it down to the wire


Allison RauscherComment