To Accomplish Great Things


Long ago, author and Nobel Prize winner Anatole France, said that to accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. I can’t think of anything more true of a successful, memorable hunt than that. All of those elements are part of it; the things that make up the act of hunting – climbing into a tree stand, waiting and watching, deciding to take the shot, drawing the bow, releasing the arrow at the right moment – would be but the small moments they are by the clock’s count without the others. The planning, scouting and traveling; the fervent belief in ourselves, our abilities, the righteousness of our outdoors passion; and of course, the thing that was weaving them all together many months before the leaves began to change: Dreams.

The act, the dreaming, the planing and believing. They are what make hunting so much more than just the taking of game.

I think that’s why I find trail camera pictures so mesmerizing. They are – how do I say it? – so like the mysterious and ethereal form that dreams often take. They need no translation, no change in format. They are the images of dreams. Ghost-like, voyeuristic; a wild, secretive animal captured while I was indeed asleep.

And we do need to dream about our hunts, and about our prey, before we enter the field. I often wonder if “buck fever” isn’t just a matter of not having seen your trophy before, in a trail cam picture, in your mind, in a dream. Or of not having fully and completely pictured the moment. I watched the first big game animal I ever killed (a massively tusked Russian boar) for so long through my scope that those with me thought I wasn’t going to shoot. I did, finally, but only after I had come to know him. I think trail cams do that, let you meet your prey, so that when you see them through your peep sight it isn’t the first time.

Buck2xThe pictures Mike has sent from Iowa have become the stuff of dreams for me. The bucks I see when I’m drifting off to sleep at night look no different from the ones the trail cam has captured. Grainy, black and white, piercing eyes and glowing antlers. And I am stalking them, from above, drawing back, feeling the exhilaration as the fletching disappears in flesh. Over and over again. When November finally comes, and my back is pressed to the bark of my tree, it won’t be so startling to hear that crunch of a dry leaf or twig behind me. It will simply be a final chapter in a recurring dream, just déjà vu with a deer. I’m sure my heart rate and breathing will increase, at seeing my buck in color and in life, but when I take the bow from the hook, I think they will ease when I whisper to him: hello again.

~ by SpeakingZenaphorically on August 30, 2014.

2 Responses to “To Accomplish Great Things”

  1. […] “” This entry was tagged Accomplish, Great, Things. Bookmark the […]

  2. This is a really good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere.

    Simple but very accurate information… Appreciate your sharing
    this one. A must read article!


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