By Mark Kenyon

We spend a lot of time here on Wired To Hunt discussing the how to’s of hunting strategy, the keys to hunting success, and the steps needed to harvest the buck of our dreams. But conversely, we don’t often discuss the how to’s of happiness or steps to having a more fulfilling hunting season. Today though, I’d like to take a step into the unknown, and walk just a bit down that path. This message can certainly apply to life seen from the treestand, but it resonates with me minus camo as well.

I was inspired today, as I ran across a video posted by Realtree, featuring a Tennessee man named Brian Holloway. Brian begins this video with a typical pre-hunt interview perched in a tree, but quickly focuses on something a bit more important. Uniquely  Brian shys away from the usual pre-hunt rundown and instead reflects on the temptation of complaining and the realization that in fact there’s plenty to be thankful for while in the treestand, no matter how the hunting is. His words are heart felt, and the message is  one that I bet we could all have used once or twice during past seasons of our own. Give this quick video below a watch and then we’ll discuss a little more…

“I am blessed.” What a simple, but poignant way to end that video. This is a message that I think is so important for me to remind myself of and maybe it is for you as well. In the super connected hunting world we live in today, we are constantly inundated with Facebook pics of other people’s big bucks, magazine articles hyping the latest record book whitetails, and TV shows that showcase giant after giant. It’s easy, after seeing all of this, to begin believing that to be a happy, succesful hunter you too must kill mammoth deer like this. If we let ourselves, it’s easy to get mired in the “isn’ts”. My ground isn’t good enough. This stand isn’t nice enough. My bow isn’t new enough. This state isn’t managed well enough. My buck isn’t big enough.

But as Brian explains in the above video, when we get sucked into the “complain game”, we begin losing sight of the real point of it all. Each moment pursuing our passion is a gift and the blessings are all around us when we just take a moment to open our eyes. In the treestand, and  in life in general, I think we often have a lot more to be thankful for than we sometimes realize. Friends. Family. The wilderness around us. The majesty of a frosty sunrise. The pleasure of watching a newborn fawn explore the woods unbeknowst to your presence. The anticipation of an upcoming hunt. The satisfaction of a plan coming to fruition.

If it weren’t for these moments in time, these glimpses of joy,  would killing a big buck really mean anything at all?

It’s easy to play the “complain game” in the treestand and in our daily walks through life, but in those moments of struggle, take a moment, breath in that fresh air and count your blessings. You’re alive. You’re a hunter. And we have a beautiful Creation to explore, and wonderful people in our lives to enjoy it with. We are blessed.