By Mark Kenyon

You and me. We take hunting pretty seriously, right?

Post-season scouting. Shed hunting. Studying maps. Moving stands. Setting up blinds. Spraying food plots. Clearing lanes. Cutting access paths. Hinge cutting. Summer velvet scouting. Opening day. The October Lull. The rut … oh, the rut. Late season hunting. And then post-season scouting again …

The list goes on and on and on, repeating itself, warping itself, evolving in new ways, but never getting less busy. It’s a lot of fun, yes. But when we take it a little too seriously, it can also become a grind.

And I’ve come to find that sometimes I need a reminder to just chill. The great outdoors, it’s supposed to be a place of peace and of relaxation. But unfortunately I’ve been known to lose sight of that.

We don’t always need a mission. A plan. A goal.

I’m as guilty as anyone of taking my hunting pursuits to a level of near-obsession, but I’m coming to realize now that occasionally I need to get back to the basics and enjoy nature just for the sake of nature.

And that’s what I’m doing this week. I’m heading to Montana for a little business and then a lot of low key mountain relaxation. Fresh cool air. Big blue skies. Spartan green pines and rugged ridge-tops of granite.

No mission. No plan. No goal. Just a general destination, some time to clear my head, and a lot of open space. And maybe that’s what you need too. What do you think?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been hard at work since last hunting season and I think that’s great. But maybe today or later this week or this month, maybe you need a break too.

Maybe you need to hit the lake and catch a few panfish. Or head up north and do a little camping. Or maybe you need to take a walk through your property but “turn off” your hunting mind, and just enjoy the little things. The last few leaves clinging to the trees, the rabbits scurrying across your path, the frogs chirping in the distance. The wild country.

American author Wallace Stegner once said that “we simply need that wild country available to us … For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.

And I think that’s exactly what we need sometimes. A means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures. A simple bit of hope.

So while I’m always a proponent of working hard and pushing towards your hunting goals – today I’d like to encourage you to do something a little different. Take a deep breath. Hide the to-do list. Get outside. And just recharge your batteries.

There will be time enough for work another day.