Today I went on two unsuccessful hunts.
In the morning I missed a shot at a grazing doe (a deer, a female deer).
In the afternoon I sat with little activity on a dove hunt – with missed opportunities and three misses on the single dove at which I *did* shoot.
I’m not even mad. Unsuccessful hunts are a feature of hunting, not a bug.
During the deer hunt, I got to have the energy of waking up early and sneaking across a dark field before the sun was even up.
I got to see the amazing sight of does, fawns, and bucks grazing or bounding across a morning field under the light of the sunrise.
I got to talk to a good family friend and learn more about deer behavior and deer hunting.
I got to take a shot at a deer for the first time in years.
During the dove hunt, I got to enjoy the nature of my family’s farm on a pretty (if overcast) day, chilling in copses of grass or cornstalks (and once in a ditch) and really blending into the land.
I got to see a 15 year-old veteran bird dog at work.
I got to actually take a shot at a dove (a rare occurrence, since our dove populations leave much to be desired).
And I got to sit out in a field with a team of people with whom I’ve been hunting since I was a wee lad.
If I can get all that without killing anything, I suppose I have nothing to complain about. If you want to go hunting, don’t make “success” your only metric of success.