© By Othmar Vohringer
Everyday life is hectic, the day only has so many hours and there is so much to do. Our minds are constantly racing. It starts in the morning, there is no time to sit down and drink coffee. Our mind is already fighting the morning rush hour traffic so we take the coffee and drink it on the way to work. And so the race goes on and all day long we try to catch up.
That mentality carries over to hunting and fishing too. It seems we never have enough time to hunt or fish. We’re always in a rush and look for quick solutions that lead to success. I first realized that years ago when I went to my favourite hunting area. On the way to my stand I was in a rush to get it done and promptly jumped several deer that, had I taken my time, I could have avoided. Arriving at my stand I realized that I had forgotten the arrows back at my truck. What should have been a relaxing day turned sour before it even began, adding to my frustration.
Right there and then I decided that things couldn’t go on like this. I needed to change. Slow down. The next time I got up an hour earlier than usual and forced myself to actually sit down to drink my coffee. Arriving at the hunting site one and a half hours before legal shooting light I got dressed in my camouflage, got the gear together and then walked to the edge of the woodlot. There I sat down at the base of a tree and did nothing but simply sit still and just listen into the darkness.
It didn’t take long to completely relax and then something happened that I never had experienced before. Nature took a hold of me and for the first time I could hear the faintest sounds of insects buzzing around in the dark, leaves falling to the ground and animal sounds from far away. I also could smell the fresh dirt under my feet and my eyes could see things they hadn’t before; pre dawn didn’t seem so dark after all.
Time didn’t matter anymore and I actually began to enjoy my little rest under the tree at the woodland edge. That half hour of relaxing did more for me than eight hours of sleep. I got up feeling totally refreshed and relaxed in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time. It was the first time that I didn’t need a flashlight to find the way to my treestand at the far end of the woodlot.
Walking through the woods I became very aware of everything that went on around me. A couple of times I felt like an inner voice was trying to tell me to stop and sure enough, at one such instance a doe walked across an opening in dim light of the awaking day. A little bit later and further ahead on the trail a raccoon scurried across the forest path. Never before did I feel so in tune with nature and aware of my surrounding.
From that day on I made it a habit to rest at least a half hour after I left the truck; either I would lean against a tree or simply sit on the ground before I wlaked to my stand location. Over the years this relaxed attitude has carried over to my personal life too. No longer do I get upset in traffic and I always get up early enough in the morning to have time to sit down to drink the coffee. At work I don’t lose my temper each time something goes wrong or somebody is being an idiot.
Because of this I have become a more mellow person and this in turn has improved my overall happiness too. I have learned to enjoy the little things in life that I would never have seen before. Not so very long ago I read an interesting study where it was said that stressed people get into more accidents than relaxed and calm people. The reason, so the study indicated, is that stress and anger leads to tunnel vision. A person under stress or frustration can become oblivious to their surrounding as the mind closes to everything but the cause of the stress and frustration. A relaxed hunter will have a much more enjoyable experience in the outdoors and ultimately will become more successful too.
This blog post has been brought to you by Othmar Vohringer Outdoors
Read my bi-weekly newspaper column online.