I am a soul hunter.
When things come together and I punch my tag, the feeling of accomplishment is intoxicating. When they don’t, I’m not disappointed because it’s the experience that makes me happy. I love the peaceful feeling I get when hunting. Yet I know at any moment I might glimpse a buck with a candelabra rack, triggering an exquisite adrenalin rush.
To be honest, I am grateful hunting is not a competitive endeavor because that would spoil its magical healing powers. Besides us soul hunters have more important things to consider than whether our buck has longer G-2s than someone else’s.
While I head afield with the goal of seeing and taking a deer, turkey or whatever it is I’m chasing, being a soul hunter means my attention is apt to wander. One minute I’m like the front side of a mullet, all business as I comb the woods for the flick of a tail or an ear. And the next I’m distracted by how the sun makes the dew sparkle like millions of Swarovski Crystals. Closing my eyes isn’t a great technique for spotting game but you can’t beat it for inhaling the spicy, sweet smell of decaying leaves or listening to the urgent calls of a pileated woodpecker.
While I’m not some whacked-out earth momma, in 2010 I’ll be seeking my own brand of Nirvana as a soul hunter. With just a few tweaks, hunting can nourish my spirit better than a massage or bubble bath ever could. Though my resolutions are simple, in my opinion they are critical to attaining this highest state of consciousness.
Steps to a Soul Hunter’s Nirvana
-After a cold morning waiting for critters to show up, those first rays of sunlight can put me to sleep faster than Ambien taken with a shot of tequila. I’ve tried to fight it. But why? If a buck shows up and I’m napping, I’ll never know. So there is nothing to fret about other than the pain from my head snapping around like a flag in a stiff breeze. I’ll be one step closer to Nirvana when I listen to my body and get one of those neck-stabilizing pillows.
- It’s important to distance myself from those who measure their self-esteem by turkey spur length, the inside spread on a whitetail’s rack or the number of animals they’ve killed. There’s nothing wrong with knowing the numbers behind your success. But there’s no room for those who want to shift hunting from the spiritual realm to a basketball game. It’s pure buzz kill for a soul hunter.
-Hunting in 30-degree weather is not a problem for me. However, when temps dip below that, I begin to whimper especially when my foot warmers fail, which they invariably do. Why? The hand warmers stay hot for hours. So one of my goals for 2010 is to find a product that warms my feet and doesn’t tear up my socks when I peel it off.
-Losing a few pounds would mean that when I wriggle out my cold weather hunting pants, the waist band wouldn’t be indelibly etched onto my skin. Plus, the ability to breathe deeply would help me control those occasional flare-ups of buck fever.
- I vow to never forget my Hunt Comfort cushion when I head afield, especially if there’s a long wait involved. I received a complimentary Fatboy Lite a year ago and believe they’re the best thing to happen to derrières since Spanx. Sitting in a ladder stand without one causes a serious condition known as “posterior paralysis,” which is marked by pain, numbness and sometimes a waffle pattern on your bum.
-I’ll also never give up my Gor-Tex woodsman hat with Thinsulate no matter how much people make fun of me. Yes, it’s too big for my head and makes me look like the female version of Elmer Fudd. But its soft warmth makes my detour to dorkyville well worth it.
- Most importantly, this year I plan to worry less about self-inflicted work deadlines, folding laundry or dusty baseboards and instead spend that time hunting. I’m old enough to realize enjoying life is more important than a clean house or even a fat bank balance. So in 2010, I intend to play outdoors even more with the people I care about most. I hope you do, too.
What do you resolve to do in 2010?
Let me know. Leave a comment here or you can find me at: Facebook.com/tammy.sapp2 and Twitter @TammyDianeSapp.