You’ve probably heard the expression, “You’ve got all the time in the world.” This statement is often quipped to young people who are in a hurry to get on with their lives. Us old timer’s know a thing or two, don’t we? Well, we should know that we don’t have all the time in the world. Not to draw to somber a point as to why, but you never know when your ticket is going to get punched.
Your time is finite, it is limited, and you should spend it very carefully. Within the framework of maximizing your time, wasting it should be abhorrent to you. Making the best of a day, and thereafter, each waking hour within that day is not only good for you, but it’s good for those you love. Limiting wasted time means more time to be productive, more time doing the things you really love, and more time with your loved ones. It’s a recipe to sleep well.
That being said, how rewarding is it to treat the various moments, tasks, and things you love to do with the easy button? Generally in the midst of adulthood we have enough money to buy some really nice gear. The old rattly pick-up truck you used to drive has been replaced by a quiet, powerful, and comfortable whizbang monster truck that can drive itself and feels like you are floating on a cloud while doing it. Maybe you aren’t even hunting public land anymore. You’ve shelled out the Benjamins for a hunting lease or even signed the deed on your own personal hunting property.
Money Makes Hard Things Easy
But think for a moment back to when you didn’t have the easy button. When you had to struggle to do a job or make a gargantuan task happen with patience and skill. What was that satisfaction like when compared to any time you’ve hit the easy button?
I know for myself, strategically doing something the hard way gives me the deepest satisfaction, even when it takes 10 times as long and aches my muscles for days after the exertion. Years ago when I was a young father, I had an old Suzuki Samurai. I wanted to paint it and make it look really nice. At that time, I did not have an easy button for custom paint. So, one summer over the course of about 6 weeks, I cleaned, hand sanded, masked, shot paint, and wet sanded my little Zuk. It wasn’t a show quality paint job, but it did look good enough to turn heads and garner unsolicited offers to sell it. I was proud of my effort. I was satisfied that I could put my mind to something, even something I had never done before, and do a fair job at it.
Hard Things Make Life Better
That old Samurai is still cruising around town, owned by another guy, some 18 years later with the same paint. It’s a little worse for the wear as it has been wheeled hard over that time, but it is still a good looking little 4x4. I’ve got an older Jeep Wrangler now that is in need of some body work and paint after a bad hail storm we endured this spring. Now I can hit the easy button and take it to a body shop to get the hail dents lifted and a fresh coat of paint laid down… but that’s not my way. Painting a car is something that is hard. It is something that takes a lot of time and a lot of work. Yet here I go on another tough project.
I know this thought process is quite a ways away from hunting, but I'm getting there.
Technology Can Free or Trap You
Chances are as an outdoorsman you are hunting in one or both of the two most common methods: Centerfire Rifle and Archery. Both rifles and traditional archery products are just amazing these days. 50-70 years ago a rifle that could shoot MOA out of the box was really quite special. What was much more common was a rifle that could legitimately hold a 2-3 MOA group and good out to 250 yards or so. In today’s climate of rifle manufacturing, even lower end bolt actions are capable of producing accuracy that required custom gunsmithing work just a few decades ago.
And the same goes with archery. Bows are faster, slicker, easier to shoot, and just plain awe-inspiring in what they are capable of. Early compound bows were interesting and offered easier use than traditional long and recurve bows, but in comparison to the high-speed, low-drag bows that have been on the market for the past 15 years, they were downright crude.
Hunting with a rifle is an easy button of sorts. The only limiting factor is the hunter behind the rifle. Moving to archery is certainly a step in the direction of increasing the challenge for the hunter. You have to be close to your quarry, and close means quiet. This is much easier said than done.
The Cure For Boredom: Adventure
But what happens when you become bored with gun hunting or archery hunting? What does a person do when an injury prevents absorbing recoil from a rifle or from pulling back a bowstring?
One option is to take up airgun hunting. Like with archery, successful hunting with airguns, either slug guns or air archery guns, means you don’t have the luxury of spanning a shot across hundreds of yards– you have to be relatively close to the quarry. Airgun hunting will put you closer to the action, make you a better hunter, and experience a level of satisfaction from the hunt that you might not have ever experienced. Your mileage may vary– it’s quite possible that none of these things will happen to you should you not buy into the airgun hunter’s mindset.
What exactly is the airgun hunter’s mindset? Honestly, it is a number of things. It’s a love of hunting for one. It’s a desire to compete with the game on a more personal, ground level. Maybe it introduces a bit of danger to your hunt and really makes it sport. Maybe it’s pushing your hunting skills to a new level. Or it could be a desire to see places you’ve never seen and do things that you’ve never done before. It’s really a mesh of all the above and some intensely personal reasons. There’s a world of adventure out there and many ways you can engage with it. Airgun hunting is an invigorating, challenging way to connect with the world you live in and draw out the deep need for adventure ingrained in your DNA from time immemorial.
What are your limits? Are they limiting you or freeing you? If your limits are keeping your locked into a world of comfort and ease, then you really aren’t as free as you would like to think. If your limits put you further into the bush and put you on a more even playing field with your quarry then you are approaching a level of freedom that only a minority of people ever experience. Tune in here to listen to an outdoorsman explain all of this much better than I can.