Great hunters probably exist. There are probably people who can bullseye an animal with an arrow at 100 yards, stalk within feet of a mule deer, or spot a rabbit’s eye in a sea of brambles.
I am not one of them.
My friends who don’t hunt may think of me as some mighty woodsman since all they see is the seemingly endless supply of meat in my freezer. But I’ve been Elmer Fudd way more often than Fred Bear. I’ve been with my pants down, literally, while an animal strolled past. More than once.
If my only measure of success in the field was quarry in the cooler, I’d have quit back when my father first took me out “pheasant hunting.” We could easily have just called what we did that trip “walking the dog in a field with guns”.
I probably should have quit a couple years back when I had a shot that would’ve dropped two geese with one shell…had I remembered to load my shotgun.
Luckily, there is more than one way to succeed in the pursuit we call hunting. And it’s been those smaller victories, not the kills, that have kept me chasing after my own meat all these years.