Thankful Outdoors: Breaking out of the Slump

Scott with his first buck of the 2021 deer season.

MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – Last week I had shared with you how I was comparing the slump in deer hunting to a slump that a hitter can have in baseball. Well, I get to share with you that my slump is over! Friday morning, I was able to harvest a buck.

Angie told me Friday morning it was going to be my day to get my buck. She has been supportive and given words of encouragement throughout the season. Asking questions about tactics, where I’m hunting, and what I’m thinking is happening in the woods.

A week has gone by; I have had time to reflect on how much that one deer harvest has meant. It brought so many people together. Just on that day alone, the number of congratulations I received was alarming. Many people I shared the story of the hunt with, sharing with them the excitement of how quickly things happened in the woods.

The morning started with chasing turkey out of the area, then a few doe bleats from the ever-popular “can” call. Soon I had a deer in the area; that buck gave me a shot opportunity on which I had blown.

After reflecting on how the buck had reacted to the can call, I decided to try it again. Two tips of the can, produced a buck charging my location; he was on a beeline to the James Valley Full Draw Scent that I had hanging a few yards from the set.

He approached 8 yards, and I zipped an arrow through him as he expired quickly. Dad and Corey assisted in retrieving the trophy. As we got back to the truck, a guy was out bird hunting with his four-year-old lab. He congratulated me on the harvest; we sat and chatted awhile about hunting, mostly about dogs.

That lab looked deeply into my soul with her brown eyes; the amount of happiness that I felt staring into those eyes made my own eyes water a little bit. It brought back memories of how Sid used to look at me. Those labs have such heartwarming eyes.

I gave the guy some pointers on locations to try since I wouldn’t be bird hunting this fall. This fall has been different without Boone around. I am missing his energy and excitement to beat the brush in pursuit of birds.

Our little buck contest group sent out messages of congratulations as I got Team Seth/Scott on the board. I’m pulling for Seth to get a chance at a buck! Some banter and supportive text messages take place whenever a team gets on the board.

Mark came over Sunday morning to help the boys and me process the buck; he shared his wisdom of how his dad taught him to butcher a deer. Even though I had been processing deer for many years, I learned a few things from Mark that morning.

This buck that on the surface seemed like it was intended to be a fine harvest to provide fresh venison as table fare turns out to a phrase that I could call “the shot heard ‘round the world.”

That phrase has been used a few times in history for much more significant events than this central Wisconsin outdoorsman harvesting a deer.  Ralph Waldo Emerson penned a poem titled “Concord Hymn” in this poem, he used the phrase “shot heard around the world.” This poem was written and used during the celebration of the completion of the Battle Monument in 1837. This Monument commemorates the start of the Revolutionary War, which started on April 19th, 1775.

Another well-known use of the phrase was used during a 1951 three-run homer by New York Giants Bobby Thomson against the Brooklyn Dodgers, and this “shot” allowed the Giants to nab the National League pennant.

That is how this recent deer harvest has made me feel when I think about all the people I have shared this story with, bonded with them over listening to their own stories and the memories made. This buck has been my shot heard around the world, okay, at least within the little town of Spencer, WI! Could we say then it was the shot heard around Spencer?

In closing, I hope you find a way to get into the outdoors, create your adventure and memories, but most importantly, find a way to “Celebrate the Experience.” Go check out for more content and share your “Celebrate the Experience” moment with us!

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Scott Hopperdietzel
Author: Scott Hopperdietzel

Scott Hopperdietzel is the creator of an outdoor blog named Thankful Outdoors. He shares his passion for the outdoors with readers. The focus of the blog is to “Celebrate the Experience” in his stories; you feel what the connection to the outdoors means to him. His goal is to inspire others to get into the outdoors and create their own experience. Along with writing, he is a father to three boys who are often part of the adventures along with the family Weimaraner, Boone. You can find his writings on the website or follow his social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.