Thankful Outdoors: How is Hunting Like Baseball?

MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – This week was vacation week, with high hopes of spending time up north living out of the outfitters’ tent for most of the week. As Angie says to me, living like a barbarian! Those plans unraveled, but I still got plenty of time to spend being in the wood.

My first weekend up north, solitude where it gets so quiet that your ears will ring. Saturday afternoon, I made my way up to camp, got things all situated, and headed off to hunt a new piece of public land that I had walked through last rifle season.

I had hoped the perfect spot was a pinch point of a ridge with a bit of grassy area coming off a pine point. It had several runways going through it. I was looking forward to sitting there for the rest of the day.

As I slipped into the area and found an excellent runway with scrapes on it, my mind was anticipating bucks running the ridge. I pulled my gear off my back and saw that I had lost my jacket on the walk-in. This evening’s sit would get real cool later on because all I had on was a t-shirt and a vest. It’s okay; I’m a barbarian; I can sit through a bit of chill!

That sit produced no deer sighting, off to camp for supper and hit the bunk. The turkey sandwich hit the spot along with the warmth of the fire. I soon dozed off in the bunk. The fire had gone out around 2:30 am, and I had to get some kindling to restart the fire; as I entered the tent, the zipper to the door busted.

I said out loud, “Geez can my luck get any worse?” Those were all the events that started the week-long hunt. I thought, boy, this is not a good sign at all on punching a tag. As the week continued, my deer sightings have diminished to almost zero. At one point, as I sat in the tree, I started thinking if I sold all my hunting, fishing, and trapping gear, I could take up stamp collecting!

Such nonsense, what a crazy thought I would miss out on the sunrises, sunsets, and whatever beauty I have been able to enjoy over the years. How happy would I be not getting into the outdoors?

Thursday night sitting in my perch waiting for a deer to travel down the heavily used runway, I looked down at the base of my platform and thought, boy, this kind of looks like home plate. Then I thought about how the Atlanta Braves are enjoying the celebration of recently winning the World Series.

They were the team that knocked the Milwaukee Brewers out of the playoffs this year, so I will root for a team that beat my team. Besides that, who can cheer for the Houston Astros? All of this got me thinking about how things in the hunting world could be similar to baseball.

As I watched the chick-a-dees flutter in for the evening visit, I thought these little birds were my fans. It took me back to when I was a kid; it always seemed that I would soon see deer whenever chick-a-dees were by me. Maybe their little chirps were like fans cheering for a good hit.

On the other hand, bluejays are loud and cheer as if a home run was hit, and the Brewers took a game lead. Their loud shrill sound echo throughout the woods letting everything nearby know they are in the area.

The chatter of red squirrels would be like the fans mocking the ump for a bad call. These little red furballs are fearless; I have watched them chase blue jays away and even chase away the much larger gray squirrel.

Then I got to thinking about my outings into the woods; I’m like a hitter who has gone into a slump—going on three years without punching an archery tag. Have I missed out on my prime years? I start thinking about the big bucks that I have had blown encounters. Several of them have been on my mind for more than 20 years.

Scott can feel like a hitter in a slump when things aren’t going his way in the woods. Is the bottom of his tree stand like home plate?

Will my hunting career look like the Brewers? Where they get so close to making a run towards the World Series only to have no offense. Enough daydreaming about baseball; I should get back to focusing on watching the woods.

Maybe this is why I do not see deer; I’m spending too much daydreaming about random things. I guess that the beauty of this sport is that it allows me to drift away in my thoughts. Somebody recently asked me how hunting was going, and I said today was one of those days where I sat in the woods and said, “it’s a beautiful day, and God sure did some good work here!”

I hope to have many more opportunities to sit and daydream about random things, and someday I will get out of this slump!

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 www.thankfuloutdoors.com 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 www.thankfuloutdoors.com or follow his social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.