“Everybody but You”

“Everybody but You”

*4:00 a.m. alarm's going off*

*4:03 a.m. alarm continues to echo through the house*

*Wife kicks you in the side*

“You better get up!” she says.

*moans and grunts* as you twist out of bed

                For nearly two months you’ve been chasing that monster buck you’ve had on camera since August. You believe you've done everything right. You have fed all the right feed, washed your clothes in all the right detergents, snuck in quiet as a mouse every morning, but still nothing to show for it. You’re tired, you’re worn out, and frankly you just don’t give a dang anymore. Hope has dwindled down to nearly a drop in a bucket. Your tank is on E and the light came on two days ago.

                Most of us have been in those exact shoes right there with you.  Chasing that dream every weekend and afternoons after work when possible. Missed opportunities, missed shots, wounded deer, the list goes on and on. You're not alone in this fight. Don't forget for one moment that many have followed in those same tracks before you. Persistence is truly key in situations like this, although it never seems so. 

                Everybody is killing deer! That is, everybody but you! It doesn’t help you feel much better that ole Bobby Joe down the street didn’t put in any work and still reaped all the rewards. He just so happened to sit at the base of the right tree opening morning of modern gun, five minutes after sunrise, and kills a wall hanger in an hour flat. You can’t help but feel your blood boil and jealousy meter start to rise as you look at the pictures his wife posted on her social media page. Don’t be too quick to judge yourself against your “buddies” on Facebook, who seem to have all the luck.

                The days pass by as quick as they came, and you’re left with one last chance. As you stroll to the stand your mind wanders, “Am I really that bad of a hunter? I’ve done everything right, or so I thought!”. You shake your head in disgust. Once you make it to the stand for your final chance, you realize nobody is judging you, but YOU. So you sit peacefully, trying to soak up the last few moments of the season.

All of a sudden the brush breaks to your right!! You grab your gun, and get ready as quickly and as quietly as possible! Your heart races as the sound grows louder.. and louder… and LOUDER! You can’t hardly stand it! Your heart is beating out of your chest and your hands are sweating as they grip around the old wooden stock! “There he is…”, you mutter under your breath, as he walks out in the open. You click the safety off, and take a deep breath. You are only moments away now! You exhale, and place the cross hairs right behind his shoulder. You squeeze the trigger… **click** goes the firing pin.

The buck throws his head up and quickly runs back in the woods. “You never loaded your gun you dummy!” you say outload to yourself. “What will everyone say now?” you say in disgust. “Nothing.” You respond to yourself. “They won’t say a thing”. Everybody knows you never got your chance at the big buck. That is…

everybody but you.

Matt Hickey

Southern Outdoor Legacy (S.O.L)