Photo credit: Buck Stevens
Over the last several days I was on a hunting trip to Pike County, Illinois. Many people ask why I hunt and I tell them it’s more than just shooting deer to me.
I spent four days at Buckeye Creek Outfitters in Pittsfield, IL for second firearm season. Yes, I was hoping to and did harvest a deer while I was there. I happen to like venison, so that’s one reason I hunt. But really, there’s a lot more to it for me.
Sam, Tim and Bill Ferguson are the owners and operators of Buckeye Creek Outfitters and they are my friends and Tim’s son Thomas were all there. My father-in-law Ron and nephew Noah were there as well as two other hunters from the Chicago area, Tim and George. Getting to spend time with all of these people in fellowship is another huge part of what I love about hunting trips. We all share a common thread in hunting. However, we all also have different lives and it is fun to share stories about those lives and learn from others experiences when we aren’t in the field hunting.
The days spent away from all the fast paced things that has become living and working is an amazing way to recharge my internal batteries. There are no deadlines, daily tasks or things that tend to stress us all out in our everyday lives. To just get away from it all for a while is one of the top reasons I love to hunt.
What goes hand-in-hand with getting away and slowing down for a few days is what I get to see while hunting. I have seen some pretty amazing things while hunting. I get to sit quietly and watch animals like squirrels, raccoons, all kinds of birds from cardinals to blue jays to wood peckers; heck I’ve even had the joy of watching bald eagles while I hunted.
Then there is the amazing views I get to soak in while hunting. I get to watch the sun rise each morning and set each evening. I have to say that some of those views are simply breath taking. The pictures you see in this story were taken while I was hunting this year. Seeing deer in front of me (on right) that I have no intention of shooting at is as enjoyable to me as seeing one that I may harvest. The view of the sunset from the timber (above) and even what I see walking back to the lodge, like the deer on the ridge with the sunset behind him (on left) are all amazing visual gifts I get by being a hunter.
Bottom line is that, to me, hunting is so much more than just going out and shooting something. It’s a complete experience that is priceless no matter if I even shoot my gun or not.
By: Buck Stevens