I can remember the days when nothing else mattered except getting an opportunity to arrow a deer. I never thought about how far I would have to drag a deer or what terrain I might have to overcome, or how long it may take me to get all of the “post hunt” activities done. Before, it never mattered. Now it does.
I don’t remember the first time I heard the news that the approximate time between pulling the trigger on a deer and getting back home and sitting down in one’s recliner, was three hours, but I’ve never forgotten it. We’ve all heard that the work starts after shot. And boy is that true. When you think about giving the deer time to expire, finding it, field dressing it, checking it in, and beginning the processing of the meat, it’s easy to see that a three hour time frame is just about right. The older I’ve gotten, the more I reference this truth. Now, each time I go hunting, I begin to assess my situation with this three hour rule in mind. If I choose to arrow a doe at 7 p.m. I can know that it will be at least 10 p.m. before I’m ready for bed. And since I’m an early riser, 10 p.m. is pushing it. You get the idea of how I develop my hunts now.
If you want to give my new perspective an explanation, you can say that I am just counting the cost and remembering that my decisions have consequences that many times last longer than the original decision.
The Bible says we reap what we sow. This is a familiar farming term to most of us. The way one unknown author expanded upon this truth was this; “We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and longer than we sow.” Again, we country folk, know this to be true.
Part of my desire to count the cost in deer hunting comes from learning to count the cost in other areas of my life. Many of these lessons came the hard way and the scars are still left as permanent reminders. Perhaps it’s these scars that cause me to apply the same principles to my deer hunting. And it might be that the “three hour” rule has served as a good reminder for me to make sure that I understand how long the effects of my next, more important decision, may last.