The wide-open spaces of the outdoors are a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Peaceful, solitude, relaxing, exciting, therapeutic, and the list goes on and on.
It doesn’t matter if it is sitting in a tree stand quietly watching and waiting for that trophy buck to come slipping through the morning fog, or watching the mist rise off the water as the sun peaks over the mountain as you cast a line hoping to land the big one, sharing that moment is always special. Who better to share it with than family and friends who have the same love and passion for the outdoors?
It is amazing how the outdoors can draw people together especially with the advent of social media. People can connect over hundreds or even thousands of miles sharing experiences and knowledge as if they were in the same room.
Even though social media is the new era clearing house to share outdoor experiences of all kinds, that doesn’t mean the time-honored watering holes, sporting goods stores and local convenience stores aren’t still gathering places for like-minded folks of the woods. It is in these settings that many a friendship has been kindled. Oftentimes, those chance meetings turn into life long relationships that grow and blossom far beyond the field edges and wood lots.
Maybe what once was chatting over a quick bite to eat during a midday break from a long hunt could turn into a season end call to see how their season went. Next thing you know, that chance meeting turns into an invite to share a hunt. One thing leads to another and before long, every hunt is a chance to get together and share their passion and knowledge.
Today, everyone has a cell phone and multi-megapixel cameras in their pocket, so, even if your best hunting pal can’t be there, it is like they are right there with you. I am definitely guilty of living multiple hunts over a digital device. If my buddies are hunting or fishing without me, you better believe I am expecting hourly updates on what is seen, killed or caught.
It isn’t as great as being there, but it isn’t bad still getting to share in the hunt and the excitement even if you are miles away.
The same goes if you are the solitary hunter perched high on a ridge in the cool morning knowing that every twig snap might be the buck you are after and that help is only a push of a few buttons away.
I am sure these friendships aren’t just in the outdoors. It centers around what your interests and passions are. Who knows, there are probably folks who are just as passionate about cricket or ping pong? They probably have their own communities, too. Good for them!
I will stick with the camo clad, tree climbing, rubber boot wearing, bait slinging, friends I have and the ones I haven’t met, yet. The moral of the story is you are never alone.
Whatever your niche is, there are others out there just like you, and it doesn’t matter where or how you meet, having friends to share experiences with makes all those moments just a bit sweeter.
The next time you head into the field with a friend or group of friends, be sure to soak it all in. You might even reach out to someone new and invite them along, too. Who knows, they might be the next best friend that adds the sprinkles on the cake of the outdoors. At the very least, I am sure they will have a few stories to add to the mix.
Roger Wolfe is an avid outdoorsman and has spent most of his life hunting and fishing and writes a weekly outdoors column for HD Media. He is a resident of Chapmanville and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.