Hunting is my release

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Courtesy of Jamie Hartman

I recently returned from four days of deer hunting in Texas, and all I can say is, “I needed that!”

A lot of Elites enjoy hunting season, and for me, it’s a necessity. All the concentration that goes into an Elite season is like studying for an exam. You can only put your face in the book and concentrate on making the right decisions for so long before you gotta have a release.

Hunting is my release.

For eight or nine months of the year, it’s all about fishing. I’m worrying about what baits I need, how I need to prepare, the map work, etc. You get to a point that it just drags on and you want to wrap things up.

This season, I had two wins, but by the end, I was ready for it to be done just so I could sit back and enjoy it. Sitting in a tree stand does that for me.

I’ve hunted a lot back home in Arkansas, but this year, one of my fellow anglers connected me with a hunting operation in Texas. I only hunted two days in this state last year and this year, but I’ve already been down there twice. 

I’ve always wanted to hunt Texas. I had seen it so many times on TV, and it’s always intrigued me. My buddy hooked me up with a guide and everything was very convenient. It’s only five hours from my home, and it was a simple trip where everything lined up easily.

My girlfriend Khristy joined me on this trip, and we had a ball. She got a big deer, and I got two big deer, so it was definitely the trip of a lifetime.

I just got Khristy into bowhunting this year, but we didn’t have time to get in enough practice, so it was all gun hunting. We sat together, and she actually shot her deer first. The one we had been looking at for her happened to come in Monday the last morning of our hunt, and she got him. That’s all I wanted, so I was pumped. 

We’re still plugging away back in Arkansas, and we’re trying to get her a big deer back home. I was fortunate enough to get a really big deer in Arkansas with the bow about a week before leaving for Texas.

I’m tagged-out back home, but we’ll continue to try and get Khristy a big Arkansas deer. We’ve had a great time the past few weeks, but I’ll switch back to fishing mode pretty soon.

I won’t be fishing so much as getting prepared for next season with my new boat, sponsors and getting moved into my new house. I’ll just get things buttoned up before I have to leave on the road again.

When I do, you can bet I’ll carry a lot of good memories with me. This was the best hunting season of my life and tacking that onto the best fishing season of my career, 2019 has treated me extremely well.

All I keep saying is “life is good.”