An Addiction In The Making
BY CONNOR HERMESCH
It’s crazy how a crisp autumn breeze hitting your face as you step outside can change a person’s mindset. Some wish for longer summers. Some think about the upcoming holiday season. And others get a feeling like no one else. Hunters. Hunters are a different breed. They get up before the crack of dawn. They wait patiently ready to strike with only a moments notice. And they rejoice at the sight of blood. Hunting is an addiction, so I’ve been told.
The end of September is on the horizon and the temperature is weakening from the sticky summer heat. With this change brings that feeling like no one else has. Some call it excitement, hunters call it a fever. The medicine for this addiction is narrowing in. I personally do not know this feeling yet, but I hope to feel it very soon.
This upcoming season will be the start of my addiction. I might be a little late to the game at 24-years-old, but it’s better than never. Many people from my hometown find it surprising that I am now just getting started. See, I grew up in a small town where everyone knows everyone, a small town where you pull over when you see a broke down truck on the side of the road, and of course, a small town where you can find everyone in the woods when season comes around. I guess I could put the reason of me now just getting started hunting on my family. My dad never hunted, and his dad never hunted. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not mad at them for this, they just didn’t have time for it. They had more important things to take care of like tending to the crops and helping on the farm. Because of this, there was no tradition to pass down to me.
But thankfully I started working for American Hunting Lease Association. I came in with little hunting knowledge. I knew the basics just by being from such a rural area and tagging along hunts with my friends. But I never knew there was so much to hunting. I quickly learned that this isn’t just a business here, it’s a passion, a devotion. An addiction. The people here in the office didn’t want to pressure me into starting this addiction but made it clear that they would help me in every step of the way if I wanted to start. And they held true. And I am very thankful because hunting is not cheap to get into. They helped me with pretty much everything I needed to hunt from a bow to the camo that will keep me hidden. The only stipulation with this generosity is that I keep the addiction alive when it comes time to pass it down to someone else.
Working here at AHLA has taught me that the enjoyment of hunting is not the end of it. Being a hunter, you need to take it upon yourself to help others just like they have helped me. I know for a fact that if I did not start working here I would have never started to hunt. Therefore, I would have missed out on such an exciting sport. So, if you have a chance to help the neighbor boy who wants to hunt but doesn’t know how to start, or even the 24-year-old that just started working with you, take the time and keep the addiction going. It might even give you some good karma that brings that big buck you’ve dreamed of 20 yards right in front of you.
To say the least, I am excited to finally get this season started. I’m ready to experience the peace of sitting silently 20 feet of the ground with nothing to hear besides the birds chirp and the breeze blowing through the trees. I’m ready to see the orange light of the sun rising over the fields. And I am ready to hear the sound of leaves rustling in the distance that sends a sudden jolt of adrenaline through my vanes praying it’s that big buck I have been stalking all season. Hunting is an addiction, so I’ve been told.