From the minute animals start to sprout velvet growth on their heads, I enjoy my morning coffee looking at what my fellow outdoorsmen and women have been able to find in the woods. That eventually rolls into hunting season and we then get to see some of those trophies become a reality for many of those hunters. It shows the true dedication of many who hit the woods as well as those that truly do get lucky for that once in a lifetime animal. I don’t care if it’s an animal scouted, patterned, fed, followed, or just stumbled onto, I’m happy to have the instant ability to see what is hitting the dirt. Social media makes this way more immediate than it used to be and I use it as a tool to provide me with real field data on antler growth, success or failure, and in some cases, letting me know that one of my target bucks or bulls now needs to be scratched off of my hit list.

The one thing I often get to see by following numerous people is something that has really began to bother me. It’s usually the comments that get me the most and they are usually something like this: “It was the last day and I didn’t want to eat my tag” or “Not as big as I wanted, but it will do”. In my opinion, there is way too much emphasis on the racks and not enough emphasis put onto the hunt and the experience in general. Sure, everyone wants to kill a trophy of a lifetime and me and my team work harder than most I know to make that happen, but it doesn’t always pan out. You show me someone who gets it done every time they go into the field and with every tag and I’ll bet the Game and Fish have them under surveillance for possible wrongdoings.

You have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and probably with family and friends. You have the ability to learn a little bit more about the game animal you so desire, which will make your skillset that much better the following season. Most importantly, you successfully punched your tag and have very healthy, free range, wild meat to fill your freezer. Most hunts on public land have a less than 25% success rate, which makes you better than nearly three quarters of the other people who took to the field in pursuit of the same animals. You have proven yourself to have a skillset that will likely help you survive and feed your family in the event of a disaster. There are many people who aren’t aware that meat doesn’t come from a Styrofoam tray with plastic wrap on it. You are a successful hunter or huntress. Be proud of your success and share it without an apology. You can always count on a “like” and positive feedback from us here at Sportsman’s News.

It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is right around the corner. We have seen snow flying pretty early this fall, so we are ready to embrace it. The one great thing about this time of year is the gatherings with family and friends. It is usually an opportunity to share some of your fall bounty as well as some great story telling. Our managing editor, Dan Kidder, was tasked with some articles to help you in this department for this November issue. Before you plan your Thanksgiving feast, make sure you take in the articles on preparation for our feathered fowl as well as the different cooking methods. He has used products, types of cooking, as well as seasonings available right here at Sportsman’s Warehouse. So, take some notes, build a grocery list and tell your spouses that you have Thanksgiving dinner under control.

You will be getting all of the above essentials at your favorite sporting goods store and while you are there, you might as well stroll by the gun counter and see what’s new, exciting and on sale. There will be some great deals over Black Friday and you don’t want your spouse to have all the luck on saving you so much money. You should get the privilege of “SAVING” so much too.

Enjoy the rest of your seasons and have a Happy Thanksgiving.