Joyful, gratitude, lucky, proud; these are all words that rush through my head when I think about the hunt for Southpaw. Let’s start with the joy. Any hunter knows the feeling of excitement when a hunting adventure finally comes full circle. I was so happy when that old buck tipped over, and was down for good, that I tackled our producer and cameraman Garrett in celebration!!
It really was a team effort, and Garrett’s time spent scouting, studying, and figuring out our best approach paid dividends big time. The joy I felt wasn’t just for me; it was spread out over so many people. I was happy for him, our sponsors, our show, and my freezer!! The joy I was feeling also bleeds into gratitude.
A funny thing happens when you take on responsibilities like a TV show, and the sponsors that make it possible. I consider all sponsors, or advertisers, to be much more than just companies buying airtime; they are partners. So the obligation I feel towards them can sometimes feel overwhelming. We don’t have hundreds of sponsors making us hundreds of thousands of dollars, so the people that do work with us become such a high priority of mine that I’ll lose sleep over thinking of better ways to serve them; are we serving them enough?, how can we provide better service, etc…
A short example of me losing sleep in this regard began two summers ago. That particular year my rifle deer season got cut short due to family obligations, and I didn’t get a long to medium range shot opportunity. However, that summer we worked out a deal with Heartland Precision Rifle. I took their “Hunting” shooting course, and now it was on me to deliver “the shot” to warrant that class to our television audience. Obviously that didn’t happen, so the pressure was mounting to make this season’s shot count! It finally all came together, and now we’re editing an episode that I know Heartland Precision Rifle will be proud to be a part of. (Thank you HPR for hanging in there with us;)
That brings us to my next word: LUCKY. With hunting especially, luck plays a ridiculously huge roll. On one side I understand that we planted Wildlife Perfect food plots, and we did the necessary scouting to put us in the best position, but everything from the weather conditions to the fact that Southpaw trotted our way is nothing short of fantastic luck!
Now I will say this about being lucky: the folks who work the hardest always seem to get the luckiest. Isn’t it funny how that always seems to happen? It’s really just an elaborate way of playing the odds. Just keep putting yourself, your company, your hunt in position to get LUCKY, and eventually that opportunity will present itself. Nothing special ever happens overnight, and sometimes the longer you have to wait the better, or more special, that experience turns out to be. Leaving that thought top of mind, lets dive into my last word: proud.
After working with my family, mainly my beautiful wife Ashley, and my father Neil, working hard with Garrett our producer, guide, and deer whisperer, I was nothing short of proud! Proud of all the work done by all parties; from our food plot guys over at Kaup Forage and Turf for their recommendation and developing a seed mix that best suits our grounds soil, to Kenny with Heartland Precision Rifle taking the time to work with us and keeping the faith. (More than anything Kenny’s class gave me the confidence to take and make that shot.)
As I think back on the Southpaw hunt, this story really serves as a microcosm of how I want to live each and every day. Full of Joy, and a feeling of Gratitude towards the people around me. With an understanding of just how Lucky I am to be Chasin’ this Dream, and all the crazy fun people I get to meet and work with along the way. And of course being Proud of the time put in, and the results that each day produces. I don’t know if there’s a better feeling in the world than to look back on a job, or really any endeavor, knowing you gave it your best, it worked out, and you’re proud of the end result. ~ Andy Classen