By Alex Comstock
"Getting lost, getting cold, getting hungry, getting wet, getting scared, and coming out on top; that's the stuff you remember. That's type II fun." - This is defined by backcountry.com, and maybe it rings a bell for you? In a way, I can relate to it when it comes to chasing mature bucks, and maybe it does for you too. Let me explain...
I get asked again and again how I find certain things that relate to deer hunting fun. My girlfriend thinks I'm crazy for spending hours in a tree when it's frigidly cold out. My buddies think I'm nuts for dealing with mosquitoes and ticks during the summer while checking trail cameras and hanging stands. Don't mention how my co-workers can't wrap their mind around how it's fun to spend a weekend in 100 degree heat prepping stand sites, and scouting for new hunting areas.
Even though in the moment, some of these things can be brutal, their fun to me. Can it be harsh freezing my butt off in negative forty degree weather? Of course, there is nothing "fun" about that. But when a mature buck steps out in front of your ground blind at five yards, and you make it happen, every crazy thing you've done for that moment is worth it.
The Two Types of Fun
To me, there are two types of fun. Type one is the fun that you thoroughly enjoy doing in the moment. Activities such as jet skiing, boating, going to a movie with your friends, etc. Things that you can't ever say weren't somewhat enjoyable. Type two fun is this other kind of fun I'm talking about that can be associated with being obsessed with hunting mature bucks. It's something that in the moment, it might be absolutely dreadful, but after the fact you look back on it, and agree that it was a good time. You wouldn't trade anything in the world for that moment.
For somebody who isn't a deer hunter, they might not even understand this. I'd venture to guess a majority of people crave type one fun. It makes sense though right? Who can blame somebody for wanting to enjoy themselves and not have to work to have fun. But for a small percentage of us, we cherish the other type of fun. I want to take you to a moment that perfectly exemplifies this "different" kind of fun. I think you'll be able to relate.
My Example of type ii fun
It was October 23rd, 2015. Me and my buddy Tyler decided to skip class that day to go hunting. We were chasing a booner, and knew that on this day, the conditions were perfect. There was a steady rainfall, and we needed to get a stand up still. First of all, between hanging a stand and hunting, we spent a fair amount of time in the rain. It's not always the most fun sitting in the rain and getting soaked. But at last light, the buck we were chasing stepped out into Tyler's view, and he ended up putting that buck on the ground. Sitting in the rain might not have been the most fun, but after the fact, we could look back on it, and talk about how awesome that night was.
But that wasn't it. The type two fun continued into the night. Due to the rain, and the fact that we were hunting walk in access only land, we had to drag that buck over a mile in thick, tough to walk in muddy harvested cornfield. Let me tell you, dragging a fully mature buck over a mile in thick mud while it's raining is not fun. Don't let anyone tell you it is. To this day, that was one of the hardest things I've done. After finding the buck, taking pictures, and finally getting him to the truck, it was 2:00am. As I look back on that night now though, it was one of the most special nights I've ever experienced with a good friend.
Hunting mature bucks takes a boat load of work. Sometimes that work might not be the most fun in the moment, but through blood, sweat, and equity, those hard times can be pretty special when you look back upon those moments. Type one fun might be a little more relaxing in the moment, but I'd argue the type two fun associated with deer hunting is much more memorable.