I'm always tickled when my non-hunting friends ask if I "got a deer". I went hunting today, I did not "get a deer" nor did I kill one. But I had an awesome day hunting! Connecting with nature, engaging with animals, studying my environment, always learning and appreciating.
But, before this can happen, there is so much preparation and planning that the day hunting is just a part of the experience. Months before bow season we are getting permits, signing leases, scouting properties, practicing, checking equipment, checking it twice, replacing gear (loving my new awesome heated jacket!), buying tags, checking cameras... and counting down the hours!
Prior to hitting the stand on any give day, we are checking the weather, checking it twice, packing as lightly as possible, but making sure you have everything that you may need for any and every situation and weather condition, setting your alarm for the buttcrack of dawn -flying out of bed on pure excitement, throwing down some food and coffee, going potty, going potty again, saying a prayer for a safe and fruitful day, putting on your scentless green armor and swipe of facepaint, spraying down, taking a long hike in the cold, moonlit field or woods you memorized (with ninja like silent stealth, it ain't easy for these short legs in hip-high grass and weeds, but its a great work out), climbing into your stand (with ninja like silent stealth), securing yourself and situating your gear (with ninja like silent stealth).
You nock your arrow and sit in the black silence and wait for the sun to rise and the creatures to stir. The frost starts to melt, the spiderwebs shimmer, you can still see your breath and you're shaking from being both cold-to-the-bone-cold and Christmas-morning-excited for all of the possibilities the day brings. The world wakes up around you and you're surrounded by Gods beautiful creation and every color imaginable. The squirrels make it their personal mission to mess with you alllllll day.
Somewhere in there you gotta pee, but have to decide if it's worth it, and it's usually not. Periodically standing up, stretching and cracking your neck. Always scanning and observing, anticipating, cursing the squirrels. This is the privilege of being a hunter, all this before you even see a deer or get the chance to kill one...