No Guarantees

In 2017 the big game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons was the most watched television program in U.S. history (111.5 million). The experts, analysts, and prognosticators had everything dissected and dialed. Yet with all angles covered, no one could predict who would win. When the final whistle blew and the New England Patriots had completed their unbelievable comeback, the resounding response from the experts was, “Well, that’s why you play the game.”

Those things where the outcome is uncertain are what stand the test of time. It’s human nature to be drawn to such things, and keep coming back. Why? Because when the outcome is already known things are less interesting.

There is uncertainty to hunting. That’s the nature of it. It is this “no guarantees” that is one of hunting’s most appealing attributes. Another attraction is that we spend more time thinking about going hunting and preparing than actually hunting. We’ve all done it. Run scenarios over in our minds; “Will I see a buck? Will I see a big buck? Will I get a good shot? Will I be successful? What will the scene be like back at camp or at home when I return with my prize—or my story?”

If we think about it, an uncertain outcome defines hunting. Not knowing, combined with the capabilities of the game we pursue requires us to develop skills, which is also a cherished part of the hunt. “No Guarantees” is also at the core of what we call, fair chase.

We covet the uncertainty of hunting and what we’ve earned honestly, fair and square. Taking the easy route or shortcuts might be considered by some to be just stacking the odds in your favor, but success at any price does come with a cost. If we ever lose the no-guarantees nature of hunting, something very special will be lost. At a minimum, if hunting were a sure thing, it would be hard to still call it hunting.