NDA Members Share their Appreciation for Deer and Hunting

November 28, 2018 | by National Deer Alliance

For the November 21 survey, we asked National Deer Alliance members what they are most thankful for as a deer hunter, and how hunting has impacted their life. Nearly 400 members took the time to share their thoughts, and the following are some that stood out. Also, because we had so many great responses, we plan to share others in recent issues as part of our commitment to bring you the good news about deer and hunting. If your response isn’t in the list below, look for it in future editions of the NDA On Watch newsletter. We are grateful for our members, and your dedication to being the most well-rounded deer hunters and managers in the country.

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I am most thankful for the people in my life that allow me to pursue my passion of deer hunting with little or no regret.  My wife lets me hunt when I like, and my son assists me when I am in need of his young strength and time. I am an older hunter that need assistance every once in a while, and have great people around me to assist when possible.

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Hunting, which started with my deer hunting in my late 20s, has given me a purpose in life and made me a better person. I've connected with who I am as a human, and connected to God in ways I never was able to before. I think a lot of the bitterness in the world is due to a lack of a connection with our humanity and spirituality, and we'd all be happier and nicer people and get along much better if more folks could pack a rifle into the woods to chase deer.

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I am thankful for simply being able to get into the woods. Being there helps me relive daily stress. When I left the military, I was lost for several years trying to figure out how to deal with things. Close to 2 years in Iraq didn't help. I lost friends to combat and suicide when I got home, which rocked me even more. I still lose friends to suicide, just not as often. I came very close to being a statistic once myself. Too close. With help from friends that had been there, the Wounded Warrior Project, and family, I found my way again.

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I don't have anyone to hunt with but I love being in the woods with that feeling that there's so many men and women in the woods with me in spirit. Although our paths may never cross, and we'll never share a story we were together in the deer woods across America, or even the world that day. With nothing but hopes and dreams of what can happen next!

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I'm thankful for the times deer allowed me to hunt with my father. Now that he is no longer with us, I try to spend as much time hunting with my brother. Even if I don't kill a deer, I look forward to being in the deer woods, or out hunting whatever is in season. As I'm getting older, 73 years now, I don't hunt as much as I once did, but I still go when I can.

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2018 has turned out to be the year that any deer hunter would be thankful and proud of. My son, who I had worked hard in his formative years to instill the tradition of hunting, had spent 17 years of his life in the US military, which wasn't conducive to hunting regularly. Now he is out and this year he and three of his children all got deer.

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I am thankful for an understanding family, and living in a great country with the freedoms that allow us to pursue one of the best passions a person could have, the ability to harvest God's gifts to us.

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Deer hunting is a privilege and tradition. It is a time to enjoy nature and family. The fall colors and arrival of winter make the woods a great place to watch the seasons change. In Oklahoma, deer hunting is a perfect example of wildlife management. At one time in the not too distant past, there were almost no deer here. We are thankful.

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I am thankful for my fellow deer hunters. We make deer drives in the Adirondacks and work as a team. Our crew is very unselfish. I'm also thankful to have been raised in a deer hunting family, which is why I'm more passionate about the hunting experience than antlers on the wall. I hope all hunters get to enjoy a festive Thanksgiving hunt.

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I simply love the peacefulness of sitting in a deer stand.  Add to that the never ending anticipation of seeing deer and other wildlife makes each sit a true blessing.  Having the opportunity to harvest a deer or other game species, and putting some high quality protein filled meat on the table, is icing on the cake.