The Great Adversity

Kids Outdoor Outpost May 2018

Joe Schuster | May 12, 2018

The greater the adversity, the greater the reward. It’s one of the cornerstones of my mindset. An adversity in your life means that there is a difficulty or obstacle in your path that you must first overcome to get to your goal.

I’ll get to a hunting example shortly, but let me explain adversities in everyday life.

For young folks, adversity could mean difficult school work, a tough ball practice or mastering the strings of a guitar. There are also those less fortunate who have health issues that prohibits them from some of the things that we take for granted, such as running or playing outside. That can be a huge adversity.

Adversities for adults are making sure the house and car payments are made on time, taking good care of the children and putting food on the table.

Hunting has its adversities, too. In the outdoors world, there are very few one-shot wonders. In other words, there are few hunters who just show up to deer camp and kill a trophy buck every year.

Or maybe there’s that guy who catches a 4- to 5-lb. bass every time they put a lure in the water. Like I said, these guys are few and far between.

For the other 99.9 percent of us, hunting has its share of adversities. However, the greater the adversity, the greater the reward.

My son Jared is currently in the U.S. Army and stationed at Ft. Carson, Colo. Jared’s a Georgia guy who didn’t know a thing about where to hunt turkeys when he moved out there three years ago.

He took a map of a nearby piece of public land and headed out to scout. The area he chose is nothing even remotely close to our Georgia mountains. It’s about 9,000 feet above sea level and about a 3- to 4-mile hike to get there. He went scouting weeks in advance and located some good turkey sign.

On opening day, he hiked in, set up and called. About three hours later, he rolled his first Merriam’s gobbler. He called me as soon as he got cell service to tell me the story, in between taking deep breaths of air.

Once he got back to his truck, he was met by the area’s game warden. After a brief chat and confirming Jared’s hunting license, the game warden asked him where he shot his bird. Jared gave him a good idea on location by using landmarks he had seen. The game warden told him that the area was in fact where the birds seem to go and that nobody ever wanted to walk in that far. Jared was the first he had seen with a harvested bird.

Jared went out again this year for the Colorado opening day. It was 15 degrees and 3 inches of fresh snow covered the ground. He hiked about 3 miles in, set up on a good opening where he had scouted birds and saw several gobblers fly down at first light. He hit an aggressive mouth call, and shortly after that a tom came running in and stopped only 10 yards from Jared. With sunrise in view, he rolled another opening day bird.

Yep, the greater the adversity, the greater the reward. Always hunt safely, and go get yours.

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