Struggle Stick Life Lessons by Matthew Tyler

It’s hard to know where to start. Maybe I should begin by saying that it has been a lifelong dream of mine to own a piece of property and harvest a deer from it, having an amazing wife that is so supportive during the deep valleys and highest peaks that choosing the “struggle” stick as the weapon of choice brings to a home, the heavy heartaches I have experienced the past few seasons with failed attempts chasing trophy deer, or even the story of great friends that are always just a phone call away during late hours no matter if it’s a hopeful track or not.


Regardless, I am truly blessed and God’s timing is truly perfect. Three years ago, He blessed Addy and me with a home that sits on thirteen acres. Believe it or not, it has proven to attract some great bucks, one in particular that I pursued for the past two seasons. To make a long story short, after two opportunities I had completely missed him on one and delivered a non-fatal hit on the other, only to have him show back up on camera healthy a month later. But as fate would have it, not long after that I would find out a neighbor had successfully harvested him. Talk about defeat…


This series of events, along with some similar stories from other properties I am fortunate to be allowed to hunt, put me in a place where I was ready to throw in the towel when it came to use of a traditional bow over modern equipment. Thankfully and with the encouragement of close friends and family, I decided to continue down the road I have been on for the past five years. Why? Simply because when all the stars align with this method, the sense of accomplishment can’t be replicated to me.


It’s funny how things work. Over this past year, I have had a few friends show interest in trying this same style of bow hunting. Did I think five years ago when I started that this would be the case? Definitely not after all the laughs I had often received when buddies found out what I was trying to accomplish. To say these guys have put in an exponential amount of spare time preparing for opening weekend this past Saturday is an understatement. A quick scroll through our group chat would prove that! As you can tell, it brings me so much joy to just imagine each of them successfully harvesting an animal using this type of bow this season!


To sum up last night’s hunt: Three bucks we have had on camera all summer were inside eighteen yards before 7:00 p.m. True arrow flight after the release, resulting in a nearly perfectly placed shot, an easy blood trail resulted in a lifelong memory experienced with a friend in the same tree. Did I mention we got it all on film? Thank you, Mike!


Where am I going with all this?


It’s simple. If you give up you’ll likely miss success just around the corner. Believe in God’s timing. If you want something badly, work hard. Cherish your close friends and invest time into them. Support your loved ones in each desired endeavor, even if the failures are often causing additional stress in the home. Don’t be afraid to set uncommon goals. Struggling to find grit is better than living with regret.


Finally, I want to thank all my friends that have put up with my long calls and text messages during the months of September through January, my friends and family who took the time to celebrate this personal milestone, and the good Lord for this life teaching experience. More importantly, my amazing wife who has been selfless every year during this season of life, encouraged me to keep pressing forward, put up with my repeated sob stories of defeat and has been a great example of an indulgent spouse!



Equipment:


-Home built Easton Autumn Hunter arrows

-Zwicky No Mercy 170 grain Broadheads

-50lb Martin Mamba

-Riverwolf Alpha quiver




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