My Biggest Hunting Hindrance

So if you have been following along with some of my blogs you know I opened up and admitted some of my hunting mistakes that I have made and now I want to share one of my biggest struggles that I deal with. I am not perfect and hunting, fishing & outdoor activities do not come easily for me all the time, but I work at it every day. I have dealt with this hindrance since I was in second grade and every year it has progressed to a worsening state; it is one of the most important tools you need when hunting and although it can be aided, currently mine can’t be fixed.

I am talking about my vision, or lack thereof. Starting in second grade I began sitting too close to the TV and there began my struggle. It started with glasses, eventually progressed to contact lenses and unfortunately my eyesight has not stabilized since then, only worse (which is why I cannot get corrective surgery yet). I started with a -4.00 prescription and I now have a PX of -10.25 and -9.75 in my eyes; without getting all technical this basically means instead of 20/20 vision I have 20/1000 and 20/900 respectively; extremely nearsighted. I always joke that I am probably legally blind without my contacts or glasses and I very well might be. I cannot function at all without my contacts or glasses and if I wanted to read something without them the words would need to be less than 3 inches from my nose.

Unfortunately, although I get new contacts and glasses almost every year to adjust for the change, my vision is still not what I want it to be because my eyes are changing daily and getting worse. This becomes a huge frustration when hunting that I have to adapt to all the time. It is very hard for me to see what others see moving across the field, in the trees, or even the antler count of a buck just 40 yards away. Spotting an animal’s legs or nose in the brush is nearly impossible to my naked eyes, determining which birds are flying in the sky is such a challenge and frustration, and there have even been times when I was completely wrong about what type of animal it was in the distance.  My depth perception is usually distorted at night, and certain lights in the morning and evening make it even harder for me as well.

 I always have my binoculars with me which isn’t a bad thing most of the time but when I am up in a tree stand or in a ground blind surrounded by deer and the animal that is the most mature and legal is 50 yards out I can’t tell without binos. I have to be extra stealth trying to use my binoculars with so many eyes around me, but I refuse to just guess and take the ‘wrong’ deer. I have been busted looking through my binoculars at times, which makes my frustration grow even more; the extra movement can sometimes ruin a hunt for me. Although binos help, seeing extremely far distances is very difficult.

Although I remember praying every night as a child that I would wake up and see the numbers on my alarm clock without contacts or glasses (and sometimes as an adult I still do – hoping for a miracle I guess) I refuse to let it stop me from enjoying my hunting trips and the outdoors. This is why when I get extremely up close to an animal it means so much to me because I can probably see all of their features without binoculars. When others harvest an animal I love examining them up close so I can train my eyes to look for specific characteristics next time I am in the field. The other positive I rely on is that because I cannot depend on my eyesight 100%, my other senses are heightened; I can hear the tiniest sounds and smell the faintest of smells, so for that I am grateful.

Everyone has their weaknesses in life and in hunting, mine just happens to be a substantial hindrance with a sense that is needed in the field. I hope that sharing this will let you see that anyone can enjoy the outdoors. I have harvested a few animals and each one means so much because I know the daily struggle of ‘seeing’ has been overcome. My heart looks forward to the day I can get corrective surgery and be able to see a beautiful animal without the aid of binoculars!

 

Apr 19, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: 6

 

6 comments on “My Biggest Hunting Hindrance

  1. Tom Payton

    Wow Candace thanks for sharing! I ve been complaining about my eyes not being perfect anymore. Trust me won’t do that anymore. We do take for granted things we think are little.

    • Candace

      Thanks Tom…everyone has something that makes hunting harder for them or being outdoors. This just happens to be mine. Have a great weekend!

  2. Scott Rathfelder

    Hi Candace Thanks for sharing this, I am 60 and use reading glass’s and have found recently seeing the sights are a little harder for me. I will def pray for your eyes, I do believe prayer can change things and miracles still do happen.

    • Candace

      Sure thing Scott. Thought it might provide a little in-sight hehe into different struggles everyone has but to prove they are just hurdles you can get over!

  3. Thia

    Thanks for sharing this, Candace. What a challenge! It is great that you look at the positives of your situation rather than feeling sorry for yourself and letting it keep you from enjoying the things you love to do. I hope you will be able to get surgery soon so you can begin to fully see the world through new eyes!!

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