Listen to birds chirping and the soothing sound of a God made water system is about as natural as life gets. Some consider it therapeutic as other see it a lifestyle. Watch the sun peak through the leaves of a fully matured tree or watch It set on the coast and instantaneously, you’ll feel the ease of your mind and soul settling.
For a lot of our beloved veterans it’s a way for them to escape and see there is life after war. What better way is there to be mentally and physically free than being in outdoors? There’s a lot more to explain so i got a little help. I was able to talk to somebody I truly look up to and am extremely blessed to call a great friend! With the heart of a saint and the fight of a tiger he’s an inspiration to all. Cpl. Dominic Davila is a USMC veteran with a great passion for the outdoors. As he prepares for his upcoming turkey hunt we get to talk a little about why the backcountry is so special to to him and how it’s helped.
“For me the outdoors have helped me become more active. There’s so many “outdoor” activities that I want to try so just that alone gets me off the couch, but the outdoors has provided much more than that for me. Getting into the backcountry has really taught me to appreciate everything that’s around us. For me the outdoors is my therapy, it’s where I am able to forget about all the stresses of life and focus on myself.
The outdoors is special to me because I feel more human while out there if that makes sense. The outdoors is a trip back in time to me, when I hunt or camp I feel I’m back where humans were meant to be. When I’m out there it feels natural and comfortable to me, it makes me feel like a man. Not in a macho way but In a way that as humans we were meant to be apart of the environment.
I wish I could say I’ve always have had a passion for the outdoors but growing up in chicago doesn’t really offer much outdoors. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed being outside and playing sports but it doesn’t compare to the feeling of stalking an elk or calling in birds. It wasn’t until after joining the marine corps that I enjoyed being in the backcountry but it really wasn’t until getting injured that I absolutely fell in love with the outdoors.
My first elk hunt was a flood of emotions for sure. I had about 7 months of build up before I was able to punch my first elk tag, so needless to say I was pretty anxious to get out and drop one. When the weekend finally came, it turned to excitement. Then the hiking began and it turned into “I hate elk hunting”. But after we got eyes on some bulls it quickly turned into enthusiasm. When I dropped my first bull it was excitement and appreciation. Appreciation for the animal and the moment of being able to put food on my table due to hard work and not a checkbook.
So my advice for someone wanting to get into the outdoors for the first time would be to educate yourself. Educate yourself on the environment and how to take care of it. Educate yourself on the topography. Educate yourself on the native animals. Educate yourself on an nit of knowledge about your environment. The biggest things I see in the backcountry are people who take our public lands for granted and trash it. Not because they do not care but because they don’t have the education on how delicate our ecosystems can be. And always have fun!
- Cpl. Dominic Davila”
So I hope he’s inspired you as much as he has me! Get out there and enjoy Gods country!
As always remember God, Country, Freedom 🇺🇸