Love to hunt or a glutton for punishment

Bad hunts, or hunts with oh oh's that are etched forever no matter how innocuous it seems to be.

I've had three elk hunts cratered by bad weather in the first day of the hunt! You have no choice in 3-5' of snow.! Three expensive DIY hunts and tags🤮 so much fun tearing down tent in blizzard conditions! Too far in 2 track to take chance to wait it out plus trucks could not have chance even with chains. I recall every minute of them!!!

I had a horse step on flat shale covered with ice under 8" of snow and went down like hit with 6.5CM.! Was able to push off but landed wrong and did something to hip. Was in hip pain entire hunt plus 27 hour ride home was so much fun!

Shot 5x5 on ridge so steep guide picked up head and started to take ride down ridge! Jammed head into ground to stop. Held him by belt quartering while tied off to tree. Pack Mules did not like that ridge at all.

Bear went through side of drop camp tent thankfully while we were hunting. Fly was open but guess he preferred making new entrance. Walked out the entrance but never touched anything!

Speaking of bears, had one walk up to me at night while enjoying the freshly dug tarp outhouse. I think he hit downwind and bailed.

Hunted in bad freezing rain at 8K that by time we got back to tent, both of us lost count on how many times we slipped and fell. Thankfully stacked wood in tent so we had solid dry source and stove lit off like champ. It was unreal hearing tree branches break at night while in tent.

So much more and loved every second of it!!!
I totally agree the darkest moments are now badges of honor plus embellished especially with alcohol factored in. The interesting part is killing an animal takes backseat to the storyline of the hunt at times.
I don't mind an easy hunt, sometimes they just happen. However, when you put in the work, the sweat and tears, it is definitely more memorable.

More times than not we don't hunt anything, not for the lack of opportunities, but because we want a decent buck to shoot at. Spikes and forkies we let them live.

On every hunt, we put on a lot of miles looking for a good huck, we cover a lot the terrain, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Sometimes we get in to some terrain, that when we are in there, we think, what were we thinking? Then laugh it out and keep going. It's what you remember and talk about in a campfire, not just the animal you harvested.

So yeah, we enjoy the punishment, while we still can.
I started hunting when I was 5 years old. Thats when I got my first 22, and a bb gun. My Dad was a rancher in New Mexico, and I guess he figured he owned anything I could possibly hit. He always said kids will turn out great if you keep a ball or a gun in their hands. I could always hunt as much and as long as I wanted.

As I grew up, I talked a lot about hunting, and I met lots of people who said they didn't hunt as adults. They had such terrible experiences when they were young. They talked about being awakened at 4 am, taken to a boat or duck blind, and kept cold, wet, and miserable until after dark. When they got older, they couldn't imagine wanting some more "cold, wet, and miserable", just to go hunting or fishing.

I met my wife when she was 19. (Want some candy little girl?) I guess I taught her how to hunt. I have always made sure she was comfortable, and well fed. She has been an AVID hunter for well over 40 years. Her nickname in camp is "Dead Eye". After a few years we started having boys. We talked a lot about how to expose them to the things we enjoyed. I said I wanted them to enjoy all the outdoor stuff, but that it was important that we start them with "little bites", so they wouldn't get bored or uncomfortable. So, when we fished, went shooting, or hunting, we enjoyed it for a few hours and returned to camp, or home. I think Gary, our oldest, was about 7 and I said, "Should we see if we can catch a fish in the Boise River behind the Red Lion Inn?" He said, "OH Yes!" After a couple hours, and no fish, I told him we should probably go home. He said, "Dad, I wish we could go fishing or hunting as long as I want too without having to GO HOME!" I looked at my wife and said, "We Got Him, He's Hooked!" Our boys have gone on to become AVID hunters and fishermen, and have taken my skills to another whole level. Now when we set up our elk camp, Sonia and I get to have comfortable supervisory positions. We are pretty lucky!
Bill - You make a very good point to consider when exposing young ones to hunting and fishing. As a kid I was always looking for adventure. My father was really not into hunting, but was an avid fisherman in his younger years. He understood my passion for everything outdoors and never limited me as long as got all of my chores done. Many kids just live in a virtual world today. Exposure to uncomfortable things can push them away from experiencing the true wonders of being out in nature and testing themselves. A job well done with your family.👍
We have probably worked harder in our outdoor pursuits than anyone should, but if you have a true passion for something it just doesn't seem like work. Our elk camp is something dreams are made of. The memories of over 40 years of elk hunting will last several lifetimes. Sonia and I and the friends and family we hunt with still can't wait until it's time to put in Elk Camp!
Boy would I have loved to have the warm waterproof clothing available nowadays when I was a youngster! I spent so many of my younger days cold and wet while out hunting that I’m surprised I stuck with it.
That’s how everyone did it back in the day and it probably wasn’t the right way.

Wet, soggy, freezing cold, but man they were great times, and wouldn't have had them any other way.

Recent Posts