Almost all of us who are hunters also maintain some sort of full-time job…it’s how we afford to be able to go and hunt in the first place (and…you know…feed our children and stuff). But, every hunter knows that when we’re at work, we’d almost always rather be hunting. Even if you genuinely enjoy what you do for a living (as I do), hunting just gets deep in your soul and takes over most of your mental free time. But, if you can’t put in as much time as you’d want at the range, scouting, or dialing in your gear, how can you keep the ball moving forward without getting fired?
My middle child (the 6-year-old) has been all about hunting for years. He is constantly asking when he can go, if he can come with me, when we’ll go scouting…the kid just wants to be in the outdoors. Now, as a squirrelly boy who can’t sit still through a single meal, he’s not exactly ready to come out on a hunt just yet. But, a few weeks ago the whole family headed up to the woods for some much-needed R&R, and I made a plan to take Gibson out with me to hang a couple game cameras one morning. We both had a terrific time out there together, and here are the 4 things I believe I did right to make this a success…
Over the past five hunting seasons, I’ve put a lot of miles on three different pairs of hunting boots. All were from different manufacturers, all were different in terms of function and style, and all had their pros and cons. When it comes to hunting (especially Western hunting), boots are one of the pieces of gear you don’t want to skimp on. I’ve done long treks in $50 boots in the past, and I definitely paid for it in terms of blisters and pain. However, boots and the way they work with your foot is a complicated equation, and just because your boots cost more than your truck payment doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be comfortable or last for years.
Hunting is hard enough without adding cameras to the mix, and most of us aren’t going to recruit or hire a guy to come with us simply to film the whole thing. But, can a cell-phone pic here or there really capture all the memories you’re hoping to preserve? Probably not. So, what can you do if you’re not a photographer, don’t want to mess up your hunt dinking around with cameras all day, and may even be hunting on your own a lot? Here are some thoughts on what you may or may not need, depending on your goals for the video.
Well, it’s been a couple months since my first post walking through all the facets of planning an out of state hunt. At this point, I will be hitting the mountain in almost exactly three months, and I couldn’t be more excited! I also couldn’t be more aware that there is still so much to do. So, at the three-months and counting mark, here is what I’ve done and where the whole process stands.
I LOVE sharing my passion for the outdoors with my family and seeing my son have some great first-time experiences, but there are those moments where the hunt is impeded, where whining is the order of the day, and where I am just ready to start a full-fledged dad-rant! So, how do you do it? How can you create awesome memories and raise your kids with a love of the outdoors without going insane? Well, I’m certainly still figuring it out, but here are five things I’ve learned that help everyone have a much better time. There will still be periods of frustration and “teachable moments” (translation: those times when you might just leave your whining son on the side of the mountain), but these ideas can help mitigate the worst of it.
I just got back from a bear hunt where absolutely everything went wrong. Between getting eaten alive by mosquitoes the first evening (seriously, it was bad), and the moon being so obnoxiously bright that I couldn't sleep, it was already off to a rough start. Add to that the fact that I hiked and glassed multiple drainages, stared at countless prickly pear cacti brimming with perfectly ripe fruit that hordes of bears SHOULD be eating, and yet turned up absolutely zero wildlife. It was actually eerie...every other step I was walking through old elk, deer, antelope, and even some bear sign, but I never encountered a single fresh piece of evidence that any other living creature was currently in this part of the wilderness. It was as if aliens had come a year before and abducted every four-legged creature in this canyon, leaving only their dried and sun-baked poo as a reminder that they once roamed the landscape. Traditionally speaking, the hunt was an absolute failure.
Every hunter knows the agony and anticipation of draw day. You've done all your research, triple-checked your applications and credit card info, and have the day of the official Game & Fish draw marked on your calendar. That day comes, and you spring out of bed to check your bank account...no hits yet. You come back a little later...and a little later...hit refresh a couple times...still nothing. Then you start seeing social media posts popping up with ecstatic dudes proclaiming their card just got hit and they are going (insert your dream animal) hunting this year. When the dust settles, your account remains untouched by your local Wildlife Management Bureau, and you accept the horrifying truth that you did not draw a tag this year. You now have the option of putting all your gear into long-term storage and giving up, or adapting and finding ways to still get into the field and put meat (of some sort) in the freezer this year.
We've all been there: miles from civilization, weather and/or darkness moving in, the animal just stepped into range, and it's the moment you envisioned when you chose/purchased/packed that one piece of gear. You go to set it up, or take the shot...and you realize it doesn't work! Or, doesn't work like you thought it would, and you're going to have to improvise. Or, you miss the shot opportunity and never see that bull or buck again. It's almost part of the outdoors initiation process, but it's also one of the easiest situations to avoid...just test your gear beforehand!!! In this article, we will look at three key pieces of gear that we often don't test (at least not as rigorously as we should), and hopefully identify some things to look before before even making a purchase so we end up with better, more effective gear in the first place.
Inside EVERY man is still a 12 year old boy who wants to go on an adventure, to play in the dirt, and he wants to do that with the people he likes the most (that's you). And in much the same way that boys on the playground don't understand that pulling a girl's hair doesn't communicate affection the way they intend it to, men are not always sensitive to the fact that guys and girls tend to like different adventures. We can't fully fathom why a week in the woods chasing animals wouldn't seem like the best time ever to the woman that we love, in the same way you can't fully understand why a Saturday at a farmer's market makes him want to gouge his eyes out with a rusty spoon. It's a wiring issue...we're just built differently.