Never, ever give up!
On most of my hunts this fall I walked miles and miles up and down mountains. There were times when I was hunting alone, discouraged and ready to call it quits. There were other times where I was exhausted with only 30 minutes of hunting light left. I could have easily gone back to the truck to rest. Fortunately, perseverance pays off. Each time I wanted to quit was when I experienced the most success. The following are a few examples.
I left Montana in 2013 for the military. After four years of missing western hunting and beautiful mountains, my wife, Rachel, and I finally moved back. Now it was September of 2017 and I could not have been more excited. I reconnected with college buddy Seth Adams, and we made plans for a hunt.
Every year opening day came. I would watch Dad get ready to go. Gear was organized and packed, stories were told, and the rifle was sighted in. I would sit and watch Dad clean his rifle with dreams of carrying it into the forest myself one day. The wood stock gleamed and glistened, boasting of great responsibility and adventure. The smell of gun oil my father used would grow into nostalgia for the rest of my life.
Nothing is worse than hiking into your best honey hole four miles in and realizing you forgot something crucial! I always use this list to ensure I have the essentials. The pack fully loaded, including three to four days of food but excluding water, weighs less than 40 pounds.
Eat well on your next adventure. For visitors and natives of the Northwestern United States, I have scrounged up for you a few foods that can be eaten in the wild, some nutrition facts, identification, and food preparation ideas. Whether you are looking for safe foods in a survival situation or just want a taste of the delicious bounty on the wild side of the supermarket, this guide can help.
There is a combination of being in the middle of God’s wild creation, observing beauty, and the thrill of the hunt that sets something loose inside me. This feeling must go back to the beginning of time. Today, we pursue it like never before. Photography, writing, social media, guiding, and production of the newest gear all lures the hunter’s dollar and distracts the heart. While these crafty pursuits do open collaboration and opportunity, I fear the modern day approach threatens the mystery and nature of the hunt.
The mountain soothes my soul. Here, all is as was meant to be. Man in God’s creation. His majesty fills me. If only for a moment I belong in the design, a natural part of the landscape and rhythm of life. The crisp breeze shuffles branches and whispers across my face. A soft scent of pine mixed with the pungency of my quarry. The unmistakable scent is gone in a flash with a fickle twist of the wind.