Appeasing the Gods

By Jeff Young

Jeff YoungJeff Young
Nevada, 2008, DIY, Public Land

Wild onion and salami-stuffed tenderloin sizzling atop a flat rock over a juniper-fueled fire; bivy sacks spread upon deer beds; a million stars over a cold Nevada sky; a trusted friend. Hunting - or life - rarely gets better than this.

Even in today’s high-tech archery world, a sense of primitiveness can still be experienced by donning full camo, putting three days’ existence on your back, and letting the wind, terrain, and your quarry dictate your moves. It doesn’t take long bivying out to relate to the mountains and the animals like the hunters of a thousand years ago might have.

Sometimes, when wind, cover, luck, and skill all fall into place and I’m successful, I sense the nature of their spirituality and I feel their gods have looked favorably upon me. Other times, when everything falls apart, and I feel mired in bad luck and start wondering what I have done to fall into their gods’ disfavor. On this trip I must have appeased the gods.

Tuning my bow and diligent practicing was a great help, as was hiring a packer to spike us ten miles from the nearest road. Time, distance, and elevation should not be issues either, with a week to hunt, a month of high-elevation conditioning under my belt, and my backpack whittled down to 25 pounds (including water). There was no reason for this hunt not to be successful.

Jeff Young

For a full account of Jeff's adventure, go to page 46 in the May/June 2009 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.