Hard Lessons Learned

By Yahsti Perkins Killer
Montana, 2011, DIY, Private Land

Yahsti Perkins Killer - Hard Lessons LearnedSeptember/October 2012 EBJ (Issue 73) - No matter how long we’ve been in the game, it’s never too late to learn a trick or two. I’ve always been told to learn from other people’s experiences and or mistakes. The advice of that person has shared with you could really pay off someday. Now, I’m not saying at all that I’ve listened. In fact, had I listened to advice offered just a little bit, my success afield would probably a lot better than it is. A hunt from just last fall plays out this script to the "T”.

Glassing across the rolling hills of the Montana prairie, I finally spotted a sizable buck. Pulling out the spotting scope, I counted four long tines on one side and six on the other. Assessing the situation, I planned my route of attack. The big mulie buck was lying just inside the top of a coulee. Sneaking in from his flank and 45 minutes later I was in attack position just 31 yards from the bedded buck. All I had to do now was wait for him to stand up and it was game over. For the next hour I sat there motionless as my adrenaline-filled heart finally started slowing. All of a sudden the vibrating coming from my pocket almost had me jump out of my skin. Instantly I gazed at the buck’s ears to make sure he hadn’t spooked from the buzzing sounds of my cell phone. Ever so slowly I eased into my pocket, slid my phone out and sent it into silent mode. Just as I was pushing the button, I caught movement. I looked up just in time to see the buck bust me and take off never to be seen again.

A few years before this, my father and I were on an elk hunt. As we were getting ready for the afternoon’s hunt I pulled out my cell phone to make sure it was on "silent” mode. With a smirk on his face he asked, "Are we going hunting or going talking?” I tried to justify to him why I needed my phone on and with me. His response was, "One of the reasons why we are out here is to get away from all that stuff.” After about a five-minute lecture, he ended the conversation with, "Mark my words, one day that thing (phone) is going to cost you an opportunity.” A few years later and there I sat as I watched the old man’s predictions unfold right before my eyes.

What I’ve learned was to first listen to what the old man is preaching. Secondly, though we are in the ages of modern times, there is a time and place for everything. Just because we have email and Internet at our fingertips, does it mean we have to worry about it while afield or, at a ball game with our kids? I think not!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love having my angle compensating range finder, and my GPS that brings me right back to a honey hole that I found on ventures in years past. But, these are things that can help to be more successful afield. I don’t think a cell phone or wireless Internet quite fits into this puzzle. Though I tried to justify to my father how it did a few years before, all it really did was bite me in the rear!

Yahsti Perkins Killer - Hard Lessons Learned

For a full account of Yahsti's adventure, go to page 26 in the September/October 2012 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.