The last couple of years I have faced the problem of who to hunt with especially for big game. I hunted with a good friend for 40 years all over the US. He retired about the same time as I did and moved here to Colorado around the same time as my wife and I did. He and his wife lived about a mile away. She passed away a couple of years ago and he moved back to California to be near his kids. Last year I went on a guided elk hunt alone and this year I'll be hunting elk here in Colorado alone. (I am going to Wyoming antelope hunting with another friend from California who I have hunted with for a long time) My wife is a little worried about me hunting alone. I have ordered a SPOT from Cabelas which helps with here concerns.
But the issue is still there. I hunt waterfowl alone near my home all winter. It's fun but really a lot of work alone. Putting up and taking down 4 or 5 dozen goose decoys alone (in addition to taking them to the field) is a lot of work. Sitting in the blind watching the sun coming up is just magic tho and makes up for all the hard work. I am not a loner and I enjoy the companionship. My wife has hunted some with me, but it is just not her deal, even tho she jumps at the chance to go fishing.
My son is busy running his own trucking business, so another hunting partner is unavailable. Another problem is I am 70 and most of the guys my age who are retired I shoot with and know are not near as capable physically as I am.I guess solo is the only way to go for now! The older I've become, more and more of my old hunting/shooting friends have either died of quit for various reasons.
Cowboy Action Shooter; Endowment Life Member-NRA
The Original Rocket Scientist-Retired
"My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
My nephew was scheduled to go with me on my deer hunt. He called to say his son needed him for a youth deer hunt in Arkansas. Thats okay, my son never hunted. Thats okay too. I can still go solo.
A friend may archery hunt elk while I hunt bear, thats good, he is fun to hunt. We will probably be 2-7 miles apart, maybe with radio commo. I like evening hunting and he should hunt late too, so it should work out that if either is need help retriving game the other will be available to hunt. Should he not go I can still hunt solo.
I have the best partner in the world;my wife.She didn't know much when we first started,but can hold her own with anybody now.Never worry about her not showing up,great shot,good ears,great cook. Larry
I've been blessed with some great hunting partners over the years. Same hunting philosophies and styles, push each other to continually extend our physical and mental limits in the field. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, the saying - "If you want something done right, do it yourself" - is usually spot on. Best of luck with the hunt. Hopefully either your buddy sees the light or you link up some with quality guys out on the mountain.
Solo is the only way to go. No one is relying on you and you are not relying on them. A lot of folks have reommended the SPOT. Look at its sister divice the CONNECT. It does the same but you can Blue tooth an IPod to it so you can communicate via text.
Solo is not that big of a deal, if you have never done it, try a short trip. A SPOT is a must. I have a hunting partner, we have hunter together each fall, for the past 13 years, but during that time we have also hunted separately, sometimes you pull a tag and your buddy cannot go, so you just do it solo, I find it really exciting. In fact I am doing a solo archery mule deer hunt september 1st, and my had wanted to go, but due to an antelope hunt and work, he is not going to be able to go, so no big deal. I am actually very pumped and will just rub the stories and photos of the adventure in his face, and say "man you should have been there". he will enjoy being teased about it, if I am not successful, I will go back to Wyoming in October with my buddy, and his father.
All of these comments sound painfully familiar. Some years back, I was in the process of completing my NV Mule Deer application, when I got a call from a friend who asked if he could apply with me. Even though I had four points and he had none, I agreed. We applied for two years, and then drew our tags. As things go, I also drew an AZ Elk tag that year. Problem was that the NV deer season started three days before the AZ elk season ended. Trying to learn from my previous unfortunate experiences, I telephoned friend before I left for AZ to find out if he was really serious about the NV Deer hunt, as it would necessitate me cutting my AZ Elk hunt short.
He begged and whined that that was going to be his big hunt this year, and he had put off everything else hunting wise to make time for the NV hunt. I gave him my cell phone number and told him to call me if anything changed. I also told him to find us a place to stay, and get our gear together for the hunt, as it was going to be a quick turnaround for me. Hoping for the best, I left for AZ with Jeep in tow. As I was headed up the Mogollan Rim, it started snowing to beat the band. Things were coming together! I arrived early enough before the season started to have a full day of scouting.
By Noon before opening day, the temperature was in the mid seventies, and every smidgen of snow had melted creating a myriad of watering holes, which eliminated one planned tactic. The snow had driven the elk out of the high country, but the rising temperatures drove them right back up again. The only thing left of the elk were their hundreds of tracks. The light at the end of the tunnel was that the weather was supposed to turn cold with snow predicted the last three days of the season. But wait, I was supposed to be going to NV with friend. I called my Wife, and told her that I was seriously considering canceling on friend, due to the circumstances, but I would not like that to happen to me. So, I would be coming home the next day. She agred.
I packed up my gear, hitched up the Jeep, and got back to California at 11:00 PM that night. I had fueled up the vehicles, and was getting ready to repack, when I decided to check my e-mail to see if anything exciting had happened at the office. There it was. An e-mail from friend telling me that he had gotten so busy at work, he was not going to be able to make the hunt in NV. I called him, and got him out of bed, demanding to know why in the H---, he did not call me on the cell phone, instead of sending me an e-mail? He said that he just didn’t think of it, and besides I was coming back anyway. I asked him if he had made the arrangements for accommodations-NO; did he have the gear and food together like we discussed-NO.
Screwed up Elk hunt; screwed up deer hunt; my 4 NV deer points blown! I cannot repeat the atrocities that I thought of inflicting upon friend at that moment. He called me later to apologize, and said that we could apply again next year-NOT! I told him that we would not be applying for any future hunts together. He asked if he was still my friend, and I replied that the fact he had breath in his body was mute testimony to that fact. That was the end of my planning hunts with casual hunters. To take a page from Jen’s book, drinking also makes people disappear!!!
Patron Life Member, NRA; Life Member RMEF, SCI, NAHHC, NSRPA
I'd a kicked his ass anyway !
I had something similar happen in 1997 and 1998 with the same so called friend. I had hunted with this guy in 6 different sates prior. In 1997 I had drawn an Az. antelope tag. We had also drawn antelope in Wy.. I left my house a few days before him and went to Az. and "hurried" my hunt up and shot an average buck (since that mistake I've accumulated 13 pts.) on opening day so I could meet him back in St. George Ut. and park his truck there and drive "mine" to Wy.. He had never hunted loper's before. He shoots a puney little buck but didn't get a doe tag because he thought it was unethical to shoot does...Not me. I had one doe tag. I was peeking over a hill with him and I spotted a nice buck with 3 does. I shot the buck right before it went over the edge. He said I missed. I said don't think so. Went down over the edge and there he lay. I gut it and was walking back up and here come the 3 does. Shot one of them. All done. This guy could squeeze water out of a nickel he was so cheap. I paid for most of the gas up and back and he made more money than me plus a dual income. He worked for the state. Huh ? The following year we drew deer and loper in Wy.. He wanted me to drive from Oceanside Ca. all the way up to Coarsegold near Yosemite to pick him up then procede to Wy.. I said think not. Why don't you drive to the 15 frwy and park it. and we'll drive up together. He calls back next day and says he has to work the next two days and can't leave yet. He says he'll meet me in Cody. I took off. I asked my friend who owned the motel if he had called every time I came back in. Nope. He never showed up or ever called me then or after and I never called him or spoke to him from that day on or since. I figured he wasn't the type of friend I needed. That's why like I said before here. I plan my trips for myself. If someone else wants to go,fine. But if they back out it doesn't bother me in the least. I'm not ruining a years worth of palnning and $,$$$.$$. This is a good thread. I think it has Energizer batteries in it....
Gawd Dayum.. No wonder you guys hunt solo... The worst hunting partner story I ever had was when my brother decided to get married on the 25th of September this year, effectively ruining my first choice of dates to hunt, and ruining his ability to go with us.
Oh, and there was the time that my old hunting buddy tossed me an arrow with a broadhead on it (tossed like you would throw a dart), and hit me right in the eye glasses... The dot on my specticals for the next year or so reminding how much of an idiot he was.