I agree that the worst day hunting is better than the best day working! I did hunt some new areas for deer, my old stomping grounds just don't produce well anymore, everything is overgrown now. Without any new logging the west Side of the Cacades its a jungle. The elk hunting, pressure is what messed up my elk hunt I believe. It just happend that this year more people decided to hunt the same are I was commited to. Most years "my spot" only gets a few people the first day or 2 then they move on. This year there were 10 other hunters that decided to hunt there the entire week too. One other hunter shot a 5 point 300 yrds in front of me opening day, it could have been me just as easy. On day 5 a herd moved in, but the other hunters ran them right out of the country as soon as they came in. I did have close encounters, I guess luck was not on my side this year. I am looking forward to 2013, I have enough points to draw some good tags. Hopefully luck is on my side next year. Thanks for all your words of wisdom.
When my dad was teaching me to hunt he always told me................"Son, the hunt is everything. Enjoy it more than the kill. The kill is just a bonus."
You need to relax, and enjoy the hunt more. To me, shooting a trophy doesn't mean I had a good hunt if it wasn't fun.
btw An easy hunt is never a good hunt for me.
I had the same kind of season as you up here in WA. I hunted 6 days of the reg season and 2 of the late whitetail with nothing to show for it. What made it even worse, I saw very few deer and just one buck in all those days. I was thinking my hunting MOJO was gone or old age, 62, has dulled my hunting skills. The hunting here in WA is getting worse every year. When I moved here in 1984 I had great success and killed a buck alsmost every year for 6 or so years in a row and thats with just my upstate NY whitetail skills. Never hunted the mts or big clear cuts or packed in any whare to hunt back there. This is the third year in a row with no deer in WA. I don't know why I'm so bumed not getting a piss poor little 3x3 in WA, but I am. The bright side is, I killed my tallest antelope in WY along with two does and I hope to fill a leftover cow tag in WY this Dec.
I hope this will renew my faith in myself as a hunter.
I agree, I think we all occasionally go through a rut. This year I made a stupid mistake and didn't put in for my tags on time and have hunted general all year. I too hunt harder than most people. I'm not afraid to go above and beyond for what I want. I saw two elk this whole season. One was the bull that I shot and never found and the other was an injured calf right before I shot my bull. I never saw another elk and I hunted almost all month. It makes me frustrated as a hunter but as I look back on all my pictures from the hunt, it was a great time. I saw country I have never seen before and got in some AMAZING workouts! Lol. I heard a wolf howl which is an awesome thing to hear but also a little creepy. It was my first time of hearing a wolf howl in the wild and it's one of those things I will never forget. Kind of like the first time I had an elk bugle in my face. (Although as pretty as his howl was it would be much better to be getting him mounted right now.. Stupid wolves) I've learned that it really isn't the kill that makes the hunt.. It's everything that goes along with it and the kill is just an added bonus. This year I didn't get my bonus.. Lol but I know that if I ever have to hunt general area elk again, I know the area so much better and I will hopefully be successful in killing something.
You've sort of got it, but why did you get frustrated? You should have had a smile on your face the whole time you were hunting. It's suppose to be fair chase hunting. The animals have a right to win too.
Originally Posted by jenbickel
Some should get a job in a slaughter house if all you want to do is kill animals. (not pointed at you Jen)
I'm not saying I didn't enjoy every day I got to hunt. Some of my best days hunting in my life I never squeezed the trigger. But I always strive to at least have an opotunity, that doesn't mean I will take it. I think I set my expectations a little to high for the areas I hunted. I did learn some new deer hunting for the future though which is something I was hoping to find. I will admit, I want to get a deer or elk when ever I have a tag, but I also want to hunt for it. I'm not all about the kill, but after working so hard I guess I get a little down on myself wondering what I did wrong to go without an oportunity.
Originally Posted by Old Hunter
Just keep in mind the animals are trying harder than you to stay alive. They have more at stake.
Originally Posted by Timberstalker
When an elk/muley out smarts me. I give them a wave and a smile, and say....Good job. You win this time.
So, don't get down on yourself. Enjoy the whole experience.
Something I was reminded of again this year is to just try to have fun, enjoy the moment, keep a positive attitude as best you can, all that stuff. A guy can't control the weather. You can't control other hunting pressure. You can't control the rut. You can't control many things. But you can control your attitude, to a point. I've been down. This year we were down. Had a horrible week in Wyoming. Mid way through the trip my brother and I were ready to kill each other. Finally, enough was enough, and we tried to salvage the trip and changed our tune and tried to make the most of it. I was going to frame the tag as a reminder, but we went back 2 weeks later, with a positive attitude, and filled our tags.
Just because you hunt the hardest, hunt the longest, hunt the smartest, spend the money to hunt out of state, etc, you are NEVER guaranteed success. TOO HIGH OF EXPECTATIONS WILL RUIN A HUNT REAL QUICK!!! That's why it's hunting. Enjoy it for what it is.....Something I was, again, reminded of this year.
I learned a valuable lesson this year. My son was old enough to hunt this year, he chose to rifle hunt and I am a bowhunter. I took him to every spot that we ran into elk on the archery season and did not see a single elk in 10 days of hunting. He hiked my but off, going at least 10 miles a day. Elk were killed around us, but we never saw one. At the end of the hunt I told him I was sorry his old man couldn't find him an elk. He smiled at me and said dad I had the best time ever just getting to hunt and spend time with you. Sometimes it is the little things that remind you how much fun it is to just be out hunting. (still would have loved to kill something.)
We are trying to kill an animal in it's home and that's not always easy. Many times they win. They're outside in the rain 365 days of the year, trying to survive. While we are inside on couch or watching TV they're outside in the rain surviving and they're tough. If killing them was always easy they wouldn't call it hunting, they'd just call it killing.
I'm really thankful just to have the oppertunity and privlage when I'm able to just get out and try to hunt them.
I hope you all have an awesome upcoming Thankgiving everyone. It's good to reflect and reflect often on all that we are thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!