Not carrying a watch or some sort of time piece. Was on a hunt with my dad, he had killed a buck and drove it to town. Some elk hunters said when they leave camp at 3 am there are big bucks (deer) right in camp. while my dad was gone I went to hunt behind camp. I found a dandy buck with a bunch of does, bout 3/4 miles away. It would have been about a 2 mile walk to get around for a shot without being spotted. Clouds rolled in and it started to get dark (ish). I thought I didn't have enough time to make the trek so I backed out and went back to camp undetected. I thought I had him pegged and I would just come back in the morning and kill a great buck. I got back to camp, and prepared for the morning, thinking nightfall was quickly approaching. Well I didn't have a watch so I didn't know that I had more than enough time to make the hike, kill the buck and be back to camp before sunset. Not until my dad returned did I find out the correct time. I was upset to say the least, at myself. Well no one had hunted it yet so I thought I still had a good chance in the morning I thought. We made it in there nice and early and what do we find? Two hunters and no deer, their wind had blown out the whole area because they came in the easy way from a nearby road. I always carry a timepiece now, lesson learned
If you ever get the feeling that maybe you should put the chains on, do not ignore that thought, stop and put them on. That was my big lesson from last years' hunting season. Luckily it only cost me a couple of hours and my pride, I swear everything was going just fine and then all of a sudden it wasn't. Twenty kilometres off highway, alone, and not another truck track in or out, snow up to the bumper when just a second's inattention leaves me in the ditch up against the rocks. If it had been on the other side of the road I had about 70-80m into the river.
Mine would be feeling sorry for a friend (of my best friend) who had no place to hunt elk. Took him to my favorite spot, and we got our elk....happy days! Almost.... The next season I went up early to scout a bit, and there he was, along with both his brothers and their friends. The following years all their friends brought their friends, and well, you know the rest. The spot sucks now. I hunt elsewhere and I'm pretty closed mouth about it. By the way, the jerk never thanked me.
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."
I would have to say the hardest lesson I learned was do your homework when you draw a tag of a lifetime and don’t rely on someone else to take you to what they think is a great area. The very first time I ever put in for an out of state hunt, I put in for Nevada and drew the best tag possible that allowed me to hunt anywhere in the state when the season opened. When my dad told me to work with his friend who was supposed to know the state well, he laid out where he thought I should go and off we went. I did end up getting my buck but knowing what I know now, there were better options available then the area we picked for the opener in Oct.
Hiked in through some thick brush about 1/2 mile from truck, climbed tree, got settled in, at first light began to check things out and knew something didn't feel right. Left my release on hood of my truck. Climbed down, left stand on try, hiked back and forth 1 mile round trip, climbed back up tree.
Didn't reduce layers and thus sweating profusely and naturally the cold set in.
All wasn't lost as I harvested not one but two does that morning with my bow.
Heli M Lost / Heli M Tactical
Spot Hogg-It 7 Pin / Spot Hogg Hunter 3 or 5 pin
B-Stinger Hunter Extreme Lost / Black
QAD XD Lost / Black
Carbon Express Aramid KV 350 / Blue Streak Select 350
I've probably made every mistake you could possible make when I first started and I'm STILL learning. The biggest mistake I've made, has to be not getting started until I was almost 18 yrs old. Now that I'm 36 and have children, I make every effort to get them in the outdoors and pass down what I've learned. Sometimes we learn together!
Always pay attention to whats going on around you, and patience is key!!!!
Last year I was walking out of a basin after a long morning hunt, so I was tired and hot and trying to get back to the quad, just focused on getting out. I stopped to check and see how far back my dad and grandpa were and hear that dreaded sound... thump, thump ,thump. Only to have a 190-200 inch velvet muley bounding away into the thickest stuff I've seen. After checking tracks it turns out he was bedded in plain view about 35 yards from me.
Another time we spotted a very big buck on the morning drive to our hunting spot so I got off the quad and started a big loop to get in on him. My dad said he'd come pick me up if he busted out. So I watched the buck go into some Quakies as I was closing the distance. Once I got to about 150 yards out, I saw his buddy bust out and a quad start up and drive so I figured he busted out. I take my arrow off and start walking up towards the road and past where the bucks were. I got up to the Quakies look to my right and see a 200"+ muley staring down his nose at me from 35-40 yards just long enough to get that image stuck in my head. I will never forget that image, it was a sight for sure. Turns out some random guy was just driving by up there as well it wasnt my dad on his way down.
Here is my experience from this Muzzleloader season. We had found a pocket with many nice bucks and had hiked into it before light. Just as the sun was coming up we got into a standoff with one of the smaller bucks we had seen many times at 95 yards. They ended up blowing out, but we were on a shelf and they were below us with a small patch of Aspens in between. So we decided to just spread out and huck a few rocks into them. So we each throw several rocks and wait and nothing happens. So I walk 100 yards to go get a better look at a hilltop that we've spotted deer on in the past just as i get over there I look back at my dad and buddy and they were freaking out. So I come back and as soon as I can see off the shelf there stands the 26 inch tall freaky 3x2 we'd been hunting all season 90 yards from where I originally was and 160 from where I was now. No shot and he was out of there.
2012 Bowtech Insanity CPXL
TT Xtreme FC Pro
Custom Black Gold Ascent 4 pin
GT Velocity 300's tipped with 125 Shuttle t's weighing 490 grains!!