25 September 2010
A Week Hunting North America’s Wildest Elk-Guaranteed!
The image of “the hunter” by some is unfortunately tainted through misrepresentation of the few. It’s the classic “one bad apple” label. Therefore, I can’t say enough how honored I was this past week to share our camp with the best of the apples…or better said-"Fair Chase Elk Hunters".
While many who view our world through the computer screen look for photos of the end results, we don’t have many to share this week, only the memories of the hunt itself. No one asked to change the rules, to make it easier. I believe all in camp soon realized that there’s just more to it that no photo will do justice. It’s about getting out there and stopping the noise, clearing the mechanisms. It’s you and the mountain. That’s it.
Were there opportunities? Hearing and seeing many elk each and every day of your hunt, that’s got to count for something, especially when none of the sightings were from the comforts of our modern world. Not taking a questionable shot and placing too much faith in luck-that’s what it’s about. Ever wonder what it feels like to be at full draw with a 1,000 pound wild animal spitting distance away…call me, I’ll pass on some fresh references. So, what does that make our “success rate". I’d say almost perfect, but there’s always something to learn.
Fact is, elk hunting isn’t easy. It has no “pause, re-set, refund, rewind, or slow settings, and it shouldn’t. Guys like me won’t let it happen. Days are long, 4 a.m. comes early, dinner was around 10 pm on early nights and in between that was a whole lot of wild country, steep mountains, North America’s Wildest elk, and yes, pain. There’s no “muligans". It hurts. If it doesn’t, then you’re not hunting-end of story.
After a week like this I can’t help but feel really good. Based on client comments, when an Outfitter hears, “I’ll be back", that tells me they get it and that we did our job. Are there ways to make it “easier"…maybe, but you’ll need to spend a lot of time arguing that one with me. What I’ve learned is, once we start making it easy, we might think it’s okay to change the rules a bit. Not the laws, but the rules, the things you won’t see in the fine print in most hunting regs. These are things called “Ethics". These are the rules that I personally try to live by, try to pass on. The ones that make a man feel good for climbing those hills.
I’ve always tried to surround myself with positive people. Five minutes in the same room with any real fair chase elk hunter is just about all I need compared to what I see on tv. Times are tough. I’ve been hearing that a lot. The world needs a hero. After this week, I’ve already got several to pick from. It was a pleasure being around men who’ve earned it, who know it shouldn’t come easy. There weren’t any whiners. I like it that way. The hero? I’d say I met 4 of em, they just have too much class, integrity and character to realize that they all fit the mold. I say look in the mirror fellas.
Until next time, thanks for reading. As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated. There’s still some good spots for 2011. See You on the Mountain!
Jim “JB” Klyap, Outfitter #7843