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Thread: Important Lessons

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    Default Important Lessons

    As the spring hunting season gets into full swing and I'm reading up on all of your collective successes and failures, as someone new to big game hunting I am left wondering what makes a hunt successful and what makes it a bust. I know that's a huge question and is different from hunt to hunt, and even from animal to animal. But, in an effort to learn as much as I can from my betters, I have to ask the forum: What would you consider the most important lesson you have learned big game hunting?

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    The two lessons I've learned the MOST are: stay dry, and don't rely on cheap/crappy and/or untested gear in the field. Seems like I re-learn those two every year. What I consider the most important lesson I've learned strikes at the heart of why any of us hunt at all: we are predators. We don't choose to be, it's instinctual, part of how we evolved as a species, and to deny those impulses would be unnatural and dishonest, IMO.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanAdventurer View Post
    What would you consider the most important lesson you have learned big game hunting?
    The Bullet is the Weapon. The rest is the delivery, so Placement IS everything.

    The Fun getting there, the food, the emotions, the toil the expense and profits are all variable, but "Hunting" is activly seeking 'Death' ; to use that weapon properly, and all it entails.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    I have learned that the planning and anticipapation of the season are a great part of the hunt. I've learned that who I am with or who isn't with me has a great impact on the enjoyment of the hunt. I also know that although they are expensive a well done mount can take me back to a very specific place and time each time I look at it hanging on the wall. I also know that every single tough decision I have had to make worked its way into an answer while I was in the woods and got my perspective on life/death back into line.

    What does all this have to do with being successful filling your tag? Well I think if you know why you are there(not just to kill an animal), who you want to be there with and what you think about during the long hours of the field you will be far more in tune with whats going on around you. You will enjoy it more and that is my definition of a successful hunt.

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    The most important lessons come from the mistakes I made and still make. Getting lost and finding your way back, Missing a shot and then figuring out why. Making a bad shot and then following up. Buying gear with precious little money only to have it fail. Planning a trip with someone you think you know and then find out their true personality (both good and bad). The best lessons are the ones I learn and re-learn through the eyes of the young (especially my son). They seem to see things a little differently than I do. I want to think I once knew a lot, but it's amazing how much there is still left to learn. In any case, every hunt seems to teach a new lesson.

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    lesson one, success should be measured by you and what you do not compared to everyone else or you'll always be dissappointed. lesson two always bring toilet paper or you'll have to explain to the wife why your missing shirt pockets and socks....

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    It seems like there is a lesson that even at my age I have to "revisit" every few years........

    When in the bush and you are seeing very little game, or even sign for that matter. After being past ideal time in the morning, or getting almost o'dark thirty. It is very easy to let your mind wander and sort of put you in a mentality of "there's nothing around here". This will cause you to let your other senses down to a point where you will miss things. Then when you least expect it, there will be your animal and you won't be ready.

    It seems that invariably during a hunt, weather it be a day hunt or a week, if I've done my homework the hunting Gods seem to offer me at least one opportunity at the game I'm after. It's up to me to capitalize on that opportunity. When going into the bush to hunt.......DO JUST THAT...!!! From days beginning, to darkness finished. ALWAYS keep your senses alert, no matter what your mind is telling you. I have found out over the years that when you "least" expect it is when you may get that "chance" at success. And if you are fortunate to get that opportunity, do EVERYTHING (within reason) to take advantage of it NOW for you "may" not get that chance tomorrow.

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    I have never 'had' to hunt so it has always been something I chose to do (unlike stranger and others on these forums). In my case I think the most important thing is to remember it is about the hunt- the harvest is secondary. I have been on successful hunts that were not so great and unsuccessful hunts (no game) that were great hunts. Be in great shape so you are not sucking wind and enjoy being in nature. Killing is killing, but hunting to me means more.

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    keep a pair of brand new socks in a ziploc for that time when your spirit is flagging and the pack is heavy and everything is wet.

    never leave your camo pack on the tundra for a "final stalk". get one that is comfortable and keep it with.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

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    4mer brings up a very good point! Several years ago I was walking out of the woods not paying much attention but screwing around practicing low bull grunts. About 1/4 mile from the truck I got a response from just off the trail. Honestly I thought it was my cousin messing with me since had said he was going to try to make it out. I was thinking no way would I get such an eager response, especially to my bad calling. I almost just walked right by confident that it was another person but finally decided to poke my head in and see who it was. I slipped off the trail with my rifle still slung and poked my nose through the brush. To my surprise I came eye to eye with a spike fork at about 10 feet! He seemed just as shocked but reacted faster than me. The last thing I saw was a flash of his south end as he vanished into the thick alders. Had I been ready I could have had a legal bull down that I could have driven my truck to. Lesson learned!

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Cotton KILLS!!!!!! That might be a starter. Other lessons would be proper planning (IE; check list) and proper survival gear. Finally no animal is worth risking life or limb.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Spend enough time in the field and you come to recognize that everything is interdependent and all life is a circle. The most important lesson I've learned is respect for not just the animal being hunted, but for everything it took to put that animal there.

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    Member highestview's Avatar
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    Reliable hunting partners, lots of planning, checklists and triple checking of said checklists before you leave.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    Always and I mean always bring enough booze just in case the weather holds you down. And be sure when you get together with your best of friends on only this one hunting trip a year, you dont drink all your booze the first night.

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by highestview View Post
    Reliable hunting partners, lots of planning
    CRUCIAL!!! Reliable partner is the most important... If you have one then the planning is just a by-product.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

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    Some great stuff here guys! Thanks for the input. I know my way around the back country, at least in south-central, and I've definitely learned a couple of these first hand (leaving cotton at home, or that alder leaves make for a less than desirable TP substitute, for instance), but these all seem like valuable insights! I really enjoy reading the philosophies that come out in questions like this. Good luck hunting, and if any others have any lessons they'd like to share I'm all ears!

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