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Thread: Journaling your hunts

  1. #1
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Journaling your hunts

    I know a lot of you folks journal your hunts in one fashion or another (either written or recorded). So.... what kind of things are important enough to you to include in your journals? Why do you write them down?

    Just curious...

    -Mike
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    For years I kept ajournal about weather, what we caught, how much fish there were, what kind, comments on fur, equipment, clothing and my plans for the immmediate future.
    Took lots of pictures, and with the kids homeschooling, they kept daily event journals.

    Lost all the writing and most of the picts this last year, to water damage.Just posts on theinternet now...~LOL!!~
    I just need another WORKING camera,(Bought a bum one last week) and I'll keep on with my photos....(X-Mas!)

  3. #3
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    I keep both a hunting and fishing journal that includes all the vital stats, weather, numbers of fish and game, location etc. It's been useful for correlating "best times" to go on hunts and fishing trips but most of what I found after all my data gathering was done is common seance. What has been really cool is reading the more personal stuff, my thoughts and feelings about the hunt. Often important life events will end up in them. I recently was going through some of my older journals and was amazed at how my life has changed and how obvious it was my first marriage wasn't going to make it. Got a huge chuckle out of some of the wildlife poetry I wrote back in my college days to.

    PS Strangerinastrangeland one of my favorite books! Welcome.
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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    I keep a log of all our adventures. Mainly to record the location, results, weather, who was there w/me, fuel burned, and etc...
    As time passes and my memory fades it's handy to look up these stats. They come in handy when planning trips in the future.
    BK

  5. #5
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    Default These are the times

    I never had a need or desire to journal hunts in the past till I moved to Alaska . Hunting Wht.tails out the back door was exciting but writting about it never came to mind . I have been lucky enough to participate in many father and sons hunts . Writting journals helps with the homework when your planning a big hunt in Alaska . It's a tool you can revert back to . Because my hunts are sort of personal ( father and son ) I do it for memorable reasons . I not only look back at gear and food listings but also the moment we all shared . The places we explored and the fun we shared . And the success we shared together . Thats important to me .

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    Member markopolo50's Avatar
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    Michael, on my hunts I tell the story, giving details to make a reader feel like he is looking over my shoulder; or that is my purpose. I read my own stories and have gotten a little more "wordy" over the years. Many stories I explain my emotions I feel at the moment. --- Just my view from here, thanks. Mark

  7. #7
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Sorry

    that I didn't keep a written record earlier. I started keeping written journals of my hunting/fishing trips in 1989 on my first trip to Idaho. It was my first trip out of my home state.

    Sometimes I'm too tired (or wet or something) to do the writing I should. For a while I filmed a lot on my camcorder but lately I've used a "point & shoot" digital camera. Occasionally on or the other doesn't work because of dust or wet but most of the time they work fine (zip loc bags are great for many reasons).

    I try to keep enough of a record of what happened (fish caught, animals missed (or shot), scenery, weather, etc) that I can re-read the story and remember what happened and how I felt.

    Most journals are short so in my "spare" time, I try to expand them and I keep them in a folder on my computer - mostly for personal use.

    Seems I'm not much different from all the others.

  8. #8
    Member Waldo2382's Avatar
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    Yeah, hunting journal...not a hunting diary, and definately no pictures of unicorns on the cover.

    My unicorn diary...err...plain, manly, hunting journal contains darn near everything from the attitude (which I think plays a big part in hunting and fishing), who I was with, Lat/Long or range and bearings to prominent landmarks, miles traveled and direction, weather, moon phase, equipment success/failures, time of day of events, patterns and attitude of game (weary/agressive,) and a bunch of coulda, shoulda, wouldas.

    I am very protective of it and refer to it often just to be sure I make the same mistakes again.

    Well, time to go work out and watch a football game and go harvest some dinner from the woods with my bare hands and other manly things.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    I never have. often after many seasons i wished i had. the closest to a journal i get is a log in the main tent at the claim. more for visitors to read while i am gone., and you would be surprised how many do sign it. in one sense it leaves me a bit of trepidation when i see new names on the book and tracks in the yard... but so far the system has only proven my belief in people and their inherent goodness



    NOW if i could just get those pesky bears to sign in rather then eating everything in site. but then i guess they do in their own way as well
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  10. #10
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    Mike...good question..I keep what I would call notes for every hunting & fishing trip except for local deer-preditor hunts and fishing trips. At my age of 63 I now wish I would have recorded these hunts/trips also. I record date, temp, weather conditions, game seen including game not being hunted, fish species caught, game harvested, the highlights of that day's hunt/fishing if any and the cost of the trip. As an example I use the info gathered over several years of trip's to decide the best dates for the big game/fish species I want to target on this trip taking into account this year's weather, early spring, late fall etc. If I harvested an animal or fish that I have mounted I attach a copy of the typed notes to the back of the mount or include them with the photo's in the picture album. It's amazing how much you can re-live a hunt or fishing trip taken 20 years ago by reading your notes. Hopefull my great-great grandchildren will enjoy reading these notes sometime also.

  11. #11
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    Default Stories

    I use a small rite-in-the-rain notebook. I write down stories about the hunt, to include hiking, sights seen, what I was thinking, discussions with my hunting partner, animals seen, animals caught, etc.

    When I get back I take these notes and pictures that I took and put it all together on the computer to share with a few friends, my wife, family in the states, etc.

    I don't really like going back to hunt in the same place, so I'm not too concerned with keeping notes for the next trip. I prefer to use hunting as an excuse to see more of the state. So far, I have been in every major area of the state through this policy. The Aleutians, Seward Penninsula, Northwest AK, North Slope, Interior, South Central, PWS, SE. I think this makes it more fun.

    BTW, good thread Mike!

  12. #12
    Member ripnlip's Avatar
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    Default journals

    Great thread Mike...I wasnt quite sure how many other guys did this. Some people laugh at me for keeping one and then I hear of some old-timers saying that they "used" to keep one and just quit over time...I would love to read their lifetime of entries.

    I like to read back and remember all the days spent in the field with family and friends (I dont seem to think about it much til I start reading the entries).

    Fishing: Location, people along, structure, time spent, date, cloud cover, temps (water and air), depth/clarity, wind, rigs/lures used, bait type, equip.used(or needed for next trip)-this includes boats/canoe/float tube etc, ideas for future trips, general wildlife observations, and catch info.

    Hunting: Location, people along, time spent, date, cloud cover, temp, wind, equip.used (or needed for next trip), Technique: pushing brush/spot and stalk/incidental, ideas for future trips, kills/misses, weapons used, general wildlife observations.

  13. #13

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    I log everything about the trip from food, fuel, gear,the weight of it all, transportation used, flt time, Gps coordinates, & so on. I make sure to write in great detail what happened that day, how long it took me to cover from point A to point B. I make notes when I get back home of what I did use & what I didn't. I write down things I wish I had, for next time.

    I was reading one log on the annual deer trip to ADQ & noticed the price doubled in less than 4 years. So that information I was not happy to have saved.

    Basically to remember details, make the next trip less painful, & more successful.

  14. #14
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    We used to write down the days events on the log cabin walls that we stopped at while floating down the river, they are still there to this day as far as I know. There were 4 trapper cabins about about 12 miles apart, I think one was burnt in a fire a couple years ago, but the other 3 are still standing. Its kinda interested to read what others wrote. Heck take a sharppe and write it on the inside of your tent from year to year so every year you set the tent up, you can read of your last adventure.

  15. #15

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    I started keepin track when the state came up with the Tier I & II selection process. Filling out the forms is bad, when all the trips start to blend in, for my memory. Even after having written it down, I find myself questioning my notes. "Has it really been that long, since we went there"? Stuff like that, so a written record helps with the permit applications.
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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Memory

    I do it and it's seems to be more for memory problems but my friends and family enjoy them. The one thing that I would recommend to everyone is if they do keep journals that they get the military "All weather field book". The no. 980 is 4 1/2"X7". I have found that it's the perfect size and I also get the all weather pens that go with them.

  17. #17
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    On the "bigger" hunts, each evening I write down all that I can remember that happened during the day. Number of animals spotted, things we did, things that happended, observations about the hunt, weather, just about everything. When I get home I put it on the computer with few edits. ITs great to reread from hunts 5 or 10 years ago.

  18. #18
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    If I have the time, I put everything. I know my hunt partner thought I was crazy but it I like looking back at it every once in a while. Check below.

  19. #19

    Default Video Journaling

    You know what's even more addicting than writing in a journal, taking the video camera and doing a video journal of the hunt. It is extremely addicting and you have so much you can do with the footage. Unfortunately, if you get the bug, you will end up spending quite a bit of money on all the gear, yet there's a huge rush when you get great footage and kills on video. I just started really getting into it last year, and this year I went out and bought several grand worth of equipment, Canon XH-A1, and some other gear.

    Anyone else out there getting some good footage on video?
    Marc Theiler

  20. #20
    Member Fuse's Avatar
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    Default Keep the memories

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    I know a lot of you folks journal your hunts in one fashion or another (either written or recorded). So.... what kind of things are important enough to you to include in your journals? Why do you write them down?

    Just curious...

    -Mike

    Great thread Mike.
    I keep a small spiral bound journal in a zip lock bag that goes with me on every trip. I put everything in it. It started as my notebook when I went to some classes and lectures when I first got interested in hunting (whitetail habitat, deer habits, judging bears, hunting dall sheep, bear baiting, etc). It has evolved with every trip as I write down not only the stats for the day but my thoughts, feelings, etc. The best part is that every trip I learn something new and I write it down. It's divided by species to make it easier to find stuff.

    I keep it for several reasons. One of them is that my Grandfather was the big hunter in my family. He passed away before I ever got to hunt with him, and all of his knowledge and experience from 70+ years of hunting left with him. That is something my family will never get back, and I only have the memories of the stories that he told me to pass on to my kids. They are another reason. I want to pass on my experiences to them. Being military, I know I won't live in AK for much longer, and being able to tell them about different animals in different parts of the country is an important part of the hunting tradition that I want to pass on to them. Finally, I like to read it every so often to re-live the trips. It can be fun to see how shaky I was when I wrote in the evening from either fatigue, or adrenaline after an exciting encounter.

    Fuse

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