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Old 04-08-2011, 08:09 AM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,153

Originally Posted by Blackelk View Post
I've hunted elk for 25 years been guiding hunters for 22 of those years.

Attitude- I can't count the number of elk taken on the last hour of the last day with friends and clients. Keep your head in the game. Stay positive. So many times I've seen guys get poor attitudes because a hunt isn't going perfect. If you start giving me attitude about finding elk how do you think you next day of hunting is going to be? My most important thing is to get someone an elk. That's my lively hood. That's my passion.
People just don't understand that even outfitters get skunked. If elk hunting was easy then I'd probably have a different number one game animal on my favorite list. If your attitude sucks I can imagine your hunt is going to be miserable. I hunt myself by myself. I want to go where I want to go. If your like me don't bother hiring an outfitter, it will drive you nuts being led around all day.

Good luck to you and keep a positive attitude.
As usual, good points Blackelk.

I thought I would give an example of "bad attitude" from my own experience, from my first elk hunt in 2006. This is an example of what not to do. I was hunting, climbing a ridge, looking for sign of elk. I wasn't really seeing anything, but I was working at it to the limited skills and knowledge I possessed at the time. I persuaded myself to quit for the day about 30 minutes before the end of legal shooting light. Here were the reasons -- bad reasons -- I told to myself that persuaded me to quit early. (1) if I got an elk at that time, then I would be out in the dark, field dresssing my elk, and that would be a little unpleasant. (2) I would have to find my way back to my truck in the dark and that might be difficult. (3) Hey, what are the chances I'm going to see an elk now? not very good. (4) It was Monday and if I left early, I could get back to town and watch Monday Night Football. I could be sitting in a warm restaurant, with tastey food and a cold beer in front of me, comfortable hotel bed 5 minutes away.

#1: So what? Isn't that what I'm there for? Is it a whole lot more unpleasant field dressing an elk in the dark than in the light? It is kind of unpleasant anyway it goes. Also, I had field dressed deer in the dark -- not that big of a deal. I had a head lamp, so there wasn't going to be any special difficulty with doing that.

#2: Nonsense. I was going up a ridge while hunting. If I went down the ridge, I would have to intersect the road my truck was parked on. Thus, I couldn't get lost. Additionally, I had a GPS device which could provide assistance getting back to my truck.

#3: Just because you haven't seen an elk up to the present doesn't mean you won't find one in the next 10 seconds. My experience hunting is that . . . there are no hunted animals, and then suddenly here they are! Perhaps in the next 10 minutes I would have found an open meadows that was a good place to come back in the morning to hunt. Perhaps the meadows would have at that time had elk in them.

#4: You have to be willing to forgo the comforts of civilization -- a warm room with a comfy chair, TV with Monday Night Football on -- to hunt most animals.

I think this is a good example of bad attitude, because all these 4 issues were examples of the wrong kind of thoughts to have if you want to hunt elk (or many other animals as well).

This was my first elk hunt. It happened to be a DIY elk hunt. And further, I was hunting by myself without a partner. I hope I will not make these kind of attitude errors in the future. I made a lot of errors on that first hunt. But I learned from that and identified some of the things that I needed to correct for the next trip.

One comment I will make is that I remember thinking that elk hunting was kind of unaccessible to me. I thought there were too many things I didn't know. I decided, notwithstanding, that I was going to go out and do it not withstanding. I think that was the right decision. In some sense I couldn't learn some stuff -- like this attitude thing -- without going out and falling down. I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned from most of those mistakes.
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