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What makes for a successful hunt?

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What makes for a successful hunt?

Old 06-16-2005, 11:56 AM
  #1  
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Default What makes for a successful hunt?

I was just wondering what everybody considers a succesful hunt.

Last fall I went on a Trophy elk/comdohunt to British Columbia. I waslucky enough tobag a 6x6 bull. My hunting partner came home empty handed. Thoughwe pulleda succesfull stalk on a black bear for him he didn't harvest the animal because it was a sow with a cub. My friend has raved about how great a hunt it was. I admire his attitude immensely.

We spent a week in some of the most breathtaking country I've ever been previlged to see. We visited Glacier National park on our way to hunt. All in all it was truely a memory packed two weeks to say the least. My point is, if I hadn't harvest an elk would this trip have been a success? I think so simply because we came home with some outstanding memories. So how much emphasis do you put on the actual harvesting of your quarry? The Elk on my wall is great but when I look at it I don't think about the stalk or the shot nearly as much as I do the times I had with a good friend.
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:28 PM
  #2  
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Default RE: What makes for a successful hunt?

of course i like to get my animal, but that has little to do if its a successful hunt or not. i want to experience the whole thing. if im traveling, i like to see the way of life in the area if possible. i like to experience the animals im hunting, not like in a "theres one, shoot it" setting, but where i get to spend some time with the animals. if i dont see anything or any sign i have trouble calling it a success. and yes, i like to fill tags. any or all of this makes a hunt successful.

a good friend of mine bases success on 3 things, and i agree.
1) desire to see either the animal or plenty of sign for whatever is being hunted.
2) if a guided or swap hunt, the "host" making an all out, honest effort for the hunter.
3) see at least one mature or trophy sized animal, or there recent sign enough to know they are there, even if not harvested or even nearly close enough to shoot.

works for me too.
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:45 PM
  #3  
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Default RE: What makes for a successful hunt?

This is absolutely a matter for each hunter to determine for themselves. Let me speak for myself. I am relatively new to big game hunting. I've hunted three deer seasons and one pronghorn antelope season. I think I would be disappointed if I went hunting and did not take an animal. On the other hand, I think after I have hunted longer that bagging an animal will be less important and the hunting process alone would be satisfaction enough. This is not to say I don't enjoy all aspects of the hunt while I am hunting and before I have bagged my animal, I just think I would be disappointed to go home empty handed.

I believe that the greatest pleasures and rewards in hunting for meare inthe activity of hunting itself. Being out an hour or hour and half before sunrise. Sitting in the calm woods with a fine rifle in my hands. The feeling of suspense waiting for the hunt to play out according to its peculiar destiny. The pleasure of doing things right -- finding my way to my choosen ambush spot in the dark, of concealing myself in a ground blind, controlling my motions and my sounds. Listening to the owls before day light. Eating a lunch in the woods. Seeing and hearing wildlife. All of this is what I love most about hunting, but alas I fear I am not mature enough of a hunter to be satisfied with this alone. At some point I imagine I will be.

In my particular case I am not a trophy hunter. I will readily take a doe and will not go out of my way to try to bag a trophy buck/bull. Partly this is because I don't need any extra challenge to enjoy hunting (granted, bagging a bragging sized buck increases the challenge level) and partly it is because chasing big racks involves some serious money for more expensive tags and for guides. In some cases, particularly pronghorns, outfitters have found the places where the big bucks hang out and have leased exclusive hunting rights for their clients. I don't have the money to play that game. Additionally, getting big horns may involve chasing limited entry tags and not hunting every year. I would rather hunt deer or cow elk than hunt limited entry tags. My home is not big enough to accommodate a bull elk head on the wall -- not without looking pretty damn silly! I like cooking and eating game, and does/cows probably generally taste better and more tender than bucks/bulls. Just my preferences. I don't disparage others who do trophy hunt.
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Old 06-16-2005, 02:31 PM
  #4  
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Default RE: What makes for a successful hunt?

As Deep Purple once sang "it's not the kill,it's the thrill of the chase"A sucsessful hunt is one that I have an enjoyable time in pursuit,the taking of game is icing on the cake.Some of my most enjoyable turkey hunts have been one's that I didn't out smart Mr. Tom!
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Old 06-16-2005, 07:53 PM
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Default RE: What makes for a successful hunt?

These are things we don't think about often enough!The responses so far are great!I am always very dissapointed when a season ends or a trip ends and I havn't had the level of success I would have liked.Success for me is more a matter of effort,if I have given a season my all or a trip my all then I am satisfied.I feel so priveleged to partake in the beauty of the natural world and the hunt that I have such a sense of gratitude to be out there going after it, all of my senses as keen as they ever are.Man I never feel more alive as when I am hunting!No I don't have to kill something to have my hunt be a success,I certainly work toward that end,but the hunt itself is more than enough!We all know that we witness things and have levels of awe and excitement that people that don't do what we do never have the privelege to experience.
Of course another big consideration is the sharing of the time with friends and family in those settings.I can visualize so clearly hunting experiences I have had with close friends where we celebrated one anothers success or consoled one another when we didn't have the out come that we would have wanted.
I guess they are all successful,some are just a little sweeter than others!
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Old 06-16-2005, 08:59 PM
  #6  
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Default RE: What makes for a successful hunt?

My most successful hunts are those that I can give a newbie an exciting experience. I get the feeling of the first kill through others. My most memorable hunt, was taking my 3 year old out squirrel hunting. She would not let me touch the squirrel we shot. That little girl carried that squirrel everywhere. I would take her fishing too. I would have the diaper bag over one sholder, and the creel over the other. I like getting back to my roots of hunting. My fathers health is not good enough to get out anymore. This was the man that tought me everything I needed to further my skills. I like to go visit with him and go through the old albums. These memory hunts to me are the most successful. They make me realize how I became the hunter that I am today. Often, lifes trails take us in various directions and it is times like these that help us find the path again when we stray too far.
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Old 06-16-2005, 11:36 PM
  #7  
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Default RE: What makes for a successful hunt?

Chad (Elkcrazy8)well said!
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Old 06-17-2005, 05:36 AM
  #8  
 
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Default RE: What makes for a successful hunt?

I hunt many days of the year and have broken inmany youngsters including my 18 year old and my 5 year old to squirrel hunting and Deer hunting I have let my best friend shoot my Canvasback for the day because the one he shot wasn't prime and he had never taken one I have broken ice for hours to get to my blind all of this because I love all aspects of hunting and not necessarily the taking of the game. But when I have to pay alot of money travel and plan I really am disapointed if I am not successful partly because I know that I may never get to hunt that animal again. How many of us that go on guided hunts would pay the money if we knew we would be unsuccessful?
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:44 AM
  #9  
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Default RE: What makes for a successful hunt?

Great responses all. I agree that it is totally a personal experience. What makes for a trip a success varies with each participant. I never meant to insinuate that there is no remorse in unfilled tags. I'm sure my friend had remorse in not filling a single tag on our high priced trophy hunt. Yet, he still concidered it a success. Two seasons ago we went on a hunt to Montana. I killed a nice Muley while my partners (3)all killed elk. I was disappointed that my elk tag was unfilled. It wasn't until a month or so later that I could get past the disappointment to realize how successfull and lucky we had been. I appreciate everyones honesty, and hope that everyone takes my post in the manner in which they where intended; just a honest sharing of thoughts with no judgement.
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:51 AM
  #10  
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Default RE: What makes for a successful hunt?

I have had hunts where I didn't take a critter and many trips where I did. If the trip was enjoyed by one and all then it was a successful hunt. If you have to kill something to have a successful hunt then you are a killer, not a hunter. I often enjoy snapping a picture of a trophy animal much more than killing it. I quess as I get older, all life is more dear to me. Snap and release.
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