I wish someone had sat me down before I started my personal development as a backcountry hunter to introduce me to some of the topics discussed during the Summit - so that’s the purpose of this article. I want to focus on what it takes to become a DIY backcountry hunter - with an emphasis on planning your first DIY western hunt.
We knew we had a slim chance of seeing that bear again. Nick had caught a glimpse of him at more than 800 yards on the adjacent side of the basin in a patch of young pines just below the snow line. Like most of the bears we’d seen on this trip, he was moving quickly across an opening in the trees. Unless you had your eyes glued to your binoculars, you’d never catch more than a glimpse as they passed.
I don’t think that I can truly say that I have ever felt bored in my entire life. Whenever I have been presented with any amount of free time, I have always filled it with something else on my to-do list. For as long as I can remember, I have dedicated this free time to working towards goals, staying ahead, or working on improving myself in one way or another. Once a major endeavor is completed, I have always been onto the next.
Cooking high-quality wild game meals is more involved than simply throwing a piece of meat on the grill. Unless you have a prime cut like a backstrap or tenderloin, or you just enjoy eating dry, gamey meat, then it’s going to require a little more TLC to make a noteworthy meal. But let’s face it, not all the wild game meat in your freezer are prime cuts.
Traditional hunting is not something that most people can just jump in to. Many of those who hunt today, likely grew up in a hunting family or had a mentor who they have followed such as a father, grandfather, uncle, or family friend. With the vast majority of the hunting culture being lost with urban civilization, knowing where to start in your quest to learn more about this lifestyle can be difficult.
In my near 3 decades of hunting and backcountry experiences, I've hit a point in life where I actually prefer to hunt alone. The solitude I enjoy in the wild creates an intense appreciation for all things nature offers. Loneliness gives way to clarity, which allows me to fully appreciate and understand the meaning of why I'm there. It’s also true that I’m a born introvert. I feel energized by time alone with just my thoughts. NIn my near 3 decades of hunting and backcountry experiences, I've hit a point in life where I actually prefer to hunt alone. The solitude I enjoy in the wild creates an intense appreciation for all things nature offers. Loneliness gives way to clarity, which allows me to fully appreciate and understand the meaning of why I'm there. It’s also true that I’m a born introvert. I feel energized by time alone with just my thoughts. No outside voices or influence, other than the sometimes deafening sound of creeks, storms or wildlife.o outside voices or influence, other than the sometimes deafening sound of creeks, storms or wildlife.
If you are a male hunter, or are in a relationship with one, it’s obvious that biochemistry takes control over one’s mind and body when it’s time to go into the backcountry. For many thousands of years, man was raised to be part of nature and it’s cycles, and with the changes of the seasons, the male’s hormonal system adapted to the ways of living that demanded fitness, focus, and fortitude.
This is a long blog. Really, it’s a story. One that has taken me nearly 20 years to write. If you don’t have a relationship in your life, then this story may not interest you, but if you love, are, or know anyone who has a passion greater than most, you may get something from it. It wasn’t an easy story to live or write about. It’s not easy to share our flaws, our secrets, our fears.