I am still fairly new at this hunting thing. I’ve learned a lot but I also have a lot more to learn. One important lesson I have learned however is when it comes to hunting, you gotta do what you gotta do!
What do I mean? Anyone who has spent time hunting will tell you that hunting is a lot of fun…but it can also be a lot or work. Not only do you have all the preparation, travel, hiking, and waiting before the shot, but you then have everything that take place after the shot. A proper harvest can take a lot of time and effort. Often small game, small birds or even something like a turkey or deer can be managed by one person. But when it comes to big game like elk or moose a team effort is almost always required.
When that time comes, it doesn’t matter if you have the best equipment out there. The reality is that you just have to do what you have to do. And sometimes that means some pretty unique and crazy things.
A friend shoot a big bull elk a couple years ago. He hiked way up into the backcountry to find this animal and actually had the good fortune of killing it early afternoon. Because of its size and the distance from their truck however, one of his hunting buddies ended up spending the night on the mountain while he made a couple trips up and down the mountain. While looking back at the situation, he mentioned it was pretty neat packing out down the mountain at 2 am in the moonlight, at the time it was just a lot of work! The realization is that you gotta do what you gotta do.
There are many other stories of hunters showing their perseverance both before and after a kill. From days and days of patiently stalking an animal waiting for the right shot to pulling a dead animal out from the thickest mess you have ever seen, there is no shortage of crazy hunting stories.
Sometimes, hunting takes a bit of creativity as well. A couple years ago, I had the opportunity to go hunting with a friend for whitetail. I had a total of three tags: one for a buck and two doe tags. Overall it was a pretty exciting hunt, but the end result was that in the space of 2 days I had completely tagged out. A buck and doe on the first day and then another doe on the second day.
Well, heading out I was hoping to have some success, but I wasn’t necessarily planning on being so successful. I had driven my Toyota Camry to meet up with my friend and I had all my equipment and camping gear with me. Now suddenly I had all that equipment PLUS three whitetail deer to fit in somewhere.
Well, you gotta do what you gotta do!
We had the advantage of having a garage where we could skin and quarter up the deer pretty good. I also was thankful that the two does I had taken were a bit on the small side. But it was still a fair amount of meat to get home.
I must admit that strapping the deer to the top of the car did cross my mind…..but not for long! I had to come up with a plan to get all three home.
With some careful planning and arranging, we were finally able to stuff all three deer into the trunk of my Camry! I could just imagine a police officer pulling me over and asking to see what was in the trunk. But we did what we had to do and it worked.
I know that opportunities for creativity and perseverance will always come as I continue to hunt. It is just part of hunting and can create some great memories. And I hope this year, and in the years to come, I can continue to get it done…..whatever comes my way!