Hunters get a Bad Rap
Hunters tend to get a bad rap by those who view hunting as a cruel and unnecessary sport. They are viewed as cold-blooded killers with no regard for life. These stereotypes couldn't be further from the truth. Hunting isn't all about killing. In fact, many hunters go home empty-handed each fall satisfied with the experience of being in wild places with friends and family. I hunt as much for the experience of being in Gods country and drinking in the crisp mountain air, and vibrant autumn colors than I do when bringing home an ice chest full of clean, lean mountain raised protein.
Punching a Tag is a Small Part of the Overall Experience
Make no mistake, I love to be successful, but punching a tag is a small part of the overall experience. I recently returned from a hunt in the Colorado Rockies. Many nights we awoke to bugling bull elk surrounding our small spike camp.The early mornings were spent watching Bulls round up harems of cows. Later in the morning, we found a band of mule deer bucks feeding below a 12,000 ft peak. We watched mountain goats traverse seemingly impossible rocky ledges with vertical cliff faces, and large scree slides looming below.We watched black bear as they forged on mountain pasture; storing up fat for the long winter ahead. Few things are as spectacular as stargazing above timberline after a hard days hunt, and a freeze-dried dinner. We covered many miles of big dangerous rugged high country on the backs of some well-conditioned mountain ponies. We witnessed some of the most awe-inspiring vistas the west has to offer. My hunt ultimately concluded with an un-punched tag, an empty cooler, and memories to last a lifetime.