Is today the day?
5am came early. Nervous excitement kept me up late the night before and I woke up like a kid at Christmas.
I’d laid out my gear next to the large hiking backpack to make sure nothing got left behind.
Game bags, rags and gloves? Check.
Extra contact solut…
Baby, do you want me to make you breakfast before you go?
My train of thought was suddenly derailed by my pregnant wife who poked her head above the blankets.
I told her no, that I had jerky and trail mix.
But… blessed be, I quickly reconsidered and took her up on the offer for a hot breakfast.
You see, it was Friday and I was just going scouting for a few hours before work. I’d been studying local topographical maps, maps from the wildlife office, talking with local hunters, and through all this I had narrowed down a potential elk honeyhole.
This area included two ridgelines (at 8,500ft elevation) divided by a running creek (lower, at 7,500ft), with nearby mountain peaks (9,500ft). From what I’d read and heard, it had the food, cover and water that elk loved. And better still, the trailhead was just a 45 minute drive from home. This, my friend, is what you call an elk honeyhole.
Breakfast burritos in hand, I kissed the wife goodbye and walked out into the crisp, dark, early morning air.
Whether you’re building a space station or a sandwich, it all starts in your mind.
It begins with visualizing what you’re going to do. And then you must do it.
With a full belly and a steel thermos full of fresh coffee, I coasted down the highway at a smooth 60 miles an hour. Betty, the ol’ tried and true Chevy truck hummed along as I scanned the roadside for deer. They love these cool mornings before dawn and seem drawn to headlights.
I used this time on the road to mentally prepare for the day ahead. I visualized coming home and sharing the great news with the wife: that I bagged my first elk.
I also mentally ran through some safety tips and regulations…
…always know and identify exactly what you’re looking at before taking aim with your gun. Make sure the bull has at least 4 antler-points on one side, to qualify a legal kill. Keep the safety on and your finger off the trigger until you’re fully ready to fire. Breathe in deeply, slowly exhale halfway, then hold your breath and shoot.
Would today be the day I actually get to put this advice to use?
Scouting for elk
As dawn crept over the Rockies, I’d finally reached the turnoff for the trail. Dust flew up behind the old Chevy as it rallied and rattled down the bumpy, unpaved road.
Primitive country roads excite me – how about you?
You can feel the adventure coming when you hit the dirt road. No more stoplights. Heck, in many places (like where I was going) you have to have a map or know your way by heart because there aren’t even road signs.
Less people, less buildings and traffic, more wildlife, more nature, more adventure!
(That reminds me of 5 reasons why I left the big city and moved to the country.)
The road curved and twisted, gaining elevation in a cork-screw way and I finally made it to the top of the ridgeline.
The ridgeline overlooks a valley, and straight across you see the other ridgelines. In between you have meadows, patches of nasty scrub oaks, several creeks flowing with water, and several veins of aspen trees along the waterways. From here you can sight elk and make your plan of attack.
I saw a group of hunters making their way towards the right channel, so I took the left. No sense in standing on top of one another, shooting at the same elk.
Now when you’re scouting for elk, there are a few things you want to look for:
- old elk sign (poop)
- new elk sign
- water sources (streams, ponds, creeks)
- food sources (Aspen saplings, meadows)
- cover to hide in
I’d gone hunting a few days earlier, in another area, and didn’t see much of any elk sign. But today was the exact opposite. Within 100 yards of the road, I came across elk sign. A good sign, indeed.
Boy, you’d be surprised how excited you’d get to see poop.
Journeying between the ridgelines
With the battle-tested 1909 Argentine Mauser slung across my back, I worked in and out of scrub oak thickets on my way down the hillside.
The group of hunters I saw at the beginning had worked down the line they started on.
Cutting out 45 degrees from them, I’d put some good distance between us. It also meant they may spook up elk and send them running in my direction.
Eventually, my ears told me I was getting close to water. The creek runs through a vein of aspen trees and is a prime candidate for elk.
As I slowly weaved my way closer to the creek, I pulled the Mauser off my back and into the “ready” carry. Every so many steps I’d stop and wait for a moment. This lets you hear or see any elk that get spooked, stand up and take off, revealing their position.
Here I found the creek. It was flowing strong after the fall rains… but it was dry on elk.
At this point, I hadn’t even seen any elk at all. That was a little discouraging. The elk sign however, gave me hope.
I saw old and new sign in the same trail. Odds are this is a regular path for their feeding and drinking.
By this point I was at least an hour from the truck and only had about 20 ounces of water left. I foolishly left the rest in the truck thinking “I’m just going to go scout a little.” Sweat began to soak through my clothes and even though I could trek on, my limited water was a concern.
Today was a work day, on top of it. The plan was to scout elk for a couple hours in the early morning and then get to work after.
Part of me wanted to turn back now, so I could get to work at a decent time. After all, I still had the following 2 days to come back and fill my tag.
Another part of me, more stubborn and eager, wanted to go scout “just a little further.”
I also considered that the next two days are Saturday and Sunday. Although I had two more days to hunt, being the weekend there will be many more hunters and finding elk will be even harder.
Well, the stubborn side won and onward I went.
Riding the game trail, “just a little further”
I’d been following the elk sign and found myself on a narrow game trail. That’s a slender path through the trees and bushes where elk or deer traveled in heavy numbers. This game trail wove through thickets of scrub oaks, climbing towards the ridgeline. To either side of the trail, I found a steep drop-off onto dry washes and small meadows.
The path was getting tougher the higher I went. Now, my backpack and the slung rifle were getting snagged on scrub oak branches. And my forearms were cut and scraped and burned from the salty sweat.
My lungs felt worked but good. The legs were burning a bit.
But on and upwards I trekked, carefully watching the meadows below and beside me for movement.
Sweating and huffing, the ridgeline got closer and closer. I ducked into a thick patch of trees and saw what, at first, seemed to be a makeshift den made out of old sticks and branches.
At this elevation and distance from the road, the likelihood of running into bears is greatly increased. I firmly grabbed the Mauser and wove between the trees, hoping for elk but preparing for bear.
Nothing. Not a damn thing in sight!
This is getting ridiculous. It’s time to go home. How much water do you even have left? It’s a hundred stories down and a hundred and fifty back up to the truck. What the hell are you doing out here?
Discouragement was beginning to weigh heavily on me. I’d been rewarded with a beautiful view and great workout, but no elk.
And then suddenly, like a lightning bolt to the butt, something immediately caught my attention.
I heard rustling off to my right. And whatever I heard, it was BIG and moving quick. This beast sent rocks tumbling down the hillside and snapped branches as it charged at me.
Oh no – had I stumbled on a bear den?
To my right, the patch of trees opened onto a dry wash that steeply dropped downwards. The huge animal was coming from the patch of trees on the other side of that dry wash.
Gripping the Mauser tightly, I edged out to get a better view and finally saw what was coming at me.
Through an opening in the trees, I saw the tail end of an elk as it charged in my direction on the game trail just below me. Someone spooked this elk good! I couldn’t tell though if it was a male or female because the trees blocked the view.
Pressing my back against the wall of the dry wash, the elk crossed the trail and stopped in its tracks when it saw me.
I could hardly believe my eyes. The elk couldn’t have been more than 30 yards away and it stood broadside to me, trying to figure out what I was.
As the great beast stared at me, there was just enough time to identify it as a bull with 4 antler points and a long brow tine. That means a legal kill.
Taking a deep breath, I took aim on his vital organ zone, set the old steel safety to “fire,” slowly exhaled half-way and then paused and squeezed the trigger. The bolt action hammered down and let out a loud bang that echoed through the valley.
I normally wear ear plugs while sighting in the rifle and shooting but my adrenaline was pumping so strongly that the old Mauser sounded like a soft puff in my ear.
The elk was hit, stunned and paused.
Immediately working the smooth action, I reloaded and took aim again, firing a second shot into the vitals.
He stumbled up and out of the dry wash and into the trees. As cautiously and quietly as I could, I followed him.
My goal was to keep eyes on him without startling him into a full sprint. Elk are large, strong, powerful, determined animals. They can lose function of half their heart or lungs from a gunshot wound and still run for miles. And then you have to track them for miles.
And the more adrenaline pumped through the elk before death, the worse the meat will be.
Thankfully, he hadn’t gone far before stopping again. I sat down quietly in the trees, about 20 yards from the great big beast, and watched and waited.
Go to sleep, big guy.
As I waited and watched the elk, time allowed me to process everything that just happened.
My first elk! I did it!
Was I excited? Proud? You bet.
But my pride and joy was immediately met with an equal amount of killer’s remorse.
I’d ended a life solely for my benefit. It took me a moment to regain my composure and then I began to give thanks to the elk for his sacrifice.
My philosophy is: eat the meat or don’t kill
To each their own and I’m not here to lecture anyone. But my intent with hunting elk is to feed my family and build a better connection with the food that sustains us. I am not a fan of pure trophy hunting.
This mentality helped smooth out the feeling of killer’s remorse. And in a way, perhaps on a subconscious level, the feeling of killer’s remorse is part of why I went hunting in the first place.
Kids in the big city often grow up without ever seeing where and from what their food comes from. They only know the cheeseburger that’s handed to them through the drive thru – never the living, breathing animal it came from.
You are ending a life to sustain your own and that should be taken seriously.
I will also tell you that hunting to feed your family is a special experience and builds a strong connection to your food. I recommend it.
Back to the hunt: the real work begins after you shoot and kill
There’s an old saying that “the real work begins after you kill, not before.”
I’d already hiked several miles with great elevation changes to get where I was. A rough estimate would be about 1,000 ft down to the creek and then 1,500 ft up to where I was near the ridgeline.
In other words, that’s 100 stories (flights of stairs) down and then 150 stories back up, over the course of several miles.
That’s a workout by itself, but now I have to consider how the hell I am going to get several hundred pounds of elk meat all the way back. And it’s for reasons like this that they say, “the real work begins after your kill.”
The bull had finally passed and so I made my approach.
Oh, did I tell you that I’d never field dressed an animal before? Not even a rabbit or chicken… and here I was, all alone standing in front of this great big elk.
To prepare for this, I studied YouTube videos on “gutless field dressing” (video embedded at bottom of post) and I at least had a plan of attack.
So with a deep breath I unpacked my knives, rags, gloves and game bags.
Here we go!
Within a few minutes I realized my knives weren’t up to task. I’d brought an old Buck knife and my trusty pocket knife – the type with a serrated bottom edge that transitions to a blade towards the tip.
The coarse hairs on the elk hide jammed up the teeth on the Buck saw knife, making it as useless as a butterknife. And the tip of my pocket knife struggled to pierce the hide.
A flurry of curse words came out while working into the hide with those knives. Somehow I managed to slice into it and could finally begin my cutting.
I started with a rear quarter. The bull had fallen on his side, on a slightly sloping hillside, head down. Luckily I’d brought some rope and was able to fasten it around his leg and a tree, holding it up. This helped to cut down on the energy it was taking to get into him.
Cutting into the hip joint, as shown in the videos, let the rear quarter begin to fall away from the body.
But I was still wrestling with dull knives. More curse words.
Eventually I got through, cut the tendon in the ball joint hip and separated my first quarter. Into the game bag it went.
After I caught my breath, I went in through the back to remove the backstrap. These are primo steak cuts. Feel it running up and down next to the spine, cut back the hide and carve it out.
I ate a small chunk of the raw backstrap for a vitality boost; it was still warm. A new experience for me but it tasted better than I thought it would. (Much better than eating the raw heart or liver, as is tradition!)
Next, from the opening created after cutting out the backstrap, you can get to the filet cuts. Push in on the guts near the bottom ribs. Take a peek and you’ll see the tenderloin “fish” tucked right in there. Carve that badboy out.
I packed up the primo meats into their own game bag and took a well deserved break.
My water was running very low. I’d left most of it in my truck and just took a small bottle of water for the scout.
(Valuable life lesson: prepare to be miles away from your truck/camp for hours. Even overnight, in case of a bad accident for example.)
It was now after 1 o’clock in the afternoon and I had a tough decision to make. My dehydration clouded my judgement. Thirst was becoming a distraction, and the harder I worked with my dull knives, the thirstier I got.
Eventually I had to call it quits and stop working. with two rear quarters, I began my trip down.
I quickly realized there was no way I was going to make it to the truck without drinking some water.
Racing for water
Thirst can be an incredible distraction. And when you’re extremely thirsty, it can make you panic.
Each of the rear quarters I was lugging down weighed 40-60 lbs. Both were too big to put in my backpack. In my rush for water, I began lugging them down the hard way; barely doing better than dragging them.
Another lesson learned the hard way.
This cost me even more energy that I didn’t have to spare. Exhaustion and thirst were beginning to weigh heavily on me. I was so thirsty (and maybe a little delirious) that I considered drinking from a small collection of standing water on top of a rock. Don’t ever do that, by the way. You may quench your thirst only to die of dysentery.
I decided to stash one of the quarters in the shade. And with a heavy sigh, I shouldered the other rear quarter and pushed on into the thickets of scrub oaks, slicing my forearms and hands even more.
The salty sweat burned the hundreds of cuts on my arms. It was a sobering pain that reminded me I hadn’t passed out from dehydration yet.
And then finally, I heard it.
You might not imagine that a creek can sound heavenly. Until you’ve been dying of thirst, that is.
I immediately dropped the quarter bag and charged through the scrub oaks. Someone could have offered me a million dollars to stop, but I’d had pushed them out of the way to get to that creek!
Sliding down the steep bank to the creek, salvation was finally in sight.
Cold, fresh, rocky mountain spring water. Boy was that refreshing!
Sprawled out next to the creek, I slowly but surely re-hydrated and regained my composure. This was also the first time today I was able to eat some food. I didn’t want to earlier, because I was already so thirsty.
Twenty minutes of rocky mountain water, jerky and trail mix and I was a new man. Here we go!
By the way, another lesson is to carry some sort of water filtration device with you. You need to be able to cleanse water from a creek, stream or river. Drinking it unfiltered can give you the bubbleguts due to bacteria, parasites and other pathogens. I did not have a water filtration device.
Well, I was so thirsty that I wouldn’t have made it home if I didn’t drink. I made my choice.
Fortunately, it was relatively clean water from higher elevation. And the stream had good flow from a source at over 9,000 ft. However, I later drank lots of apple cider vinegar (ACV) and an anti-parasite herbal formula. By the way, ACV can even help prevent food poisoning if drank soon enough after eating tainted food.
Where the hell did I leave that meat?
Now that I could function again, it was time to get my meat and get moving.
But where the hell did I leave the meat? In my dehydrated frenzy, I dropped the meat in a patch of scrub oaks that looks exactly like every other damn patch of scrub oaks.
Taking a cue from dogs and wolves, I began scouting in concentric circles. It took about 15 minutes but I found it.
Fighting to get home
The creek that gave me salvation was the halfway point home. Now I had to fight my way back up another 1,000 feet (100 flights of stairs), through scrub oaks, while loaded down with elk meat and gear.
And at this point I couldn’t tell whether the elk hide stunk more, or me. I was worn down from top to bottom, covered in blood, dirt and sweat. I’d trade the world for a sandwich, ice tea and hammock.
Back to reality…
The afternoon had passed. Gazing up to the sky, I could see that evening was coming and that meant I had to get moving. This is bear country and the last thing you’d want to do is hang around in the dark, covered in animal blood.
Do or die. How bad do you want to get home?
With a heavy sigh I pushed on.
Losing daylight – and the trail
It’s easy to take certain things for granted. Like being able to make it home.
How often are you put in a position where you may actually be stuck somewhere? No one to call, no one coming to help. No Uber to get you home. Not even your mommy can save you now.
While my body experienced new dimensions of pain, my mind considered the possibility that I might not make it home tonight.
I’d crossed the creek and was climbing back up to the original ridgeline. I pushed hard but the top of the ridgeline, where I’d parked, was out of sight and seemed miles away.
Worse still, the mountains were beginning to block out the sun, which meant an early sunset.
The burning pain from a thousand small cuts on my arms pulled me out of my mind and back to the present. The game trail I was hiking dipped in and out of scrub oak thickets and often began to disappear.
Without a solid trail, things got even tougher. More cuts…
I kept scanning the ridgeline above me for landmarks, trying to approximate the location of my truck. It’s a good thing I did because this told me I had just overshot the trail.
More curse words echoed into the evening air as I began zig-zagging up the slope. Before long I came across a barbed fence-line that I did not cross on the way in.
Thinking back on the maps I studied, showing the hunting tracts, this meant I’d found the edge of my tract and could follow the line upwards to get back to the road.
(Always study the area you hunt, know the boundary lines for legal and safety reasons.)
A chilling urgency
There’s an old saying, “Cotton kills.”
This comes from the unfortunate example of people who go hiking in cotton shirts, unprepared for the high altitude weather. The day starts warm and sunny and then the weather changes.
Sweat dampens the shirt, or it rains, and the air cools. The cold, wet shirt pulls heat from the body, people begin to panic or get lost, freezing or starving to death.
Knowing this, I invested in some good, military surplus wool. A thick Swiss Army sweater and heavy, East German service pants. And boy am I glad I did!
I’d been damp from sweat for hours, but now began to feel it. The long johns underneath my wool were made of microfiber and they made me feel cold.
The wool was saving my biscuits but the chill brought urgency.
And with the chill also came darkness.
I turned on my LED lantern and clipped it onto the carabiner dangling off my pack.
It was very hard to not think of bears and mountain lions at this point. My pack and my clothes have been drenched in blood for hours. To the predators in the night, I smelled like a tasty steak dinner.
The bears are especially hungry, as they search for food in preparation for the winter hibernation!
Never mind that! Think of your pregnant sweetheart at home…
Whenever I found myself drifting into negative thoughts, like being attacked by a bear, I brought myself back to center by thinking of how much I love her.
Her and our soon to be born son.
My unrelenting desire to make it home to my family was the ultimate x-factor. This vision of my family gave me the resolve to break through barriers like never before.
The frigid, crisp October air hammered down on me but the fire within pushed back.
One more push – home stretch!
As I climbed closer to the ridgeline, it became clear that I’d overshot the truck quite a bit. But the truck was at least on equal level with the ridgeline. If I can just make it to the ridgeline, there wouldn’t be any more hiking. Just lateral walking down the road.
My legs felt heavier than lead. My back was exhausted. And my lungs burned.
Every few minutes I had to stop for a moment, re-securing myself under the heavy load and catch my breath and composure.
Pain had come and gone long ago. It was still there but my mind became numb to it.
By this point, I was operating in a trance-like state. My focus was on deep breathing (thank you Wim Hof – you may have saved my life!) which kept my body charged with oxygen and my spirits high.
The breathing techniques also fuels a trance-like state that lets you shrug off pain and break through barriers.
Like a man who’s been lost at sea, delirious and exhausted, and finally stumbles upon shore, I could finally see the ridgeline. Laughter echoed out into the night.
Dragging one foot in front of the other, I trudged up the hillside and found my salvation.
But where the hell was my truck?
There aren’t any street lights in this neck of the woods. I couldn’t see much in the dark but I could see that I wasn’t standing near my truck.
First I took a left and only made it about 50 ft before coming across a private gate that I did not pass on the way in.
(Always remember your landmarks!)
So I cursed again, turned around and started hoofing it in the other direction.
After what felt like forever-and-a-half (probably more like 5 minutes) my old trusty steed was in sight.
Betty! Betty! Oh Betty you beautiful thing!
Boy was she a sight for sore eyes!
After unloading the meat and gear and rifle, it felt like I’d just taken the world off my shoulders. My legs were so worn down that it felt like my pants were full of lead. It was a workout to raise my legs high enough to get in the lifted truck, but I made it.
Betty fired up without a hitch and hummed along like a sweet dream. With the heater cranked up, a fresh cup of coffee from the thermos and bags of jerky and trail mix at my side, I began navigating my way back down through the hills and to my beautiful family.
Going back for seconds
My first day of actual hunting was a big-time gut-check. For as prepared as I was, there was plenty that caught me by surprise.
But when you can adapt to these situations, you grow in skill and ability. Mentally and physically.
On my trip back out, I was better prepared. I went to the local ranch supply store and picked up a new set of hunting/processing knives (it came in a sturdy case, with a sharpener and easily packs into your pack). This would save me a ton of time and energy from using dull knives.
And better still, my body was more prepared too. When you carry a heavy load for a day, the body adapts before the next to make it easier. The same type of progressive overload that you use when weight-lifting.
A better plan of attack
On the first day out, I lost a tremendous amount of time and energy fighting through scrub oak thickets. For the return, I made it a point to explore some trails I saw that may give me an easier path.
Sure enough, I came upon a horse trail that resembled an old logging trail, but narrower. It wound right down to the creek and I didn’t have to break through one scrub oak.
The hike was still demanding, but much better than before.
While heading towards the other ridgeline, I saw two trails that would get me to my kill site.
Towards the left, a game-trail that elk made going up the hillside. This is the rough stuff I forced my way through on the first day. Although I shot the elk in a dry wash, it passed away in a thicket of trees and the surrounding area is extremely dense.
Towards the right, I saw a path that seemed to go towards the far end of the ridgeline, eventually letting you jump on top of it. There would then be opportunity to walk the ridgeline back towards the left side and drop down on the kill site from above. Potentially, this would be a smoother trail.
I decided to take the right and it worked out for me. I made it to the top of the ridgeline and enjoyed great views There was lots of elk sign, but lots of bear sign too.
And this path took me quite a bit out of the way… It was more of an “up and over” approach rather than straight shot. Also, towards the top, I found out the hard way that there are dense thickets of scrub oak at the top.
I did find my prize, however and quickly loaded up the meat.
One quarter went into my backpack and the antlered head went on top of the backpack.
Guess what else?
Along the way I came across the quarter I’d left behind under a tree in the shade. (Always expect the unexpected!)
On top of what I was already lugging, I bear-hugged the quarter and kept walking down. At this point I probably had well over 130lbs on me between elk and gear.
I managed to bear-hug my way down across the far-reaching meadows, up and over the rolling hills, across the creek and one-third of the way up the horse trail. From there I had to leap frog it: I’d go for a bit with the backpack (front quarter, head, antlers) then drop it, go back to the bagged rear quarter, shoulder it and hike back up to the backpack.
With legs and lugs burning, from here I had to dig deep. Ten deep Wim Hof breaths, have a little water and do it all over again.
Even though I paid for it in pain, I made it to my old Chevy by sundown.
Taking the new horse trail paid off bigly. The switchbacks may seem to make you walk more steps, but it helps you adjust to the elevation drops and gains. And better still, the horse trail is well established and clear of scrub oak thickets that slow you down.
Lastly, that horse trail will take you home when you are dead beat tired and can’t think straight. All you have to do is keep pushing forward.
Life lessons from the Wild Hunt
When a man lives through such a wild experience, he comes back wiser, tougher and with a few life lessons. And if he continues to hunt, year-by-year, decade-by-decade, he can build a wealth of experience, knowle
The most important life lesson I learned on the Wild Hunt is to always be prepared. Both mentally and physically. Do you have enough water and food with you for the entire hunt, and extra in case you get stuck somewhere?
Do you have a poncho in case it rains on you? What about a first-aid kit? Compass and maps? Game bags?
Is your clothing adequate for all weather situations? Remember that cotton kills… I prefer heavier wool outer layers with reliable thermal long-johns underneath. I also bring a wool beanie and balaclava.
And being prepared especially includes your knives. I can’t say it enough, make sure your knives are up to the task and have a good plan for taking the meat before you go.
By the way, here is the most helpful and impressive YouTube video I found for the gutless field dressing method. Notice how easy he can make his cuts having a proper knife.
While preparing for the expected and the unexpected, try also to not bring too much. For instance, I the made mistake of bringing my collapsible trenching shovel with me on the first day. While handy in many cases, I never used it and it added an extra pound or two to my pack. When you’re hauling a pack long distance, every ounce counts.
Be prepared to pay a greater price than you expect to get home. Sure, you may luck out and find elk near the road. You may instead have to endure the most painful hike of your life.
Remember too that the further you go, the greater your chances with elk (and with success in life in general). In my case, the only reason I found my elk is because I hiked way out into No Man’s Land, where none of the other hunters wanted to go.
Also, if you want to be prepared, you have to be fit. I believe in the importance of a powerful will, but you’ve got to have a powerful body as well. I’ve lifted weights for over 10 years and played sports, but packing out the meat as far as I had to was a serious challenge. I almost quit.
The body and mind are interconnected in more ways than we may think. A strong body is a reflection of a strong mind. And you know what else?
You can have all the dreams in the world but without a healthy, fit body, those dreams don’t mean squat. Your body is your vehicle. If you never leave the couch, how can you go on the Wild Hunt?
How can you find the world’s best views at 13,000 ft and beyond?
Let me share a short story with you.
A good friend of mine spent time working in a guided hunter’s camp as the camp cook and helper. When he wasn’t frying biscuits he was packing out gear, tending horses and scouting.
My buddy grew up in the Rockies, hiking all over, but most of their hunter’s camp customers did not.
Quite a few live in the big city and have never been on this type of hunt before.
And it showed.
The intense physical activity combined with higher altitude was too much to bear and several men cracked under the strain. For some, the hunt was miserable and for others, impossible.
Mind you, this type of hunting was something that our ancestors did routinely and comfortably.
Trips like this were considered grocery shopping!
Modern man has fallen from greatness during his years living in civilization (domestication), but that is a story for another time.
Now when it comes to my physical fitness, I have to give credit to the workout program I use called Body of a Spartan (BOAS). It’s geared towards “natural” folks like me who don’t use steroids/TRT but still want to build a powerful and functional body. The program delivered as promised.
One of the most important lessons of all is to get out there and live. The Wild Hunt is an experience I’ll never forget. And it made me a better person for overcoming it. Even if you grew up in the Big City, as I did, and hadn’t even hunted a rabbit before, you can still get out there and bag an elk. And quarter it in the field by yourself. And pack it out by yourself. It pays to be prepared!