Never Say Never
“Never say never.” We’ve all heard that a time or two. I remember especially hearing this phrase as a kid. Maybe it would come up during a rough football game on T.V. Our team would be losing with very little time left and I would hear my Dad say, “never say never.” Most times the obvious would happen, but sometimes they’d end up pulling through and winning. You just don’t know how something is going to play out, unless you see it through. I think this phrase translates perfectly into hunting.
Bears will be Bears
A few years back, I was having a slow go of a bear hunt. It was October and while feeling the new and crisp air of the coming fall was nice, I was wishing to feel some optimism. Alone, I trekked up and down, back and forth through the bear country I had become so familiar with. Alone, I kept on coming back to camp with nothing more but an empty water bladder and a brain filled with discouragement. “What am I doing out here? I should be at home with my wife,” I’d tell myself. My wife though is the very thing that kept me out there. She knew how bad I wanted to succeed and how hard I had been working at this. So, I stayed.
On the morning of day 8, I woke up with a very relaxed and unmotivated attitude. I remember telling myself, “I’m just going to go hangout over in this area.” I wasn’t thinking about success, just about being out there and enjoying myself. This would be my last day in the field for this trip.
At around 8:30 a.m., I watched as some deer worked their way up the hill in front of me. About a minute later, I heard crashing coming down the hill above the deer. What I was witnessing was mother nature and the struggle for life at its finest. A mountain lion was in pursuit of the coues buck I had been admiring. The buck got away and I remembered something. I had a mountain lion tag in my pocket, along with my bear tag. To make a long story short, I shot the lion and experienced my first solo blood trail, and my first packout alone. To read the full story on the hunt check out the blog post entitled Could not believe my eyes…..
See it Through
The phrase that kept going through my head at the time, and to this day for that matter, was “never say never.” No, I didn’t fill my bear tag, but had I gave up and went home, I wouldn’t have experienced the memorable day that I did. Because, I saw this tough hunt through, I got to not only harvest my first mountain lion, but witness nature in its most raw form. Seeing what I did made me even more grateful for my time in the mountains. As hunters, we get to experience things that some people never even dream of and that was hitting me at that time. We cannot control the cards that we are dealt, but if we aren’t there to play them out, we’ll never know what could have been.