|Do you hunt alone for big game? If not what is your normal party size? How long of hunts do you usually do alone? Single days? Multiple?|
Note: I reviewed what I wrote and confess to going on a rant. But, I feel better for posting it. Thanks.
Several have mentioned the advantages of hunting with others and I agree with the points they have made. Safety is a primary issue and comes into play if a hunter is disabled. In the main, most of my hunts are scheduled around friends and family that have drawn the same hunt or are willing to go along for the experience of just getting out or, in some areas, to varmint call whilst I pursue my quarry. Still, there are times when I hunt alone.
Schedules do not always allow companions and, sometimes, the tag I have drawn requires above normal effot that isn't always shared with someone that has no tag. My last Coues deer tag was for the late hunt and I used the Christmas to New Years time slot to chase these wiley and elusive bucks. From where I parked the truck, a six hour, 3,500', full pack climb into some lofty mountain peaks in the Chiracahuas would test the dedication of any hunter. At least, it tested mine. This is rough country, enough so that the Apaches avoided capture for a long time by hiding there. There are no roads and only a few very faint trails. Climb. Climb and climb some more with everything needed for four days of hunting in the pack (Coues hunting can get rather obsessive.). In the time I was there I saw no other hunters.
Late on day three I got a good buck; it scored 112. The next morning I began the hike back, the boned meat adding more weight than the consumed food and water, but, for the most part, in was downhill. I got back by mid-afternoon, exhausted and with sore knees, yet, very pleased with the effort. Still, in retrospect, there were many chances for injury or something as disabling as a sprained ankle. Caution is a constant companion in these circumstances.
For me, the memories of that hunt will not fade. I suspect it is the reward we claim for taking some measure of what we perceive as risk. Yet, in a society that has made "safety" a mantra, my little effort pales compared to the challenges and the hardships that early settlers faced on a daily basis.
Reading journals of Alaskan hunters and miners that often faced life/death situations underscores how tough some of our forefathers were in the hope for a better tomorrow. In a society that has become indulged and softened by the luxuries we are blessed to have, the legendary feats of but a hundred or so years ago seem distant and alien. To many, they are incomprehesible.
We have insulated ourselves remotely from the basic processes of living and surviving, and having the skills to do so, that absurd concepts have crept into our vocabulary and our laws if not our national personality. Perhaps, it is the bane of high density population that we tolerated such absurdity and give podium to the likes of a Jane Fonda, a John Kerry, a Charles Schumer, a Ted Kennedy, a Jessie Jackson and a Hillary Clinton while tolerating legalized abortion, homosexuality, secularism, PETA and antigun legislation, to mention only a few.
I have strayed from the subject, but, to me there is a connection. Whether hunting with others or hunting alone, the act of hunting is a basic and critically important instinct. Legislation or popular sentiment that tries to discourage hunting or, by association, firearms, isn't just an opposite opinion, its outright unnatural. It isn't just liberal, its leftist. IMO, such efforts are an affront and an insult and should be challenged at every opportunity. Hunting and guns aren't privileges, they are rights and introducing this heritage to our children is a prime responsibility. Opposing those that would limit them is our challenge.