Monday, February 1, 2016

Failure is Always an Option

     Last month, I had the opportunity to go elk hunting with Grandpa in a great area in southeast Wyoming. Three times. I didn’t ever get the cow I so desperately wanted, and that’s okay. We hunters don’t always score huge every time, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. In fact, I believe that the times we “fail” make the successes all the better.    
     Our hunting experience was great. As Grandpa says, “It was colder than a well digger’s [butt]” out on Giffy Knob. The outside temp reading on the truck said 7 degrees but with the screaming wind and blowing snow if felt much, much colder. We saw elk within the first hour each time we were out. Most of them were bulls, and I had to take a cow or a calf. We hiked and hiked and hiked some more, and we saw a ton of wildlife. We saw a mountain lion track that couldn’t have been more than 5 minutes old. We met some seriously cool people and saw some seriously cool things. We froze, sure – but it was worth every minute.
     If you ever have the chance to meet a Southeast Wyoming game warden, let me tell you, they are the real deal. These guys were dedicated to getting me an elk from minute one, and it was amazing the things I learned from them. Me and Grandpa discussed something interesting on the way home of the last day. If we had gone out and shot a big cow elk at first light on the very first day 50 yards from the truck, sure we would have been happy. An elk on the ground by breakfast time is always a great thing! But we would have never been able to meet the people we met, see the things we saw, and learn the things we learned. I would rather spend three long unsuccessful days doing the things we did than one successful hour. So, in conclusion, failure is always an option!
     It’s been said that we don’t hunt in order to kill, rather we kill in order to have hunted. I think that’s true. For me, elk hunting is about a lot more than killing an elk. It’s about connecting with the land and the people you love.

-The Ranger