By Michael Deming
Enjoy the experience! I’ve said this statement to more people than ever this year during the hunting seasons. This seems to be a lost reality with many hunters these days. With all of the social media out there, our beloved way of life has become all about the now. “What has been harvested today? I’ve got to get something big killed today so that I can get some posts out there and gain more followers”. Very seldom do I see or hear people at camp talking about and just enjoying the experience of the hunt, spending time in the woods with family and good friends, sharing the failures on the mountain that give you more knowledge for future success.
I’ve shared the mountain with many whom have spent more time looking at their devices and the things other people are doing in the world as opposed to making their own memories. I’m not sure what this means for the future of our sport, but it doesn’t feel or look good. If you are only as good as your last trophy, then you are likely to step over the line and do something illegal. It has happened too many of the folks who put too much emphasis on always killing a huge trophy and not enjoying the experience.
I love harvesting trophy animals as much as anyone and we put in lots of field time to tip the odds in our favor. We are successful more often than not. However, it doesn’t always happen regardless of our efforts. It isn’t all about the kill or the posting of a trophy photo. As a matter of fact, all of the trophy photos we have posted as a company in twelve years combined have only a fraction of views and support of one where we saved a young calf elks life. A yearling bull was stuck in a barbed wire fence in Oregon and we removed it from the fence and let it get back to the herd. Within seventy-two hours, it had over three quarters of a million views. My wife, Lisa said that she was happy that I was viral due to saving somethings life instead of killing something. I enjoyed that experience as much as all the trophies I’ve harvested this year. If one person who reads this, takes a step back, leaves their phone at camp and has a great day in the woods because they read this article, it’s worth the ink and time it took to climb up onto my soap box.
Every week, our team is out in the field with another one of our Pro Membership Sweepstakes winners. It’s this time of year with these lucky folks that makes me so happy that we started this program. We get to see a number of these people getting to experience a trip of a lifetime that would otherwise be just a dream. In some cases, it is a trip that some never even considered. My most recent experience was with Rick Hudon of Yakima, Washington in Quebec for caribou. It is the cover story this month and truly one of the best experiences of my life with a winner.
Rick is the epitome of someone who enjoys the experience. He was happy for every bit of the experience and was like a kid hunting for the first time. We pick a grand prize winner every ten days, so if you haven’t taken an opportunity to look at the Pro Membership Sweepstakes, now is your chance. The center page of this issue will show all the great grand prizes we will be giving away over the next 12 months. Best of luck to all of you who become a member. It’s exciting to think about all the great trips we have planned and I’ll be traveling with a few of you myself. Every member that I talk with says they are excited all the time because we have a major drawing every ten days and it gives them something to look forward to.
Have a great rest of your fall and don’t forget to enjoy the experience.