My theory on being a successful Big Game Hunter, I feel is very sound. I would also say I want my theories to be related to the 90% of average hunters that hunt public lands or ranchers that are allowing you hunt their lands where the animals are not managed. There is nothing wrong with dialing in a rancher or farmer to get permission hunt or fish their lands. I have done it many times with little or no cost. In my early days of hunting I just ventured out to an area or to where all the relatives would go for a camping/hunting trip during the season and hiked looking for game to kill. I once said on a rocky mountain elk hunt to my cousin Spike, that I felt we were born a generation too late. The Uncles and Dads would talk about all the elk and deer that they harvested over the past years. This was in 1975 and on this same hunt Spike’s dad Uncle Floyd shot an elk while he was standing by a fire and coughing loudly as he was a smoker. Figure the odds on this one! Oh! I thought it was the biggest bull that was ever shot. When the guy in another camp shot a forked horn deer, you would think it was a big buck. Relating to this is the fact that I had never research anything and was not hunting in areas that had good numbers on game. I would find out a few years later that there was another world out there when it came to hunting Big Game. It wasn’t until about 1978, when I was lucky enough to get an Oregon Rifle Pronghorn – Antelope tag that I had a wakeup call. I had been told the unit to apply for from Rod B., who was a Naval Officer in my Reserve Unit in Portland, OR, I have known him since 1968.
Rod had hunted the unit before and been successful with a large Pronghorn – Antelope. Rod also was fortunate to make friends with a BLM field person that spent his working hours in the unit.
This hunt change all of my thoughts on how one should go about hunting for Big Game in Oregon or any other place. I had a great year, as I harvested a Boone & Crockett Pronghorn – Antelope, a dandy mule deer and my first elk. On both the Pronghorn –Antelope, Deer and Elk hunt I saw a number of good animals that I could have harvested. All were taken on public land in Oregon. This was not by accident either. I changed my tactics on hunting for Big Game based on that one hunt with a very season hunter Rod B.
One would never fish an empty river for fish! Wisdom can come with age sometimes!
Most persons that hunt, as I did in the past do not do the research, have proper equipment, listen or do scouting trips when it comes to Big Game Hunting. Here are just a few thoughts that can set one in the correct direction for successful Big Game Hunting.
- Listen to people that have been successful in hunting.
- Never forget a successful spot that they have talked about.
- Study material that most State Fish and Wildlife departments have to offer on statistics.
- One does not have to the best equipment, but have sound equipment in good working order.
- Know your equipment as if it is your hand.
- I would never leave home without a GPS and Binoculars.
I carry the following items in my daypack, which I have had for some 25 years. Yes! It is the same daypack and still works great for me. I have (3) GPS’s, Water, Motorola, Cell Phone, Gloves, Camera, Ammo, Knives, Rope, Map of area, Matches, toilet paper, extra batteries, just to mention a few items. This daypack is always packed and ready to go! I told my son the other day that he needs to have one daypack that is his hunting pack and not used for anything else!
One of my goals for hunters in Oregon is doing GPS consulting in relationship to finding game. Bwana Bubba!