Yeah, what he said. Exactly!Five star, extreme kudos to Marcus ... as those photos are fantastic and of the high quality which deserves publication and wide dissemination for many to study and enjoy. (How about a large page "Hunt-the-Wild-North" coffee table type publication?)
The images with aurora borealis backdrop are amazing and will remain in my mind's eye forever. Well done!!!
Yes, I was. It has been a struggle for me, as I know that our brand is defined by a lot of what I do. And, no matter the reasons for having to use a guide, a segment of the viewership will make a big deal of it, as is the case with some of the blowhards over on 24hour Campfire who love to hammer us. Just part of the gig I operate in and I have decided that I am willing to be exposed to such critique as a price for seeing this dream happen.I was thinking about this last night and how apprehensive you were a couple years ago on using a guide and straying away from public hunting.
However, even with the guide you stuck to who you were and it shined through your writings in this thread. The outpouring of support here goes to show something. Good honest people, doing good honest things, gets good honest respect. I would imagine that after the crew gets done doing their magic with the footage this will be in your top ten most viewed.
As said before Congratulations.
Amen.Yes, I was. It has been a struggle for me, as I know that our brand is defined by a lot of what I do. And, no matter the reasons for having to use a guide, a segment of the viewership will make a big deal of it, as is the case with some of the blowhards over on 24hour Campfire who love to hammer us. Just part of the gig I operate in and I have decided that I am willing to be exposed to such critique as a price for seeing this dream happen.
I refer a ton of people to outfitters each year, as it is the best option for that person. It is funny when I hear the anti-outfitter claims often made against me and our platforms. Yeah, we promote self-guided hunting and we advocate for that and public lands. It is easy to promote one and not be be "anti" all other style of hunting, whether guided, private land, etc. I say do whatever you have access to, just make sure you get out there.
In this case, and the Dall sheep hunt of last year, there is no other option. And, even when I am on a guided hunt, I want to hunt hard, do as much work as I can be useful in doing, and enjoy the hell out of the experience. Some of that can be obtained by selecting the type of hunt in the kind of places that are conducive that my desires. Some of that can be obtained by being upfront with the outfitter about what you want from the experience. I have no regrets for this hunt or the Dall sheep hunt. Given the positive responses both hunts received, my concerns now seem to be self-imposed and unjustified.
James, Braden, and Blythe all commented that they appreciated our enthusiasm for the work and the field dressing. Additionally, when we asked what the normal outcome is for hunts, they all mentioned that even on outfitted hunts, the result is often a reflection of how hard the hunter is willing to push it. I suspect that there is seldom a situation where James and Braden are the boat anchor that is dragging down the hunt. I'd like to think that our enthusiasm and pleasure of pursuit helped with the great outcome we experienced, though there is always some level of luck in determining what animals present themselves.
With all of that, my dream list is now back to the more pedestrian hunts of elk, deer, and antelope. And though I dream of sheep, goats, or Shiras moose, those just require the great luck of drawing a tag. I hope to go and retrace steps from past hunts and soak in even more of what those landscapes and species have to offer. I am at the point in my hunting life where the success of others is as rewarding, sometimes more rewarding, than any tag I could fill. You see that in many of the hunts we are doing this year. I have two of my dearest uncles lined up for different elk hunts. No elk I could shoot would ever bring the smile that will come of these guys fill an elk tag.
My future will be less exotic, yet still as compelling to me. I want more hunts with Matthew as his business life allows. My niece and I have spring bear tags for next May in Alaska. My lifelong friend, Jerry Pritchard and I are doing a long-promised Coues deer hunt in December. I think I will be back in the north woods of Minnesota next fall, either for grouse or deer, walking some old trails of where it all started.
And then there is this ptarmigan thing. For a reason I cannot fully explain, an adventures around ptarmigan has a lot of appeal. Their similarity to grouse and the landscapes they occupy have my dreaming of some crazy idea that involves this bird I've never taken.
Thanks for the kind observation and support for our hunting, no matter how it unfolds.