I wish there were more friendliness

Stocker

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I think us guys that have been doing it since we were young, or a long time see all the hard knocks we took learning how to do it. It’s really not as simple is “here’s how you hunt now go”.

I show my first deer when I was 9. 24 years later and I still get my butt handed to me regularly by the deer I think I’ve learned to know. I went on my first elk hunt at 14, took 2 more to see an elk, and 3 more to kill one.

Honestly I think you’re short changing yourself on the entire learning experience and lifestyle if someone just holds your hand.


I’m also an idiot that somehow enjoys the struggle of hunting. If it was easy I honestly wouldn’t do it. John Wayne sums up my hunting career to date (paraphrasing) “Kid, Hunting is hard, it’s harder when you’re stupid”.
 

Gerald Martin

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Reading through all these and the OP’s desire to make a friend and have someone show him the ropes makes me wonder what the definition of success is?

The first elk hunt I ever went on I was a 19 year old kid from Virginia with half a dozen whitetails under my belt. Myself and several friends drove to Montana and stayed at a lodge where the outfitter would give us directions by pointing out places to go on a map and telling us how to get to there.

We spent eleven glorious days, learning, failing, spooking elk, hiking our legs off and being in wonder and awe of the September elk woods. It never occurred to me that I had any other options than getting out there and figuring it out.

It took me about 30 days of elk hunting before I finally connected with a bull.

Twenty years later I have helped a lot of folks kill their first elk, but they were all people I knew previously and I knew I would enjoy spending time with before I invited them to join me.

Most folks who are asking someone to show them the ropes have no understanding of how difficult killing an elk can be and how much time and effort it takes to kill your own bull much less help someone else. Vacation days, travel expenses, time away from family are all huge sacrifices to ask someone else to make to show you the ropes. If you want to make friends and have the camaraderie with other hunters, do the learning and figure out how to be successful on your own and then invite folks to come share what you have learned and help them be successful.

There’s not a better feeling than being able to help someone else experience success after you learned how to find success on your own.
 

FoodIsMemories

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The tone of your post suggests to me that you're looking for someone, anyone to go with. Honestly ask yourself why.

Go alone. Fail. Go alone again and fail again. When you can be alone without being lonely, you'll find a partner for the right reasons. Who knows, you might prefer to have a campfire by yourself.
This is the truth. I had to learn it this way, And damned if it ain’t spot on.
 

np307

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Several years ago I was hunting an area of national forest close to where I lived at the time. There was a main logging road that ran through the middle of the parcel that most used to get to wherever they wanted to branch off and hunt. I was walking down this road when I saw another hunter up ahead. I sped up so I could coordinate with him and make sure we didn't hunt on top of each other. Turns out that he was as green as could be. I give him some very vague advice when it comes up that he literally doesn't even know what a rub or scrape is. So I tell him to follow me and took him to a little patch of pines where I knew we could find rubs, a scrape, poop, tracks, etc. He was super grateful and then got ready to branch off and go find a spot for the evening. I exchanged numbers with him and told him to text if he killed one and needed help. Later that year I got a text with a picture of a doe that he killed on a friend's farm, thanking me for taking the time to show him around that one afternoon. We never spoke or hunted together again.

The reason experienced hunters shy away from new guys "tagging along" is because of the same concept in an old saying about squirrel dogs. "When you're training a dog, you have to decide whether you want to train him or kill squirrels, because you can't do both." I didn't kill a lot of squirrels for a few years taking the teenagers in our church out to squirrel hunt. It was worth it, but I don't know if I would have given up that much time deer, turkey, or elk hunting.
 

geetar

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Personally, I don’t see the issues. My 20k foot take on this is new hunters have a misconception they shouldn’t fail. When I hunted the Selway in Idaho a few years ago, I killed the first bull I saw IN 7 DAYS of hunting. Some hunts are hard. Embrace it and enjoy it.
This ^ We are conditioned as a society to not be okay with failure but it’s part of the process.
 

Farmerj

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The tone of your post suggests to me that you're looking for someone, anyone to go with. Honestly ask yourself why.

Go alone. Fail. Go alone again and fail again. When you can be alone without being lonely, you'll find a partner for the right reasons. Who knows, you might prefer to have a campfire by yourself.
I won’t go to those kind of wilds all alone. Some may say it’s “paranoias” but at age 11-13 in there, we went out snowmobiling in a group in January. There was 10-12 of us. I was riding in the middle of the pack and the right side. Suddenly the world turned white, my machine died and I was falling backwards off the sled with no understanding why.

Dad said it took them over half an hour to finally locate me and that they’d only gone maybe 1/4 mile when it was noticed I was not where I should be.

Near as we figure, the wind dished out the coolee and I fell into a hole about 10’ deep and I was completely hidden from view.

What would have happened had I been alone?

Then you read of the guys falling and breaking their backs etc.

The time my wife stumbled and discharged her rifle with the muzzle close enough to her face to get powder burns.

This is an extremely hazardous sport we participate in.

I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to go out alone.
 

perma

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I think many times, the “experienced” get tired of feeling used. I know I have.

“Letting someone tag along “ is often code for:
Decide where to go.
Drive your truck.
Use your weapons.
Use your camping equipment.
You figure out the food.
You do all the spotting.
You do all the gutting/dressing.
You do all the meat care and packaging.

I’ve had less experienced folks ask to tag along several times, and I’ve let them. I have usually regretted it afterwards. Inevitably, I do all the work and they just don’t want to hunt like I hunt. Can’t be out all day, can’t hike as far as we need to, too cold, too wet, too muddy, etc etc. When they are tagging along on my hunting trip, that leaves me feeling frustrated about wasting most of the time on a half-assed effort. Not enjoyable for me personally.

Wouldn’t it be a novelty if someone said “hey, I have this trip planned to X general area. I have this equipment and weapon, part of a meal plan, we can take my truck. But I don’t really know what I’m doing. Want to come along and show me some things?” I know I would be entering that trip with a vastly different mindset. Big difference mentoring someone who takes ownership and initiative for their learning.

Finding a hunting partner you click with is harder than finding a spouse. If you don’t share similar ethics, values, commitment level and willingness to put forth effort, it doesn’t work very well and can be a crappy experience for everyone involved.
This is scary. I dread the day my father hangs it up…..
 

TOGIE

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@wllm @neffa3

I think I might only hit my like 20th day this weekend and I haven’t shot one yet. Gosh if even that many, yeesh I’m so bad at going elk hunting.

Should I be really excited or depressed??

Unlike neff tho, every time I’ve ever been in the elk woods I’ve seen elk.


Anyway @Hunting Wife hit the nail on the head. It’s the resources you pour in to the hunt. This is why I’m getting fed up with people wanting to hunt together, not even inexperienced people, some of these guys are my close friends arguably far more experienced me. But we have different drives and particularly, ideas, and styles for how we want to hunt.

Every time I say yes to these people my plans slowly fall apart and I hunt in a way or place that I didn’t want to. I’m starting to work harder to keep my plans intact, which means telling people I’m hunting alone.
 
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neffa3

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@wllm @neffa3

I think I might only hit my like 20th day this weekend and I haven’t shot one yet. Gosh if even that many, yeesh I’m so bad at going elk hunting.

Should I be really excited or depressed??

Unlike neff tho, every time I’ve ever been in the elk woods I’ve seen elk.


Anyway @Hunting Wife hit the nail on the head. It’s the resources you pour in to the hunt. This is why I’m getting fed up with people wanting to hunt together, not even inexperienced people, some of these guys are my close friends arguably far more experienced me. But we have different drives and particularly, ideas, and styles for how we want to hunt.

Every time I say yes to these people my plans slowly fall apart and I hunt in a way or place that I didn’t want to. I’m starting to work harder to keep my plans intact, which means telling people I’m hunting alone.
I've enjoyed hunting out of state so much partly because there are actually elk in other states! And you can see them! And there's not 1 million other elk hunters in the same locations... it's great!
 

MTLabrador

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My favorite elk spot, where I will be hunting opening week this year, I could easily not see a bull in 7 days of hunting. Might see a few bulls, might see a really big bull. I started hunting that spot when I was a junior in college and finally killed a big bull there last year. No one showed me that spot, I just picked a drainage on the map and started hiking there.

We have a whiteboard at work, in big letters across the top it says “F.I.T.F.O.”, which is good advice when it comes to hunting too. If you don’t care enough to try and fail a bunch of times, you’re probably a little too soft to hunt elk. My opinion only.
 

wllm

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