I wish there were more friendliness

ammo

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Gosh this rings so true to many other high risk sports too...mentoring / taking newbs out in backcountry skiing or rock climbing? You're putting your life in the hands of an inexperienced belayer, you're sacrificing a precious weekend or vacation time to 'slum it' in what might be beginner terrain when you're more stoked to ski a gnarly couloir or climb a hard climb. We've all been beginners at some point but I also remember long days out as a beginner rock climber flailing with another fellow beginner, a newer hunter in a sufferfest doing everything wrong elk hunting that first year with my husband at the wrong elevations, in the wrong terrain. Tl;dr sure there are mentors out there but there's also much valuable time learning with other beginners or solo-ing that are formative and looked back upon with a lot of fondness.

In climbing there's a model that a lot of us strive for -- where we have partners that are at our same level that we enjoy climbing with, partners that are better than us that push us, and partners that are newbs that we should give back to. I don't know that I have all of those in my life right this second, but I've definitely had some aspect of each at some point. Anyway maybe there's a model in there for hunting.

Good luck to you OP
 

rtraverdavis

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OREGON
I have a very close friend whom I love, who always wants to go hunting with me. I always politely decline. He’s been hunting his whole life, loves it, but puts zero—I mean zero—work into the planning of a hunt. And he’s always baffled why his hunts are shit shows.

As a case in point, he recently got back from a hunt (which someone else planned, of course) in which he was completely flabbergasted that a huge chunk of the unit was closed due to fires. He was upset that his buddy who lives in the unit didn’t tell him about the closures. Apparently, this ruined everything. I didn’t even bother telling him that that info is widely available online. I’ve learned over the years that that information will not be put to future use. So I just clucked my tongue and said, boy, that’s rough, man.

I won’t go on a big hunt with him because I value our friendship too much, and that would likely end it.
 

Redmt

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San Antonio Valley California
I've never been elk hunting. I may never have the opportunity. I was invited by the brother of a close friend a couple years ago. After all the planning, buying appropriate clothing and "stuff", I decided that hunting with him was not something I wanted to be involved in. The hunt was cut from 10-14 days to 3 days. He told me not to worry that they were leaving a couple days early as they usually got a bull a day or so before opening day!!
It kinda kills me. We have Elk right here on our property. We see them every couple of days but they are protected. If I wanted to poach an elk, I could do it at home and not drive a couple thousand miles to do it. Anyway, if you get an invite to go, be sure the invite comes from someone that plays by the rules.
This was at my front gate a couple weeks ago. IMG_0169.JPG
 

gouch

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Jan 29, 2019
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SW Oregon
I think there is a big difference between someone new to hunting, asking to tag along on a hunt and be mentored, and that newbie saying that they have a tag and are going hunting and asking for someone to tag along and help them learn. I have always been very reluctant to take anyone I don't know really well on a hunt because I feel it will distract from me enjoying the hunt more than it will help them enjoy the hunt. I have twice had total strangers on the internet ask if someone would help them learn to hunt bear and I volunteered. I enjoyed both experiences, but I wasn't trying to kill a bear so there was no downside for me. Neither of them killed a bear while I was with them, but both did kill a bear later in the season, so I guess my advice didn't hurt too much. Both had already been trying to learn on their own and would have gone out whether or not someone tagged along to give them pointers.
 

DouglasR

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East central, Il
Do you guys remember when I took that 40 year old cigarette smoker from Illinois camping at 8000ft in the white river natch in January?
Classic.
 

woods89

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Oct 27, 2021
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As a soloist, I’m in the same boat as most of you guys.
It’s like what if I have a strong craving for a chicken fried steak or huevos rancheros and the other guy’s like
“Bro I want to look over the next ridge”.
@DouglasR , tying things up in a bow as usual.......
 

Caseknife

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NE Washington
I would have a real hard time joining a new hunter or a very experienced hunter for a hunting trip who I had only met via internet chat or text or even phone conversations. I need to know people before I will commit to a week or more together. My hunting partner of close to 40 years started as a fellow botany student in college. He seemed like a stand up guy and I asked if he wanted go on a backpack trip in the high country the week before fall semester started. He agreed and we started pouring over maps that spring. He was a bit confused at first at our planned route, "where are the trails?", "uh, we don't need trails, think we can just go over this ridge, right here and down the drainage to the lake." Invited him into our elk camp many years later and mentored him on the ways of the elk that I had learned from my father and uncle, the rest is history.

Just got back from a cow elk hunt in Wyoming with him and two others, one of which was an older guy from MN that had not hunted elk much. They all had tags and didn't, so I acted as Rick's guide, as in I hunted with him for the two days that he hunted. Saw a beautiful muley buck in the rain/snow across the drainage just feeding. He was amazed that I saw the buck, I told him that I just saw the white rump patch and looked with my binos. Next day we saw a cow and big bull feeding about 425 yds with a stiff cross wind, he declined the shot, we tried to get closer but they weren't there when we got there. Thats hunting. Later that day we came upon a bedded bull at 60 yards that I spotted. Again he was amazed that I could see that in the thick timber. He was able to look at the bull with his scope, he was elated, made his hunt, he could have killed an elk if he would have had an 'any elk' tag. That is what it is all about. I had no tag, so it mattered none to me if he wanted to go slow or go back to camp early. I had a blast and so did he, but I had hunted with him two years prior so previously knew him. I got my hunting in the next day with my long time partner, trying to keep up with the little mountain goat, he shot his cow and we processed it after he directed me to where he was located. Packed it out the next day and a half and just put it in the freezer on Sunday. We have split the costs and spoils down the middle on all our out of state hunts, works great for us.
 

Wallydeuce

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NV
I think @Farmerj nailed it. Fear. I believe most fear being alone in these vast places we hunt in. Honestly, why else would you spend several days (and nights) with a relative stranger other than having someone else there to keep you company. Fear of the dark also keeps many from going alone. I'm 72 and still get the heebiejeebies at times. But my options are:
A. Go with (and baby sit) a partner. Nope
B. Stay home. No again
I've always said that I fear nothing I can see. It's what I can't see that scares me. Once I realized that there isn't a man eating critter behind every dark tree, I get on with having fun.
How many of us wait until it's light enough to see before leaving camp? Or making sure we're back to camp before dark? We're missing the best (non rut) hunting times because of our fear of the dark.

As to @Farmerj's comments regarding our extremely hazardous sport? I disagree. Unforgiving? Certainly. But I don't think it's exceptionally dangerous if you have minimal common sense. I've been lost (1978 with a partner) and severely injured solo (2016). Both were the result of poor decisions on my part. I'll share them sometime but I'm going to my southern Utah cabin, and I want to get there before dark.
 

TOGIE

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I would have a real hard time joining a new hunter or a very experienced hunter for a hunting trip who I had only met via internet chat or text or even phone conversations. I need to know people before I will commit to a week or more together.

but for real, if greenhorn, oak, buzz, snowymountaineer, khunter, buschy, etc. pmed you out of the blue and said, "bro, here's the tag to get, meet me at the gas station and we'll head to this spot i know," you'd say no?

hell yes, is the answer. hells yes.
 

Dougfirtree

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Adirondacks
I won't disagree with what many have said about what a big ask it is and paying your dues, etc. It all rings true to me and I can relate. However, all of that stuff is being exacerbated by the intense interest in and monetization of western big game hunting. It's a bigger ask as a prospective elk hunter in Idaho, than it is as a prospective squirrel hunter in Missouri, isn't it? I guess there's a lesson there for both sides of the equation. If you're the ol' greybeard of big game hunting, don't forget that it's still just hunting and that's something that can be fun to share. And, if you're the newbie, maybe don't try to make your in-roads in the most challenging arena. Maybe look for some help with that Missouri squirrel hunt first...
 

Jim Anderson

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Jun 14, 2018
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Meeker, CO
anytime i end up deciding to go on a hunt with a partner my backpack hunt plans fall apart.

hunting alone has massive advantages, it also has massive disadvantages. for me the biggest disadvantage is mental fortitude, while physically i can go over the next hill all day long and bring an animal back but when i'm alone, sometimes the mental fortitude to keep going over the next hill is just not there. the questioning yourself is constant. the dark is a little more forboding. though i'd rather keep pushing through those struggles than keep missing out on my mini bucket list hunt plans because i keep agreeing to go with people that pester me during application seasno.

i'm getting close to having to have an awkward conversation with a couple dudes where i just say sorry, actually i'm not looking to hunt with anyone. some of those people are because i don't respect them as hunters, their tactics, or some combination of that and their ethics or just the care and thought they put into what is a very spiritual and reflective activity for me.

really any time someone talks about how gamey something is so they're just gonna turn the whole animal into jerky is the first sign that maybe i don't want to hunt with them. that or when they reveal they still have 3/4 of an elk in their freezer from 6 years ago.
Man. I felt that one. I’m going to have to have one of those tough conversations next month.
 

Bambistew

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Chugiak, AK
IMO, if you want people to hunt with you, find a spot, do some planning and invite them. Don't expect a handout.

I have taken a lot of new people, but I'm selective. I've also given untold amount of information away to people. I don't expect anything in return, except to not return to the spot I took them, or keep the information to themselves and not broadcast it on the internet. I will show them how I found that spot, what I looked for, research on animal movements, etc. I also don't take them to places or give away spots I don't want ruined. A person has to gain my trust before I take them, period.

I have no idea how many people have said "we" should go hunting, or would you show me how to hunt this or that. It doesn't work like that for most people. I don't even talk to people I don't know well about hunting anymore. Its tiresome trying to gauge how ingenuine people are and how they just want to use and pump you for information.

I get it though, its daunting to just jump in and learn something, but that's how most all of us did it. Its not about being friendly, its about not being used.
 

TOGIE

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CO
Man. I felt that one. I’m going to have to have one of those tough conversations next month.

and i haven't done it yet, i'm scared to when i will. it'll happen.

too many of my friends wanna build resident preference points for deer and elk though and i don't, so that helps because they won't apply for 0-1 pt not second choice tags i apply for.

i alwasy think back to when the meateater guys were discussing on a podcast what it's like to have a hunting breakup, an honest conversation about how one party just doesn't want to hunt with anyone (or someone). multiple guys said those friendships died or never recovered. i don't think that has to happen. but when a close friend wants to plan a hunt trip with you and your response is "i jsut want to hunt alone" they probably don't realize you'd say that to anyone and not just them.

"it's not you, it's me" ... has that ever gone over well in the history of anything lol
 
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