It’s Not Always About Big Bags
SEEKING AND CHERISHING SPECIAL HUNTING EXPERIENCES
UNTING AND ANGLING SPORTS seem to have a fairly consistent pathway we all follow, starting as a keen beginner wanting to experience every aspect of the sport to becoming confident and going through the numbers game.
Time is then spent pursuing trophies, then most turn to experimenting with different species and methods, which then can lead to interesting tangents, such as flytying, dog training, or photography. One aspect, though, that remains consistent and can become the main motivator to continue hunting and fishing is the pursuit of those extra special experiences each different species can provide.
Common examples of this are bagging a roaring stag, catching a trout rising to a mayfly hatch, or successfully decoying in a group of Canada geese. The list of those extra special experiences is extensive and personal as we all have differing points of interest. But I bet, if you analyse the key things that get you out in pursuit of fish or game, you will find each species offers one or two experiences that really appeal and provide the main motivation to keep you in the game.
Typically these extra special experiences are not easy to achieve and I suspect this is how we like it, as having a challenge with no guarantees of success is a big part of being an angler and hunter. I also suspect it is this pursuit that retains some of the excitement of getting out in the field again and rewards us with a sense of satisfaction as we pursue a particular part of our sport. We also welcome new aspects and the opportunity to continue learning.
This concept of pursuing those extra special experiences is very fresh on my mind as I recently returned from three days of trying to outwit roaring red stags in dense rugged bush. The ultimate in this situation for me is to have a roaring exchange with a mature stag and convince him to sneak in to check me out and give me the opportunity to shoot him cleanly, or leave him for another year. This year the stags where extra challenging and would not approach and the swirling wind was a curse, resulting in numerous crashing retreats from stags with a nose full of sweaty hunter scent. Persistence, not skill, finally lead to success, with a huge-bodied 11 point mature red stag checking me out and giving me a clear shot into the neck. The great feeling of satisfaction having achieved that
A GOOD GUNDOG IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF HUNTING PHEASANT