What can never be underestimated is the value of having a good hunting partner—someone who can pump you up when the hunt’s down and celebrate with you in your success.
The fact is, having the right hunting buddy can also create friendships that transcend what happens in your hunting camp. Of course, if you’ll notice, I used the words “right hunting buddy.” Those words are critical to having the best hunting experience possible.
What to Look for in a Good Hunting Buddy
Similar hunting styles are important. If you’re a big time caller, and your partner is a “spot and stalker,” well, now you have conflict. If you want to hunt from a tree stand and your partner wants to rifle through the bedding areas, that will not make for good conversation back at camp each evening. Lots of uncomfortable silence at that point.
It’s really about your expectations when you seek out that bosom buddy for the hunt. What’s important to you? Filling your tag? Seeking out that big ole granddaddy that’s out there somewhere grazing? Are you an all-day hunter? Does your partner like to break up the day and take a nap or two? Compatibility is crucial.
Be a Team Player
Hunts can be difficult if partners aren’t willing to help each other. If your buddy’s purpose is only in what HE can bag, you’re in for a long day. Ever heard the story of the designated shooter who discovered that the caller behind him was sneaking out to set aim on the approaching bull? Cat and mouse games can turn ugly.
When you find that right partner who says, “Look, Why don’t I leave my rifle in the car. I’ll do the calling. Later on today, you can call for me.” Now we’re getting somewhere . . . the right hunting partner just spoke.
Be an Optimistic Hunter
If you’ve teamed yourself up with someone who’s ready to quit, things can get tough. Elk hunting is demanding—physically and mentally. If a hunter hasn’t filled his or her tag, they need words of encouragement. They need someone to help them dig deep and carry on. Just over the next range might be that trophy bull.
Memories play such a huge part of our life, and having a good hunting partner who’s as concerned for your success as well as his or her own . . . well, that’s when the good times really roll. They also roll if your camp has a ready supply of Rutting Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon. Cheers!