The Hunt List

No matter what we are hunting making a list in preparation is a smart thing to do. As with many things you lost me at that “S” word, smart. I suppose it’s not really as much of an intelligence factor as it is a personality trait. I think some folks get more enjoyment out of making their list than the actual hunt while others, like myself, repeat the same saying every day of the hunt, “why didn’t I remember to bring that”. The former reminds me of a gentleman who showed up in our elk camp one year. Let’s call him Peter for this story. That was really his actual name, but surely he’ll never read this. If he does, well, Peter we love you, just the way you are.

Hey guys, the hunter coming next is a couple of days early. Shouldn’t bother you guys, he will probably just be setting up, not hunting. Who is he? He’s an attorney from the city. When Peter arrived we thought we would be friendly and help him unload, and unload and unload. When we were done we had brought in six of the largest clear plastic storage containers I had ever seen. After setting them down I noticed each one had a laminated letter size sheet on top with a list of contents and a sub list of contents. Kind of fascinated by this I watched him open a few and noticed each large tote held multiple smaller totes each with a laminated list of contents. Wow, that’s pretty impressive. Yes, I like to come prepared. How long you hunting? A week. Really, just a week.

Have everything you need? Except for one thing? Really, what’s that. Hunting boots. You don’t have hunting boots? Well yeah, but I wanted to get some new ones. So, you don’t have any with you? Nope, thought I would drive to town tomorrow and get some. What town you going to? Didn’t think of that. Asked our ranching buddy, Mark, what he thought. Think you’ll have to go to Laramie to get boots. How far’s that? Two- three hours. Didn’t you drive through Denver to get here. Yes. The comment didn’t register with him. Guess it wasn’t on a list. Got to admit, I kind of snickered about about our new camp mate. But after a couple of days we really became friends. He was a great guy and I began to admire his lists and thought process.

Actually, probably the first listed I ever made in life was when I was fourteen and going on my first elk hunt. That list survived for many years and hunts with many addendum’s and a bunch of deletions. The most important list; what goes in the day pack!

  • Number one – toilet paper inside a gallon baggie. You may not realize this is number one until your cutting your underwear off with a broadhead for use as impromptu T.P. (did that more than once).
  • Water and extra water. Also, bring flavored vitamin mix for it.
  • Food. Bars and bagged nuts.
  • Rain Gear – Great deal of experience here, much of it, not a good experience. Ever climb out of a canyon with heavy rain pants falling around your knees. Never again. Cabelas Space rain gear is awesome. Small, light, you can throw it on quickly and take it off quickly. And it keeps you dry.
  • Knives – Thank you Lord for replaceable blade knives. Knife sharpening is a talent. One I have never possessed.
  • Extra string, broke in, hushed, puffed and ready to go.
  • Extra tab.
  • Calls, calls, extra calls. Your suppose to speak the language, sometimes I not sure just what language that is.
  • Space blanket (yes spent the night out with it before). Makes a good clean surface for field dressing or boning out meat also.
  • Parachute cord.
  • Cell phone (for pictures and video).
  • Light jacket, vest, camo bandanna (a Davison Elk Hunting trademark) and a sock hat.
  • Pen and notepad.
  • Extra powder wind detector (behind T.P. it’s the second most important item).

There’s other stuff of course, the point is, making a list is very wise. Not just for the hunt, but for the groceries, the honey do’s and especially for work. Although it doesn’t come very naturally to me, like it does for Peter, I have learned its a very worthwhile practice and habit if your lucky. Did I learn anything from Peter? Yes, never wear brand new boots on a hunt. But, I had really learned that a long time ago. We can always learn from other people. Especially, people who are different than us. Peter could have learned something from me. Sometimes you need to just pull back the string and shoot! We left Peter at camp in the capable hands of our buddy Mark. I called Mark a week later to see if they got close to any elk. Oh yeah. I called in big six pointer to Peter. I had my eyes on the bull coming in, 35, 25, then 20 yards. I glanced over to see if Peter was ever going to shoot. There he was, bow on the ground, no arrow on the string, both hands diligently working his expensive range finder!

Lists are really important, but need to be followed with execution. Sometimes we may not always know the exact yardage, but need to go ahead and take the shot. Execution, hey, that sounds worthy of another post.

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