The anticipation was growing as September approached. 2016 was to be my fifth year of DIY archery elk hunting in Colorado. My decision to pass on a cow at fifteen yards and full draw, on the third day of my 2015 hunt had haunted me for the past eleven months.
The stereotypical picture of hunting isn’t always the most truthful one. There is a perceived idea in the hunting and non-hunting communities of what hunting is — that hunting is about killing. This label is supposedly the culture of who we are meant to be, what we represent, and why we hunt.
Mountain hunting is hardly a new pursuit. The Indigenous peoples of British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alaska have well-documented accounts of hunting mountain goats and other game long before Gore-Tex and ultralight gear came into the picture.
I get asked for my thoughts on this so-called debate all the time, and it most often comes from hunters looking to understand what a milliradian is, and why the military and practical rifle competitors prefer it over the minute of angle or MOA.
Target panic. Two of the most dreaded and discussed words in the bowhunting lexicon today. Most bowhunters will experience it over the course of their lives and many struggle with it on an annual basis. In my personal experience, I would draw back, anchor and settle my pin, and then no matter what I did, my pin would always end up just below my desired aiming point.
As the sun poked through the oak limbs, I couldn’t help but smile as the first deer of the morning made her way towards me. The frost glistened on her back from a long, cold night of laying in her bed and the leaves crunched with each cautious step she took.
I am not a hunter, in fact the only thing I’ve ever shot was a beer can from forty feet away. And that was only after missing two-dozen times. I worked as a ranch hand for a few seasons and a farm hand for a few others.
I’ve always felt a deep connection with mountain hunting; you may even call it a love. The mountains provide the perfect environment for the adventurous hunter, as some of the most incredible big game species call them home. Few places embody the spirit of mountain hunting like that of the Tian Shan Mountains of Central Asia.