ELK HUNTING TIPS

 

With almost 14 years of experience as a professional hunting guide, at 34 years of age, I've guided 2-3 elk hunts a year (not including the hunts I’ve drawn, the hunts I’ve helped on with friends, or the hunts following my dad since I was 8 years old). I have a lot of experience compared to the average hunter who puts in for the elk draw and only draws once every 2-3 years. Because of all the elk hunts I've been on, at my age, I have more elk hunting experience than most elk hunters get in a lifetime. For those reasons, I’d like to share some of my elk hunting knowledge with you. To some elk hunters these tips might not be anything new, but to others they can be very helpful. Have you ever hunted elk before? Some hunters aren't lucky enough to live in a state that has elk. People see elk as a majestic animal that could be considered the ultimate North America big game animal. 

 Large 360" plus bull elk glassed from miles away using a spotting scope.

Large 360" plus bull elk glassed from miles away using a spotting scope.

 

Most hunters get to hunt elk every 2-3 years and when that opportunity comes, there's quite a bit of anticipation and expectations. Once the hunt starts, most hunters chase every bugle or bull they see. Sometimes that tactic can be successful, but often times, it can be unsuccessful and result in pushing the elk out of the country (never to be seen again). Chasing after elk is a challenging task since elk are on the move in the early mornings and late evenings. In the morning, they're leaving there feeding area and are heading to bed as soon as the sun comes up. This isn't always the case but about 80% of the time, that's where they’re headed. In the evening, they're leaving the bedding area and are headed to their feeding area. When elk are headed to their bedding areas it's hard to intercept them because that’s there one mission and there’s usually lots of elk.  This means there are lots of eyes looking out for predators. One tactic that I found that works the best in a low pressured hunting area is taking your time rather than chasing the elk. The elk hunt is like a marathon not a sprint. Study the area, study the elk’s movement, determine where all the water is, get an idea of where the elk head to bed, and where they come out in the evenings. Once that's been determined you can use that knowledge to setup and ambush them. 

 Small 300" 6x glassed up from miles away. Multiple bulls and cows located in this area. 

Small 300" 6x glassed up from miles away. Multiple bulls and cows located in this area. 


By patterning you'll learn that Elk, during the rut, can be creatures of habit. If you know the area they prefer and understand their habits, you can put yourself in enough situations (by being patient) where you'll eventually get a shot at your bull.

 High Vantage in low land country overlooking a water hole frequented by elk. 

High Vantage in low land country overlooking a water hole frequented by elk. 


Let your binoculars or spotting scope do the walking for you. Put yourself on a high vantage that will allow for a large field of view of the area you plan to hunt. You can sit stationary for hours, looking though optics covering miles and miles of terrain, that would take you weeks to cover on foot. Just by using this technique, you get a bird’s eye view of the area you are hunting. You can also use the vantage to study the elk herd, determine the size of bulls in the herd and decide if the area you are glassing over is worth hunting at all.

 Glassing with my father Using a high vantage point / high powered bino's and spotting scope to scout elk in the area. 

Glassing with my father Using a high vantage point / high powered bino's and spotting scope to scout elk in the area. 

 

Think of elk hunting as a football game. There are four quarters and half way point in the game aka "hunt.” If things aren’t going your way at “halftime”, make appropriate adjustments that will “win the game” like locating a new bull elk by glassing from different high points for multiple hours. Don’t think looking for elk in the evening from a high point is a waste of time. The time you already put in can be perceived as an investment for your future/goal (not a waste of time). Once you’ve found the elk, (hopefully it’s what you’re looking for) watch them, study them, and figure out where the best place to ambush them might be. People live life 365 days in a year and most elk hunter’s wait for 5-15 days out of the year to hunt. Be prepared to make those days count, but make sure you realize that “time is on your side”. The more focus you put on success, pressure will build i.e. “killing a bull,” the less time you’ll think about strategically putting yourself in the right spot. Think positive, pay attention, and devise a plan. We as hunters live in a technologically advanced world, where everything happens now and instant gratification can be at your fingertips. Hunting doesn’t provide instant gratification. This is why most hunters enjoy hunting so much. It brings us all back to what human nature is. Taking care of ourselves, becoming resourceful, and respecting the time we have on this earth. Good look to all this hunting season. 

 My brothers 380" Bull using these exact tactics.

My brothers 380" Bull using these exact tactics.

 

COMFORT ZONE

 
 

Which is better? Being in your comfort zone or being out of it? For me, I obviously prefer being in my comfort zone. After all, being comfortable is what the majority of us want. Sometimes the thought of being out of our comfort zones bring on worry, doubt, and anxiousness. I like being in my comfort zone most of the time, but thinking back, I realize most times I was out of my comfort zone; I learned something new. As Mark Twain said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” For that reason, I’d encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and experience something you never have or do something you’ve doubted you could do.

 

Here’s a perfect example of one of the many times I’ve found myself out of my comfort zone. I was guiding on an elk hunt for my brother, who at the time was an outfitter. The hunt started off very slow. We had experienced one of the driest years in New Mexico history. The days where so hot that the elk just weren’t moving during daylight. That evening we ate steaks, baked potatoes, salad, and some French bread. My hunter, Gary and I had decided we would go to a spot in the morning that takes an hour and a half drive to get to. We hoped the drive to the isolated area would be worth the trip. After filling our stomachs full of protein and carbohydrates, we made our way back to the bunkhouse to get some well needed rest. Ironically enough, it started raining. I could hear the rain pounding down on top of the pro-panel roof above our heads. The rain was persistent and hard. I thought to myself, “Wow! What are the odds of this? That drive tomorrow morning is going to be a muddy mess!” The road we planned on driving on can become a sloppy monster truck mud bog mess when wet. The thought of driving in the dark on muddy roads made me feel a little out uncomfortable. I had driven on thousands of muddy roads, but the worry of not knowing how bad they’d be planted a seed in my mind.  These thoughts put me out of my comfort zone. There were two sections of the road that required some advanced skillful off-road driving ability. Some other parts required a pedal to the medal 4-wheel drive approach. Most of the time when both of those sections are saturated with water; you could wind up driving sideways. Back and forth, back and forth, while the tires try to grab a rut, a rock, or a drier patch of mud. If someone where to watch from above, it would look like the truck was a sidewinder rattlesnake, switching back and forth with mud flying everywhere. This type of driving would definitely be classified as white-knuckle driving. As I drove up on the first mud hole, I put my truck in 4-wheel low. I turned on the windshield wipers and squirted washer fluid on my windshield and hit the bog with high speed and torque. Instantaneously, the muddy mess engulfed my truck covering my windshield effecting visibility, but because my wipers where on I could still see where I was going. As we where driving through the mud, I could see a downed tree that took up 1/3 of the roads width. Ironically enough, directly across from where the tree had fallen was a large rock. If I hit it, it would cause serious body damage to my truck. The rock was so large that if it where hit straight on the collision would cause any lifted truck to high center and get stuck. As I got closer to this obstacle, my truck was still fish-tailing back and forth. I had to time my fish-tailing and over-steer just right to make it through without puncturing a tire or getting stuck on the large boulder. Before I knew it, I had made it through the obstacle, at which point Gary said, “That’s some damn good driving!” We made it through the first obstacle and had about 25 minutes to recuperate to prepare for the next mud bog. We passed the time listening to country music, but I also had a million thoughts flowing through my mind, hoping the next mud bog was easier. I was completely out of my comfort zone. For the simple reason of not wanting to get stuck out in the middle of nowhere. Approaching the next obstacle, I told Gary “hold on, here we go.” The strategy for this mud bog was the same as the last. ¾ of the way though the bog got a little rockier which made it a little easier to get traction. We made it out with a fair amount of speed when suddenly my truck violently made impact with a rock under my truck. Gary and I both hit our heads on the ceiling of my truck with our seat belts on. How is that possible? Don’t ask me but it did happen. My uncomfortable feelings of being out of my comfort zone washed away with laughter. Gary laughed and said “%$@#!” We’d made it through and now all we had to do was drive a few more muddy miles, park the truck and hope I didn’t do any real damage to my under carriage. Unfortunately, the rock struck my starter square, but luckily (by some miracle) didn’t affect my truck from starting. 

 

We made it!!! We parked the truck in the dark. Getting out of the truck was a great relief and the first thing that hit my senses was the amazing smell of wet pine trees. I could hear drips of water falling off the trees onto beds of dry pine needles. A fresh scent so amazing, it felt like the whole forest had been given a bath to clean it off and bring it back to its intended beauty. Gary and I had a 45 minute hike in the dark to get to where we wanted to be once the sun came up. Arriving at our sunrise spot, we could hear a few bugles but they where a long ways off to our south. After observing the area and watching the sun crest over the mountains to our east, we hoped that our drive and hike would pay off. We sat, listened and observed using our binoculars for 20 minutes but there was no activity. We could still hear a sporadic bugle off to our south. I asked Gary if he wanted to go check it out and he though it was a good idea. I told him judging by where that bugle is coming from, the elk is heading to a bedding area so we needed to get there as fast as we could. We threw our packs on our backs and proceeded to walk briskly. The terrain was flat, but littered with ankle twisting mossy rocks, prairie grass, cedar, alligator juniper, pinion, and pine trees. After a good walk with no stops, we could hear the bugles getting louder and louder. Because the bull was heading west at a good rate of speed, we had to try and head the bull off before it got into the thick timber where we’d never see it. We started walk/running. The bugles got louder and louder, and we were in front of the elk. I turned to Gary and told him, “We’re in front of them. Get ready. We’ll set up right here and they should come through right in front of us.” I sat down and could see though a group of trees that would provide a shooting window for Gary. Gary sat and positioned himself and we waited. Within 20-30 seconds, elk began to file through in front of us in single file. I knew the moment was upon us. The bugling bull came though the opening and I cow called. The bull stopped and… BOOM! The bull went down (a clean fast ethical kill). Gary and I both high-5’ed and congratulated each other.   


We’d done what we set out to do. It was a lot of work and at times nerve racking. So much so, that my comfort zone was breached several times. From that experience, I reaffirmed Mark Twain’s words of “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened”. All my worries leading up to that moment never happened. The one thing that did happen was reaching the goal at hand. May all your worries be just that and all your goals be reached. 

 

COULD YOU IMAGINE

 

Could you imagine eating your absolute favorite 3-course meal while watching the cooks in the kitchen prepare it? During the preparation for the meal, you could watch the chef grab ingredients that you didn’t recognize. That sight might not be to alarming; at first, but if you could be a fly on the wall and hear the conversations in the kitchen. Imagine the cook’s pronouncing these foreign ingredients and talking about the side effects. One chef comments “Man, could you imagine if the people in the dining room knew about all the junk we’re adding to their food?” “They’ll never know. People don’t care about what they eat as long as it tastes good or it’s marketed properly”.  That conversation would definitely get the wheels turning in my head. “Should I eat this food?” “Maybe that’s why I felt weird the last time I ate here. Might not have been allergies like I thought.” “Could this be why my stomach hurt later that day. Guess it wasn’t the Mexican food.” “How could such a sought-after restaurant make me sick?” 

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Now imagine a similar concept but relate it to energy bars you eat. Have you ever wondered if the bar you where eating lived up to all the hype? Or where you just buying what you where familiar with? What exactly have you been eating? Was it good for you?


Maybe I can shed some light on some of these questions you might have with some of the ingredients you might typically see. I, like most people, even have a hard time pronouncing some of them or have no clue what they are. Some energy bars contain natural and artificial flavor or pass the sugars off as “organic” or “healthy”. In reality, organic sugar is still “sugar” which is comprised of fructose (the most harmful of all sugars).  Some of the most popular energy bars contain these hard to pronounce ingredients or almost require a PhD to fully understand what they are. Diglycerides, sodium bicarbonate, glycerin, corn syrup, vegetable glycerin, ferrous fumarate, niacinamide, coconut sugar, organic sugar, corn syrup, tapioca syrup, maltitol syrup, oligofructose, alkalized cocoa powder. The list goes on and on, but I think you get the idea.


So what does Bandera Bar use? Bandera Bar only uses ingredients that are healthy, pronounceable, and understandable. The blueberry coconut flavor has a total of 10 ingredients. The ingredients are simple, but the ratios and recipe formulation make for a HEALTHY, balanced energy bar. The energy comes from a perfect blend of natural ingredients.  Rather than harmful additives designed to provide a slow burst of energy which could lead to unhealthy side effects. Bandera Bar ingredients consist of brown rice syrup, organic rolled oats, whey protein crisps, date paste, protein isolate, blueberries, unsweetened shredded coconut, flaxseed oil, vanilla, and salt. Eat what you know! Eat a Bandera Bar!

 

THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE

 

The best day of my life happens to be at 11 years old. It was my first hunting trip with a deer tag. I’d been around hunting camp before so I had the opportunity to walk around on some hunts prior to this one. Those times where different though (I wasn’t allowed to shoot at big game species yet). I was always the tag along, but being the tag along was cool and fun. Prior to this hunt, I’d follow the adults and see vast canyons with foliage that covered every spectrum of the color wheel. Rocks big enough to swallow a whole truck if it fell on one. The soil wasn’t sandy but more like a littered field full of oblong sized stones, rocks, and some flat spots. The sky mixed with clouds surrounded us. Some clouds where so close, almost like you could touch them. On other days, not a single cloud could be seen in the sky. That’s what makes the outdoors so intriguing to me. Days are never the same as the last when you are in the outdoors. Sometimes the sky would be filled with contrails from high-flying commercial jets, traveling to Vegas, Hawaii, or who knows where. Hunting camp was always great. 15-20 people in total, all of them brought their camper trailers, tents, and a very large wall tent used specifically for poker.  This trip was going to be different because I actually had my own deer tag. This meant I had the opportunity to harvest a deer and feed my family. Wait, feed my family? At 11 years of age? Hunting wasn’t just about everything that the amazing outdoors has to offer. Hunting was an opportunity to build friendships, get closer to life outside the city, and also feed your family. I grew up learning how to hunt at an early age. I also learned how to field dress an animal and eventually help my dad butcher the animal once we got home. We didn’t waste a thing. These days some trendy people refer to it as snout-to-tail. With all the tools and experience under my belt; my dad, brother, and myself set off to our hunt. We hopped in a blue Ford Bronco that was hooked up to a double-axel camper trailer and drove off with my mom waving and wishing us luck.

 

 

 

Arriving at camp that afternoon, my dad backed the trailer into the perfect spot. The spot was completely covered by shade with a very large alligator juniper on the right and ponderosa pines as far as you could see.  The trailer was in position, which meant it was time to unhook the trailer. That was the plan, but my mind was elsewhere. All I could think about was going hunting that evening. Once the trailer was leveled and setup we set off to hunt. We where headed to one of my dads favorite spots. The drive wasn’t bad with the exception of the last 15 minutes which was so rough. It was chockfull of large unmovable rocks and boulders. I felt like a real, live bobble head. Finally we made it. Before we had even got out of the truck, I was so excited. I felt like I drank 5-6 Red Bulls (even though Red Bull didn’t exist back then). Some hunters refer to this as “nerves” or “buck fever”. Even just seeing a buck, I’d get “buck fever”. Yes it does happen at a young age. If you don’t know what buck fever is just Google it or ask anyone who’s ever hunted. I’m sure they’ll have a few stories to tell about their buck fever experience. Google defines buck fever as “nervousness felt by novice hunters when they first sight game”. Well I was 11 years old, which puts me in the novice category. Even though, I’ve seen some of the most seasoned, experienced hunters (far from novice) have buck fever too. In my case, at 11, I’d say I was definitely novice. I was the buck fever kid.  I had been a spectator on several hunts but never did I have a deer tag to fill. On the first evening, I missed three bucks, all within a 45-minute window. I blew every opportunity. What happened? BUCK FEVER! We crossed over a fence and a few minutes from the truck, I had already missed my first deer. About 5 minutes later, I missed yet another deer. Every time my reaction was the same. “Dad, did I get it?” “No you missed, shoot again”.  The best part about being young is missed opportunities are easily forgotten. I had missed all three bucks. For me though, I had chalked it all up to a great day of hunting. In hindsight, missing three bucks (as an adult) in one day would make me go bonkers but being a kid, things are much more simple.

 

 

When we got back to camp in the evening, I got to hear all the other hunters tell their stories about what they’d seen, where they’d been, and how their experiences went. My story was pretty simple; “I missed three deer and used up a lot of my dad’s ammunition.” The cool thing about it was not a single person in camp gave me a hard time. There was comradery between all of us that made the camp feel like family. A very large pit fire lined with rocks kept the majority of us warm that evening. It also helped cook the food for the camp and dry out our wet boots.  Note: “don’t put your boots to close to the fire or you’ll melt the soles off the bottom”. I learnt that the hard way, but I’ll save that story for another time. A section of the fire pit was designated for an extremely hot bed of coals in which a large metal concaved disk with handles was placed. Once hot the disk was used to make everything from steak, chicken, vegetables, sautéed onions, potatoes, fajitas, tortillas, beans, etc. You name it, it was cooked on the disk. Once the food cooked, it was portioned out and served to everyone. This process took quite a bit of time so there was plenty of opportunity to share stories; ones that were so colorful and detailed, you felt like you where there.

 

 

The following morning, my dad, brother and I hunted the same area. That morning hunt wasn’t nearly as fruitful as the evening before. I found that odd because in my experience, morning hunts seemed to be the most productive. I thought to myself. “Maybe I scared all the deer out of this area. I hope I didn’t blow my chance”. While we where walking back to the truck in thigh high grass, I could see sparse pinions and junipers sprinkled into the landscape like fresh pepper shaken onto a mountain of mashed potatoes.  We continued to walk through the terrain and came across a small rock outcropping. Brown rocks with a tinge of dark red protruding from the grass, extending about 25-feet above the foliage below. As we got closer to the outcropping, a young buck jumped up out the grass in front of us and headed straight for the canyon located directly to the east of us.  The buck never stopped. Like a bolt of lightning, he disappeared into the tree line at the top of the canyon. Everything happened so fast, I felt like there was no chance we’d ever see that deer again.  

 

 

 

What’s next? Without saying a word my father, a life-long hunter, had already devised a plan. He told my brother to stay where we’d seen the buck so he would have the high ground, in case the buck doubled back my brother’s way. My dad and I walked to the head of the canyon then began towards the opposite side of it. We’d position ourselves in a spot where we could see my brother and use our binoculars to glass the side of the canyon that the deer headed into. We had sat down in an area that offered some cover but also had a large rock in front of us that could be used as a solid rest in case a shot presented itself.  As we began glassing, a large storm began heading our way and within minutes was directly above us. The clouds hanging low with dark grey accents began to push down on us with large snowflakes. 20- minutes into glassing the canyon through the snow, my mind began to wonder. I thought, “There’s no way this deer is in the canyon, there’s no way he’s even on the side we’re glassing, but this snow is awesome!”  Then within a few moments my dad says, “There he is!” My response was, “what?” My dad then said, “He’s right there on the other side of the canyon under a juniper, next to some yuccas.”

 

 

We found the deer!!! But yuccas? I knew they were a type cactus but visually, I wasn’t exactly sure what it looked like. I was thinking about an upright, branched out cactus. That cactus in the southwest is known as devils rope. My response to dad as he told me where the deer was while the snow fell went something like this. Dad: “Start at the head of the canyon.” Me: “Ok”, Dad: “Now move down the canyon and you’ll see a break in the trees with a dead cedar in the middle.” Me: “Ok, I see that.” Dad” “Now go down midway and you’ll see two-yuccas and a juniper with the deer directly under it.” Me: “Ok I don’t see it”. My dad and I repeated this conversation in its entirety for about 10 minutes. Every time he said the same thing, and my answers where the same. I just never saw the deer. Then my dad asked me if I knew what a yucca was. By this time, I doubted my knowledge of what it really was and I said “No” so my dad provided a detailed description of what a yucca looked like. Within a few minutes, I had the deer in my sights. I rested the rifle on the rock and couldn’t seem to get a steady rest. There was a portion of the rock that wasn’t stable and made it hard for me to make the clean ethical shot that I wanted to make.  My dad used his hands to create a solid foundation at the weak point of the rock. He rested his hands under the gunstock. Once I had a solid rest, I had the feeling (not buck fever), but the feeling this was the perfect time to kill my first deer. I took off my gloves off and took a deep breath. Time stood still. The snow seemed like it stopped falling. Everything went in slow motion. I slowly squeezed the trigger and “boom!” This time I didn’t ask my dad if I got it. I saw it through the scope, I got the deer.  I was so excited that I yelled and clapped my hands so hard and so long I couldn’t feel them once I stopped. I even told my dad “I can’t feel my hands!”

 

The feeling that ensued after was indescribable. I was so proud of myself and proud of my dad and brother for the help that they gave me.  That moment in time was almost 25-years ago, but for that one moment regardless of the years that have passed in my life, I’ll always remember that day like it was yesterday. I hope all of you have had the opportunity to have a moment imprint on your life that when it all comes down to it you can say… “That’s was the best day of my life, and this is why.”




 

Listening To Your Body

 

I spent some time last year dealing with some health stuff and during that process I realized that I hardly ever listened to my body. What I mean is, I always let my mind tell me, “keep going”, “don’t quit”, “just a little more”, “just keep going”, “one more hill”, “one more rep”, “two more hills”, “ten more reps”. During that time, I didn’t realize that my body actually had a voice, but I just didn’t listen to it. By allowing my mind to control everything, I pushed my body farther than it should’ve ever been pushed. Why did I do this? Why would anyone else do this if they knew there where adverse effects to letting your mind run your body and life? I’ll explain…

 

 

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Using physical strength or endurance to achieve goals that your mind has set for you. “Last week, at the gym I benched 195 lbs. Next week, maybe I’ll see how 215 lbs feels”. Or, “last weekend, I went on a 12-mile hike and it was no problem. Next weekend, I’m planning to do a 17-mile hike in a new area I’ve never been”.  Why should raising the bar by accomplishing goals manifest into pushing your body to the limits? Most of us do it all the time and don’t even realize it until we’ve torn a ligament, broken a leg, or wound up in the hospital. Then the dreaded words are said, “you need to take it easy for a while”. Huh? Take it easy? Having the freedom to be spontaneous and get out into the wilderness is not something active people enjoying having ripped away from them. To be inactive for an extended period of time, can be viewed as a form torture!


Next time your doing something, take the time to listen to how your body responds. I’m sure you’ll be very surprised at the outcome. If you’re smart and listen to your body as much as you listen to your mind, you won’t have to worry about a trip to the hospital.   

 

DOES TECHNOLOGY HINDER US FROM BEING ACTIVE

I’ve spent a better part of my life outside or working out at the gym to stay in shape. I’ve explored places that I only imagined existed, creating life long memories in the process.  I have been fortunate to share those experiences with family and friends. As I’ve grown up, I’ve seen (what I think could be) a correlation between technology and inactivity.  I’m no professional, by any means. I am only speaking from my experience which some of you (I think) can relate.

 

20 years ago, if I wanted to explore a wilderness that I had never been to, I’d go down to a map store; purchase a topographic (topo) map for $12, study it and make a determination on which areas I wanted to discover. Fast forward to today, where I can simply pull up Google Earth (which is free) and spend as much time determining where I want to go. Ruling out places I might’ve considered if I had used a topo map. Using technology has paid off by allowing me to go places without driving or stepping a foot on the area where my mind says,  “those places don’t look so great. I’ll stay away from them and try a different trek”. Why do I do that? Maybe Because it doesn’t look as appealing on a 3 dimension map? Maybe because it’s close to a road I never know existed? Whereas if I didn’t have technology, I would have no choice but to explore some of those areas I might rule out. Using a mouse instead of my two-feet: which saved gas and miles on my feet, to explore that area.

Am I really being more productive by using technology to find areas to explore or am I missing out on an amazing experience?

 

Another example that comes to mind, relates to Mixed Martial Arts. Two-decades ago, you’d need to go to a gym and learn specific martial arts moves from an instructor. However, today you can simply YouTube a martial art move and learn it from watching a virtual instructor on your phone. You’re saving time and money by not putting yourself in a class to learn it hands on. But is it worth missing out on the actual physical activity or adventure of a real world experience? Is a visual aid on your cell phone, laptop, TV, or tablet (that you store in your memory bank with minimal rewards, physical activity and muscle memory) better?

 

As a young man, in History class, I remember seeing Mount Rushmore this incredible granite rock with presidential faces (carved all by hand). I vividly remember going there with my family a few years after.  Once we arrived, I was shocked at how much smaller it looked in person, compared to the years of history books depicted through awe-inspiring photographs. Nowadays, I would have researched it online and read comments like “Mount Rushmore is smaller in person than you’d think,” and may have chosen a different spot to explore. I can’t say for sure, but maybe we would have taken it into consideration and spent more time in Yellowstone, but why?  Maybe because technology does hinder us from being active or experiencing things in real life: experiencing things with a click of a few buttons. In hindsight, I’m very happy we went and glad the Internet wasn’t a factor of influencing the decision to partake in a great family trip otherwise we could have missed out on an incredible piece of American history.

 

Weather technology has some of us outdoor folks planning trips around the climate, i.e. good weather = great and bad weather = bad! We now have the same tools meteorologist do. Doppler radar weather forecast models, which provide, hour-by-hour projected forecasts, humidity levels, and chance of precipitation (down the exact percentage). I can tell you first hand, I’ve let this 24/7 technological weather phenomena effect some of my outdoor adventures. Most of the time, choosing not to for a valid reason but other times: just because I didn’t want to deal with less-then-perfect conditions. As a kid, I can remember loving the idea of it raining or snowing while out hunting with my father. Believe it or not, some of my most memorable hunts and outdoor adventures happened in the worst weather possible.

 

I challenge anyone reading this blog, who can relate to these scenarios, to leave technology out of the equation once in a while and do something without the influence of technology. Do something that you want to do, be spontaneous and not something that was influenced by technology. You might be surprised how free and fun the outcome can be.