His last hunt. My regrets.

Live It.

W & his hunter glass the thick juniper basin looking for a bull.

I don’t care who you are or what you do, sometimes you would do it differently.

I was guiding on a late elk hunt and my hunter tagged out early.  I stayed to help the other guide (W) and his hunter.  The last night at camp I learned the 60 something year old hunter had stage 4 lung cancer and he told W, this was his last hunt.

His character around camp…

He was an extremely nice guy and was very easy to listen too.  He had many stories to share and now I wish I would have wrote some of them down.  He reminded me of my late grandfather, who also past away from cancer.

The last night, while in the cook tent, I couldn’t help but feel humbled to share a hunting experience with this man, who I only knew for 5 days.   W & I were both determined to find him a bull to kill the next day.

The next morning, we went to separate points.  Just as the sun cracked enough light to see, I found a few bulls below me.  I called W on the radio, ” I got a few bulls below me and one of them is a decent bull.”  “We are headed that way! He isn’t too picky with the snow storm coming in,” W replied.

Solid bull below me in the trees.

Solid bull below me in the trees.

W and his hunter had 3/4 of a mile to cover to get to my location.  The bulls were just feeding on the cliff rose, but I was getting anxious because of the amount of hunters we had seen in the area.  A few minutes later I heard some noise to my left.  SHIT!!! 3 guys were taking off their packs just 30 yards from me.

I watched as the bulls continued to feed calmly and I pretended like the other hunters were not there.  As I leaned back into my 15’s I heard a guy walk up next too me and start to bale off the ridge toward the bulls.   I stopped him and said, “hey man, do you see those bulls?”

I wasn’t sure because the wind was horrible and this guy was walking like he had NO clue the elk were down there.

He stopped with a look of displeasure on his face and said, “Yuupppp.”

I replied, “Well man, I can’t tell you to not go after them, because it’s public land, but I have been sitting up here watching them for 25 minutes and my buddy is walking down that ridge toward us.  His hunter has a tag.  Again, I can’t tell you not to, but hopefully you do the right thing.”

With a blank look on his face he replied, “Yuupppp.”  Then turned and walked straight toward the bulls.

I called W on the radio and told him to go back to his point.  I loaded up my crap and walked past the other 2 guys, with a look of disgust on my face.

On my way to W’s point, I heard the shots, but  hopefully the SOB missed.

Later that day, W’s hunter decided to head home.  There was only 1 day left to hunt and a big storm headed our way.  You could tell by the look on the hunter’s face, he was done.  He had his last hunt and now he was going home to spend what was left of his life, with the ones he loved.

W & his hunter talking about the hunt & life.

W & his hunter talking about the hunt & life.

My regrets.  

I didn’t do the right thing.