You fail more than you succeed.

As an entrepreneur, outfitter/guide and human, I fail more than I succeed.  One could say, I set myself up for failure in hunting, because I generally have HIGH standards.  As an outfitter in the BIG BULL state of Arizona, it would be an utter marketing death if I told you my hunter didn’t kill a bull this year.

I mean, if my hunter didn’t kill a big bull, it must mean I am a crappy guide/hunter.

Well, I am not afraid to show you what’s in my deck of cards…

I just got done scouting and guiding in Arizona’s Unit 9 with an Exclusive Pursuit Outfitters Archery Elk Hunting client, Ben Howard.  I spent 24 days scouting and hunting for a big bull and we hunted x1 Giant almost exclusively for 11 days.  We didn’t kill the giant bull we dubbed, “HOWARD”, but we damn sure went for it!

We estimated Howard to be 375-380 inches, which was 15-20 inches bigger than any other AZ Bull we had seen.

We estimated Howard to be 375-380 inches, which was 15-20 inches bigger than any other AZ Bull we had seen.

As I walked back to the truck the last night, I was disappointed in myself.  I felt like I let Ben down and I also felt like I made some mistakes while trying to get Howard on the ground.

I grabbed my keys and looked at Ben…   “I am sorry Ben; I failed.”

Ben looks at me with a surprising smile, “Dude, you have nothing to be sorry about.  This was the best elk hunt I have ever been on.  We could have killed a bull, but that’s not what I came for.  We passed on 340-360 class bulls and we got to hunt a giant; it just didn’t work out.” 

A 345-350″ bull we walked away from several times while trying to get Howard on the ground.

We saw Howard 6 times during the hunt, which was a HUGE task in itself.  Only once did Howard  have cows and we only saw him in the same place twice!  He was a big old bull who knew everyone and everything in the woods.  We had him from 120-40 yards 4 times, but things didn’t go our way once we got in tight.

I know the percentages were stacked against us killing Howard, but it doesn’t mean I am going to hide or excuse myself from not succeeding as a guide and hunter.  I am not afraid to say I failed.  I think it’s NEEDED in the outfitting industry, because far too many are posing and inflating.

[caption id="attachment_3982" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Big Howard walks into the trees, after smelling us. Big Howard walks into the trees, after smelling us.[/caption]

Although Ben’s words softened the blow the last night, I still want to make 1 thing clear; I failed.

-Craig Steele