During a decade or more of guiding hunters in the back country, one hears things from hunters that both warm the heart and chill the blood. These are all true tales from the tall timber. Of the chilling variety. Take heed of these statements and you might just become the model for how to be a good hunting client.
Mind If I Don't Smoke?
Scenario: Horse pack train, halfway to high-country wilderness elk camp.
Hunter to outfitter: “I’ve been smoking way too much. I’m going to use this trip to quit cigarettes. Didn’t bring a single one.”
Mix and Match
Scenario: High-country hunt.
Guide: “What kind of ammo are you shooting?”
Hunter: “Oh, I don’t know, I’ve got a couple kinds in my pocket.”
Want Not, Waste All
Scenario: Field dressing a 194 6/8 Pope & Young mule deer.
Hunter: “I only want the head and cape. Get rid of the rest. I don’t want that f-----g meat.”
Guide: (with difficulty, suppresses the urge to field dress the hunter)
The Survivor Man
Newly arrived hunter says to high-elevation outfitter: “Oh, did I tell you that I’ve had three open heart surgeries, and my carotid artery is 50-percent blocked?”
Zero Clue on Zeroing
Scenario: First morning of an elk hunt, glassing across a canyon.
Guide: “Where do you like to have your rifle zeroed?”
Hunter: "Oh, I’ve never shot it, but it should be dead-on. The guy at the sporting goods store bore-sighted it for me.”
Getting in Shape?
Hunter, when booking with a back country Outfitter, states: “I’m a little out of shape, but I’ll get around fine.” Eight months later hunter arrives weighing in at 387 lbs.
Hunter, upon arrival, announces to outfitter: “I’m only interested in a (insert B&C minimum) book animal. I need to kill a book (insert species) to get a patch at my hunting club.”
Half a Box'll Do Ya
Scenario: Setting up to zero a hunter’s rifle at the range.
Guide: (seeing a half empty box of ammo) “Do you have another box of ammo?”
Hunter: “No, this is all I brought.”
A Regular Dynamic Duo
Scenario: After hunting several days and missing three shots at different elk within easy range, finally makes the shot and kills an elk.
Hunter raves to his guide: “Man, we make a team! There’s nothing we can’t kill. Man, you and me, we’re the best predators in the woods.”
Guide: (tastes bile and responds only in his thoughts)
No License to Kill
Scenario: Elk camp, 16 horseback miles from the nearest road. Heading out for the first morning’s hunt.
Hunter: “License? No, I don’t have a license. Did you tell me to pick up a license? I must have missed that.”