3 Keys to Backcountry Hunting Success
This time of year always brings reflection. Each year as we head into another hunting season, we reflect more on how we got into hunting. Family is always the first thing that comes to mind. Like many of you, family, particularly our fathers and grandfathers, were instrumental in introducing us to the great world of hunting. We’re grateful for their time, patience, and experience. We’re grateful to be apart of families that hunt.
We also reflect on past hunting seasons. We reflect on things that went well, for motivation. We also reflect on mistakes we made, also for motivation. We do not succeed or fail; we either succeed or learn. Learning opens the door for growth. Growth makes us a little bit better today than we were yesterday. All we can do is be a better version of ourselves. We are our own competition.
Team Backcountry has an abundance of big game tags throughout the west this year. We will be hunting some new country and new states we have never stepped foot in before. We’re also grateful to have tags in some of our favorite past units. Whether we will fill every tag or not is unknown. Whether we be successful in filling our season with adventure and experiences is certain.
As we reflect on the past and look forward to the future, here are the top three reasons we are successful on backcountry hunts. Perhaps others can learn from our “mistakes” and have the best season ever.
- Summer scouting – There is no doubt a direct correlation between the amount of pre-season scouting and percentage of filled tags. This is especially true when we draw and hunt tags in states or units we’ve never hunted previously. As a rule, we ALWAYS make at least one summer scouting trip to a new area we’ve never hunted before.
- Physical conditioning – We can’t kill what we can’t physically keep up with. We head deep into the backcountry on most of our hunts. This eliminates a lot of hunting pressure, and for good reason. The backcountry is brutal and unforgiving. As we enter hunting seasons in top physical shape, our consistency in filling our tags has increased dramatically.
- Knowing Our Equipment – The tools we use to successfully execute a backcountry hunt are priceless. We use the best equipment we’ve found and can afford. Some unsuccessful hunts have been a direct result of poor equipment choices. The gear we use now keeps us on the mountain no matter what. The other half of knowing our equipment is practicing with the gear we use. Whether it’s shooting our bows, breaking in our boots, or being comfortable with our packs, we always feel 100% familiar and confident with the gear we pack into the backcountry.
Enjoy this time of year! Tags have been drawn. We know where we’ll be hunting. It’s time to hit the hills and put in the work. All the preparation possible will not replace an attitude of relentless drive to be successful. Refuse anything other than 100% effort and you will be successful. Understand that the hunt is about more than bringing home a freezer full of big game meat, but it sure is a nice bonus! Good luck this season!
Dustin – Team Backcountry