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Joined: 01/27/2002
Posts: 7914
Staying Alive While Hunting the Wide Open West (feature)

August 2008 Feature Article:

Staying Alive While Hunting the Wide Open West

Growing up hunting in the Midwest where a half-hour hike from the road was considered remote and wilderness was any 500-acre section with a single farm house. Getting lost was never a concern, even in an era before cell phones and GPS units.

In more than two decades my worst mishap was getting mired in mud off the side of a rural road during a Sunday snow squall. I was stuck for nearly 30 minutes before a farmer hunting for coyotes drove past and pulled me back onto the road.

When I was 29 I moved my family to the West. Big game hunting suddenly became a much more serious pursuit, not because I became a more avid hunter, but because I realized that a mistake in the Rocky Mountains or the Western deserts could prove fatal.

Please use this area to post comments or questions about this feature article.

Location: gulfport MS
Joined: 12/28/2007
Posts: 52
Staying Alive While Hunting the Wide Open West (feature)

good read, i really enjoy reading articles that give first hand tips like this one does. thx for the post.

Location: Missoula, Montana
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 3
Western Montana can be a dangerous place

A few years a go, and i was still very new to hunting, I was in western Montana, up by Seely Lake. Was getting to be about shooting light and I was out by my self in the middle of no where. had finished snowing about 6'' that day. Walked to an area that i figured would be a good place to find a buck, anyhow, had a Mountain Lion start talking me, maintained about 100 to 300 feet distance and i watched it stalk me for about a mile, then lost it as the brush closed it as i walked another mile back to my rig. Now my friends tell me i should have shot it, but for some reason i did. we looked at eachother and had a moment of curiosity, respect, and excitement. now he may have been thinking tasty treat but who knows. What would yall have done? i am trying to find some more insperation for writing an on em. as well as a good writen experiance of someone who goes out activly hunting them





Location: Muskogee, Oklahoma
Joined: 10/17/2008
Posts: 6
Staying Alive While Hunting the Wide Open West (feature)

great job and geartly appreciated. i added a few things to my list of many.

Location: North Front Range, Colorado
Joined: 01/12/2009
Posts: 7
Staying Alive While Hunting the Wide Open West (feature)

Good Article. New to BigGameHunt. Not new to Colorado fall weather. In addition for any of the guys looking to go back country for a week or so solo would recommend the SPOT. It could be a lifesaver. MY 2cents. Thumbs up

hellomcfly's picture
Location: Denver Colorado
Joined: 04/29/2007
Posts: 333
Staying Alive While Hunting the Wide Open West (feature)

Good read. That's good info, we got our truck stuck a couple weeks ago while elk hunting. There was about a foot of snow and we were high centered. luckily we had a shovel but if we didn't....it could've gotten western real fast
need to invest in some chains if we're gonna hunt the late season.

walkin's picture
Location: Camp David MD
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 176
Safety first

I'm printing the article now to review before our fall hunt. I know what you mean by slick clay after a rain,we needed a winch from another truck to get us out of a ditch in NM only going 8mph and slid off road.

Location: RATON,NM
Joined: 04/14/2009
Posts: 10
Staying Alive While Hunting the Wide Open West (feature)

one other warning is against getting too tired -i almost made a fatal mistake around tres piedres nm. i had used snow shoes to get into an area coming out i broke one-i pushed hard back to camp was wrecked when i got there.
my mother in law made me a bunch of seal a meals to take with me-my father in law had made me a propane burner set up. to get out of wet clothes and get supper going i pulled stove in tent left flap open-i shucked clothes and sat down to smoke while meal was reheating.i tried lighting a smoke but the wooden matches kept fizzling out about the 3rd,or 4th one it dawned on me what was happening. most of the carbon dioxide stayed in tent and i got a good dose standing up changing clothes i was already in trouble when i sat down.i bailed pulled stove out of tent and walked around in the snow in just my long johns and no socks till i was wide awake. sure it sounds like a stupid thing to do but if i would not have been so tired i would have been outside cooking and enjoying the cold mountain air. after that my wife would not let me go hunting that far away alone.

Joined: 09/19/2009
Posts: 4

ive gotten myself into numerous life changing situations... I believe a tree stand is a rather over looked danger... suspension trauma takes less then 5 min. to lose conciousness...

My biggest thing is water... people never drink/bring enough water in AZ. and after adrenaline and exertionof trekking 5 miles in 90+ temps that 5 miles back can prove deadly.... Chronic dehydration drink fluids well before your hunt starts..


Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/18/2009
Posts: 4
Drink Up

I agree with 300ultramag. It is very easy to become dehydrated while in the heat of battle. Not only should you drink plenty before you go out but you should carry a camelback hydration pack and drink up every hour. You would be surprised how much better you will feel. By the time you feel thirsty you are already a quart low

Joined: 09/28/2009
Posts: 3
Staying Alive While Hunting the Wide Open West (feature)

that was a great article with some really good tips thanls for taking the time to write it and post it

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