Since there was some talk about adding a hunt swap feature to Big Game Hunt, I decided I would describe one of the hunt swaps I have done in the past.
It began with a question about whitetail hunting. Initially, I met another guy in a hunting forum who was torn up about the idea of hunting a whitetail. He, being from Oregon never had the opportunity to hunt them. I however, was interested in the idea of hunting something different, so we agreed to try to show each other around and help each other take our desired game species.
At the time, I was fully set up to hunt whitetail, as it was the only species of big game that I was able to hunt in Ohio and we had a great deer herd there. With non-resident tags being only $22.00, it was no major financial undertaking.
When Paul arrived at the Akron Regional Airport, my uncle and I met him and took him to my uncle’s cabin in Leesville, Ohio for the week. The cabin is a great spot situated right above the lake complete with pontoon boat at the dock below the house and everything. The first morning of the hunt, Paul had seen several does at close range, but wan’t prepared to make the shot.
After trying several locations and having several opportunities, Paul hadn’t gotten an arrow flung at a deer yet. When Paul’s stars had finally aligned, he shot at a 7 point whitetail. When the arrow flew, it hit far back on the deer, and although I am a very experienced tracker, I found little sign. I was picking up 1 drop of blood every hundred yards and had tracked for nearly a quarter mile. We backed out until the next day.
The next mid-morning, I drove the golf cart to the top of the hill, and I could smell deer nearby. We walked only 30-40 yards and found the buck lying there with his head still up. Oddly, the buck was dead but had somehow managed to keep it’s head propped up on some small undergrowth. Once we rejoiced in that we found the buck, we dragged him back to the golf cart and tied him down.
Later that evening, I had one of my favorite hunts of all time in which I stalked and killed a whitetail with my bow from the ground, and nearly killed 2. I only hesitated on the second because I wasn’t sure if I could get both back to meet my uncle for pickup in the pontoon boat in time.
When it came my turn to hunt with Paul for bear in Oregon, the hunt didn’t go as well for me, but we still had fun. I am very blessed to have met an individual who, like me, strives to hunt legally and to make good on his word. We have maintained a relationship ever since 2007 when we first hunted together and I will return to Oregon in pursuit of bear yet again next spring. I can’t wait to have the opportunity and to spend time with my friend.
I have been extremely fortunate to have met such fine individuals to swap hunts with and it has worked out well for all of us. I have learned a few thing about swapping hunts and developing lasting relationships with other people from it as well.
If I could give any advice about setting up a hunt swap, it would be to work hard when it’s your turn to host, to forego alcohol during and after the hunt and to be honest about what you can provide and the quality of animals you will see. As long as you stick to that, you should be all right.