• BC

    Good post Mark. I think choosing the right hunting partner is one of the most important decisions for out of state hunts. A lot of guys talk big, but when it comes down to it they don’t hunt big. I’m no hardcore athlete, but I need to hike and hunt hard to be successful. I need someone who’s willing to do that in a hunting partner.

    • SoleAdventure

      I agree, BC. It’s easy to talk big, but another thing to do it. I’m not hardcore, but I’m not afraid of some work!

  • Cole Waltner

    Mark, A very good write-up. Living out here in the west, I take for granted that it takes no time for me to get acclimated to hunting, elk and deer at high elevation. Also, being an avid outdoorsman I fail to realize the amount of effort and resources it takes to come out west and hunt. I hope others see just what it takes to come out west and hunt elk on your own. Its not easy, even for me, where an hour drive puts me at 9000 feet and in prime elk country. If ya need a hunting partner… don’t ever hesitate to ask. Good luck on the WT and good luck next year with elk.

    • SoleAdventure

      Thanks, Cole! I’m not done with elk yet…I haven’t even started. This was a guest article, not my story. I’m leaving next weekend!

      I’m envious of your proximity to prime elk country. It is a LOT of work to come out and hunt the West, especially for us “flatlanders.”

  • timber monsters

    you gotta BE KIDDING! i tell you what…since i’ve come across your blogs i have found them to be enjoyable and informative for new and/or experienced hunters. its easy to feel your enthusiasm and passion for your elk hunt and unfortunately the quiet disappointment. a mentor of mine once told me… “dont talk the talk if you cant walk the walk!” because you are this passionate and committed to elk hunting it’s wise to pick and choose carefully elk dream partners! its not your job to prepare your partner. its about sharing with one another experience, knowledge, information, resources and each party holding themselves to personal accountability to do whats necessary to be prepared to reach the objective unless health issues or age impacts that process. i think its better to pick the right elk partner and preserve a solid friendship than to pick a friend that may not share an equal depth of desire and limit that friendship. i am sure you will conquer your objective and enjoy your journey even more as you pursue it! obstacles are small victories waiting to be conquered!

    • SoleAdventure

      This wasn’t my story, or my experience. This was a guest article from a Sole Adventure reader, and friend. Good tips on the parter choices though!

  • Johnathan Aulabaugh

    I have to admit, when I first started to read this I was all sorts of ready to give you a rashin of crap but after reading through I know that it was not your fault. As has been said, the right partner is key. Hope you go again with much better luck

    • SoleAdventure

      Hi Jonathan, just in case you were thinking this was my story (as others have), I should clarify (as I did in the introduction), that this is a GUEST post. I haven’t headed out for my CO elk hunt yet.

      • Johnathan Aulabaugh

        Ha, yeah I read that but it didn’t click by the end of the story. Still a good read

  • Bruce Smithhammer

    That’s a pretty extreme example of differing partners, but I find that sometimes it’s even just the little things (some of which aren’t that little, but often overlooked) that it’s worth evaluating in a hunting partner:

    – If you’re hunting elk, for example, can your partner call effectively? Are they “call happy” and pulling out the bugle every 5 minutes?

    – Pacing. Does one of you like to “keep on the move” if nothing is happening, while the other prefers to sit and be patient in a good spot and see if anything walks in?

    – How good is your partner at being quiet? Part of this is footwear/clothing choices, but part of it is also technique and practice. I do everything I can to be as silent as I can be in the woods, regardless of what species I’m hunting (unless I’m choosing to strategically make some noise), but I’ve hunted with people that sound like a bull in a china shop as they move through the woods. No bueno, in my book.

    – Goals. Of course we all want a day of hunting to end with an animal on the ground, but are you hunting with someone that can have an enjoyable day even if that doesn’t happen? Are they fun to be around, even when the hunting is slow?

    Just a few off the top of my head. And really, at the end of the day, I think that most bowhunting is simply a solo endeavor, for many of the above reasons and with a few exceptions. While the ‘buddy’ idea can seem fun in theory, sometimes it’s more fun (and truly productive) to split up for the day, hunt alone, and have tales to tell (and maybe meat to share) when you get back together.

  • C Dee

    Tough Story. I have had a few problems with fellow hunters going with me but nothing like this one. I now hunt alone and have no idea how I will get an elk out by myself. I Live in Colorado (Denver area) and am looking for a DIY hunting buddy. I am experienced with Back Country conditions but have no clue how to find an elk!!!!

  • Gundog1

    I’ve gone on many a hunts solo in the Flat Tops for most of the very same reasons.