• Nateysmith

    This is a great message! I think people forget sometimes that it is hunting and not called killing. It is all about the adventure, and sometimes we don’t get an animal.

  • Retired2Hunt

    Mark, great written capture of being a true hunter. Like you, I didn’t get my elk this week during the Colorado 4th season… but with my wife I enjoyed being there enjoying what God has given us. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks for sharing a great perspective on what matters the most Mark. It’s so easy to get caught up on if our hunt was successful or not (for me 99% of the time), but when all is said and done just having the opportunity to go after our passion is a blessing. A full freezer does not equate to a full life!

  • Eddie Triplett

    Mark, I thoroughly enjoy your perspectives and couldn’t agree more with this one. We are all truly blessed through the time we are able to spend outdoors – regardless of the results. Please keep up the great work!

  • Al Quackenbush

    Well said my friend. Well said.

  • Amen Brother!! That’s about all I can say.

  • Aznealz

    And the hunt has left pieces of it’s sole, in you too. Good perspective and insight Mark. It doesn’t come off as sour grapes at all. I have a couple of close friends who, so far, had remarkable hunt success this season. I’m not jealous, tho the sharing of game meat helps mitigate that. I’m also glad to have the rich experience of hunting to add to my life. Thanks.

  • 365Whitetail

    Great article, Mark! Thanks for reminding us of the most important things. (Great minds must think alike, I have been working on a piece that virtually says the same thing, God help me to be thankful for life, health and the ability to do what we do.)

  • Wesley Levy

    man mark I totally know how you feel. I bought 6 tags this year (2 antelope, 2 deer and 2 elk) and so far, I’ve shot 1 whitetail fawn! It’s been a pretty rough year, but I try not to get discouraged. I’ve got my elk tags until the end of january at least. However whenever I start to feel bad, I think to myself “a bad day outside is better than a great day just about anywhere else”. It really helps me realize that it’s not all bad when you come home empty handed – sometimes it’s just how things shake out.

  • Rob McConnell

    Oh man.. good for you! I could have never written it like that. As much as i want to feel that way i have to admit that it matters to me, alot. Not so much the meat in the freezer, after my first 10 years of never getting anything i understand that is just part of hunting. What i have a hard time with is appreciating the time spent in the hills when i don’t see anything. At the time i love it, of course. Any time spent in the hills is like heaven to me. But after spending a weekend in the hills hiking my tail off, up and down these monster Idaho mountains, freezing cold… If i don’t see anything i just feel empty. thats the hardest part. I am so grateful for my last trip this year when i got to see a lot of game, and even got a shot off. For some reason that makes it all ok for me and i can look back and accept what i accomplished and what i didn’t. Thanks man, your blog keeps me in tune with who i need to work on being.

    • SoleAdventure

      Trust me, Rob, I don’t always have this positive perspective in the moment. I get frustrated in the field, as we all do. But in the end I have to remember what really matters, and be grateful for the experience – even when it doesn’t go “right”.

  • Allan K.

    Really solid posting. Yes we hunt to kill game and sometimes the game outsmarts us and makes us smile, shake our head, or clench our fists, but in the end we always will have the experience. Also there are many more things in life more important than a successful hunt and you have put of those things in perspective.

  • huntography

    I hear ya Mark. Sometimes I feel like we need to step back to get some clarity as we can become too immersed in our expectations. It’s almost like when we push too hard we end up coming up short in some way. Not in the experience as a whole but in what we thought we would be coming home with.

    At the end of the day, what matters most to me is what I get out of the hunt in its totality, not what I do or do not bring back for the freezer.

    2014 is looking promising already as I get to plan and dream about it everyday.


    • SoleAdventure

      Good insight, Rudy. Thanks for sharing. Like you, I’m already looking forward to 2014!!

  • Mark M

    Thank you friend. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. My family and I needed to read this.