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What is Your Dream Hunt?


As a hunter I am often asked by fellow hunters and non-hunters a question. It’s the one I have heard hundreds of times and if you are like me, you have heard it too. If you have ever sat around a campfire, or stared into the sparkling night sky, the question has been asked. If you have ever been drawn into conversation about hunting with non-hunters you have been asked directly. What is your dream hunt?

The question lunges into our mind as we spit our verses of animals on far away continents that we want to chase. Stanzas of species and locations roll from our tongues as we recite a chorus of adventures we long for. There are species whose heads we would like to grace our trophy rooms, or whose hides we want covering our floors. We discuss length of horn, size of skull, beards, spurs, and leg bands. I have heard them all, or at least close to them all. Leopards in Namibia, elephants in Botswana, doves in Argentina, Red Stag in New Zealand, and Grizzly bear in Alaska. You name it and there are some who want to hunt these marvelous animals. As long as there have been hunters there have been dreams of hunts to come.

Perhaps you too have been asked this question and you conjure dreams of the Dark Continent or 180 inch whitetail bucks. Flashes of skies filled with waterfowl of every species. There are thoughts of bugling bulls, gobbling turkeys, and thundering herds. Shots that are true and adventures achieved. If you are like me, you have spent hours perusing the internet looking for opportunities. Back country elk in Montana, pronghorn in Wyoming, Impala in South Africa, and the list is never ending and is as diverse as hunters themselves.

Recently I had this question asked of me again, and it occurred to me, that while I would love to go to Africa and hunt plains game or New Zealand for Red stag, I dream of chasing big grizzly bears in the Alaskan tundra. The reality is that my dream hunt is – the next one.

Whether it’s chasing squirrels through oak ridge’s, or bow hunting whitetails in a hardwood bottom. The thrill of the hunt isn’t defined by the quarry rather by the experience. Memories made, moments cherished. I have hunted many different species in several states and one thing is constant, whether it’s after moose in Alaska or feral pigs in my native South Carolina, the thrill of being there is equal. Hunters know that while taking game is part of what we do, it is only a part. The real thrill comes with the experience. So the next time I am in a conversation about hunts, places and species, and I am asked what my dream hunts is, I will pause, look them directly in the eye and honestly say; “The next one.” What’s yours?