Bowhunter – June 2022
English | 102 pages | pdf | 62.04 MB

IT WAS FOUR DECADES AGO, a time when I was just learning the ins and outs of hunting western North Dakota. Several buddies and I were hunting mule deer and I’d made a less-than-ideal shot on a buck. The wide-open terrain, and the lack of posted signs in those days, allowed us to stay on the buck, keeping his blood pressure up and the blood f lowing. We kept going. And going.
We were so intent on recovering the buck, which we did, that we lost track of time. The darkening sky started spitting a few snowflakes, and an ominous feeling began to swell in my gut. We’d hiked over hill and dale in ranch country, under a heavy overcast sky, carelessly looking mostly at the ground. And we were a long way from our trucks.
The more pressing question was: Where the heck were we? We had no compass or maps, no GPS, no cel l phones. We’d left our trucks wearing hiking clothes and fanny packs that may or may not have included food and water, or even a flashlight. We certainly had nothing to make a fire with, or extra clothing to put on. It was decided that I would stay with my deer while the others hiked back to the trucks, then they would come back to get me. Bad move.
Not long after my buddies crested the horizon, serious darkness settled over me. And cold. I shivered as coyotes yipped in the distance. It had been pitch dark for over an hour when I saw the first headlights way off across the prairie, shining in my direction. They moved left, then right, then disappeared. The lights reappeared 30 minutes later, but they were no closer. My buddies knew about where I was but didn’t know how to get to me through the maze of fences and coulees woven into the darkness.
Failing to get closer, my buddies drove to the nearest ranchhouse for help. Fortunately, one buddy had taken note of a green feeder in the pasture I was left in, and the rancher knew exactly where I was. They finally showed up at 10:41 p.m. — a time I still remember to this day.
Since that unforgettable night 40 years ago, I don’t go anywhere without wearing a pack that contains water, two ways to build a fire, two headlamps with extra batteries, and an extra layer — usually a puffy jacket. Dumb decisions, careless planning, and a lack of quality gear can get you into serious trouble.
On page 56, survival expert Aron Snyder offers some advice that could help you avoid similar experiences. It’s a topic that could fill a book, but these condensed tips should serve as a heads up to get you thinking about the concept of always being prepared for anything.
You simply can’t do that unless you expect the unexpected. Accidents happen because we don’t see them coming.

Download from: