Luck, Skill, and Success

2rocky

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Jun 21, 2012
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Nor Cal
Most of us here have had some level of success hunting big game. We are a pretty intense bunch that take a lot of pride in our hunting abilities.

I know I look at the success photos and stories from a lot of you guys and get the impression that you kill every time you go out in the field.

Has anyone done their personal Stats on Days of hunting per filled tag? I'm looking for something to explain to my daughter that there is a great deal of investment in filling a tag.
 

Hardstalk

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Apr 29, 2012
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I try not too. It equals money signs to me. I can admit this year was my first year in the past three years I have filled a tag. Since i picked up a bow i have had quite the learning curve. My average at the moment would be 7 full weeks to 2 filled tags.
 

Becca

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Feb 26, 2012
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Wasilla, Alaska
While I think I understand your intent (as stated to help your daughter understand the amount of effort and time involved in filling tags) I am hesitant to count up the days for tags I hunted this year. The reason is, I don't think I necessarily measure the success of a trip on whether I come out having punched my tag or not. While I feel blessed to have had a pretty incredible year in terms of animals knocked over (I took a caribou, Dall sheep and mountain goat, and helped other people take another 8 critters so far this season) in looking back, some of the most wonderful trips I ever took were ones where we didn't come home with anything at all. I find a lot of value in the experience, coming home with an animal is really just a bonus. And while it certainly helps to hunt hard and cover a lot of ground, sometimes for one reason or another you just come home empty handed, regardless of the time and effort you put in.

For the sake of the conversation, I will try to estimate:
Dall Sheep: 1 day flying/hiking in, 3.5 days actually hunting, 3.5 days packing sheep and gear to airstrip= 8 days total (we took enough food and gear to stay the whole 18 days the tag was open...if we had encountered foul weather, we might have used it all)
Mountain Goat: 1 day flying, 4 days hunting, one day packing out/flying= 6 days
I got my caribou during a 5 day trip in which other members of our party killed an additional 2 caribou and a moose.

I spent an additional 16 days in the field helping other people fill or attempt to fill their tags. I also spent countless hours over the last year training, preparing or organizing food for trips, packing and sorting gear, as well as many nights on summer training/ scouting trips.
 

HellsCanyon

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May 29, 2012
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Lewiston ID
This year I've hunted 25 days. Some solo but most with my hunting partner and friend. We've killed two bucks, one bull, one cougar, and one bear. The cougar and bear were lucky as we tagged them while deer hunting. Seems like over the last two years we've averaged about 3-5 days per tag notched. But haven't been terribly picky either!

Mike
 

Nick Muche

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Mar 21, 2012
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3,546
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Alaska
2012 Archery hunts

Turkey - 2 days - tag filled
Bear - 4 days, over 40 hours in the stand... Tag filled. Not to mention the hundred hours or so of baiting...

Will let you know how the Mule Deer, Elk, Lion and Coues hunts pan out once I get home!!! Won't be long now..
 

evan williams

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Jan 28, 2012
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Colorado Springs
2010 -- 96 days hunted -- 6 of 7 tags filled -- Including pheasant and quail days

2011 -- 77 days hunted -- 4 of 6 tags filled -- Including pheasant and quail days

2012 -- 32 days hunted -- 6 of 8 tags filled -- Including pheasant and quail days

IMG_1374.jpg


IMG_1373.jpg


IMG_1375.jpg
 

tstowater

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Apr 26, 2012
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Iowa
Last year I spent right at 30 days hunting. This included a Manitoba black bear, a Nevada bull elk, and several trips to South Dakota for prairie dogs or pheasants. So far this year I have made 2 trips to South Dakota for prairie dogs and Alaska for Dall sheep. I still want to go to South Dakota once or twice for pheasants. I will be going to Utah for mountain lion. I should be up in that 30 days again. That's about all the time I can get for "leave" from the wife and the office.

To answer the question about success per tag would be difficult. It will depend on several factors: quality of tag and unit, how selective you are (just look at Robby's mule deer hunt and the time he invested), knowledge of the area/scouting opportunities, distance to hunt, etc. If I am able to acquire a high quality tag and don't have a reasonable opportunity to scout the unit, I will invest in an outfitter to do that for me as some of these tags will be once in a lifetime and I need to make the most out of the tag and my time. I burned 30 days in B.C. one fall chasing Stone sheep and moose without shooting anything when my kids were younger and my wife reminder me of that when I got home. I try not to do that anymore. I really enjoy being in the mountains and seeing the animals the most and the opportunity to get a nice animal is icing on the cake. As I get more dead critters, shooting will become less important and more selective on some species.
 

justin davis

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Feb 24, 2012
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Colorado
2012 tags and have been filled
Because of work didn't have much time to hunt. Had to fill tags as fast as possible.
Turkey- 2 days
Pronghorn- 1 day
Bear- 1 day
Elk- 5 days
Deer- still to come
 

JNDEER

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May 2, 2012
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1,147
2012

8 days for pork = 0/0
3 days turkey = 2/3
27 days big game = 3/3
 

sanchomaes

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Feb 26, 2012
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312
Location
Lakewood, CO
I believe most tags filled have a certain amount of luck involved. The odds are better and better with certain steps taken to fill the tags; wether that is preseason scouting, practicing shooting your bow/rifle, or conditioning. There are so many factors that go into the big game hunts I find myself doing. I try to scout the areas I plan to hunt, get myself in good shape and shoot my bow often as necessary to keep my edge. The luck factor is the weather, wind and animals. Put as many elements of the game into place and you will hopefully fill the freezer. This game is a obsession to me and several others on the site. The challenge is what keeps me going back!
 

Chesapeake

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Joined
Apr 15, 2012
Messages
215
Or you could say "Luck; what happens when preparation meets opportunity". I'm not big into luck.

Over the last 12 years: 13 of 15 deer tags(still have deer season left), 1 of 12 bear tags(I dont really hunt bear and I pass on a few every year), 2 of 5 turkey tags(turkey season was just shed hunting with a tag till 3 years ago when I got serious), 0 of 12 cougar tags (just buy the tag in case I run onto one), 9 of 12 elk tags, 4 of 5 antelope tags.

I'm a meat hunter, so there are a ton of cows, raghorns, and forkeys in there. I've never killed a record book animal. I'm not sure how I'd equate "days hunted per tag filled". I'm in the woods as much as I can be, and always scouting no matter why I'm there, be it mushroom hunting, shed hunting, hiking, fishing, ect.... My scouting info and knowledge of the game and area is used to help other is my hunting party fill their tags, just as their info often helps fill mine.

If I had to guess I'd say I have 30 to 50 days afield invested into every tag filled.
 
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