Unprepared partner

CApighunter

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Any advice for heading into the field with an unprepared hunting partner? Taking my buddy on his first out of state hunt and first backcountry trip in 4 days. When we picked the unit in December I made sure he understood how rugged and difficult it would be and that he needed to train before season.
Last weekend we did a shakedown run for one night. He handled the living out of the backpack thing just fine but a 4.5 mile hike with one good climb wiped him out. Took 4 hours in and about 3.5 out. Weather was extremely mild and a non issue.
Next week south idaho is getting slammed with a cold front, temps in the teens and a little snow. To me that screams awesome deer hunting and I couldn’t be more stoked, but I can tell he’s hesitant. I’m concerned with his hiking ability and mental toughness going in. I’m afraid he’s going to want to quit after a day or two. I should have known better. A late season montana hunt from a motel would have been a better choice. He’s borrowing a pile of my gear, I’m providing all the shared items, and we’re taking my truck because he sold his last week.
I’ve already adjusted the plan to backpack the first 4 days and day hunt lower country the rest of the week from a roadside camp. Any other suggestions to keep this from turning into a disaster?
 

Ocbuckeye

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Aug 13, 2017
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I give my friends a way out before and during. I’ve had all kinds of issues with new partners on the mountain. Allergies popping up, elevation, physical demand, and being away from civilization for too long. I always give them option to stay at base camp, leave them a radio, tell them to take a drive into town and get a meal etc. nothing will ruin a trip sooner than someone that Is forced to function like a seasoned hunter. Communication is key as well as grace.


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Clarence

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Apr 7, 2018
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The good thing is, it's your truck, your kit, your leading the program. Stick with your program. Give him waypoints to meet you at if he can't keep up. Don't be rude to him, but don't allow is lack of preparation hold you back. He might tap out yet too... Good luck out there!

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BBob

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Southern AZ
I've posted this before but my best hunting partner ever couldn't ever keep up with me. Didn't matter he was slow because he was a strong stubborn mule. You could count on him for any task and he would always catch up.

Your guy may not stack up in the end but you'll never know until you give him a shot. I say if he shows up and doesn't bail give it a go.
 

GSPHUNTER

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Just how much of a buddy is he? sounds like there is a lot you don't know or understand about him. You have a few days to let him know how it's got to be once you hit the road. Tell him what your daily plan is and make sure he is willing to give it his best and not hold you back or, leave him at a given spot to do his own things and tell him to be there when you return. Time for him and you him to settle any issues you have or, it could end a friendship.
 

ODB

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An interesting dilemma. I just did a once-in-a lifetime moose hunt with a guy I had never met in person. We 'knew' each other from a different chat board, but had never met in person or even talked on the phone. He sent me a text and asked if I was interested since his hunting partner skipped out and left him high and dry - it was literally a last-ditch effort to save a hunt. I did what any red-blooded hunter would do: I took a week off of work, packed my crap, and met him at the campsite 7 hours away. In three days we were field dressing a moose. And I'd say we are excellent friends now.

The big thing is honesty - that's it. If he thinks it's gonna be Meateater and excitement instead of hours and hours of walking or glassing, or cold or boring, or shitting behind trees, then he just needs to be made aware of the reality. If you are friends, give him an out - if he takes it, well, there are worse things than a solo hunt.

As far as being wiped out after a hike - I will admit going from 2500ft to 8000 ft in a single day is a hell of a jump. if your hunting area is markedly higher than where you live - don't discount the altitude factor for a few days.
 

Poser

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Durango CO
I tend to agree with the others that perhaps you offer him an adjusted schedule -he can meet up with you etc at his own pace and/or sleeping in. I would make it 100% clear that you are staying fir the duration of the trip and he needs to buy in to that fact.
 

idelkslayer

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Idaho
Make sure he has a GPS or other wayfinding device that you can share waypoints with him so that he can catch up and/or find his own way out when you separate.
 

Bobbyboe

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Feb 3, 2016
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The learning curve is steep hunting the western states. I prefer planning an easy hunt or two before ramping up the “extereme” value. I remember my first time in the mountains and I got whooped!

In my opinion, if you take a new person into an extreme environment, your asking for problems.
 
OP
CApighunter

CApighunter

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I tend to agree with the others that perhaps you offer him an adjusted schedule -he can meet up with you etc at his own pace and/or sleeping in. I would make it 100% clear that you are staying fir the duration of the trip and he needs to buy in to that fact.
This is kind of where I’m at. It’s not like he would quit and go home. He’s more than welcome to hang out in the tent and keep the stove hot if he wants. I just want both of us to have a good time and for him to have an opportunity at his first mulie. I pitched him the idea of splitting the trip up on our drive back from our last hunt and he seemed onboard with that.
 

Kevin Dill

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I'm pretty sure if he's your buddy (as quoted fro your OP) you're going to value and protect the relationship over and above lesser things. It's a great opportunity to forge a stronger bond and maybe gain a backcountry partner for life.
 

MeatMissile

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Washington
This is kind of where I’m at. It’s not like he would quit and go home. He’s more than welcome to hang out in the tent and keep the stove hot if he wants. I just want both of us to have a good time and for him to have an opportunity at his first mulie. I pitched him the idea of splitting the trip up on our drive back from our last hunt and he seemed onboard with that.

Sounds like you’re a guy who is willing to sacrifice for someone else to have a great experience. But, where is their sacrifice? He could be in better shape and could have bought gear. Effort is free. Don’t end up like me and waste 10 years being a de facto guide service.
 

Stubborn_bowhunter

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Mar 26, 2017
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NM
There's for sure a balance. He might find this hunt end up being a major eye opener to a passion, or it could be a humbling experience that ruins this kind of hunting for him. It's all up in the air until the moment comes.

I'd say go, enjoy it. Bring two cars if possible. Just in case. There's only one way to find out if someone will show up for this stuff.
He already passed your first test. Just because it wasn't an A++ doesn't mean he didn't hack it.

I have friend's I will not ever hunt with, at least not in scenarios like this. Doesn't make them any less of a friend to me, they're just not hunting partners.

Some people will suffer through that cold, and being tired without complaining. Then you won't even know they hated it the whole time until you're done. And they'll want to do it again.
 
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