Today I have a post from my friend Alby. He’s a western hunter who wrote this as a response to my post from last week, “Destination Hunting, Is it worth it?”. In that post I had mostly whitetail hunters in mind, debating whether it’s worth it to spend money traveling and paying an outfitter or invest that money in improving your hunting properties near home. My goal with that post was to get people thinking and it worked! So check out what Alby had to say on the topic. -WJ

I have hunted the same area since I was a youngster yet this last year alone I have walked, mapped, and studied three different GMUs to hunt over the next few years. Why would I do this when I have access to such a large area to hunt already that I know so much about?

There are several reasons I do this but it really comes down to adventure, and the thrill of potential new animals that I may have an opportunity to take in the future while participating in conservation. I have an unending lust for adventure and new landscapes are full of them. I also have a need to harvest animals every year and taking a trophy is just a cherry on top.

These are just a few of the things I accomplished this year:

  • I have seen many bears including a two tone
  • Got some great game camera photos
  • Found some great sheds
  • Located turkeys I can hunt the following years
  • Guided some great people from all over the country on hunts
  • Saw some amazing landscapes, sunrises and sunsets
  • Spent time and made memories with my family and friends

A lot of people want to harvest a large high quality animal and just as many people need meat in the freezer. Studying more areas can allow for harvesting older animals, areas of higher populations, and even a chance at a trophy you may not have had. Instead of harvesting them out of the same area year after year it may be beneficial to try a different location to help manage the quality and quantity of animals.

Every year the variables change because of weather, food, human pressures, and predators. Challenging ourselves to discover new places within these vast lands should be a priority not only for gain but for the conservation of our animals. You may be surprised at the sense of accomplishment you have by spending more time in the woods and adding to the memories and stories of those amazing adventures you had. I believe that there is some way that hunters in other areas of the country can do the same and should.

Images courtesy Alby Lewis

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