Have You Got What It Takes To Hunt A Bighorn?

In Act One, a correspondent of mine emailed that he was going to take the trip of a lifetime, a sheep hunt this coming fall. The problem is, he’s 71, and carrying a lot of weight. Get your deposit back if you can, but don’t go. You’ll either die, or have such a wretched time trying to keep up that it will be a nightmare instead of a dream hunt. So, if you show up overweight and short of breath, or unable to sit a saddle, or unable to hunt from can to can’t, there’s going to be no mercy. On top of this, the outfitter may assign you a 20-year-old guide who’s made of whalebone and auto leaf springs. These people do not get cramps in their legs, have worn-out knees that torment them with every step, or see stars from lack of oxygen at 10,000 feet, and they can’t imagine that you do. I sent off the e-mail and there was a long silence. Finally, came Act Two, in which my correspondent said that he had hunted with this outfitter, and the man had said that if he could lose 30 pounds, he could get him to a sheep. Oh ho, wrote I, that’s an entirely different kettle of fish.
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
Hunting When Your Get Up and Go Has Got Up and Went.

This is a drama in two acts. In Act One, a correspondent of mine emailed that he was going to take the trip of a lifetime, a sheep hunt this coming fall. The problem is, he’s 71, and carrying a lot of weight.

The message I emailed back was simple and eloquent: Bail out. Get your deposit back if you can, but don’t go. You’re too old. You’ll either die, or have such a wretched time trying to keep up that it will be a nightmare instead of a dream hunt.

This is because outfitters assume that if you sign up, you’re familiar with the country, and the rigors of hunting it, and are in good shape, and not likely to die on the trail. (Having clients die on the trail is extremely awkward. Unless you get them over the back of a mule right away, they stiffen up, and become near impossible to tie down, making your packers sullen.)

So, if you show up overweight and short of breath, or unable to sit a saddle, or unable to hunt from can to can’t, there’s going to be no mercy. On top of this, the outfitter may assign you a 20-year-old guide who’s made of whalebone and auto leaf springs. These people do not…

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