A little over three years ago my wife and I made the decision to move from our home in Virginia out west.
After having gone on a few expeditions in some of our country’s most beautiful areas, I slowly found myself unable to resist that urge to make the leap.
One of the greatest draws for me was the fact that you didn’t have to own land to enjoy it.
With more land being bought up and subdivided daily, Virginia outdoorsmen and women are all too familiar with the growing pains associated with these changes.
Idaho has millions of acres of public land.
While Idaho does not stand out as being a large state, most people would be surprised to learn that it would be the size of Texas if it were hammered flat.
That leaves an incredible amount of land to explore in some of the country’s most remote locations.
After moving here, I found myself doing quite well in my big game pursuits despite being a “new guy from out east.”
Since I have been here, I have been blessed with two elk, two bears, a mountain lion, a white-tailed deer, and two turkeys.
Not a bad haul for just over three years.
At first, I received the typical comments about beginners’ luck and the usual jabs that we sportsmen love to use.
However, there came the point in which it was becoming hard to deny that pattern of success.
One day it occurred to me that the very reason people thought that I would struggle to hunt the west successfully was the exact reason that I was seeing positive results.
Deer hunters from the east have been training and disciplining themselves to do what most people in the “big woods” can’t.
We sit still!
I do not want to take away from the skill associated with conducting spot and stalk hunts as well as covering vast amounts of ground in some of the nation’s most rugged territory.
I have met the toughest people that I have ever encountered in my life here.
I am continually fascinated with the generational knowledge that some have been willing to share with me since my arrival.
What I hope to do is inspire some of those who may have been reluctant in the past to try something very different and very fulfilling.
It is incredibly difficult to look over three mountain ranges and sit while knowing that you are free to roam them all.
Most people naturally want to keep moving until they stumble upon something.
As most of you eastern readers are aware, we just don’t have it like that. Out of necessity, we concentrate our efforts on the same 25 acres for the entire hunting season.
Many will even be in the same tree for that whole time!
The thought of this is mind-boggling to most western hunters.
They couldn’t fathom that concept as they have had the luxury of roaming free their entire lives.
This presents a unique opportunity for those wanting to give hunting the great American West a try.
Eastern hunters are so accustomed to exercising patience at the highest level and learning every square inch of their hunting spots.
This approach will surely present you with opportunities simply from utilizing what most western hunters would consider an unorthodox approach.
So, the next time you think that you can’t take on the great Western-American big game because you don’t know the first thing about that kind of hunt, consider this thought; You might have exactly what it takes to set yourself apart from the average hunter on the mountain.