What Guided Sport Hunting Is Like
The hunting adventure is a grand experience, but an experience unlike the stereotypical guided ‘tourist-type’ tours that your local travel agency offers. Your local travel agent’s tour probably has an itinerary and a plan describing conditions, accommodations, etc.
The sport hunting experience just doesn’t work that way. You might say fair chase sport hunting has an open itinerary – lots of plans, strategies and ideas that are likely to change daily or even hourly. Everything may go as planned…or nothing will!
Surprises, confusion, delays, disruptive weather conditions, disappointments, risks of death or terror, disease, hazards, great joy, and sudden unexplainable changes are likely at any time. However, this is precisely what creates the challenge, the excitement, the memories, and the sense of perseverance, accomplishment and victory!
There are no guarantees. You must accept this fact, or don’t go. You will find it different, with varying standards, but that is what sport hunters thrive on and must be why they go, for they understand that the game they might bag is only a small part of the overall hunting experience. All of this is really nothing new. True sport hunting has always been this way and will never change. It is all part of fair chase and adventure. Fair chase is real hunting!
Obviously, most people who go sport hunting do achieve their objectives and are quite satisfied. But all hunting may not be for everyone. Success rates on some hunts or certain species are higher than others. Book what your time and income can handle without skimping. Sport hunting is seldom a bargain. Your mental and physical stamina is important and must be considered. Wild animals and horses can be dangerous. So can boats, planes, the weather, mountains, elevators and your fellow man. As Justice Cordozo said, “The timorous may stay at home.” But a hunting adventure at home is indeed rare!
Your party may be better off on the African plains than in the mountains, or hunting Pronghorn or Quail instead of Lions, Bear or Sheep. You must decide that. Africa is easier in most ways, but some people prefer alpine regions. People and customs may be very different. Take your camera and an open mind. Non-hunting companions should expect the same and must be the rough, outdoor type that can adapt. The service may not be what some expect.
Imperfections of man, beast or equipment are part of the hunting adventure. High standards are admirable, but ailing, inflexible or difficult people with a history of problems or hard drinking who can’t accept this must not go. Life is too short for all of us to risk spoiling this potential life-long memory. Leave most alcohol, your tape measure, personal problems and all difficult people behind.