I posted this during the last hunt of last Season’s Fall Hunting Season (2011) on Fri, Sep 23, 2011~ I thought you may like it and it may give you a bit of insight on your future as a Professional Guide.
~The 4th Hunt has come to a close and I’m feeling the effects of my life running in the 58 Day Overdrive-Professional-Guide-Syndrom. The funny thing is, I’ve watched it happen (looking down my nose) for years. Watching “the old guys” totally loose it before the season is over.
The Light Dawns
“It” ~ that spark, that separates the guides from the professional guides. I’d hear the Boss say, “…if the season was 10 hunts, instead of 5 hunts, the guys wouldn’t “puss-out” by sometime in or at the close of the 4th hunt! They’d puss out sometime around the end of the 9th!” It’s true! I’m beat. Beat-up and beat-tired. I miss my kids, I miss my work on line, I miss my house, BLA!! (It really is funny!) Now I understand.
The Light Dawns
We’ve talked about “When The Going Gets Tough“. We’ve talked about what it really means to be a Professional Guide.We have even touched on “hunting” -vs- killing and guarantees.
The last hunt of our Fall Hunting Season is about to begin. It is all about the big Alaska-Yukon Moose and Interior Mountain Grizzly Bear. Yeah, there are wolves, wolverine and Black bear, but they aren’t what this hunt is all about. This is the perfect example of a phrase coined by a friend of mine (Caitlin!) “It was absolute misery and so much fun!” That describes the last hunt in the interior of the Alaska wilderness to the fullest possible extent.
The camp is easily an 11.5 hour ride away. That’s if there are NO problems and only pee-stops. By September 30, we will have lost 2.8 days of sunlight during the month. We are loosing 5 minutes 39-40 seconds of daylight per day. At this time, at the beginning of the 5th and final hunt of the fall, we have almost 12.5 hours of daylight.
Doing What Needs to be Done
As with so many careers, looking in from the outside, A Professional Guide~?~ WOW! What a hoot! (or as my Twitter pal, Dino Dogan, said to me, #TheGrassIsAlwaysGreener) And, ok, yes it is! (A hoot, that is!) To be paid for doing what you love, the adventure and the thrill of it.
Living the dream. You are in the middle of it. Day after day, leading to year after year, living those in anticipation of those few short weeks. Until you live it, there is no way to conceive of it. There is no way to completely understand it.
Riding over the hills, glassing for the game we hunt, a chuckle comes as I remember what my earliest hunting partner said to me as we were doing the same one fall day, with clients riding behind us. “Look around, this is my office.”
A professional hunting guide. A professional wilderness guide. The pictures that come to mind… the glory and privilege of being outdoors, on horseback and making your living, life and career right there, in the open.
The leaves have all fallen, leaving the landscape brown and waiting for it’s inevitable white blanket. The days are getting shorter and the nights are so much colder. The kids are missing their momma, so much that it now takes an effort to keep them from the front of my mind, so that I can give my clients my attention and focus. Nothing much aches so much any more as we are all exhausted to the point of the next step is all that matters. It is simple at this point, all that training, it is simply doing what we do.
As I look around, I find that I wish only, to share here, to be here and share the feeling and what I see with people who dream of seeing and feeling what is here.
I rarely sit with the others when we return to camp. Talk of the day, the adventures, the dramas, what we saw and what we chased is rehashed and this part I love. It is the chit-chat that inevitably comes next that I pull away from. The ugliness and the pettiness of the world “outside” this slice of my safe and cherished haven, always come to take a seat with us.
The bone deep worry of what is becoming of this once strong nation, the evil that seems to run unchecked all over our world, doesn’t belong here. Some folks share only the bad and nasty of the world with us when they talk. Do they miss the wonders and beauty that must surround them where they live and make their lives? Isn’t that what needs to be shared and spread to give us all hope and strength?
This great open and protected land, the pure raw and untouched glory of the creation of such space, fills you up, renews the land and everything on it ~you and us. The powerful winds, the gentle breezes, healing and inspiring. The rugged, intimidating mountains, surrounding and protecting. They do their quiet work, on my heart and soul. Supplying me the desire and pull to give me the strength I need, when I have no more, to sit straight and see.