Sep 5, 2012, 1:01 AM EDT
By Bill Miller
As of this writing our group of hunters is starting its third day stranded in the northern Quebec village of Kuujjuaq. We all want very badly to be out in one of Jack Hume Adventures caribou camps on the tundra, but the weather is not cooperating. Low clouds, wind and intermittent rain are not conducive to travel by float plane.
In situations like this I keep repeating the motto, “I’d rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air than in the air wishing I was on the ground.” Those are words to live by … literally.
Even though a patch of clear sky shows up now and then, I also know, from experience, that we’re better off sitting here in town than taking off, making it part way to camp and having to put down on a lake or river with no camp on it. Here we have soft, dry places to sleep – even with showers – and food. As tough as this wait in town seems, it’s a lot worse when you have to try to sleep in that plane seat overnight. That’s a l-o-n-g night.
Getting weathered in on the front or the back end of these hunts is just part of the game. When it happens you need to look at it as just part of the adventure. Sure, it’s a different adventure than you planned for, but that’s what makes it an adventure.
Getting stranded really gets to some guys. They get downright belligerent about the whole thing and tend to take it out on the outfitter. I just don’t understand that, especially when it comes to weather. The outfitter hasn’t been born yet who can control the weather, and I doubt we’ll see him/her in our lifetime. If you’ve selected your outfitter carefully, then you should be confident he or she WANTS you to be successful. What’s good for you is good for them.
I guess I don’t get too worked up about unavoidable delays because I’m really out here to collect experiences, memories and stories to share around the next campfire. These unplanned adventures make far better stories than trips were everything goes just as planned. Hunting to me is about taking the windingest, curviest back roads I can find. I’m not here to be on the expressway to killing something and going home.
The guys who are bothered by uncontrollable delays are more about inches of antler and grip-and-grin shots … aka bragging … about the size and/or number of animals they kill.
Chill. Chill guys. Hunting is meant to be an adventure. Let it unfold. Enjoy each unexpected turn in the trail. I guarantee that down the road the hunts you’ll remember most vividly … and recall the most fondly in the end … are those where everything didn’t go exactly as you planned.
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