Erin’s Corner – The Pros and Cons of drawing a once in a lifetime tag

As I sit here and reflect on the whole year and my season, I cant believe how fast everything went.

The day I checked my ALS status to see what I had drawn, the usual archery elk or archery antelope I would put in for is what I would see “successful”,

this year was different. A moose tag sat under my name! I couldn’t believe it. Now one would think.. why would there be any cons?

Well, I had a sense of guilt first of all after only four years applying for this tag.I know my husband had been putting in for 15 years and others even longer, some even 30 years with out a successful big 3 tag in our home state of MT. Knowing the time I would need to be taking off of work, the planning, and setting up sitters for the kids and knowing there would be lots of travel time involved. Thinking to myself the pressure I had on my shoulders, would I be able to fill my tag? What about the weather, forest fires, my health etc. The pressures others put on you is unbelievable.

I knew I would have to give up my archery elk and deer season that I look forward to every year for this tag, but I was prepared to do so. We spent most of the summer visiting the area marking good spots on our GPS and visiting with the locals. I was very fortunate to have friends that lived close for a place to stay and local knowledge of the unit. The months flew by and when the opener finally arrived I was prepared , but not emotionally. Packing up the truck heading over every weekend with no luck even seeing a moose was hard on me. I wasn’t prepared for drawing this once in a lifetime tag to be so emotionally draining. I think if I would have seen signs of moose it would have been easier, but not seeing anything weekend after weekend was tough. Moose hunting in Montana at its finest. Yes, I was creating these hunting memories, but still in the back of my mind your thinking this tag might end up being tag soup! I had a blast with my hubby glassing the hill side everyday , the hikes into good spots calling, the grizzly bear encounter, eventually hoping to see a bull moose. On the last trip I was going to take before giving myself a little break due to the 100% chance of pouring rain forecast for 4 days for the area we were to hunt, I made myself go knowing I couldn’t find a moose from the couch and it finally payed off!

I think when you draw a special tag its hard to prepare yourself for the ” what ifs”. No one understands unless they have been there. This tag was a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget. Even after some hard days of hunting ,all the time and energy I put into this hunt payed off. And it was well worth it.I have memories that will last a lifetime, some incredible friends that were there to watch for a moose or help pack out. I told my husband I wish I could do it all over again, it went too fast and the one thing I wish I could have changed was just to soak up the moments just a little more.

Mar 03, 2016 | Category: Blog, Deer hunting, Erin's Corner | Comments: none


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