My opening weekend’s bivy hunt made me remember Will Greer’s line to Robert Redford in Jeremiah Johnson, “You can’t cheat the mountain, Pilgrim. Mountain’s got it’s own ways…”
I've gone on two bivy hunts in the past three years. I'm zero for two, but it's not for a lack of trying. Pushing up high and deep after high-country Mule Deer and Black Bear is something always on the trailing edge of my subconscious. It's something that, to me, has always stood for "high adventure." Multiple trips have been planned over the past several years, but life has generally gotten in the way. But this would be a year of DOING, not just wishing and watching. I was determined to make it happen.
Things of this nature never pan out like they should when done on a whim. So I started way earlier this year getting the scouting and hunt prep dialed. Early scouting missions were a success, and I spotted plenty of animals. My plan was set, everything in place to walk away the victor. And that's when things went awry.
A spate of 90-degree days had completely changed the landscape from 30 days before, and the terrain was not as it seemed on any map. The lack of water had me relying on huckleberries for hydration, and they were the only thing to keep my mind off of the thirst, lack of animals, and general mental beat down. After taking a major butt-whipping and barely dragging myself off of the mountain, all I could think about was how in awe I was of where I had been and how much I wanted to go back. All the difficulty added up to an ADVENTURE: the thing that was driving me in the first place.
Like the man said; "mountain got it's own ways..." and I imagine those ways will always bring me back for more.
To read the full story of self-induced toruture, go here: