Lessons from the Field, Part One

cameraDuring this past year, I was fortunate enough to have some memorable hunting adventures. I learned a lot of lessons, had some success and I was even forced to admit some defeats. I believe hunting can teach us a lot about ourselves and I certainly can testify that I learned a lot in 2014.

My most significant adventure involved a 25 day hunting trip in Alaska. As an Alaskan resident, I had the good fortune to hunt brown bears, mountain goats and deer on Kodiak Island during the month of November. I made this trip with a good friend who I had hunted with before and while I am a somewhat new to hunting in Alaska, my hunting partner was a seasoned veteran of all things Alaska and I couldn’t have found a better guy to hunt with.

My friend provided me with a knowledge that would have taken me years to obtain on my own. He was very experienced at survival and safety, had a thorough understanding of animal behavior and he knew what gear was worthy enough to trust with our lives.

During this trip, I had intended on documenting most of it with my Canon DSLR camera. However, it literally rained on us every single day so using the camera presented many challenges and a lot of the time I was simply not able to use it. One trick I learned by necessity was how to keep the camera dry and ready for use. I had started placing the camera into a gallon size Ziploc bag, but internal condensation still remained a problem. I found a remedy by using small desiccant packs from our freeze-dried meals. The desiccant sucked up the moisture and kept the camera in operating order the entire trip. Who knew those little disposable packets could be so handy?

Another trick I learned was how to cover the end of my rifle barrel with electrical tape to prevent debris and moisture from fouling the barrel. This is a small trick that most Alaskan hunters already know and I was thankful that my hunting partner shared it with me. The potential amount of stuff that could have piled up inside of my barrel without that tape would have been crazy. I also learned the importance of properly fitted scope covers. Wet glass is useless to see through and having the right weather protection is essential for being ready to take that shot, even in the rain.