It’s been a while since I had a good, honest-to-goodness hunting injury. It’s also been a while since I’ve been hunting with my dad. Injuries and hunting with my father tend to go hand-in-hand.
I can’t remember a single hunt we’ve been on that hasn’t had an injury. Most of them are pretty minor, and that’s probably a good thing. But once in a while, one or the other of us comes home with an actual scar.
I may sound like a complete masochist, but before you start judging me, consider my occupation. To do my job right, I depend on mishaps in the outdoors. Nobody wants to hear about a two-week elk hunt that goes perfectly and results in nothing but filled tags by the third day. What would I talk about? The amount of money I lose to my dad in the penny poker games we’d have to play just to pass the time?
Nope, people want conflict.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a column for the local newspaper about an elk hunt that generated a pile of mail. It started off bad and got worse. Dad and I packed into the Bridger Wilderness, and on the first night, I spilled the first blood. Not elk blood. It was my own.
For some reason, I decided to take my broadheads off and put different ones on. They were all the same, but the ones I decided to put on just seemed a little sharper. When I went to unscrew the first one I thought was too dull, I realized it was sharp enough to get the job done. Instead of using a broadhead wrench, I twisted it off with my fingers. It was on pretty tight, and when it came loose, it jerked. I sliced the pad of my thumb all the way to the bone.
The next night, Dad cut his hand. The following day, I tripped on a rock and gashed my arm. As we were packing up to head home, one of the horses spooked at something and gave Dad a nasty burn from the lead rope. We never got a shot at an animal, but we saw plenty of blood anyway.
I need another trip like that so I’ll have something new to talk about. I think I’ll go call Dad right now and get a trip planned.