As Director of Creative Content here at Maven, I’m always looking for opportunities to film or photograph interesting people and their adventures. Recently a good friend, and Maven fan, asked me if I would be interested in joining one of his friends on a once in a lifetime bull moose hunt. It would entail me riding horseback into the Wyoming backcountry, staying several nights in a fully-provisioned camp, and assisting him on his hunt. Um, yes please.
Sam Stephens is a good dude. He grew up in Worland, WY and has spent his entire life looking for the best hunting opportunities and wondering what was over that next hill. When I first met up with him, I wasn’t quite sure what kind of guy he was – after all, this was a blind date of sorts. But after showing me the (horse) ropes and having some good conversation on our ride in, I quickly realized he was just the kind of guy you’d like to be spending the next few days chasing moose with.
The grass is always greener on the other side to Sam, which means that the next ridge two miles away (no matter you’re already many miles in) is worth the effort to check out – you never know what’s on the other side. So, for 3 days and 2 nights, I shadowed Sam as he searched far and wide for his once in a lifetime bull. We glassed drainages, cruised ridgelines, and explored country that most people would never set eyes on.
The Maven S.1A and a tripod-mounted B.4 fit the bill nicely as we glassed from high atop snow-laden scree peaks. When we weren’t posted up, we were cruising on horseback and glassing the dense willow thickets that dotted the drainages. Sam prefered the B.2 11×45, while I prefered to lightened my load a little with the B.1 10×42.
Regardless of how many miles we rode or willow patches we glassed, we were unable to locate any moose during this hunt. To make a long story short, Sam didn’t find his bull. However, he did manage to find a nice mature mule deer to help fill his freezer – a successful trip by any measure.
As we all know, hunting is approximately 10% skill and 90% luck. Even with every advantage on your side, there are no guarantees of a successful hunt. When it came to finding that moose, there was no shortage of skill on Sam’s part – just a shortage on luck.