There Is No Offseason
There is no off season Ben. Even when the actual hunting season is closed, he is trying to prepare himself both physically and mentally to help him be at the top of his game when the moment arrives.
Learn About Ben
What Drives you in your Endeavor?
The challenge of locating a target animal, learning/studying it's habits and tendencies and then trying to put together and execute a game plan to get within bow range. All while staying undetected. I also love exploring new land. Whether it’s some new farmland to hunt whitetails on, or a new section of Mountain range looking for elk. There is just something exciting about exploring the unknown for the first time that I absolutely love.
What makes you different than other hunters?
1.) My dedication to the hunt year round. There is no off season. Even when the actual hunting season is closed I am trying to prepare myself both physically and mentally to help me be at the top of my game when the moment of truth arrives. Whether that moment is the next day or six months from now, there is always something I can be doing to better myself. To help stack the odds in my favor. I believe you owe it to the animal you are perusing to be as prepared as you possibly can.
2.) Attention to detail. Gathering as much information as possible on my target animal during all different times of the year is crucial to really understanding the habits and tendencies of the animal you are perusing. Hours spent glassing, tons of miles put on shed hunting and burning up hundreds of batteries checking trail cameras, is all vital information to help you put the pieces together to make that final move.
3.) Always Closing In my opinion this is the #1 thing that separates the good hunters from the great hunters. I consider myself a "closer". Not to many times do you get multiple opportunities during a hunting situation. Taking advantage and executing on that first opportunity is usually the difference between coming home with an empty tag or a full freezer. You can have the best game plan in the world and be in the best spot, but if you can't close it out with a clean ethical shot. You will be picking up your meat at the grocery store with the other average hunters. "Prepare & Close" That's my motto.
What is something you do different in your preparation for a hunt or even during a hunt?
Every hunting situation is different. But again it comes back to the consistency of my preparation. I don't just sit down the week before a hunt, gather my gear and hope for the best when the season opens. If I am moving in to hunt something somewhere, there is a reason I'm there. All the scouting and training has put me in that particular location or hunt for a reason. I never go into a situation without some type of plan of attack. I am very serious about my scouting. If i had to break it down I would say my hunting season is made up 95% scouting time and 5% hunting. As we all know, no matter how great your plan sounds in theory, it never seems to work out exactly how we plan it. So having the ability to anticipate and make your adjustments on the fly as the moment of truth unfold. Is the essential difference maker and a result of consistent preparation.
Ben sets out every year on a solo hunt for elk. Everything is done alone.
Some friends said I was crazy…some said dumb…but for some reason I had this itch that had to be scratched. The #1 item on my hunting Bucket List was to backpack into the back country of Montana, find a mature bull elk, harvest him with a my bow, pack it out and as if I needed to add another level of challenge to this adventure, try to capture it all on film completely solo. I knew trying to pull this off at retirement age would be extremely difficult because the two most import tools I would need to pull this off were semi-young legs and a strong back.
As I started my journey into my thirties, I knew my window of opportunity was quickly passing and this bucket list item would have to get crossed off now. There was something alluring to me about hiking into the unknown with only your food, shelter, and weapon strapped to your back, and having no idea when or where you would finally find that target animal. I wanted to see if I really had the physical and mental abilities to handle the elements of Mother Nature, the fatigue of the mountains, and the self-discipline to handle it all on my own.