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Old January 2, 2007, 05:38 PM   #1
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Alcohol Ruined my Hunt!

Actually it was a drunk who ruined my hunt. It took me a long time to decide if I was going to post on this topic. Back in October I headed up to Craig Colorado to hunt elk, I was invited by a coworker to go and since I didn't draw my Ranching for Wildlife area it seemed like a good idea. My coworker is a recovering alcoholic or so I thought.

I went to his house to pick him up the Wednesday at 5 a.m. before opening day which is Saturday and found him fall down drunk. The deal was I'd bring the horses and he would supply the camping gear tent, stove, etc. Anyway I get him loaded in the truck and all of his gear and we take off for Craig with me lecturing him on how upset I was about him being drunk. I did go through his gear before we left making him leave behind all the alcohol he packed, thinking I could sober him up over the next week.

We get to the camp site and I get the horses taken care of then I go to help him with the tent. This tent he bought from Army Surplus and is a frame tent with six pieces making up the tent. I get over there and he is suffering from sobering up and barely has the frame to together. So I finish helping him put together the tent and I come to find out that the two pieces are missing that makes up the roof great I'm about ready to pack up and go home. Another hunter who knows my coworker gave us a large blue tarp to put over the frame to make the roof. I have to improvise with lots of rope to attach the walls to the frame, so now we have a tent, but we can't use the heater because we have no way of using the stove pipe without cutting a hole in the tarp that we borrowed. So I spend a very cold night in the mountains my first night.

I go into Craig the next day to get some supplies so I didn't have to spend a cold night again. I wound up buying two propane heaters and picked up three bottles of propane so I wouldn't have to run in to town which was a 30 mile drive. My coworker wasn't feeling well (withdrawals obviously) so I left him in camp when I left for town. When I get back to camp I find him feeling much better which I'm assuming had something to do with the beer in his hand. I again talk to him about his drinking and he swears he will quit drinking on this hunting trip.

I try to keep him busy for the next two days by scouting the hunting area and looking for elk. I keep him out of camp as much as possible so he can't go around bumming beers and drinks off of the other hunters in camp. I do a pretty good job for the most part but I can't watch him all the time and I know he is getting some alcohol here and there but no where near as bad as the first day that I picked him up.

The night before opening day I go to bed early so I can get up before dawn to head up into the areas we scouted for hunting. I guess my coworker sees this as his opportunity to go overboard. I get up the next morning and get the horses ready and go back in the tent to wake up my coworker. I get him up and he just stinks of beer, and I'm thinking here we go. I force him to drink some coffee to wake his but up and I'm hoping that the 2 hour ride to where we were hunting would help to sober him up.

I get him on his horse and just as we are getting ready to leave I see another hunter get kicked by his horse. I get down to help him and see if he is alright but tell my coworker to stay on his. I help the other hunter out and get him on his horse and turn around and my coworker is no where in sight. I go find him and tell him to get back on his horse, so he tries and hurts his knee. So now I got a guy screaming in pain at 4 a.m. and I'm wanting to go hunt. I get him back to the tent and tie up the horse because he says he isn't going out hunting now because he not going on that GD horse. So I leave him and go hunting on my own, but I now run out of time to make it to where I want to set up for hunting my elk.

The weather started turning real nasty about noon so I decided to call it a day and come down off of the mountain without seeing any elk that I could shoot. I wind up stopping and helping a guy who shot a small bull calf thinking it cow get his elk quartered and wind up hauling it down for him. So by the time I get back to camp I'm in a pretty bad mood because I didn't see anything and I was very wet and cold from all the rain and snow. I find my coworker very drunk and with a very swollen knee. I tell him that we are heading home the next morning, and he can't understand why when I haven't filled any tags yet.

Anyway I get everything packed and loaded in the truck and the Game Warden shows up and gives my coworker a little green ticket. I'm wondering what is going on, basically this was a voucher good for a refund on his hunting license so he could get another over the counter tag for a later season if he wanted. So I ask him if I could have one too and the Warden says he can only give one to the injured person since he is incapable of continuing to hunt. So that really got me mad and I told my coworker that I was ready to leave and to get his but into the truck. I don't think I said ten words to him back to his house east of Colorado Springs.

This was sure an eye opening trip for me. I don't mind hunters having a few after a day of hunting and the guns are put away. But this elk camp was crazy, a lot of people were treating it like a week long party. This had me kind of nervous about the judgment of some of these guys and their ability to hunt with a clear head the next day. Needless to say I'll never go hunting with my coworker again and if I hunt that area again I will not stay in the campgrounds but pack in 2-3 days in advance to get away from all the hunters.
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Old January 2, 2007, 05:46 PM   #2
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I know I miss out on a lot of camaraderie... but I hunt alone, that way, no one can ruin my hunt but me. If I do hunt with another person it's only family, and that rarely happens due to living 1200 miles away from the family members who hunt.

Sorry to hear about your trip turning out this way. It's a shame considering the hunting season only comes around once (or a few times) a year.
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Old January 2, 2007, 06:06 PM   #3
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Sorry about the ruined hunt, Taylor. Alcoholism is terrible.

At least he didn't accidently shoot you, someone else, and/or a horse.
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Old January 2, 2007, 06:07 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear about that. I would have kicked his rear if it was me.

I also hunt alone as much as possible, just because of the yahoo's out there.

But, I have had the misfortune of similiar yahoos wondering through the forest and happening upon me and then they tag along and ruin the day.

Again, sorry for the bad hunt.

Next year you'll know better.

I would get that guy over to AA as fast as possible.
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Old January 2, 2007, 06:07 PM   #5
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Sorry about that. I have learned over the years to never give an alcoholic a second chance or they'll screw you over every time. If possible, don't give them a first chance (if you know about it).
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Old January 2, 2007, 06:35 PM   #6
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If he was drunk when i went to pick him up I would never have brought him along,life is too short to baby sit a drunk. better luck next year
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Old January 2, 2007, 06:57 PM   #7
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I offten deer hunt alone, but the drunk and or inconsierate hunters from the next property offten shoot over the line or wander on to the private property I pay to hunt on.
Will work for brass.

I apologise in advance for spelling errors.
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Old January 2, 2007, 07:30 PM   #8
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That really makes having a reliable hunting buddy that you can trust that much better. Sorry about your wasted hunt and I hope your coworker can get back on track.
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Old January 2, 2007, 07:44 PM   #9
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I'm sorry to hear about your experience...

I'm sure that you learned about choosing a hunting partner more than you wanted to. As many people said, I don't like hunting with a bunch of people, especially when I have to rely on them, and try to go alone as much as possible.

I also mountaineer, in which it is necessary to go in a group so that we can devide up our equipment. Choosing the right partner or a guide is THE most important thing perhaps (next to my own skill and physical ability), because an unreliable partner or group member can get you KILLED in a mountain. I would certainly not want to spend any time next to a drunk guy with a loaded weapon.

Just be happy that you got home alive and unhurt. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger and wiser.
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Old January 2, 2007, 11:34 PM   #10
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My coworker got his one and only chance to hunt with me. I was invited to go with him and I met some great guys in camp that I wouldn't mind hunting with but I was the tag a long this year. I don't know if I'll go back to Craig on my own but it would be a waste for me not to do another horse back hunt especially after I bought a lot of gear.

What got thinking about this is a poll another guy posted (different forum)about how having a couple of drinks might make you a better shot. I defiantly let him know that I felt alcohol and firearms don't mix. The moderators felt the same way and deleted the whole post. I guess I just needed to vent a little.

Hopefully the story does have a happy ending, my coworker is back in AA. I l hope he can stay on the wagon this time. He defiantly knows that I will not be hunting with him again.
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Old January 3, 2007, 12:02 AM   #11
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There was a similiar thread about booze and guns here as well.

Drinking and guns don't mix!!!

A good example is my uncle. Serious alcoholic!! He had too many irish coffees on opening day of deer season several years ago and shot himself in the foot with a 300 wby mag. Now he has 1 and 1/2 feet and doesn't drink anymore.

In my opinion booze and guns don't mix. Doesn't matter if at base camp or at the range. As soon as the booze comes out the guns better get put away. Otherwise I am out of there.
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Old January 3, 2007, 10:45 AM   #12
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know I miss out on a lot of camaraderie... but I hunt alone, that way, no one can ruin my hunt but me. If I do hunt with another person it's only family, and that rarely happens due to living 1200 miles away from the family members who hunt.
+1 on that. Me too. I miss my friends, but when I get done hunting they're still my friends.
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Old January 3, 2007, 11:35 AM   #13
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Same here. I usually hunt alone. Being that I deal with the public a lot, I like getting away...from everyone. I don't mind being around folks who will just drink one beer. What I don't like is deer camps that are beer camps. I go to hunt, not drink. A beer or two is fine. I don't hunt w/ those who think part of hunting is getting drunk. Not my crowd. I've left places like that on more than one occasion.
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Old January 3, 2007, 12:44 PM   #14
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Drinking is for around the campfire after the guns are put away.

In our old deer-lease gang, we were real picky about folks habits about gun safety and booze. We didn't let boozers and slobs "join up".

There can be an upside where you have the Texas-style lease hunting on a private ranch. The boozers stay in camp. Others go out and use the boozers' tags. That way, everybody fills their tags and has meat to take home, and some get to do a bit of extra hunting. The boozers tell Mama some lie about their prowess, and Mama makes appropriate happy noises for him.

I never fell into that kind of deal. My father said his high year was 32 bucks, 30 on others' tags. He was regularly invited to construction contractors' leases, just because he'd take care of the "dudes". He'd take some drunk out, make them sit in his car while he went off and found a deer. He'd make them put their tag on it, and then after doing the gutting, take the "package" of buck and drunk back to camp.

But Lord spare me from the unexpected alky in a hunt camp. That's worse than a 20-year-old with his frist rifle on his first-ever hunt.

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Old January 3, 2007, 12:48 PM   #15
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I would have left him there at camp. I have no tolerance for drunks.
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Old January 3, 2007, 02:44 PM   #16
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I don't have much tolerance for drunks either. And someone who can't put the cork back in the bottle is NOT going on a hunt with me, period. Same thing with regards to recreational pharmacology products. It's one thing to reward one's self with a couple of brewski's after a long day outdoors and quite another to down a six-pack by yourself between 6pm and 8pm. And any hunting partner who starts his day with an "eye opener" will find himself left at camp.

Re: Hunting alone - I think it's great if you can do it, though I find the most enjoyable trips involve a partner to share the joy, heartaches, fun and woes of a hunt. Plus there is some measure of safety when hunting with a good partner. A friend of mine was solo hunting pigs one year, he was gored in the leg badly. Fortunately, he was able to hobble out far enough to get help from some folks who were camping a mile or two away. Now he never hunts alone after the doctors told him that he was lucky to have saved his leg.

My first two hunting trips I went to learn the ropes. My friend & mentor used my tags and I learned. I also learned how to deal with other hunters you run across afield and when to be leery of 'em. I don't hunt with any frequency any more, but I remember a lesson he taught me. Life is too short to put up with drunks, be they friends, neighbors, fellow boaters or hunters. And you don't want to be around them when their stupidity ruins their day..

Works for me.
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Old January 3, 2007, 07:21 PM   #17
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That trip would have ended for me when I showed up to his house and he was drunk.

I understand alcoholism is a disease, but there is a reason that it is illegal to hunt while intoxicated.
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Old January 4, 2007, 11:44 AM   #18
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Guess I am lucky- My hunting (And fishing) buddy and I have been hunting together for 30 years, our boys are best friends and come along when they can.
We always have a great time. We just seem to think alike and stay focused on keeping things safe and fun... Occasionally we will have a drink or two after a long day, especially after fishing in Baja but common sense is the rule...
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Old January 4, 2007, 01:50 PM   #19
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That trip would have ended for me when I showed up to his house and he was drunk.
I had considered exactly that but I had over $1000 invested in the trip already with purchasing new gear(packing equipment), fuel, trailer repairs, hay, and tags. I just really wanted to get something for my investment so I was willing to give it a go. I'd never hunted this area before and didn't get a chance to scout before season and my coworker had hunted this area for over 10 years and had gotten elk almost every year. If I had a clue as to where I was going then I probably would have left him there and just slept in the horse trailer and lived off of sandwiches while I was hunting.
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Old January 4, 2007, 04:43 PM   #20
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+1 on BUSTER51 Life is too short to babysit losers and hunting season is for hunting and enjoying the outdoors. I would have gotten my $ outta his back side.

Plus 4 on the long time hunting buddy. Thanks again to him for not being a sot or many other things that ruin a hunt.
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Old January 4, 2007, 05:18 PM   #21
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im still young, and while my camp has thrown a "rowdy" git together or 2, we usually dont get all forked up, and especially not during the day. Because of family alcoholism, and just wanting to get my life straightened out i pretty much gave up on alcohol. Taylor, its too bad that your coworker is such a drunk some people just cant figure it out. I used to love to get smashed on the weekenders to our prop but as of lately i would much rather have a clearer head, and within the past 2 weeks things seem clearer and my body seems better off even though im sort of a big guy. My father, who started drinking again this year after a 15 year hiatus got p.o at our buddies cause they were flakin out on us, and he wanted to goto a deer camp with some "friends" from the bar and i was not thrilled about that, but we didnt end up going hunting anyway. Given the choice, i want to learn alot more about hunting first then i want to hunt alone as people are unpredictable, and id much rather go at my own pace and do my own thing.
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Old January 4, 2007, 09:25 PM   #22
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I'm sorry to hear that your hunt got ruined. First clue was when you went to pick up your buddy who was drunk. What a shame and what a crappy situation to be caught in. As mentioned by others, to not give a drunk a second chance. Better to go alone than babysit a drunk, plus, as long as he's babied, he really has no incentive to change. Telling him straight up that you're not going anywhere with him, especially places where guns are involved, might give him the clue his drinking and his behavior won't be tolerated. I've been there with people I thought were responsible and focussed on hunting, only to learn, that by day 2, they're down the road hunting for booze or a bar 50 miles away, while I and others are hunting in the mountains. Day 3, they're too incompacitated to hunt, but have booze brains and attitudes. I hunt alone most of the time these days.
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Old January 5, 2007, 07:49 PM   #23
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It has ruined many hunts and many good men. An alcoholic hunted with us years ago. When we picked him up to go hunting, we had to travel about 200 miles to where we leased land. He was drunk from the night before and we got to hear all kinds of interesting stories about his up, bringing back in the boon docks. At times it was funny until he told the same story over about 5 times. Believe it or not once we got him to deer camp he never did drink anymore while we were there (thank goodness). You could tell he was nearly in withdrawal before he got back on those trips. He was a hel# of a good hunter that could kill the fire out of those deer. He only used an open sighted model 742 remington in 30.06, but could kill deer running like it was easy. Matter of fact that one year he killed the biggest deer on the lease. All all he ever wore hunting was a thin pair of coveralls over blue jeans and it was real cold. He was one tough mountain man that was raised up rough with a drunk daddy in charge of several brothers and sisters. It made me feel bad because there I was taking tons of clothes and that ol son of a gun carried only a few clothes along on each trip. Indeed we were lucky that he stayed off the booze while on those trips, it was kind of fun hunting with him. Yea, he is still alive these days but the bottle is about to get the best of him.
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Old January 6, 2007, 10:45 AM   #24
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That stinks. I had a friend go through that too. I got sick of second chances and excuses. We're not friends anymore. Me and the guys I hunt with might have a beer or two while hunting, but not until the day is done and the guns are away. Better luck next year.
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Old January 7, 2007, 01:04 AM   #25
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Use to hunt the controll hunts on..

North manatoulin island in Michigan.
First three hunts were by myself and enjoyed everyone, was glad I wasn't with other groups as more alcohol was passed off the boat on arriving the park HQ.
As far as comaraderie, it will find you, as other camps would leave me notes inviting me for dinner, unfortuneatly wasn't abel to take up as I was out till the moon (stars) lite my way home.
Final time invited a partner that shirked duties when he stayed in camp.
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