By Johnny Mack
Hunting is hard. Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit. More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck. So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it. I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward. It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special.
Being new to hunting, I constantly second guess myself and have doubt about if I am doing the right thing, especially since I never had a mentor to bounce questions off of. It is my weakness. It is the internal battle that I struggle with when hunting. Have you ever had questions about what others would do in certain situations? Maybe you catch yourself not staying in the game mentally. I know I often do. I find myself double guessing a move or a plan of attack when I hunt. Whether you are new or experienced, hunting can be frustrating and defeating.
This series is meant to be a way to inspire, educate and motivate you when it comes to hunting. Hopefully the advice and insight shared by our guests can help you feel like you are not alone in your struggle against the wild, while you build confidence in your chase.
WBC: What is your name?
Jeff: Jeff Barlow
WBC: Where are you from and where do you currently live?
Jeff: Born and Raised and lived most all my 45 years in St. George Utah. The last 10 years my family and I have been in Price Utah.
WBC: What is your day job?
Jeff: I work in Research and Development as a project manager. We design dust collection systems for power tools.
WBC: Do you have any family or pets?
Jeff: I have a beautiful wife of 23 years and 7 wonderful children (6 boys and 1 girl).
WBC: How and why did you get started into hunting?
Jeff: I have been hunting for almost 40 years. Starting out as a little kid I would go out with my father. It was great to spend time in the outdoors with my family and extended family. As I grew up in the outdoors my love for it grew as well.
WBC: Did you have a hunting mentor? What did you learn from them and or what did you want or wished to learn from them?
Jeff: Well I had a couple mentors growing up.
My dad took me hunting from a very early age. I remember tagging along and him telling me the same things I tell my kids now. “Be quiet and hold still,” etc. One lesson I remember my dad (several times) teaching me is about patience. I am a little impatient and now as a grown hunter myself those lesson have come in handy. My dad wasn’t a great outdoors man but loved to go out hunting with his brothers and would always take me.
My Grandpa on my mom’s side was my outdoor mentor. He loved the outdoors and taught me a lot about how to hunt and fish. How to respect and take care of the outdoors and the animals we harvested. He taught me that nature is a great place to find inner peace. He taught me most everything I now pass down to my kids about the outdoors.
Some things I wish I would have known or learned would be how much you can learn from being outside. There are so many life lessons you can take out of hunting and being in the outdoors. Along with many ways to apply those lessons to your life to make it better.
One last lesson I would have loved to have known early on is how much time and money I can spend on hunting. I would have started a separate bank account as a kid just for my hunting expenses.
WBC: What has been your favorite hunt? Why?
Jeff: I have so many favorite hunting memories from my 1st branched antler bull elk with my bow to my Once-in-a-Lifetime Moose hunt last year, but my favorite hunts have always been with my children as they have been able to harvest their first big game animal and I was right by their side.
WBC: What has been your biggest struggle when it comes to hunting?
Jeff: Not having enough time or money to do all the hunting I want to do!!!!
WBC: Our strengths can also be our weaknesses. What are your weaknesses that can inhibit you on your hunts?
Jeff: My need for knowing “What is on the other side of that ridge?!” The fact that I like to wander and learn new country is a great thing but at times it makes me miss out on not being patient and waiting for things to develop. I need to work on my patience but it is getting better the older I get.
WBC: What piece of gear can you not hunt without?
Jeff: My Boys…They are my hunting buddies. I can and have done solo trips but spending time in the outdoors is so much more fun when spent with family and friends.
WBC: What is your favorite place to hunt and or species?
Jeff: It doesn’t really matter to me, I just want to hunt. I grew up hunting South Utah which is mostly desert country and now I live in the high alpine country and love it as well. My favorite animal or species to hunt is which ever I have a tag in my pocket for. Ultimately it doesn’t really matter, but I have grown very fond of Moose since my hunt last year.
WBC: What is one piece of advice you would have liked to have or known when you first started hunting?
Jeff: Enjoy the process!!! Don’t get so wrapped up in thinking you have to harvest an animal to be successful. Enjoy who your with, what your seeing, the experience, and if you do harvest an animal, it’s just icing on the cake!!
WBC: What is your social media account handles or website?
Jeff: You can find Nimrod Outdoors at our website along with YouTube, Facebook & Instagram.
www.beanimrod.com (Nimrod Outdoors Website)
www.youtube.com/nimrodoutdoors (Nimrod YouTube Channel)
www.facebook.com/nimrodoutdoors (Nimrod Facebook Page)
www.instagram.com/nimrodoutdoors (Nimrod Instagram)
We want to thank Jeff for sharing his insight and thoughts. If you want to know more about Jeff and what he does, be sure to follow along on his journey by checking out his Instagram account along with their YouTube channel and website.
If you enjoyed reading the article or can think of anyone that could benefit from the insight given, please share it with others. It is “OUR” job to continue the growth of the hunting and outdoor community. Be sure to invite someone to start hunting with you. You never know what type of impact it may have for them and their life. Remember, mentorship is conservation and you cannot out give good.
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