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?
Chase: Chase Harris
WBC: Where are you from and where do you currently live?
Chase: I grew up in Boise, ID and currently live in Meridian, ID.
WBC: What is your day job?
Chase: I am a customer service rep for Guidefitter (an online shop that runs leading industry brands’ pro deals).
WBC: Do you have any family or pets?
Chase: Me and my girlfriend have a 9 month old black lab, Aspen.
WBC: How and why did you get started into hunting?
Chase: I grew up hunting with my dad. From the time I was 4 years old, I can remember sitting in the back of the Bronco as my dad would load his pack up and disappear in the woods. Undoubtedly, he’d come back about an hour later and pull me out of the truck to come “help” gut and pack out his deer. I’d always wonder what he was seeing and how it was happening. So naturally, after the first real hunt I went on, I was hooked.
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?
Chase: My father is and was by far the biggest influence I had when it came to hunting. He’s a whitetail freak! And anyone who’s hunted whitetail knows how witty and on point they are. Needless to say, there were a lot of soul piercing stares heading my way whenever a twig would crack under my feet. I owe 100% of my success to him and how he shaped my skills early on.
WBC: What has been your favorite hunt? Why?
Chase: For me, nothing gets my heart racing faster than having my bow in hand and a bugling bull ready to play the game. This last fall was the most intense elk rut I’ve ever experienced. It was all public land and DIY. My girlfriend and I set out the night before opener to try and locate bulls for the morning. A couple hours of bugling into several different drainages with no responses left us a little discouraged.
4am came early the next morning, as we made our way down the ridge at first light we had a cow bump to our left. We sat for a minute and I let out a lost cow call followed by a bugle and was immediately answered 100 yards below us. Game on! We set up and got ready. Sarah was 20 yards below me and this bull was coming in on a string. As he closed within 20 yards head on, the wind swirled and he was gone. Hearts pounding and smiles on our faces, we continued on the rest of the day with no luck but we had a solid idea for the next day.
9am the next morning we met up with my dad and found ourselves approaching a meadow about a mile down from where we had our encounter the day before. I let out a bugle and had 2 responses instantly. We were on them again! We set up and within 5 minutes had 2 spikes prancing in the meadow not 20 yards from us, and then they were followed up by 2 raghorns. The spikes moved off and the raghorns stood at 25 yards. Me and my dad couldn’t resist. We pulled back and let go and within 3 minutes we had 2 bulls down less than 100 yards apart. An unbelievable experience and made better that I got to share it with my dad!
WBC: What has been your biggest struggle when it comes to hunting?
Chase: I would have to say my lack of patience. I’ve always been a “run and gun” have to make something happen kind of guy. There have been many times where just staying put for just 10 more minutes would have made all the difference.
WBC: Our strengths can also be our weaknesses. What are your weaknesses that can inhibit you on your hunts?
Chase: Definitely being over confident. Experience the hunt for what it is, not what you dreamed it was going to be because most of the time it never works out that way!
WBC: What piece of gear can you not hunt without?
Chase: Boots are at the top of my list! The Crispi Summit GTX’s, Guides, and Wildrocks meet all my needs from bird hunting in the Winter, shed hunting in the Spring, scouting in the Summer, and hunting in the Fall!
WBC: What is your favorite place to hunt and or species?
Chase: My all time favorite would be hunting subalpine basins for bulls in September, followed closely by hunting central Idaho for whitetail in late November.
WBC: What is one piece of advice you would have liked to have or known when you first started hunting?
Chase: Slow down. I rushed a lot of opportunities the first couple years that I could hunt. I’m pretty sure I could’ve been labeled the “Buck Fever Boy” in my pre-teen years and none of my family would’ve second guessed it!
WBC: What is your favorite inspirational quote or verse?
Chase: “Never give up!”
WBC: Do you have a favorite social media page that inspires you to be a better outdoorsman?
Chase: I can’t say there’s a specific page that inspires me, but having a good group of friends that are humble and skilled in the woods always motivates and inspires me to better myself with each outing.
WBC: What is your social media account handles or website?
Chase: Chase_harris208 on Instagram and Chase Harris on Facebook
We want to thank Chase for sharing his insight and thoughts. If you want to know more about Chase and what he does, be sure to follow along on his journey by checking out his social media accounts.
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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