What Game Animal Gets You Fired Up?

What Game Animal Gets You Fired Up?

Question: As a guide, I am in the woods either hunting or guiding about 100 plus days a year. I get more shook up over a big whitetail than I do with a monster elk or mule deer. Do you have a big game species that makes your blood pump more than others? — Jeff Dysinger, Prescott, Ariz.

What Gets Me Fired Up

Jeff, I have hunted whitetails since I was a kid and they still hold a lot of attraction for me, but I think the degree to which I get worked up depends on the situation surrounding the shot. I get worked up on every shot I take at game, so I think it comes down to situation.

Here's an example. I once shot a woodland caribou in Newfoundland that really tore me up. I snuck behind him for several hours across the bogs, slipping from bush to bush until he finally bedded. I was able to sneak within 75 yards of him, but that was it. My only option was to sit there and wait until he got up. Six hours later, I was still sitting there! Finally, as the afternoon approached he stood and started walking in my direction. I had ranged everything within 50 yards, yet I still lost it when the bull came past at 35 yards. I had no idea how far he was nor which pin was which. It was a total meltdown.


In hindsight, I know he was 35 yards away and at that time I remember thinking, "the right pin has to be somewhere in the middle of the stack." I put the middle of the stack on his chest and shot. The shot turned out perfect, but I have to admit, I was really struggling to think logically.


One other time I had a big whitetail heading my way from all the way across a five-acre field. It took him about two minutes to get to me and just before he offered a shot, he hit my scent trail on the ground and blew out. I remember, at the time, that was the most shook up I had ever been in a tree stand. I was fidgeting non-stop and my heart was beating out of my chest.


Again, one time I had a really nice bull elk come screaming across a small meadow right past at 30 yards. I shot him, but I remember that one too as having been really intense. It seems that when the opportunity happens fast I am much better at controlling my emotions because I have to get to work. When I have time to think and the encounter lasts a long time, I tend to get really worked up.

Also, along that same lines, whenever I have stalked game, that has led to much greater intensity than when I was waiting in ambush. It always felt like any false step would blow the deal and since I was in control of the action, the pressure to do it right was squarely on me. It was my game to lose.

I love it all. In fact, some of the most intense adrenaline I have ever dealt with came with trying to shoot my first turkey with a bow. Man, those things tore me up until I finally got it figured out and killed a few and then it was not as big of a deal any longer.


If I could just hunt one animal it would be the whitetail, and I would be hunting it in my own backyard. I love that experience, but when it comes to intense experiences in bowhunting, I have had that with nearly every species I have ever hunted. I hope that never stops. It is the adrenaline rush, at the end of the day, that we enjoy about bowhunting. Sure, the meat is good. We love to eat it, but the memories of the hunt revolve around the excitement of the moment. The more the excitement, the greater the memory.

Recommended for You

Take advantage of 360-degree shooting. Treestands & Blinds

How Do I Shoot from a Tree Saddle?

Greg Staggs

Take advantage of 360-degree shooting.

We break down how the different types of odor eliminating technologies work for bowhunting. How-To

Everything You Need to Know About Scent Control

Darren Warner

We break down how the different types of odor eliminating technologies work for bowhunting.

Learn how to lure wary bulls into bow range. Big Game

Elk Calling With the Experts

Tracy Breen

Learn how to lure wary bulls into bow range.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Springtime Turkey Hunt

Springtime Turkey Hunt

Kevin Steele and the boys are bowhunting turkeys with the help of some well-placed decoys.

Ravin Broadheads – 3 New Mechanicals

Ravin Broadheads – 3 New Mechanicals

Designed exclusively for their crossbows, Ravin has announced three new mechanical broadheads to maximize penetration and overall performance.

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Field editor Bill Winke goes over steps you can take to improve the tuning on your bow.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for the year! ATA Show

Best New Bows for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for...

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm SS performed in our technical tests! Bows

2019 Bowtech Launch: Realm SR6 & SS Review

Jon E. Silks - November 07, 2018

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm...

Check out our list of the best new hunting arrows from the 2019 ATA Show! ATA Show

Top New Arrows for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

Check out our list of the best new hunting arrows from the 2019 ATA Show!

See More Stories

More Stories

As the firstborn of a sonless outdoors addict, I was raised on hunting. When other kids were Stories

The Rapid Rise of Women in Bowhunting

Emily Kantner - April 19, 2017

As the firstborn of a sonless outdoors addict, I was raised on hunting. When other kids were

Yes, it's that time of year again. It's time to make New Year's resolutions… and then break them Stories

5 New Year's Resolutions for Bowhunters

Mark Kayser - December 22, 2015

Yes, it's that time of year again. It's time to make New Year's resolutions… and then break...

I'm forever at a loss regarding New Year's Resolutions.  I've never smoked a cigarette, can't Stories

New Year's Resolutions for Bowhunters

Patrick Meitin - January 03, 2013

I'm forever at a loss regarding New Year's Resolutions.  I've never smoked a cigarette, can't

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.