Archive for June, 2015

Engage in Conversation

Thursday, June 18th, 2015




A few weeks ago I attended the Rinehart 100 in Massachusetts. It’s an archery tournament designed to be fun for the family and no awards are given out, so it’s not a competitive event. This was the largest event to date in New England.

As I waited to shoot a target my dad started a conversation with a man returning from pulling his arrows. As the conversation progressed it was determined that the man had moved to Massachusetts from Colorado about eight years ago.

After a little prodding we found out the man was very familiar with a few areas we had hunted over the years. He had killed over 20 bull elk with archery equipment as well as a number of mule deer. He had plenty of information to share about every area we inquired about.

In the last 20 years we’ve basically hunted two different areas in Colorado. We’ve had a lot of luck in both places. Although we’ve never shot a big bull we’ve taken close to 20 animals. Although our success rate might portray an awesome hunting spot we never stop learning as much as we can. Even if we don’t end up hunting places we almost always set a day or two aside to explore new areas in hopes of stumbling across some sign that is too good to pass up.

It might be as simple as an overlooked water hole or a patch of thick timber providing cover for a luscious meadow a few hundred yards from the main highway.

Over the years we’ve acquired a lot of good information from unexpected conversations. These golden nuggets can come from a quick question at a convenient store when you’re standing at the gas pump while filling your tank. They could come from giving someone a hand with his or her groceries while getting your supplies. It could come from a nice person who gives you directions.

Never let any opportunity to gather information pass. If a person is willing to give you a hand welcome him into your world and exchange stories. You never know where a simple conversation can bring you.

So, back to the Rinehart 100. By the time the talking ceased we had exchanged business cards. My dad and I had also listened closely to key pieces of information the stranger shared with us. He discussed two places we had always looked at and wondered about. With specific locations given to park our vehicle we will definitely explore these areas in the future.

When you’re standing at the checkout counter after buying your groceries for the week never be afraid to strike up a conversation with a stranger. That stranger could have the best farm or ranch you ever imagined hunting. The stranger might not let any natives hunt on it, but being a non-resident he knows he’ll only have to deal with you for a week or two the entire year. Treat everyone the same and always be friendly. It’s pretty hard to ignore a person who smiles when he’s talking to you. Your smile might just lead you to a whitetail or elk haven. Good luck in your search.