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Hunt for good times

I went deer and elk hunting again this year. This means getting up from camp at 3 a.m., trekking miles through the dark and braving cold morning temperatures, only to have to deal with the disappointment of another epic fail.Despite my big-game hunter plans, wild beasties have plans of their ownólike surviving. Hiking the Colorado Trail or climbing to peak summits, I always see deer and elk casually grazing mountainsides. Come fall, on opening day of hunting season, however, game has the uncanny ability to just disappear.Now, I really donít feel I have to kill anything to have a good time. This should be good news to local police and the FBI. Although, it would be nice to sometime swap stories around the campfire with other real hunters. Iím not even sure I can call myself a hunter having never ìbaggedî anything. Although, by definition, I guess, I was out hunting for something. Photo ops mostly.But I donít measure success as some do. I am in the outdoorsómy favorite place to be. I love the adventure, trying to think like game and watching yellow aspen leaves drop like gold coins onto a trail. It is hard to describe the pleasure of sitting on a log deep in the pines, enjoying a soft breeze in absolute silence (except for the tinnitus ringing in my ears).Nobody in camp killed anything this hunt, but we had a killer of a good time making lifetime memories. Weíll wait a long year to start it all over again. This will surprise no one who has ever hunted. Thatís the funny thing about hunting: Itís about hope, anticipation, dreams and opportunity for success at something. With hunting, there is always yet one more chance for achievement. Life doesnít always offer that.T. Duren Jones spends time in the Colorado wilderness as often as possible. He has hiked hundreds of trails, completed the nearly 500 miles of the Colorado Trail, and has summited all 54 of Coloradoís 14,000-foot peaks. He loves the outdoors. He hates snakes.

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