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?
Dave: Dave Dowty
WBC: Where are you from and where do you currently live?
Dave: Born in the great state of washington and I currently live in Vancouver Washington.
WBC: What is your day job?
Dave: I am a dry kiln operator for a local timber company. I’ve been in the timber industry for about 10 years now.
WBC: Do you have any family or pets?
Dave: I am happily married to my high school sweetheart and we have an ALMOST 5 year old! And two dogs!
WBC: How and why did you get started into hunting?
Dave: I grew up fully immersed in the outdoors. From hunting, fishing, hiking and just about everything you can imagine. When the weekend rolled around it was time to hit the mountain.
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?
Dave: My ol’ man taught me everything I know. He was always able to make it fun for me even at a young age. The biggest thing I learned from him was that the experience always weighs more than the meat brought home. One day I hope to be half the outdoorsman my dad is. Having my own child now, I understand the joy (and struggle) of bringing a kid up in the outdoors.
WBC: What has been your favorite hunt? Why?
Dave: My favorite hunt is always my next. For me, anticipation is always the best part. But I suppose if I had to choose one it would be the first time I got to see my wife Tiffany harvest a deer! We had been together for almost 10 years before I got to witness it. When hunting season rolled around she always went with her dad as their tradition. I think I was more excited when she pulled the trigger than she was.
WBC: What has been your biggest struggle when it comes to hunting?
Dave: Oh man here we go…trusting my instincts is my weak point. Instead of going with my gut I always let me mind run all over the darn place and it has certainly cost me opportunities. Even someone that is new to hunting has to remember, being a predator is in our nature. It just takes experience to find it.
WBC: Our strengths can also be our weaknesses. What are your weaknesses that can inhibit you on your hunts?
Dave: I’m getting better about it but I would have to say, having backup plans for my backup plans. I do a lot of digital scouting because my hunting areas are a good distance away. Making sure I have more areas of interest and laying out how I want to approach them is something I need to focus more on.
WBC: What piece of gear can you not hunt without?
Dave: I prefer to hunt off of my back and do a lot of walking. Most folks would say boots but I would honestly have to say a solid pack sits at the top of my list. I currently run the Exo Mountain Gear 5500.
WBC: What is your favorite place to hunt and or species?
Dave: It’s pretty hard to beat hunting Roosevelt elk right here in Washington State. I grew up rifle hunting with my dad and all of our buddies. It’s how I cut my teeth in the woods. Even though I decided to start bowhunting a few years back, I still feel the draw of cold November mornings chasing bulls with a gun. I make it a point to get up there every year still and chase some elk with my ol’ man. Now I just do it with a camera in hand instead of a gun.
WBC: What is one piece of advice you would have liked to have or known when you first started hunting?
Dave: If your not having fun hang it up. When you are having fun and staying positive, good things happen.
WBC: What is your social media account handles or website?
Dave: Just instagram for me! (Easier to keep things positive) @dave_dowty
We want to thank Dave for sharing his insight and thoughts. If you want to know more about Dave and what he does, be sure to follow along on his journey by checking out his Instagram account.
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.
We want to know what you thought about the article. Tell us your thoughts below in the comment section. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog!