Friends, I highly recommend that you watch this podcast, if you can, as I have video and photo images from the hunt overlaying much of the conversation. As for this hunt, as Aron Snyder says, I’m not gonna church it up. We made some dumb mistakes on this hunt. And I guess that’s part of why I love hunting. There are no guarantees--just like in life. We all work hard to perfect our skills--our shooting, our calling, our fieldcraft, our fitness... but at the end of the day things can and do go wrong during a hunt as they do in life and you’ve got to improvise. Sometimes it’s not skill that you need, it’s grit. It’s determination. And Anthony Spencer has that. He’s as gritty as they come.
I wish I could say that Anthony’s bull felt no pain and went down easy. But it didn’t work out that way. Taking the life of another sentient being is not something we take lightly. Yet, it’s an everyday part of the natural world we live in. Animals hunt to eat and eat to live--including humans. And this endeavour results in pain and death to animals everyday. An ethical and compassionate hunter will always do his best to make the death as swift and painless as possible. But sometimes, despite our best efforts we fail in this. There are no guarantees--no gimmees in hunting--nor in life. Things will and do go wrong if you hunt long enough. I’m okay with that. Because that’s how life is. I didn’t want my wife to have cancer, but it happened. Sometimes, we don’t get to choose how it goes. The Hunting TV industry likes to pretend that mistakes don’t happen and animals don’t suffer. But that’s not reality. The Gritty Bowmen isn’t on a TV network, we don’t have anybody telling us what we can and cannot show. So what you get is the gritty truth. And I’m sorry to those who imagine that bliss is normal. Because as Jenkin Lloyd Jones said, “you’re going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that you’ve been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop. most beef is tough, most children grow up to just be people… most jobs are more dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey… delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”
In this episode you'll find out what makes the Gritty Bowmen so gritty. The mental toughness and determination and sacrifice it takes to get the job done. "Those things are good for ya. It's always good to challenge yourself a little bit and not quit." - Anthony Spencer
"I know you could never tell by looking at me... but I'm not an endurance athlete. So it's not that I was in such phenomenal endurance condition that I could chase him down. What it took was a mind set. Ya know, I am stubborn. That was the other thing I learned this week. I'm really not that great of an elk hunter. I can screw up a lot of things really quickly. But I am stubborn and I am persistent and I had made up my mind I wasn't going to quit running that bull. If I had given up on him that wouldn't have happened." - Anthony Spencer