By Jaron Dansie
One of the things I’m best at is not being the best at anything. I don’t know if any of you remember a commercial from the 90’s from a company called BASF, but I do. It always resonated with me. Their slogan said “At BASF we don’t make a lot of the things you buy, we make a lot of the things you buy better.” Now how does that have a single thing to do with an elk hunting story?
Well,…I’m not the best archer, I’m not the most athletic, I don’t do the most out of state hunts, and I most certainly haven’t killed the biggest animals. I haven’t created innovative ways to shoot, hunt, exercise or any of that, but I’ve found a way to enjoy essentially every aspect of my life. I have a wonderful family, an appreciated job, a fulfilling religious faith, and an absolute passion for archery hunting. I’d love to say I’m the best at one of those things, or even in a modest way really really good at one, but I’m not. I know I’m not. But I’ve found a way to achieve balance, I believe. I think being the BEST at something would be fantastic…in regards to THAT thing. It could bring excitement, fame, money, but I believe it’s at the expense of other things. I’m intentional to live my life to the fullest, not by being the best at anything, but striving for a better-than-average result at everything.
I spend time sharing that excerpt of my intentions to hopefully give a peak into why I am so utterly happy with the outcome of this past season. My season started super fun with an archery pronghorn tag that took me 4 years to draw in which I hunted only 2 days and was unsuccessful. You know why it was so fun? Because my dad and my son were there with me and we had some fantastic times.
And then there’s the elk tags.
If you’re reading this you’ve probably read your share of hunting stories about how they saw the elk, we snuck this way, the elk did that, the stars aligned or something. What I remember MOST about my elk hunts is who I was with. I remember for Idaho driving all night listening to podcasts and us scrutinizing how our cow calls sounded. I remember my buddy Jody getting the first bull down in the group and on the way to help schwacking through the worst creek bottom path ever. I remember shooting my Idaho bull not 5 minutes after and 5 feet from where my homie James just heart shot his bull. In Utah I remember my friends and I putting our kids to bed and saying good night to our wives so we could hike up and resume following an impossible blood trail and recover my bull at midnight. My favorite picture of the season, wasn’t me with an elk, it was a group shot of the guys and I.
I don’t need to be the best. I don’t want to be the best. And there’s way more to life than archery. But I feel if we can make the other aspects of our life positive and successful, then without trying, archery and hunting will inherently be that much better. Last year was a major personal accomplishment for me for archery elk tags. I went 2 for 2 and I’d never filled either of them before. But my year’s success wasn’t hung on those tags, because it was undoubtedly bettered by other aspects mentioned above. 2018 was just another year. It was a just another year full of me being completely blessed with health and love all around me and not having to be the best at a single thing.
Arrows Used: 5MM Axis