When going on a hunting adventure, often times we forget to stop and take a look around. One of the most important parts of hunting is the experience and the taking in of new cultures, new locations and new adventures as a part of the total experience.
It was not until my third trip to Manitoba that I realized I had been there a total of 21 days and I really had not seen any of the country besides what I could see out of my hunting blind. Now, when I plan my trips, I look for opportunities to explore the area or experience adventures that you can only do in the places where you hunt.
When I travel to Wyoming, one of the things that I like to experience is time walking alone in the sea of sagebrush. Walking out among on land where you can see for miles and miles and without people around is an experience that most people in this world do not get to experience and many are often afraid to experience. I always try to pack in a couple of good walks on the front edge and the back edge of my hunting trips into Wyoming. This opportunity to walk on so much amazing public land is really important to me. That time alone in the wind, on the prairie gives me the opportunity to reset my life and remember that I am just a small part of this world and it is okay to walk my own path.
If you are in or near Cody, Wyoming, take a little bit of time to visit the Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. If you are as passionate as I am about the history of firearms in America, this is a must-see museum. The Firearms Museum houses the most comprehensive collection of American firearms in the world. To date, the Cody Firearms Museum has over 7,000 firearms with more than 30,000 firearms-related artifacts.
Wyoming also offers some of the greatest trout fishing in the country so if you really like to wet a line there is something for you whether that is lake fishing with a hook and weights, fly fishing big water or small streams or even tenkara fishing with a simple rod and line in small micro streams.
If you are coming to Nebraska on a hunt, the Museum of the Fur Trade is a must-visit stop. The first time I had the opportunity to visit this museum, I only had an hour and a half to take in the amazing exhibits. This museum, focused on the fur trade, is home to the most comprehensive collection of historical artifacts covering the fur trade period in the world. The museum is located in Chadron, Nebraska so it’s easy to get to and close to some great Sandhills Hunting.
Car Henge is also a very interesting quick stop off on the way to some great hunting in Nebraska. Someone got the great idea to create a modern Stonehenge with cars in the middle of Nebraska and now 100’s of people a day visit this site year round. Getting off Highway 80 is pretty important in Nebraska, most people travel through the state on the way to Colorado or points East and never get off the highway. There are tons of great small museums in many of the towns across Nebraska as well as some great topography like the Sandhills and the Canyons of South West Nebraska.
If you are going to be in Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a national park that must be checked out. The views are breathtaking. Sitting on the wall with the canyon in front of you in all of its glory, you realize how big this world is. If you are looking for an adventure, think about hiking or perhaps riding a mule down into the canyon. The trip on the East Rim Trail is about 4 miles and three hours and the view of the canyon is even more impressive on the back of a mule.
Monument Valley is also one of those iconic locations that is worth seeing on a hunting trip to Arizona. I had the opportunity to film a sheep capture in and around the Monument Valley area that was a joint project between the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Navajo Nation. It is an iconic area that you must visit at least once in your life.
Hunting in Nevada offers a tremendous opportunity to experience some amazing hunting as well as the opportunity to explore the vast and open desert. I have enjoyed getting to explore ghost towns. The rich heritage of the Silver State’s past is dotted all across the vast western landscapes, most all of them are worth visiting.
Nevada also has some pretty great hot springs that are worth researching and visiting as well as the Great Basin National Park, which is hard to get to but an absolutely amazing National Park worth visiting for the ancient bristlecone pines that are 1000’s of years old as well as the amazing opportunities for stargazing from high altitude peaks. The park is also home to the great Lehman Cave, which is well worth seeing and you must plan ahead and make reservations to tour.
Hawaii offers some amazing hunting on the islands for feral pigs, Mouflon sheep, feral sheep, axis deer, black-tail deer and feral goats. The hunting can be outstanding, and the state offers plenty of opportunities throughout the year. Hawaii offers some pretty great excursions, whether it is golf on the islands or sightseeing.
Helicopter tours are amazing trips to take in Hawaii to get off the beaten path and see some of the waterfalls, volcanos and great features of the island as you fly up and over mountains as well as the coastline.
If you are looking for a little more adventure in Hawaii, consider attending one of the many surf schools on the island. Do a little bit of surf shopping online so you have the right clothes for your adventure. Believe me, you’ll thank me later. Better be prepared than to suffer the consequences and spoil your trip.
No matter where you are hunting, make the time for a little sightseeing and adventure either before or after your hunt.