So we are a bit early this week because my family and I are off to hunt camp this weekend. I want to share with you some lessons that I have learned while at hunt camp that have shaped my leadership. I am the only one on the Solomon side of my family that has graduated high school and progressed to post-secondary. Yet the Solomon’s constantly teach me things that I use in my daily life both personally and professionally. These times are about sharing and being. WE are constantly sharing and learning. WE rely upon each other and help. All pictures are from our hunt camp taken by my wife @Amy Gaukel
You Gotta Help
On our way into hunt camp we spend about 5 hours on a logging road on the way in. We stop lots and laugh a lot. This road is very rough and often you might be the only one on that road. My cousin talks about passing some people who she didn’t know. Once she introduced herself as my Uncle Les’s daughter they immediately started telling her the story about Les stopping and working for hours on their truck to help them get to the road so they could call CAA. When Les heard that story he simply said “You Gotta Help”. There are so many ways to help people both inside and outside of our profession. Simply asking people if they are lost etc. I suspect you can always find a way to help that will mean a lot to people. I help load trucks in Costco parking lots, help lift items for people who can’t all because of this lesson.
There is always a beer in the Cooler for everyone
For those of you who know me you know I enjoy a beverage whenever I can. My family’s camp one of the first stops for others on their way to their camps a few miles down the road. Everyone stops. Often we miss hunting because we are visiting or stop chopping wood so we can have a pint and BS. A smile and a cold beer welcomes any passerby. Always take time for people. You might have a todo list that is a mile long but remember to ask people how their family is and really care how their family is doing. Ask them if there is anything they need help with. After their drink send them on their way but make sure you always reconnect.
Everybody Gets some.
There is a lot of meat on a moose, 400-800 lbs. When we return from the butcher we set up boxes for our family and people who were on the hunt. They we set up boxes for people we know who need the meat and everyone gets an even share. Regardless if you shot the moose or not we all worked to get the moose. So share credit, we all get an even share and be thankful for everyone who got you there.
Stop Listen think and walk on sign
Hunting is a lot of walking and listening. The bush is full of “sign” tracks, scat, rubs etc. Take time to notice what your environment is telling you. Think about it what is it telling you, how old is that information? Does this information mean anything to you? When you are done looking at the sign walk on it. You walk on it to know what is old and what is new.
“It’s like working for Satan here”
This is a famous phrase used often at hunt camp, and in my house. It is followed by the phrase no beer breaks no coffee etc. This phrase to me means to stop and look around. Get your head out of your work and take five minutes to appreciate your life, work and people you are with. Look around and figure out what is important. Again this is teasing saying your working too hard for someone on vacation.
Don’t make Chipmunks into Moose
When walking through the bush you hear everything, well if you are listening. Often you try to stretch you hearing out as far as it can go. Then a massive rustle of leaves happens you prepare for you shot but you never seen anything. Ultimately it’s a chipmunk that you thought it was moose. Don’t let your mind make things bigger than they really are.
Hunting is about knowing your environment. I think first or second year that Amy came with us hunting she was driving the ATV back to the camp after a morning hunt. We woke up a moose who ran beside us and paced us for a bit. Eventually it crossed the road in front of us. Amy sat there wishing she had a camera and I was pushing her out of the way to get the rifle on the front of the bike. I was able to line up the shot, which would have been a poor one through birch trees, but still would have been a hit. I didn’t take the shot. It would have been my first moose. The shot was poor, the weather too warm, and all of that would have meant too much waste.
I know tell young professionals to take the shot when you have it.