Which is just what happened to Andrew. He got socked in and didn’t get a crack at the billies.

This is an age-old dilemma for hunters—especially those who have traveled great distances in pursuit of game. Do you take that first good animal you see on a hunt or do you hold out for something better?

My internal calculus in this regard is, like much of what I do, rather convoluted. How good are the animals in the area? What size animal would I be proud to have hanging on my wall? Have I shot any of this type of game before? How tough or memorable is the hunt?

These are all factors that I weigh, but that last one is the most subject to my mood at the moment. If I have fought hard for a particular animal, had a notably trying hunt or if I’m hunting with some of my closest friends or loved ones, chances are good I’ll take that mature animal—even if he isn’t of “trophy” proportions.

But I’ve been stubborn too. My Alberta bear hunt this spring was a good example. I passed on a number of really good boars early on and got burned when for the last three days of the hunt I didn’t see anything.

So it goes. It’s just one more reason why hunting is an endlessly fascinating passion.

_ —John Snow_