I always thought someone should start a website called “Backcountry hunting partner match up” or as my wife would call it “wildernessmandate.com,” because it’s hard to find a TRUE hunting partner for extended bivy type hunts.
To start things off, you will have to be physically compatible, or at least physically equal. Otherwise, you are going to be waiting on you partner (or he will be waiting on you) to get up the mountain. The issue only gets worse once an animal goes down and it’s time to start packing it out. If your partner can’t handle a quarter of an elk and takes a break every 5 minutes, to cry like a 5-year-old school girl, you will probably be ready to stick an arrow in him.
You will also need to have some of the same personality characteristics as your hunting partner. Look at it this way, if you stick a glass-half-empty guy with a a rose-colored-lenses guy, they will be ready to kill each other by day three. Even different sleeping characteristics can be a problem. I have been known to tick off hunting partners because I need very little sleep and will talk your leg off until the wee hours of the morning.
The next potential issue can be the home life. If you have absolute freedom to take off at any time you want, and the other guy has 5 kids and needs to get a “wife pass” 3 months in advance … well, at the very least his wife is going to think you’re a jerk.
And last but not least, you both need to be as unselfish as possible. Killing an elk, five miles into the backcountry is going to take up at least two days of hunting for both of you. If you traveled 1,700 miles to bring home the bacon, those two lost days can be a killer for the guy who didn’t shoot.
So as you’re reading this, make sure you choose your hunting partner wisely, because when things go downhill (and believe me they will) all you’re going to have is each other.
So you better make sure each other is going to be enough!