Woods Walker, we actually agreed the entire time that luck played a role. I was merely trying to grab people's attention with that line and get them to read the rest of the article. It's merely a writing technique I use once in a great while. I make what seems like an outlandish statement to steal readers’ full attention and then use the article to explain what I really meant. By the end of the article I assumed readers would understand what I meant and not take that one line so literally. I suppose this is the spot to discuss the old saying about assuming. I guess that's the risk of using that technique. It obviously did get your attention, though
Since this thread is dead, I'll jump back up on my soap box and explain why the arrogance factor in the industry drives me so nuts. Let’s forget about high fence hunts that do occur. Frankly, it's been my experience that the majority of "experts/hunting celebs" don't hunt kill pens. Also, there is a huge difference between a high fence and a kill pen. I've never hunted either. In my role, I can't or it would destroy all credibility as a how to "expert," but I do have 0 ethical issues with large high fence operations. I can even live with kill pens, but don’t pretend shooting something in a kill pen is hunting, because it isn’t. That’s merely killing.
The typical hunts for most "experts/hunting celebs" are with outfitters and they are free hunts. The outfitter gives a free hunt to Mr X in hopes of getting promotions and booking more clients. With all the magazines and TV shows out there, killing a 140" buck does next to nothing for them. To grab the audience's interest enough to pay attention to where Mr X is hunting, it better be a 160+.
At the same time, this hunt is costing the outfitter $$$$. They are giving up a hunting slot (say $2500), their guide's time ($500), meals and lodging for him and his cameraman ($500). A spit ball number is that having Mr X there is costing them about $3500 and they get nothing out of it if he doesn't kill a great buck. Now, the outfitters I work as a consultant for don't do this (I swear), and I'm sure there are others as well, but I do know of many outfitters that stack the odds by setting aside their best area for Mr X and having it setup well in advance of his arrival. So, Mr X climbs up the stand already set, shoots the buck they have patterned for him, tells a bunch of BS about how they patterned/setup on this great buck and then moves on to the next outfitter.
Does it always work out that well? No, in fact more often than not it takes days to pull it off. Still, outside of endure the elements and making the shot, most do little else to kill that buck.
Now, take it a step further. As mentioned in the previous post, I still spend about 25% of season on public lands and I always set myself up everywhere. Toss in a few small family farms I hunt and I would even go so far as to say up to 50% of the hunting I do is on places just like most others hunt. That sounds somewhat impressive. Still, the 50% of the rest of the places I hunt are nothing short of amazing. Yeah, when I go to Alberta I do my own scouting and setups (not because I believe I am better than the guides, but because that's what I love doing). Still, it's REALLY easy to look smart there. Same thing with where I hunt when I go to MO, IA, MN and IL.
This year I just started managing a one piece, 1500 acre farm in IL. In fact, the only tags I have left to fill this season are IL bow doe tags (got 16 out of 25 full so far, thank God for their Feed the Hungry program) and a IL buck shotgun tag. I filled my IL buck bow tag with the biggest 8 on the property. Again, I scouted all the stands and did the work myself.
Does that sound impressive? In my mind, it really doesn’t. This is my job. I better be able to do it, particularly when one considers all the time I have spent on that property, as well as running the 30 scouting cameras they set me up with. It's like saying a plumber is impressive for fixing a leaky pipe. That plumber better be able to. If not, they should find a new profession. Now, that guy that's been a plumber for 35 yrs (apprentice for 18 -the number of years I hunted before entering the industry- and full time for 17) better be good and able to teach others a trick or two, but it really isn't impressive that he can fix a pipe, is it? It's expected that he can.
That's my view of the entire situation. Those of us that have been given "expert" or "hunting celebs" tags better kill stuff, just as the plumber better fix my pipes. That isn't impressive. You want impressive, look at the active military, cops, firefighters, the better teachers, nurses and so on. That's impressive, not people that are blessed enough to get paid to enjoy their passion and kill deer.
OK, I'm done with my soap box hoping
I just figured it sort of fit in the discussion.
Leaving for IL in the morning. So, I doubt I'll be back around for a long while. Enjoy this time of year. It will be over before we know it and be back to waiting for fall.