YoungWild is a compelling new series that breaks the mold; a story of how a young man’s battle with adversity leads to an intense passion for bow hunting and a surprising self-discovery. It’s a story about life. What makes the Youngwild journey unique is that each episode documents an animal Lincoln has never hunted before, giving viewers an opportunity to learn along side him.
Lincoln Tapp, host of YoungWild, has set out to become the youngest person to harvest all 29 of North America’s big game species using archery equipment. Armed with his bow and sheer determination, Lincoln takes YoungWild viewers on an incredible journey across North America.
This week Lincoln travels to Gillette, Wyoming for opening day of Antelope season. Grandpa Sid and Uncle Bob are tagging along which pretty much guarantees a healthy dose of shenanigans.
Lincoln and the YoungWild production team just returned home from a month long road trip where they hunted Columbia Blacktail in northern California and Stone sheep in the Yukon Territory. Three days later they’re on the road to Gillette, Wyoming for this Antelope hunt. As most hunters know, some hunts can be physically grueling and require hiking miles in unforgiving terrain, while other hunts can be more of a psychological challenge. Needless to say a few days in a blind, though challenging in its own right, offers a chance to kick back a bit. But Lincoln had no idea what kind of problems he was about to face in that blind. This peaceful Wyoming blind hunt quickly turns into a debacle of epic proportions. Believe it or not, he gets three separate shots off on the same buck in a 30 minute period. You’ll have to see it to believe it and find out how he pulls himself together for the third and final shot.
Regardless of the outcome, Lincoln has understood from the very beginning that success is in the journey. There’s nothing better than hunting with family, especially with those who may not be around for another season. Perhaps the best description of why we hunt was written by the late author and conservationist, John Madison (http://fwp.mt.gov/mtoutdoors/HTML/articles/2007/WhyWeHunt.htm):
The genuine hunter is probably as free as it’s possible to be in this technocracy of ours. Free not because he sheds civilized codes and restraints when he goes into the woods, but because he can project himself out of and beyond himself, out of and beyond the ordinary, to be wholly absorbed in a quieter, deeper, and older world.
You know how it is. When you go into the woods your presence makes a splash, and the ripples of your arrival spread like circles in water. Long after you have stopped moving, your presence widens in rings through the woods. But after a while this fades, and the pool of silence is tranquil again, and you are either forgotten or accepted—you are never sure which. Your presence has been absorbed into the pattern of things, you have begun to be part of it, and this is when the hunting really begins.
You can always feel it when those circles stop widening; you can feel it on the back of your neck and in your gut, and in the awareness of other presences. This is the real start of the hunt, and you’ll always know when it happens and when you are beginning to hunt well.
There were those times when I was a kid, hunting and trapping and sometimes spending several days and nights alone in the woods, when I’d have a flash of insight that was often gone as swiftly as it came—a vague sense of what aboriginal hunters must feel, and what real hunting, the pure-quill honest-to-God real hunting, is all about. One strong flash of this to a boy—one swift heady taste of an utter wild freedom and perception—is enough to keep him hunting all his days. Not just for meat, or horns, but for that flash of insight again, trying to close the magic circle of man, wildness, and animal.
Tune into The Sportsman Channel every Friday night at 9:30/8:30C to watch the YoungWild adventure unfold. You won’t want to miss the special edition 2 part series in the Yukon beginning Jan 27th. Lincoln finds himself face to face with a trophy ram standing only 5 yards from the tip of his broadhead. He gets a split second chance to become the youngest known hunter to harvest a Stone Sheep with a bow. It’s an adventure unlike any hunting show you’ve ever watched.