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At What Cost Is Your Hunting Passion with Dan Infalt
Welcome to the third segment with Dan Infalt from The Hunting Beast. It’s about the costs of hunting. It’s not about the dollars. Dan, welcome to the show.
Bruce, thanks for having me.
We’ve been chatting it up and we wanted to get these three shows in. You had on social media is something I thought within the segment of the show, the cost of hunting and it’s not the dollars. What do you mean by that?
What that means is I put so much into my hunting when I was younger. I put my wife and my kids, everything on the back burner, my job, my career. It’s almost like an addiction. I was so into getting the next big buck and hunting. Every cent I got, every extra penny I got went into hunting. I actually picked jobs because of being able to sneak out early and hunt because I wanted to hunt every day rather than what we put food on the table. I would miss my kids’ birthdays and Halloween. That article is to make people that are in that mindset, who is like me back then to look in the mirror and say, “Why am I doing that? What does this cost to me?” People look at me whether I like it or not as a great hunter because of all the bucks I accomplished. Anyone of them can have those bucks just like I did if they’re willing to pay that price because that’s what got me those bucks. It’s what I did to my wife, to my kids. Don’t take it wrong. They don’t have regrets with me or anything. I’m the one with regrets. I’m the one thinking I should have done something different back then.
What would you change?
That’s a tough one because I don’t think I could change because those lessons that I learned, I needed to learn. The things I did wrong are what made me the person I am, which is a better person. I don’t think I could go back and change any of that. I do think that you should probably take time out to be with your wife a day or two out of the week or you should be trick or treating with your kids on Halloween instead of thinking of the rut and you need to be hunting. There are some things that would change, but I don’t think I’d change the man that had the drive for that hunting. Part of you wants to go back and not do any of it, and part of you wants to go back and not change a thing, but it needs to be exposed for the people that are going through it.
As I look at your success and your career, to get to where you are, you had to do what you did and it costs you something. There’s no doubt about it. You’re a better man, a better husband and a better dad than you possibly ever would have been had you not gone through that journey.
My big point is I just want to show you that it’s a little more expensive than you think.
You think about your wife and how she had to be willing to say, “We’re going to go through this. It’s going to be different.” Did I say that right?
Yes, I think so. My wife always lets me pursue my dreams. Obviously, there’s been some complaints over the years when you can be gone for one month doing something when you don’t have money to pay your rent, but she’s always been at my side and always promoted what I do. It would’ve been great if she had that hunting passion in some regards too. I would’ve gotten my way back then, now I’d love it. I wish she would hunt with me and be out there enjoying it too.
How about your kids?
My daughter never liked hunting, but she supports me in my hunting. She loves what I do and she’s proud of me. She’s a nurse. She talks to her patients about me and she has them all join in my website. My boys, they both hunted when they were young and I drove them too hard. I had my kids when I was young, right out of high school. Those boys, I pushed them like they were a little me. I can remember my son James, I’ll have them out in the middle of the swamps during a big tree stand on his back full sticks and we’re out there wading in the water to his chest. When he whimpers a little, I tell him to man up. It probably wasn’t the best, but that was what I thought was growing him into a hunter like I was. That’s what I loved when I was his age. I want him to go out and do stuff like that. You’ve got to see what your kids want, if they want to be part of that and maybe not take them on the hardcore hunts. Maybe take them on the easier ones until they start showing a desire to be on some of that hard stuff.
My whole thing with my kids, I’d expose them to it as much as I could in life from the time they get into high school all the way through their college years. If they liked it, they liked it. My son, he doesn’t like elk hunting, but he loves antelope hunting.There is no magic or secret involved. Hunt smart, hunt hard until your tagged out. Click To Tweet
James loves hunting at first, and he still does. We’ll go hunting every now and then, but a couple of years might go by. That kid has only shot three deer in his life and the smallest one is 120 class. I know there are too many people that have an average job buck kill of 140.
Sit down with your wife, have a date night and map out your hunt. I did that with my wife and she said, “Really?” At least she knew. I’ve mapped them up and say, “I’m going to hunt here and hunt there and this is how it’s going to go.” She knew the fall was that’s what it was.
I hear from so many of these young guys that they’re struggling in their marriage and they ended up getting divorced and wishing they hadn’t pushed it so hard. I was fortunate that my wife stood at my side the whole time. I don’t want to be the driving force that pushes them, who told them to hunt harder and push harder, but I do. I want to get this out there too that you hunt hard when you hunt but you’ve still got to remember your family and what they’ve got to go through for you to achieve your goals.
Maybe the words balance and communication, especially when we’re young. We’re going to go do it and the consequences aren’t good. There are consequences for our behavior, good and bad.
You would’ve believed how many private messages I got on Facebook after I posted that article. People are telling me how their lives had been strained or marriages have been strained, how they feel like hunting is becoming an addiction. It sent me back. It shocked me, the response we got to that.A supportive family is vital in hunting especially when they help you achieve your goals. Click To Tweet
That’s a value your voice has though because it can put words out there that resonates with and then they’ll reach out to you and you’re very responsive. That’s one of your qualities of giving back to the industry because you want people to grow as people. As hunters, yes, but as people when they get to your place, you can look back and say, “I pushed it hard. I’m going to keep pushing it hard. In the end, it all worked out for me. This is how I did it.” In a way, that’s a huge responsibility on your shoulders.
Yes, it is. I could see myself in a lot of these people that probably look up to me in some ways. Even with these articles that I’m putting out and going through my old pictures and I’ll put a picture up with them. You start looking at those pictures and remembering those times. I see some of these pictures of me with bucks from the ‘80s or early ‘90s. You got this grimacing look on your face, and you see the pictures now and I’m smiling, I’m happy. It was a whole different person back then. He’s probably a pretty selfish person and that’s why I got the goals that I got. What I was trying to say in that article is don’t look up to me like I’m such a great person because of what I did because I’m not. There are some faults in me too. By exposing those, maybe you can look at yourself and see what’s going on.
Have you thought of putting a book with all these different segments that you’re writing about?
I put one together and that’s still available on Amazon. That was more of a story-based. Maybe at some point, if I get enough of these going out I’ll do another one.
It’s about hunting, but it’s about your journey.
It changed over time. You’ve seen some of my older articles. I’ve got an article if you look back talking and laughing about how I tricked my wife and the thing that I was going to get my tool belt to work on something, and I snuck out the door to go hunting. That’s exactly what we’re talking about, but now I would never do something like that. There is a change that you go through. As you get older, you start looking back in your life and there’s a little bit of guilt for some of the things that you did. There’s a little bit of feeling of accomplishment. There’s a lot of that mixed emotion where you’re happy with what you’ve done, but there are some things that you’re not too proud of. Anybody that doesn’t say that is a liar.
We all raise our hand. I call it transparency. Get rid of your mask and man up. I screwed some things up and I did some things that are not good things. I was way off the reservation, but if you weigh it all, it helped me become the man I am and the grandfather that I am. I look at my kids and it blows me away. I look at my grandson graduating. He was on the student council. All the things that you’d hope you kids will be and he’s it. That’s a reflection of his parents and the reflection of myself and my wife and his other set of grandparents. It’s a legacy thing, and it comes right back to our hunting tradition. What’s the hunting tradition going to be for the people reading to this and for families? It’s part of life’s journey. The hunting tradition and deer camp, we’d lose some of these conversations where you hear that uncle Bob screwed up, but he’s a good guy now. Things worked out well. Grandpa Ray, it wasn’t so good for a while, but here he is surrounded by his grandkids. That doesn’t happen in a lot of places.Most people would not put their failures out there, but some things need to be said. Click To Tweet
For me, it’s the failures that made me who I am. It’s the failure that drives me. If I can’t get something done, I will work it until I do or I will blow on that failure and correct it. As I’m getting older, I’m looking at my failures in life and striving to correct that.
That job never ends because we’re human beings.
Younger guys, I don’t think they do admit failure as much. I get a lot of comments back from friends like, “You didn’t just post that. You need to take that down because you’re exposing that to the world.” I’m like, “I don’t care. I know haters are going to hate, no matter what.” You read something that I wrote. Most people would not put that out there. I think some things need to be said.
That’s why we’re doing this series. I want to get him on the podcast to share it because it’s about hunting, but it’s about life’s journey. I’ve been fortunate to have hunting as my passion since 1966. It’s taken me places, I met people I would never meet and shared experiences and campfires that is priceless. That helped shape me to be who I am.
I always like talking to you, Bruce, because most of the guys that are podcasters are so young. I can relate to you because we’re close in age, closer than a lot of other people. A lot of times we’re talking to a twenty-year-old guy when I’m on a podcast.
There’s no way they can get it because they haven’t been there yet. Wisdom comes to age and sometimes it’s extremely painful, but here I am and we’ll have hundreds of thousands of people reading this little series and they’ll go, “What are these guys talking about?” If Dan and I can get people to think and find that balance and keep the passion, keep the drive because you need that to get through life. There’s no question about it. If we can help with the other things, that’s a good thing, in my book.
Yes, I think we’re reaching people.
I would agree. I can’t wait for it to fall. We already talked about bow week on that public land DIY hunt. My buddy missed them. It was a 180-class buck. At my age, that’s what gets me excited because I know different ways I’m going to access the property. I know where he is. My buddy had a shot at him, which I was hoping he would get a shot. I didn’t want to go in there and kill him. I only had one day with him. He hunted and I hope to get in there and have the opportunity. You’re a 365 hunter that’s been doing this for such a long time and you’re so honed with your skill level. People, get on The Hunting Beast and get on Dan’s YouTube channel and follow him on Facebook and Instagram. If you see something you don’t like or you disagree with what he post, let him know because he’s posting what he’s thinking.
I’m open. People can message me and I answer. I don’t always answer the same day. I get a lot of messages that sometimes it takes me a while, but I read them all.
The good, the bad and the ugly, but we put ourselves out there to do that. Dan, thanks so much for your time.
I appreciate it, Bruce. It’s always fun talking to you. I always enjoy it.
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