Close Search
March 2019
Author: Austin Atkinson

Once-in-a-lifetime. What does that really mean? To me, it is what I dream of seeing in my successful draw results. It is also the phrase that I too often use to justify yet another hunting trip to my dear wife.

We are all too accustomed to many of the species that hold the once-in-a-lifetime prefix, such as bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose, and bison. Of course, it depends on the state you are referring to as some states have a waiting period to re-enter the draw for trophy species and will even allow you to draw multiple permits in your lifetime. With the drive to see new places, hunt new species, and take my children hunting, I have come to realize that almost any unique hunt may be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for me.

This past fall, I was selected as an alternate for a muskox draw permit in Alaska. I gladly accepted the permit and then began the planning process, which was an overwhelming mess of logistics. I quickly realized that with the costs involved and the slim draw odds, this winter hunt would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. My wife was not super excited about me planning a February hunt right in the middle of our busy work season and right between tradeshows, but we made it work and she was understanding, as usual. It’s always a blessing when your spouse supports your “once-in-a-lifetime” plea! My father was very supportive of this adventure, and he came along with me as he had never been able to draw a muskox permit and deeply desired to have this experience in his lifetime as well. We enjoyed five days in our camp together on the edge of Nunivak Island where we laughed, scouted, hunted, and experienced a trip-of-a-lifetime.

The sad truth is that many of us will never be able draw a sheep, moose, or mountain goat permit in our lifetime. Those of us who are the lucky few should involve as many of our friends and family members as we are able to bring along with us. As our life presses on and time seems to fly by faster than ever, I encourage you to take advantage of any and all once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that come your way. There is no better time than the present to enjoy the outdoors and make the most of your life. Don’t forget to love your family, spend as much time with them as possible, and take them hunting!