Western Hunting and Mountain Condition
Western hunting, it's unique. Yes, it's physically labored, but it's also the mental conditioning that comes with age and experience (especially failed experiences). I'm young and considerably fit, but it was only in the last few last years was I able to surpass my dad physically in the mountains. I've taken seasoned hunters out (from B.C and not) and have broken them out in our mountains. It's the combination of the incline, weather, fear of getting lost, and predators - once you start getting tired doubt and fear based thinking creeps in. Therefore I always say when you think you've trained enough, train harder. Mental and physical endurance is everything to a mountain hunter.
The reward of western hunting is the first and foremost the honor of being out there and being lucky enough to gain the experience it has taught me. And spending the time and making lifelong connections with the folks I hunt with, on social and primal levels. Also, the challenge itself is the reward.
I have seen almost all North American big games species in the wild, usually up close. It's unprecedented because not many other places left on earth glance at you back in time to the way things may have been before non-indigenous contact - it's still wild! Especially in Canada.
The one piece of advice Nick gave me that stuck to me real good, was "if you think you've trained enough, train harder." If you're curious to learn more about his heritage of hunting read. "The Men In My Family."