No one rests until everything is looked after !
Struggling under the weight of a quarter of moose on my sweat soaked back, I carefully picked my way from boulder to boulder. Each step was a carefully calculated formula worthy of a NASA Engineer. Not enough oomph and I would fall short of the next dry landing target. Too much, with the extra weighted forward momentum, I would over-shoot the granite landing strip.
We eventually made the trip down to the lake shore and I collapsed on the ground exhausted. The rest was short lived. We had to head back for the rest of the bull moose. But we dutifully shouldered the metal framed packs and went back up the hill.
By the time the 4 quarters and antlers were stowed safely in the meat shed it was dark enough that we were able to watch the Northern Lights dance across the sky. We trudged into the kitchen for a bite to eat but were too tired to cook....it was more just a matter of pounding anything quick an easy into us.
The evening before we killed the bull not long before dark. By the time the field dressing chores were complete we found our way back to camp under star light. We grabbed a few hours sleep and made our way back to the moose just before daylight to put in another 14 hour day.
The best part of that whole adventure? Every person gave a 100% effort, and then some ! There's no place for whining when a 700 lb animal needs to be taken care of. There's a common goal of seeing what we started through to the end.
I remember another particularly warm September evening when I found a bear near midnight. It had to come out of the woods that night. I went to a fellow hunters camp and knocked on his door. I explained the situation and within minutes , 4 of us were grinding our way back up the old tote road. Once again, not a peep from these 3 buds. All they wanted to do was get the meat and hide taken care of. They knew ( and did a few years later) I would gladly return the favor. I crawled into my bunk just before sunrise. I doubt I ever had a better sleep. I looked forward to many tasty meals off of that carefully handled bear.
Some hunters impress me with their shooting accuracy. Others with woods lore. But nothing impresses me more than the all out effort to make sure an animal is found and/or prepared properly. Often for someone else's animal.