The Milkshake Analogy- Upland Hunter Series

Woodrow putting in the work!In over a quarter of a century watching and learning from all the hunters who have visited Heartland Lodge, I’ve learned going on hunting trips or hunting in general is like enjoying a milkshake.

The planning and anticipation of the trip. Traveling to the destination where you will be spending the next several days. Being in God’s beautiful great outdoors and enjoying nature. Spending time around a supper table with a wonderful meal prepared for you. Hanging out around the bonfire or watching the game together on the big screen TV. All the things you love about the experience are the milkshake.

The cherry on top is harvesting an animal. If you enjoy the milkshake, you will never have a bad hunt. But if you are only focused on the cherry, you will be disappointed more often than you will be happy.

I taught my nephew this priceless lesson when first taking him hunting. We would sit in a tree stand together when he was young and we would point out things we saw. “Look at the woodpecker,” he would say. Or I would say “look at those turkeys.” We enjoyed the ‘milkshake’ during the hunt. When I dropped him off at his mom’s, he would be so excited despite not seeing a deer the entire hunt. He is a mature young man now and whenever he comes in from hunting on his own, he tells me about the great hunt he had seeing all that nature had to offer without seeing a deer. I am so thankful for teaching him about the milkshake.

Heartland Family Traditions

The milkshake analogy saved an Alaska moose hunt for me. It was my third time hunting moose in Alaska and this time, there was no moose in the area I was hunting. On day five of ten, the comforts of Fairbanks, instead of the rugged wilderness, started entering my mind. I was about to have the bush plane come get me early and end the hunt when I remembered the milkshake. I thought, how many hunters or outdoor enthusiasts would love to be in the remote park of Alaska, seeing bears, caribou, grouse, glaciers and incredible scenery? Every night the northern lights would fill the sky. I made the decision to stay and had a wonderful experience without tasting the cherry. I am so thankful for the milkshake, it definitely made my trip.

Enjoy the milkshake and you will never have a bad hunt.


Gary Harpole

Harpole’s Heartland Lodge


Last Updated: October 19th, 2023

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