By Mark Kenyon

In the outdoor adventure community of climbers, snowboarders and the like, a rating system for three unique  levels of fun has recently risen in popularity and legend. I originally heard about these 3 types of fun while listening to a popular podcast, The Dirtbag Diaries, and ever since I’ve been a firm believer and purveyor of the rating system. It’s so true, and once you know about the 3 Types of Fun, you’ll constantly be aware of what type you’re involved in at the time and when transitions occur during your outdoor adventurers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, “oh s***, looks like we’re taking a turn towards Type 2.”

As a hunter, I’ve noticed a lot of similarities between the 3 Types of Fun described by the outdoor adventure crowd and the types of fun I’ve encountered while hunting, and I’ve come to the conclusion that this rating scale is just as applicable to hunters. That said, today I wanted to share the basic definitions of the 3 Types of Fun you can have while hunting, along with a few examples. Take notes and get ready for a new sense of awareness when you embark on your next hunting adventure!

The 3 Types of Fun You Can Have While Hunting

Type 1 Fun: Type 1 Fun “is fun to plan, fun in the moment and relatively fun to talk about afterward.” This is the fun you typically think of when imagining a great day of hunting.

Type 1 Fun is a sparkling blue sky in late October, with several bucks passing through during daylight, stopping to work a scrape beneath your stand. This is that perfect crisp cool morning in November with your son hunting in the tree stand along side of you, a small fork horn steps out from the woods and you tremble with excitement as your boy kills his first deer. Type 1 Fun is a pre-dawn walk through an open mountain meadow as the bugles of elk echo from ridge to ridge, sending chills up your spine.

Type 1 Fun is great, but it’s kind of average. We’ve all enjoyed these great moments in the wild, but they’re kind of easy to come by. For this reason, while they’re fun to mention once or twice in passing, they aren’t really “epic” stories.

Type 2 Fun: Type 2 Fun is the kind of fun that sounds like it’s going to be fun, and at times it can involve “Type 1 Fun”, but in the end something get’s a little gnarly. It’s the kind of situation where in the present, you’re not really enjoying yourself too much – but weeks later, in retrospect it’s well worth the effort. It’s the kind of fun that pays off in the long run or at least makes for a good story to recall down the road.

Type 2 Fun is spending five hours in 95 degree heat in late August planting a two acre food plot with a push rototill and a rake. Type 2 Fun is waking up at 3:00 AM on the morning of November 1st and climbing up into your tree stand two hours before daylight, and then finally settling in for 14 straight hours in the tree while braving 30 degree temperatures and a 20 mph Northerly wind. Type 2 Fun is making your third trip back into the valley to pack out the rest of your elk and then precariously trying to balance the 85 lb load on your back while navigating the ridge line trail back to the truck. For some people, Type 2 Fun just seems to follow them around (myself included). They’re gluttons for misery and just seem to have a knack for taking on tasks and adventures that are bound to be a little bit “hairy”. But, they keep on coming back. Why? Because Type 2 Fun is a damn good time to reminisce about after the fact, and usually it pays off with the biggest bucks, some of the best stories and the greatest satisfaction.

Type 3 Fun: Type 3 Fun isn’t really fun at all. Type 3 Fun is the ultimate “sufferfest”. A task or adventure that is absolutely miserable and potentially deadly. This is when the $**t hits the fan, you curse the gods and wonder why you ever got into this. And then, you just try to make it out alive. When it’s all said and done though, if you push through and make it to the other side, Type 3 Fun goes down as legend. This twisted form of occasionally voluntary masochism is the worst in the moment, but the most epic afterwards.

Type 3 Fun is hiking deep into a cattail swamp on public land in Northern Wisconsin for an evening hunt, shooting a buck and getting yourself lost in the process of tracking him down. It’s spending the rest of the 20 degree night huddled up on a four foot island of dry ground in the middle of the marsh, counting down the hours til daylight and nibbling on your last Snickers bar. Type 3 Fun is finding yourself at 10,000 feet on a barren ridge when the storm hits, and the wave of horizontally blowing snow hits you like a tsunami. Despite the whiteout conditions that have lasted seven hours and the foot of snow that has unbelievably piled up alongside your pack, you stay wrapped up tight in your bivvy sack behind a boulder, praying for a break in the storm. Type 3 Fun is nearly getting attacked by the 700 lb grizzly bear while out on your first Alaskan Moose hunt, and then trekking the twelve miles back to camp alone through alder thickets, adrenaline coursing through your veins as you nervously peek around each turn and curve in the trail.

Type 3 Fun is the worst, but after it’s all said and done, when you’re sitting around the camp fire, it’s the absolute best.

So there you have it. The 3 Types of Fun you can have while hunting! Can you relate to any of these different types of fun?

Have any good Type 2 or Type 3 Fun stories? Share them with us in the comments section!