Are you the type that prefers the solitude the wild offers us or are you into the comradery and social aspect of hunting? From my perspective there are benefits and things to be gained from both. I like a mix of both types of hunting depending on the situation.
When hunting my local whitetails here in the Midwest, I tend to be a loaner. There is nothing more serene than waking up hours before daylight, walking in the darkness to a treestand I had strategically placed, and sitting quietly listening and waiting for those first rays of light and for the forest floor to come alive. It is in this time that my mind can truly be free of burden and I can live in the moment. It is replenishing for the soul and a time where I find I am alive and living rather than a speed bump in a hectic world. Also, due to the flexibility of hunting close to home I can sneak out for a late afternoon hunt or if things are really happening in the woods and I want to stay longer I don’t have to worry about meeting anyone at a pre-arranged time. It is these reasons that I primarily choose to hunt solo when whitetails are my target.
On the flip side of that, when traveling to distant areas, I much prefer to be with a group. This has many benefits including developing and ensuring lasting friendships, social interaction with likeminded individuals, safety, and of course the fact that two (or more) heads are better than one when in unfamiliar territory (both location and game wise). If you’re as lucky as I am to have some very outstanding hunting partners you will benefit from having them in camp for more than just someone to talk to. They will push you to achieve and be more successful. There will be no quitting knowing that someone else is depending on you. Then there is also the fact that hauling an elk (or any game) from the mountains is no small feat. The more help you can have the better the odds are that there will be no spoilage or you won’t be late getting home because you had to spend an extra day or two packing meat.
I will say that there is some middle ground for me too. When hunting small game I can go either way. I especially love taking my kids squirrel hunting but also enjoy the challenge of seeing how quietly I can sneak up on an unsuspecting bushy tail. When bird hunting many times it was just me and my lab but on just as many occasions I had close family and friends to make the hunt just as memorable.
The important thing to remember is just get out there and be happy. If that means going at it alone, then do it. If hanging out at the campfire after a long day of hunting with some good company is your thing, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that either. Make the best of what you have and you’ll make memories for life.