Well AA did a pretty good job of estimating when he had to. I bet if someone took his meter away he could still make better exposed negs than most can with meters. That comes from experience. He had a system to promote and his name was tied to it so if anyone saw him not using a meter it would damage his "brand". Something he was very aware of.
Naturally there are situations where using a meter helps but if you spent most of your time in the woods taking photos I bet after awhile you could estimate what your exposures should be.
My philosophy is to be more aware and less mechanical. And you know what? It's just the way I do it. I'm not saying it's the right way or others are wrong, just right for me. For me fussing with meters, notes, framing devices etc. is a distraction and keeps me from appreciating the nuances presented before me.