managing editor: John mogle
Hunting, a Family Tradition
Hunting season is a time to break the rifles out of the safe, out of the closet, or from under the bed. A quick swab of the barrel to knock out the dust and usually a quick sight-in at the range to verify accuracy and you are ready for the hills. Yeah, right! That is just the start. Don’t forget to get the ATV’s running perfectly, your trailer stocked up, and to check the 4-wheel drive in your old Ford that was making some terrible sounds—similar to a screeching crow chasing a field mouse—last time you had it out.
Before you got your equipment ready there were most likely hours of planning the hunt with your hunting partners. Where are we going to hunt, where are we going to camp, and—most importantly—how many days off work can we get? The anticipation and excitement this entire process creates, in and of itself, makes hunting one of the best activities for families to do together. It creates great relationships and forges bonds that are not easily broken. Hunting creates strong family traditions.
In September, I had the opportunity to hunt elk with my brother, Matt, on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in southern New Mexico. We both harvested two nice bulls that will provide meat for our freezers this winter. We met old friends and had many laughs with our guide. We also had some incredible experiences in the hunting field—like Matt’s 700-yard “Hail Mary” shot before his bull went over the ridge. These memories will last a lifetime.
In October, my two sons, Gage and Creed, had deer tags for our local mountain. Creed turned 12, which means this was his first mule deer hunt here in Utah. My 16-year-old son, Gage, will choose hunting over anything; Creed has been a little reluctant to get in the woods. Sports and his buddies have been at the top of his extracurricular activities. After some coaxing, begging, (and a maybe some bribing), I was able to get Creed out on the opening day hunt. I wanted to make sure it was a positive experience for him, so any buck would do for his first deer. Sure enough, I glassed him up a nice, small, 3-pointer and after a short stalk, Creed made a perfect 200-yard shot. His reaction was priceless. It was like the kid just threw the game-winning touchdown in a championship football game. He was giving high fives, whooping and hollering, and most importantly…had a smile a mile long. Creed was converted to the sport of hunting that day and I will never forget that experience.
It has been a great start to the season for me as I have spent most of it hunting with family. I hope this hunting season is successful for you as you also find the time and make the effort to get into the field with your family and friends so you can add to your personal “Family Traditions.”
john mogle editor