People hunt for many different reasons. Recently, I had the opportunity to go hunting with a friend’s nephew. This made me reflect. It happens to be elk season here in Colorado and these are some of my memories that stand out and why I hunt.
I have been going out elk hunting as long as I can remember. This began the process of learning to mimic the sounds of elk with my voice and eventually to using all the calls that I could learn to use. My parents sure promoted this, especially my Dad and his hunting buddy, Cody. They figured that they could hunt while I called in the elk for them since I wasn’t old enough to hunt. I would have done anything to tag along. At night our families would gather around the campfire to have s’mores and hot chocolate and talk about what had happened during that day. Some of those stories we believed and others we didn’t and each year the stories seemed to get bigger. Memories I will cherish!
Wayne Carlton happened to live in my home town of Montrose, CO. My dad introduced me to him at a young age. I thought I was pretty cool meeting a guy I looked up to after watching all of his videos and using his calls. Eventually I was asked to go along on some elk hunts and help call elk for the videos. I was in camp a few years with Wayne when he was elk hunting. I had come in from the night hunt and Wayne says to me, “I got a bull.” I hadn’t realized how big he was until we went to help him get it. Something I will never forget.
I recently had another experience. I had the opportunity to hunt with a good friend’s nephew. This was David’s third year archery hunting. I was fortunate enough to be able to hunt with him a few times in the previous years. It was fun watching his first experiences and learning processes and to hear him tell the stories. He had been telling me about practicing his bow all summer and was waiting for the chance. All of that paid off and he was successful on Sept. 12. Up until this point he hadn’t drawn on any animal yet. He had some encounters that just didn’t pan out. First time drawing back, first shot, first elk and it was a bull! He did everything right. All the practice and patience paid off for him.
This particular experience made me reflect on why I hunt. I hunt because for me it is a yearly family tradition--memories, experiences, the camaraderie, the story-telling around the campfire, all the “first time” experiences that happen and of course, hopefully success. Go out hunting and make memories with friends and family. Successful or not, you will make memories that you will cherish forever.
You can follow my adventures on Instagram: LARZO4344