I was raised in the city till 10 years old, in Western Washington - Puget Sound area to be more precise. I knew not to talk to strangers, to look both ways before crossing a street. Not to take things (Bazooka bubble gum, for heaven’s sake) from the corner am/pm mini-mart because you’re gonna get caught and mom and dad are going to be very disappointed in their little girl.
I knew how to play and goof around. I recall a bamboo privacy fence between my home and what was once a little warehouse of sorts. We -my brothers and I - would climb the fence onto the roof and sneak down through the roof into this building and play more often than we ought to have.
I always had dirty fingernails and never allowed my hair to be brushed except on Sundays and special occasions. Yeah, you could call me a tomboy. At 10 years old my family uprooted and we moved to Idaho. For my older siblings it was as if my parents were dragging them to the deepest parts of social hell. Yet to a 10 year old tomboy those mountains and trees were calling my name.
As soon as I could enroll in hunter safety I did, and just for the fun of it I took it twice. Passed fine both times. Then reality set in during my tween years: the fact that we had moved away from the city for my father’s failing health; it took the front seat in my life. He was dying of congestive heart failure and it was just a matter of time. Time, time, time... That was it! I needed more time!
My dad wanted the outdoor life so badly in those last few years. He was proud of us anytime we were hunting. One of those "times" I had with him was during an elk hunt. He was disabled at this point so hiking was out of the question. A herd of elk came through and he took one old cow down right from the house. Of course I had been right behind his shoulder as soon as the rifle came out. As we walked up to the elk I could see she wasn't dead but had been hit high and in the spine. She was paralyzed. Saying to my dad, "We need to put her down now", he gave me his knife and I ran the last 30 yards as fast as I could get to her. I didn’t want her hurting anymore than she had already, so at 13 I killed my first animal with my father’s knife with my dad right there watching me.
My family was not raised to be trophy hunters so it was only much later that I came to understand "buck fever" and big rack talk... We were brought up that our bellies are full because of this animal and no more. Not, I am so great that I took this animal but that this animal died to provide for us. We were so grateful to her for sustaining our family with her gifts.
The stories my dad would tell of my actions that day made me want more... 'Time’. I owe a lot of my hunting beginnings to this man who in the end ran out of that commodity we take so much for granted these days...Time....
You want to hunt? You feel lost about where to begin the whole process. We are here for you, we are looking for you, we want you to have that 'Time' and make what you want out of it.
Come hunting, come hunting with us.