Just the other day I put in for the Colorado Big Game Draw. Completing this process each spring gets me excited about hunting for the year and allows me to evaluate my goals for the coming year. Just like any year, I have a specific goal for this year.
While ultimately I seek to have a successful harvest for every tag I have, hunting is much more than just killing an animal. While I am a meat hunter who looks to provide food for my family, I must admit that hunting is so much more than just the harvest.
For me, hunting include the joy of getting out in nature, the experience, the camaraderie, and the even thrill of the chase. Yet even with those great benefits of hunting, I always have specific hunting goals for myself each year.
Some years my hunting goals have include learning an new area, or harvesting a different species, or even getting a little bigger or older animal. While I am not opposed to growing in all these areas this year, this year I have a very different goal.
My goal for 2018 is to help my wife harvest her first elk.
I have to give a huge amount of credit to my wife over the years. Not only has she allowed me to go hunting much more than I probably should have, but she has jumped in and gotten involved herself. While she didn’t grow up hunting and has actually never even harvested an animal, she agreed to try it out.
Two years ago she willingly went out and got her hunter safety certification and jumped into the hunting environment. She purchased a rifle and spent time on the range learning to shoot. She endure Christmas and birthday presents from me that included camo, hunting knives, hiking boots. She embraced hunting and set up times where I could take her elk hunting.
Over the past two years, I have been able to take her hunting two different times. I dragged her all over the mountain of the the course of three days….two seasons in a row and despite our bad luck, she didn’t give up. We went almost two full seasons without even seeing a single elk. Finally on our last day of hunting this past season we saw our first elk. While she didn’t have a shot, she was encouraged to finally see one! We calculated that we had hiked over 40 miles the past two years before even seeing her first elk. To her credit, she has agreed to go again this year.
So…. this year I’m excited to hunt. I look forward to my time in the woods and the possibility of filling my tag. But nothing would make me happier this year than to see my wife finally get an elk. She deserves it!