I have been raised to learn the importance of providing for yourself. I have learned about wildlife, environments, habitat, and season. My father has set up a deep understanding and passion for the cycle of this world and the necessity of respect for that cycle.
I have been raised in a family that hunts every year. Fall has always been a traditional time when we can bring home game meat, portion and package the meat, and be grateful for natural, non-processed, and delicious meals. This nutrition fuels our bodies and makes for a healthy life. I find great value in this process and hope to continue it for as long as I can. I am a fan of growing vegetables, making our own food, and eating meat knowing where it came from. I am so thankful for all that my family has taught me and this respect that has been deeply instilled within my soul.
This past fall, just as the leaves were turning gold, the time approached to go out on a hunt for a buck deer. I was the tag holder in this situation and we couldn’t be more excited to get out with my dear friend Nick London. We ventured to the Nevada area I had drawn the day before season opener. We spent that evening scouting the area and saw lots of deer. It was going to be a good weekend and we could feel it in our bones. We ran back to camp that evening and prepared for an early rise to get to the top of the steep terrain by sun up.
Nick was always fully prepared and so researched. He is so knowledgable and capable of being one of the best teachers. I felt totally comfortable and happy to have him with me. One of the most important things for me while hunting is that I feel safe. With Nick there was no question of the level of safety. I felt comfortable with much excitement. This makes for a good hunt.
The next morning we were where we wanted to be. We saw two smaller bucks right away. This was the season opener, mind you, and I was excited. Nick had to coach me by reassuring that we had the whole weekend. Okay, we can let these ones go.
The day went by, much ground was covered, and Nick and I always had a plan. The early evening approached and that level of frustration had started to creep into our lower stomachs as an opportunity had escaped our grasp in an earlier situation. We had spotted a large buck and something had spooked him further down the ridge. Whether it was us or a completely different subject, we will not know.
The sun was getting lower and we had our made our way out onto a finger of a ridge that over looked two drainages. Nothing, nothing, nothing…. until something! Deer started coming out from everywhere. If I remember correctly we started to see upwards of thirteen different deer and elk in one drainage. This was exciting. Several bucks were not yet conditioned for the season and stood nicely for us to examine. Nick is fantastic at spotting deer and always quick to see what there is to see. He spotted a particular pair of bucks and said, Hey, I think you might like this one, it’s really different. I love that word! Different. I was impressed that Nick had surveyed and paid attention to everything I had said to figure out the kind of buck I was hoping for. He did this in a way that I didn’t even realize he was doing it. Anyhow, I liked this buck. The only concern was that we would have to book it down the hillside, across a flat full of aspens and slightly back up the other side to get to this perfect buck. I asked him if he thought we had time. We agreed that there was only one way to find out.
We made it happen and the stalk was riveting. We had such a fantastic time and Nick was such a great support. One shot and done. Once we approached the down deer the sun was sinking. Nick was expert at cutting and cleaning and before we knew it we were well on our way back down the drainage for camp.
This was a huge success. I still get goosebumps thinking about it. Because of Nick I have been enjoying months of natural meat and sharing it with my family and friends. Thank you Nick, for such a great time. The fact that you were willing to share your knowledge and passion made for the best possible experience. I hope that you can continue to help others and spread this kind of respect and joy that lives within our culture.