In my family we hunt. It’s what we do and it’s an activity that we enjoy doing together. The growing trend of anti-hunters threatens this time-honored tradition. With us having 6 kids, hunting also helps bring in food for the family.

This season I was able to not only takes my 2 oldest sons hunting but my oldest daughter as well. See First time Hunt with my daughter to see how we made her stay more enjoyable.

In Colorado, you can get your Big Game license as soon as you turn 12 years old. This license is for animals such as deer, elk, and antelope. Hunting for deer is easy, as deer are abundant on my property and the property of some nearby neighbors so the the big hunt for us each year was elk hunting.

Hunting to me is less about a successful trip and more about spending time with friends and family. This year we were excited to share our hunting trip with 2 new hunters, a family friend and a friend of my son’s whose father had recently passed.

With such a large group we had the pleasure of borrowing a large army tent with a stove to keep us warm. We were grateful for this because the weather had plenty of snow in the forecast. Setting up camp went well. we were able to find a recently vacated spot with a large patch of cleared snow and a nice fire ring with leftover wood still stacked.

After the tent was set up I drove back to the closest town to pick up an ATV that a friend of mine was loaning me for the trip. (At some point I plan on acquiring both ATV’s and a wall tent; I hate to borrow!)

We usually prefer to use ATV’s while hunting because it affords us the flexibility to go back deeper into the trails before starting out on foot. I know my positive parenting skills have rubbed off when I hear my sons complain about all the road hunters that continue to dominate any open path in Colorado and who spend more time sitting behind a windshield rather than a pair of binoculars or a scope.

This year I was only able to hunt 1 day due to my daughter not feeling well the first 2 days, but I had the privilege of spending some quality time with her while the rest of the boys spent their time in the woods. The evenings were spent telling stories, eating and playing games in the warm tent. This is what hunting (& camping) is all about.

We spent the 3rd day away from camp and hiking through some very beautiful country. We parked the ATV’s at a trailhead and made our way a couple miles into the mountains. All the kids were able to keep pace without any complaints.

After quite a few hours we tried a couple of spots that we knew had recent elk activity, but alas we did not get our animals. When we got back to camp we found out that we needed to be home the next morning ASAP due to family issues with my son’s friend so we spent the evening packing what we could and headed home first thing the next morning.

Even though this year’s trip was unsuccessful, it will be remembered due to the stories we will share at next year’s hunt and all the hunts following.