It is finally here, the day we have been waiting for all year long! On Saturday the Archery Elk and Deer hunt opens for us in Utah and we could not be more excited.

I may not have practiced as much as I wanted. I couldn’t afford all of the new equipment I wanted to buy. I didn’t scout my area once. However, I am more excited to hunt this year than I have ever been.

This one picture sums up why I am so excited to get into the woods this year:

This is my son, Hunter. (Yes, I did decide I was going to name my first son Hunter while on an Elk hunt. In fact when I started getting serious with my wife I had to make sure this would not be an issue. Luckily, she has always loved the name as well.) Hunter is so excited to go hunting, it is all he has talked about for the past couple of weeks. Hunter has always been dedicated to hunting, so dedicated that he was actually born on the opener 4 years ago (You can read about that here). In addition to the excitement of the opener of hunting season, we also have the excitement of Hunter’s 4th birthday!

I took Hunter up hunting for the first time last year and we had a blast! It was so much fun walking through the woods with him and sharing in his excitement. My Dad was always so patient with me when I was younger and would always allow me to go hunting with him. Those are some of my first memories and I have always wanted to take Hunter up when he was young as well so he could grow to love hunting as much as I do.

Having a huge buck come in quietly is a thrill, and there is nothing like bugling an Elk in and having the hair on the back of your neck stand up. This may seem crazy, but seeing Deer and Elk is not the most important thing about hunting to me.  For me, having my son next to me while we try to sit quietly on a log is the greatest thing about hunting. There is nothing like watching him try to do an Elk call, or get so excited when he thinks he hears something coming our way. There is nothing like watching his excitement for hunting, knowing that he is the future of hunting and these will be some of his earliest childhood memories as well.

His excitement for hunting is contagious and it has rubbed off on his 5 year old sister as well. She has decided that she wants to go hunting with us and see what it is all about. You won’t be able to miss her if you see us, she will be the one wearing a camo dress with camo bows in her hair.  I am so excited to walk around the woods with my two little hunters this weekend!

I am so grateful for my Father and the example he has set for me. Hunting has never been about what you kill for my Dad, but rather who you go hunting with. I have loved all of the hunts we have enjoyed together and it is so fun to see the next generation grow up with a love for hunting as well.

While we may scare away every squirrel within a mile of us, we are the hunting group that is laughing and having a great time because hunting is so much more than filling the freezer with meat!