Families That Hunt
Being in the outdoors-camping, hunting and fishing goes beyond tradition; it is simply our way of life. Growing up as kids, with the exclusion of a single trip to Disneyland, every vacation we had was spent in the mountains. Each year during the months of May through October, most of our time is spent in the great outdoors. Different locations and different activities like ATV riding, fishing, hiking, scouting and hunting make each trip unique. You could say that we have the biggest and most beautiful backyard there is, because all of Southern Utah seems like an extension of it.
Hunting season is certainly an exciting time of year. Many unforgettable memories have been made during hunting season, from near death experiences to hilarious moments that leave us laughing years later. Weather seems to always play its part. Unheard of heat, blizzards, fog, and flooding have all had their turn. Quality time is spent with one another playing games, catching up on life events and reminiscing about past hunts and fishing trips. The food is always amazing and there is more than enough to go around. It is simply a great time of year.
The 2015 season is sure to be remembered as one of the best. It started with the bow hunt in August, which has always been my favorite. I went to my favorite spot high in the Tushar Mountains where cooler temperatures offer an escape from the St. George heat. Based on the past couple of years, I was not expecting much, but opening morning at first light, I immediately was on the chase of a large buck. I was not able to get off a shot, but it was a good start. The very next morning (again at first light) we spotted another good buck, and this time it ended with a shot through the trees at 55 yards. After following the wrong tracks for 30 minutes and being puzzled by where it could have disappeared to, we went back to the beginning and started over. This time we realized it had traveled in a different direction and we were able to find it about 120 yards away from where it was shot. While it wasn’t exactly a monster, I was pleased having a 4x3, 22 inch buck.
No one had a black powder tag, so the rifle hunt was next. This is where the wagons are circled and the group extends beyond family to friends who have become like family. We had a group of about 25 in camp with seven tags to fill, and for the first time ever, every tag was filled. It started opening morning with one of our friend's twins getting their first buck, a small forky. A couple hours later, my mom took down and 4x3 buck, after following it over a few ridges. Then came the rain, a very hard rain, and within 15 minutes, our campsite looked like we were in the middle of a lake. This put a damper on the evening hunt. Soon the sun set and the first day came to a close, but we were off to a good start.
Most of the camp took Sunday off. Not to be outdone by his brother, the other twin got a bigger forky, which was also his first buck. Monday morning came and shots were soon fired with my dad and sister both taking down bucks that were running in the same group. My dad's was a nice 4x3 and my sister's a 3x3 with some cool eye-guards. Tuesday began with two tags left to fill and by early afternoon they were. My brother-in-law got a nice 4x4 and Little Rod took down a 3x3 buck. With every tag being filled this early in the hunt, everyone wondered, now what? Eventually, we pulled out of camp and our focus turned to the upcoming elk hunt. By the Jimenez Family