By Jamie Bewick
-- This year has been pretty interesting for my two sons, Jaeger, 5, and Dawson, 22 months.
It started with setting up a bait site for black bear hunting this spring. We had a great time getting things set up and filled. To our avail, there were no hits in the spring season. Then came the fall season in October.
On our way to our bait site one evening, we chanced upon two bears and eight deer. I harvested one of the bruins, my first, and both of my sons were with me. They were very excited, to say the least. Now at the taxidermist, the bear measured 5 feet, 11.5 inches.
Then came the early archery elk hunt in September. I opted to take my oldest son with me one afternoon. We got to our secret spot, and my son wanted to bugle. Reluctantly, I allowed him to call. Before he was done, a bull elk cut him off in a response. He called that bull for a good 30 minutes. The elk finally came out of the timber at about 60 yards. He was the herd bull, and we were between him and his cows. He was coming in hard and fast when my son let out a cough, and that was the end of that. I was more proud of him for calling the bull in and staying calm than I was upset about the outcome.
I will never forget the look on his face when that bull came into view. That’s what memories are made of. We did end up harvesting a spike in the late rifle season, though.
That leads me to the best hunt of the year in early November. I drove to the secret spot, parked, and a mature 6-year- old 5x6 muley buck showed himself before I’d walked 100 yards. I dropped him with a single rifle shot. I called my oldest son at grandpa’s house to share the news. When I got to the house, he was waiting for me on the front porch. He had told everyone in the neighborhood about the big buck, and a crowd was waiting in the garage. But the best part was when my oldest son came up to me, hand extended. He shook my hand, and told me, "I am so proud of you dad!"
Like I said earlier, this is what memories are made of. Both of my boys are now my hunting buddies and good luck charms