I’ll have a new hunting partner this year, and for that reason alone, I’ve never been so stoked about going hunting.
My oldest son, Colby, completed his hunter education course last year, and this year, he’ll finally be old enough to hunt. He actually turns 12 the day before the archery antelope season starts. Talk about perfect timing.
He may not be quite ready to hunt with his bow this year, though. I think his draw weight is still a few pounds less than the required 40 pounds for hunting antelope. That’s OK, though. He can still tag along with me during the bow season. If we get one for me, we can concentrate on just getting one for him when the rifle season rolls around.
He’s gone with me when I’ve hunted before, but this year marks the first time he’ll be able to take an animal of his own. I told him he’s lucky, because when I was growing up, the minimum age for big game hunting was 14, not 12. I said the former Wyoming Game and Fish Director, Terry Cleveland, exercised his powers to grandfather me for those years I would have been able to hunt if I’d been born later. Terry said I could hunt for two more years after I die. Gee, thanks, Terry. But Colby didn’t seem to care. He’s too wrapped up in planning for his own first hunt.
For the first time in a long time, I hope I get a critter when we go hunting. Usually, I’m just content walking across the plains, checking out the scenery and watching wildlife when I see it. But this year, I want to show Colby what to do when we get an animal. And when we head out for his goat, it’s even more important to me that we come home with one.
Either way, though, I think this’ll be the first year of many to come hunting with my new hunting buddy.