As an outfitter and a hunter, this past fall, October 2008, I had the gratifying experience of guiding a member of the Women Hunters group, Anne Poole, and her son, David, for a mother-son deer/pronghorn hunt in northern Wyoming.
I offered the special pricing, and am offering it again this fall, in hopes of encouraging more family hunting. I would encourage other outfitters to consider offering such hunts as a way to bring the younger generation into our sport, and as a way of countering all the negative press that hunting gets throughout the world.
Anne and her son arrived for the last few days of the season, and, unfortunately, an early season snow storm not only dumped about two feet of snow on the ranch, but as it melted, it made the back pasture roads extremely muddy. Due to that fact, we had to spot and stalk from the country road, and hike through the deep snow.
Still, for all the problems, Anne connected with a small three point mule deer and a better-than-average 13- inch pronghorn.
Her son, after a long hike back into a deep sagebrush-lined draw, scored on a three point a little larger than Anne’s and on the last day of the season, dropped a nice 12 inch pronghorn.
Anne and her son were not my only family hunters this fall. An earlier group, James and Terry Flickinger, were also a father-son combo, although James was over the age limit for a father-son reduced price combo, this was a once-in-a-lifetime hunt for them, something they had planned for several years to do together. They did well, took some good game, and had a good hunt. I was very gratified that they contacted my outfitting business for the hunt.
I am not in the business strictly for the money, as some outfitters seem to be. I have kept my prices low, and hope that I can encourage other families to come for a hunt, without breaking their bank. Although more and more hunting is getting to be a game of the rich, I hope that I can do my small part to help families enjoying the hunting experience together. Now, if I could just afford an elk hunting concession…!
Some of my fondest memories are hunting with my father and my mother. I hunted mule deer and antelope with my father, an elk with my mother, and deer and antelope with my children. I hope I can help to give others these memories as well.
I found both experiences to be positive ones, and I hope they feel the same. I would encourage more mother-son, father-son, mother-daughter and father-daughter hunts.
Cynthia J. Vannoy-Rhoades