Who I am:
I grew up in rural Eastern Washington on a small 200 acre farm. Just like all farms it was work and life skills building from as far back as I can remember. I believe every person should have the incredible fortune of being raised on a farm. I grew up learning and doing things we just thought were normal, but when people hear about it today they have a hard time believing it. The diversity of things I was able to do growing up was pretty amazing.
Two things have stuck with me for as long as I can remember. Hard work not luck produces success, and the best things to do are hunting and fishing.
I was around hunting and fishing with my grandpa and started on my own when I was eight. I was given a single shot .410 for my 8th birthday and that was the real start of my personal hunting. The surprising thing to many is I was 95% self taught. I got my first German Short Hair bird dog at 10, and we spent a lot of days hunting Quail and Chucker together. Shooting varmints from starlings to feral dogs was pretty much just the norm, and would be a everyday thing if I still lived on the ranch. I even ran a short trap line for rabbits going to and from school.
I still remember my first deer hunt at the age of 10. Dad dropped me off at the top of the hill (many would call it a mountain) in the dark and went back to work. He had told me to walk over the edge, sit down, wait until 10:00, and then hunt down to the house. Of course I knew I could only shoot bucks, and had a good idea of how to gut a deer. Remember those life skills from above? I had seen and helped gut a lot of animals butchered for food. I shot three times at what I thought was a huge (reality 18-20”) 4x4 Mule Deer, and missed every single shot. The first of two deer I have ever missed. When I walked out of the trees on my way home my dad was waiting for me because he heard the shots. Having to tell my dad I missed hurt more than missing the deer. My dad was very supportive, but I was not going to ever tell him I missed again.
I was slow to start Elk hunting but if I can only hunt one big game animal it would be Elk. They are impressive animals who live in beautiful country. I also was late in starting my bow hunting, but I wish I had archery hunted from the beginning. One day I will go archery Elk hunting when my schedule allows it.
I have been reloading since I was 10 also starting with shot shells. I had to reload because all the ammunition I was shooting was too expensive to buy new. I cannot even remember the last time I purchased a center fire metallic cartridge loaded. Reloading has helped my shooting probably the most in being able to practice more combined with the ballistics knowledge.
I fished growing up for fun. I was not as dedicated to the fishing as much as the hunting. I fly fished for trout some, plunked bait, threw spinners, but really did not troll very much. The only trolling I remember was with my Grandpa on Lake Chelan for Kokanee. The trolling gear had more weight and drag then the fish did. My limited fishing was always enjoyable, but I had never really caught any “Big” fish. I started fishing for Salmon in the mid 90’s and I was immediately in love. Then in 2000 we had our own local Chinook fishery, and my hunting had a very serious competitor for my off time. The enjoyment of Salmon fishing just continued to grow, and I started providing guided fishing trips with my company Reellentless Guide Service. I have to admit the Salmon fishing has taken over quite a bit of my hunting time now. My fishing details of gear and technique have less time in then the hunting, but it is quickly gaining and will surpass it very soon I believe.
I have also been lucky enough to spend time with my kids hunting and fishing. It is so much fun just to spend any amount of time I can with them in the outdoors. All of them are very good athletes playing all year long. There has always been a conflict for time, so we take advantage of what time we have. The boys are several states away during hunting season now. I’m planning a out of state hunt next fall to
. My daughter (Teenager) told me last year she
would go deer hunting only one day. We
were dragging out her smallest buck to date. I told her how much I loved being
able to watch the sun come up with her. She asked what about the deer? I told her I could care less if she got a deer
or not. She had a odd look on her
face. Not now but I know she will understand
later on. I am a Hunters Ed Instructor
also, and that has been a very rewarding thing for me. Just today I saw two nice first bucks from
students from my spring 2012 class. Nebraska
I hope I can share my experiences from equipment to technique to help others, and at the same time they get enjoyment out of my information.