My daughter was the lucky winner of a antlerless draw tag in the valley. She was SO excited. We did these hunts as a family & was along as her mom (me) & sister had harvested bulls in other areas in prior years. She went to Hunters Ed (twice!), went to the range with dad for practice & was ready for her first hunt of ANY kind. We as a family planned & talked to folks & poured over maps. We use our vacation time (and funds) for a fun, educational & freezer filling trip.
We got to the area a few days early to scout (thank goodness!). Our first hike out, we went down a little trail & not to far out we ran into a cow & bull coming toward us. We back tracked & got outta there- feeling extremely hopeful & then saw a nice little bull in another spot. So, we knew there were animals around. Opening day rolls around- holy cow! There were people & atv's everywhere! My husband & daughter headed out on a trail early that morning where it looked like no one was yet- they came upon 2 nice cows, but just couldnt get set up with the rest before they lit out of there. Then nothing & more nothing, except other hunters! Those 2 hiked miles & miles & miles. I went on a few of the walks & was thankful that they didnt get one way back in those spots. b/t/w WE didnt have an atv. They did see a couple of cows- but real fleeting. We kept hearing tales of groups of cows- but didnt see them. We saw several cows- then we'd see the calf.
We did this routine of getting up real early, drive, hike, look, wait... over and over each day for a week. Maybe that's not that long, but we kept hearing that the cows were everywhere & should be easy to find. Plus, our trip was drawing to a close. We were feeling pressure to secure some meat for the winter, but reflected on the fact that we'd had a great time with the family. Once again had seen amazing sights, gorgeous country, met some real nice folks- so while we'd hoped for hunt success, it was a bonus. We were driving home to our camper) one evening & as it generally does... almost unexpectedly a big beautiful cow was feeding next to the roadway. Now, taking an animal from near the roadway isnt my first choice in where/how- however, this is what we fill our freezer with & it was a gift! We made our way off the road- as there was a very wide pull off- asked my daughter if she wanted this, of course she did! Got her set up well of the roadway & made sure everything was legal & safe. She made an absolutely perfect shot on the cow (her biggest fears were making a bad shot or missing). Th animal went down nearly right away (and away from the road a bit) & perished within a minute. We were SO proud of her. She wanted to do this & she made it happen & did it just right.
THEN, some jerk in a sportscar pulled up (he'd turned around) in the wrong lane of the road to yell & swear at my husband & daughter about how you should be taking a picture- not shooting animals, blah, blah, blah.... then burned rubber peeling out (still on the wrong side of the highway). That scared my 12 year old a little & really dampened the experience for a while. Now, this is one of the reasons I don't even like to hunt/shoot where other people can see. It's a personal experience to me. And I certainly dont WANT to offend anyone. I love hunting- the planning, the seeing wonderful things, watching for critters of all sorts & I don't mind the butchering & the work that goes with it. I get NO pleasure from the killing- I hate that part. But, it's part of it. So, this jerk offended ME. Ok, so we get our stuff (game bags, knives, etc) together to take care of the meat. The jerk had turned around again & came back, parked behind my truck & was being aggressive & yelling while his woman videoed us with her phone. He told us we were lucky he wasnt a cop & all sorts of nonsense. My husband calmly explained what we were doing & why & said he was sorry if it was upsetting to them. Jerk said we'd better be there when the cops got there- It was nuts! I just dont understand this behavior. I get that some people dont like hunting (another reason I dont want folks to see it)- but jeez, be on your way & dont torture yourselves ppl. I think this guy was racing around trying to get to mcdonalds & get his burger- because they come out of a factory, not because an animal has died!
We are conscientious hunters in our opinion, respectful of the animals we take, we take excellent care of our meat, dont waste, punch & turn in our reports/specimens, obey the law- my daughter had a great time, as did the other 4 kids & her dad & I, but it's to bad that this unhappy couple had to unleash their anger on my husband & 12 year old daughter. And our freezer was full & then some.