Why I Hunt
Updated: Oct 16, 2018
I saw mustangs and moose, deer and antelope. It was a weekend getaway filled with beauty and adventure- operation #antelopehunt2018. Now, while my English professor may not approve of my hunting antics, she doesn’t know the story of how my husband became an avid outdoorsman or the adversity which led him here.
It goes something like this. Every man needs something or will find something as he ages- something to still his mind, quiet his adventure, lasso his longings (get the picture). It might be a motorcycle, a new job, a girlfriend, pornography (yep, really) or a new hobby. For Rigby it was a new/old hobby.
Rigby grew up hunting with the “menfolk” in his family- I am so grateful he has willingly welcomed Emma and I into this time honored circle. His grandfather hunted to provide food for his family, his dad and uncles hunted that same sacred land with their dad growing up- it was tradition. Rigby hunted on and off also with his father and brother Bruce. But it wasn’t until Seleck and Stockton were about 4 and 6 that he shot his first big one (that picture still hangs on our wall). That is the buck that started it all. He began to hunt more regularly and found great peace and solitude on the mountain.
Fast forward to the year February 2009- Rigby had a massive stroke- two black spots on his brain- our baby was 12 weeks old. The part of his brain affected by the stroke was the communication portion. In those early years of recovery, time spent in the mountains became the only trusted therapy for him. He seemed to heal on the mountain. And it was there he became reunited with God. Was this hard on me as a mom with 5 little people- you betcha! But I could not take away the one thing which brought him relief.
In the years that have followed he has hunted elk, deer, moose, mountain lions, and now antelope. These outings have worked miracles for our family as almost always one of our children has accompanied him. Out in the hills and on the mountains he gets to be a dad and a friend. They talk a lot or not at all, but they are together- something that is so needed for a child (of any age) and his dad.
Once in a while, it is my turn. Such was the case this past weekend- antelope hunting in Wyoming near Flaming Gorge. We took along our youngest, nine year old, Maleck. The time spent together, the three of us, was irreplaceable. Maleck held my hand, sat on my lap, cuddled with me, and teased me (relentlessly). Truth be told, I loved every minute of it!
Rigby was patient and sweet as he led the expedition. I loved sharing his passion with him. I am so grateful that he invites me in to explore, wander, and grow alongside him.
Yep, I brought home an antelope. It’s a nice buck. Now, I wouldn’t call myself a hunter, but I do claim the privilege of being married to an avid outdoorsman who takes the time to teach his children about life, the law of the harvest and importance of relationships- plus the jerky is pretty yummy too!
P.S. the best pumpkin patch is in Elsinore, Utah