The concept of deer camp goes back generations and is so often associated with history, heritage, and looking back at the past. But for photographer, Austin Thomas, and his best friends Taylor Cook and Gunnar Lovekamp, it’s all about living in the present.
For career farmer and rancher, Alex Templeton, there isn’t a distinct point where farming ends and whitetail hunting begins. It’s all part of the same holistic life, and it all connects to the land she spends her life working.
Josh Miller of River Stone Kennels has spent his life training dogs to be lifelong companions, at home and in the field. His work through the years has taught him that dogs can teach us as much as we teach them.
As hunters we often spend an exorbitant amount of time and effort getting back into far off valleys to pursue an animal. More often than not, once the animal is down, we pack up, blitz back to our trucks and head for home. What we leave behind in those remote valleys is often amazing country that we haven’t truly had the time to sit back and savour.
“You can do everything right as a hunter, but if you don’t make the shot, you won’t have success when it comes to notching a tag,” says professional archer and teacher, John Dudley, whose passions for hunting and archery go hand in hand.
High up on an alpine vista in the American West, South Cox sits, glassing the panoramic landscape. He spots a mature mule deer buck feeding in the distance. He’s studied the topography and the wind direction. This is his chance to fill a tag. Recurve bow in hand, he begins his stalk.
A hunter’s success is often measured in simple terms. A spent bullet casing, a set of antlers or horns and bringing home a cooler full of meat. Yet, I find these things are no longer enough for me. The game meals come and go and trophies gather dust on the wall, waiting to be remembered the next time a buddy drops in for a whiskey. But there’s something else more powerful in these experiences, a deep emotional connection to the hunt that lies beneath the surface.
For years, Kiviok Hight has heard the distant echoes of the train whistle from the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad engine. Ever since his last Colorado archery mountain goat hunt ten years ago, he’s been dreaming of this hunt. On that first goat hunt, and on elk hunts since, the sound of the distant train engine has been the only reminder of the human world. He decided that if he ever drew the tag again, that train would become part of the experience.
Fathers push us, guide us, and often lead us in our first connections to the outdoors. We’d like to show gratitude to all fathers who helped usher the next generation into adulthood. Below, a few of our Ambassadors share a glimpse of their fathers’ impact on their lives.
Dustin Roe has been a sheep guide for nearly half of his life. Along those many adventures, his network in the outfitting business has grown to include like minded people across much of North America. One such friend is Glenda Groat, owner and operator of Canol Outfitters. Over the years Roe has sent Groat a handful of clients, and as a thank you for that business, Groat had a gift for Dustin: a tag for Roe to hunt a Dall Sheep of his own.