Youth Mule Deer Hunt-“Steele Family”

Richelle & Ashlee checking out elk.

Richelle & Ashlee checking out some elk while on her first deer hunt.

 

I love hunting big stuff.  I love competing against myself.  I love becoming a better hunter, but..   it’s all for not, if my kids don’t get a chance to experience my passion.

My daughter is getting her first chance to experience a big game hunt and it’s my single greatest hunting accomplishment, yet.

Ashlee glassing for a buck that went into the trees.

Ashlee glassing for a buck that went into the trees.

The first morning was very surreal. I didn’t want the first morning to end!

At first light, we glassed up a buck .  We looked him over and discussed the situation.  The buck was old, but wasn’t a trophy scoring buck.  He was very fat and a great buck to shoot for a youth hunter (or any hunter who wants to cull a buck).  I looked down at Ashlee and she stated, “I really don’t want my hunt to end on the first day.  I really don’t even want to shoot a big buck on the first day.”  I was proud of her for understanding what hunting is truly about.  With that said, we decided to go on the buck, but unfortunately another hunter shot below us and the buck spooked.

The next couple of days were hard hunting for a 10 year old.

We are hunting in Central Arizona and the deer density is super low.  The unit just saw almost 7 weeks straight of antelope & elk hunting, so it’s a damn tough hunt.  You can truly go days without seeing a deer, but at any moment you can see a big old buck.  So, it’s not backcountry, but I would venture to say, it is JUST as mentally tough.

We had to comeback home for a few days, but we will be headed back out for several more days of hard 10 year old hunting.

The old mature buck just before he was spooked.

The old mature buck just before he was spooked.

I hope all of you Dad hunters out there, read this, and are inspired to be apart of something that is really bigger than yourself.

Passing on the tradition is NOT an option, it’s a must! -Craig

Worn out hardcore backcountry 10 year old hunter.

Worn out hardcore backcountry 10 year old hunter.