The beginning of a new era was ushered in last week when my son and nephew accompanied me on their first out-of-state hunting adventure. Benjamin and Brock have both anxiously awaited their opportunity to hit the road and experience the joys of a full blown hunting camp. No doubt their first trip will leave them wanting more!
After some serious diplomacy, convincing the moms the trip was worthy of an absence from school, we struck-out and drove west to New Mexico in pursuit of Pronghorn Antelope. After a 7-hour drive, we arrived at the 136,000 acre ranch and joined a camp of roughly 25 guys. The camp was hosted by the Sutherland family and was beyond impressive. This years camp marked 20+ years of Sutherland family and friends gathering to fellowship and hunt.
While setting-up our tent, the boys became gravely concerned about the lack of air conditioning and other standard amenities offered by the camper, after several minutes of explanation, they came to the realization one could survive a few days without TV and AC.
The boys quickly made new friends with the other 5-6 youth in camp and set out to explore their surroundings. Within the first few hours, they learned the desert is full of things which can cause pain...red ants, cactus, rattle snakes, taranchulas, and scorpions to name a few. Never-the-less, they ventured fourth without fear!
The ranch is home to several large prairie dog towns and a favorite activity was prairie dog population control. There was also an area which had been setup as a rifle range and much time was spent shooting at targets.
The ranch was full of deep canyons and we had a blast taking a jeep trail ride.
Without a doubt, the highlight of the trip was having the boys present when I was fortunate enough to harvest a nice antelope. The trip was short, but I imagine the memories will last a long time!