The arrival of fall means not only weaning and shipping calves, preg testing our cows and getting all of the hay hauled home. It also means hunting season. My two sons, Rory and Cody, grew up hunting together from the time they were old enough to plink away at rabbits. Over the years, they have hunted white-tail and mule deer, antelope,elk, prairie dogs, coyotes and game birds. The two of them have hunted together in Montana, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky and North Dakota. My boys and I spent some wonderful Montana fall days hunting together as they were growing up. I am so glad I spent that time outdoors with them. Now, I no longer hunt except with a camera. Rory and Cody can't seem to get enough hunting. It isn't the shooting the big buck or filling out your limit on pheasants. It is being outdoors and enjoying the beauty of the land and animals. Seeing my boys together doing something they love so much is something I cherish.
In North Dakota, a person who wants to hunt elk, must apply for a tag thru a lottery drawing. If if your name is drawn, you receive the only North Dakota elk tag you will ever get. This means, you better get your elk because you can't ever get another tag. Only North Dakota residents are eligible for the elk tags. My husband and I fall into a unique catagory regarding North Dakota elk tags. We get one every year, to be used by either him or I and only to be used on a certain area on our ranch. These gratis tags are for land owners in an certain area close to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Rory and Cody both put in for a tag, as they have in the past. Rory was lucky this time and drew a tag. He was so excited, almost to the point of saying the stresss over making sure he got an elk with this only chance it was taking the enjoyment out of the whole thing.
The season is split into two periods with Rory drawing for the later one. He came down from Williston, ND where he lives and spent the night here with us. Up before the sun had even thought about it he ate the breakfast my husband had prepared for us all. I had the opportunity to snap a few shots of my boys as the morning wore on. Seeing the two of them together like that brought back memories of other fall days like this when they were growing up. Good memories! Cross your fingers for Rory that he fills his tag!! I know the boys will have a great time out there together!!And yes, they do have their "hunter orange" with them, they just haven't put it on as they made their way back to their four-wheelers!