In my family, we do a lot of hunting. We practice shooting a lot in the summer to prepare for hunting season. I got my first bull on opening morning – October 10, 2014.
It was a nice day and I was hunting with my dad and his four friends. We were scanning the hillsides and saw the bull. We had seen it two weeks early when scouting, so we were all excited to see it again. It was on a distant ridge and we watched someone shoot at it and miss it. The bull ran across the hillside and ran over to some cows where we could see it clearly again.
My dad’s friend let me borrow his rifle. We carefully set up the bi-pods and then set the rifle on my backpack. I was lying down and got in the perfect position. I took a deep breath, shot and the bull rolled down the hill into the trees. It took a couple hours to get to it and then get it out.
The bull looked a lot bigger up close – I couldn’t believe it. It scored 319 5/8. It’s so fun to see the animals and prepare for hunting season, but when it actually happens, it’s crazy. I love to be outside and love where we live, so close to the animals and big game.
On May 4, 2016, I got my rifle and practiced. Then, I got a tag for a cow elk in Utah with the same outfitter and guide as my dad had the year before. We had a three-day hunt and I was ready and waiting for my opportunity.
My dad had told me a few times, “It’s okay if you miss. Most people miss their first shot.”
So, naturally, I was determined to get the elk on my first shot.
Finally, I got my opportunity. A cow elk came to the right of me. I got on it, squeezed the trigger and dropped my elk. I went to put another bullet in the chamber but my magazine jammed. We later realized I hit it with one shot in the heart at 150 yards. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget.