100 Years of Hunting Heritage and Fair Chase
My great-grandfather learned to hunt out of necessity during the time his father left the family to serve in World War I. After the war ended he left Armstrong, BC to start a logging camp on the Koeye River. He had wealthy American investors (who had business interest in local canneries) that would come up for guided grizzly bear and mountain goat hunts at his camp.
Eventually, my great-grandfather moved the family to Vancouver, where my grandfather grew up a mixture of city kid and outdoorsman. He and my great-grandfather regularly went up the coast to fish and hunt deer. He was the first graduating class of Vancouver Community College’s Deiseal Mechanic Apprentice program. After completing the program, the family traveled back up the coast to find work.
My dad is the youngest of three boys (with a total of 7 siblings). And as soon as he was walking, he was out hunting. By his early 20’s, he had killed about 30 deer. Obeying laws and seasons became second priority to feeding a large family, where living in a remote west coast community, fresh food only arrived every few weeks via boat. (usually not so fresh by the point it reached them).
By 25 my father didn't feel it was fair chase anymore hunting with a rifle, so he took up bow hunting and spent three seasons not shooting anything but kept at it with sheer determination and will.
I took after my father and had been hunting since I was 3; grizzly when I was 8 and elk in the Kootenays by the time I was 12. The kicker is I shoot with just a Williams Peep Sight. Purposely avoiding putting on a scope because I don't want to get to where it's easier to pick up the rifle over the bow or to start shooting game at distances where the animal has lesser chance of knowing they are being preyed upon - keeping both equally as challenging.
The story only shares a snapshot of Nick's rich lineage of hunters. A tradition, a tale of coming of age, a life of mental and physical conditioning.
I chose to share this story along with "Mountian Condition" also told by Nick, to encourage those not to give up, to persist, and know that even for those born out in the wild, it doesn't get easier. Stay focused, train hard, and most importantly get out there despite the doubt - do not fear failure.