Bryce Angell

Bryce Angell

The first snow of the season always brings back memories of hunters eating flapjacks, topped with bacon, eggs and cheese.

They chugged down cups of coffee like there was no end in sight. They’d listen to the guide ‘bout where to hunt at first daylight.

Hunters are peculiar, come from different walks of life. Some are born with silver spoons. Some just a hunting knife.

But one thing was for certain. They all shared the same desire. A trophy elk to brag about while sitting ‘round the fire.

Before daylight I’d watch the guide and hunters leave the camp. I’d cinch the sawbuck saddles, then lead out to cold and damp.

I’d usually ride a mile or so then give a little pause. And wonder would an elk be downed because of what he was.

Or would the elk be lucky? Fill the hunter with despair? Some hunters got buck fever and they shot straight in the air.

My father called a bull in only twenty yards away. But the hunter shot high in a tree. His arrow there to stay.

One year a hunter filled his tag with panniers full of meat. A young horse smelled the kill, bucked off and stomped it with his feet.

And later on, the same young horse was standing all alone. Someone mistook him for an elk, although he was a roan.

Most hunters that I’ve known have shown respect for all the game. The dissidents who didn’t, well, I pegged a nasty name.

Hunters haven’t changed so much since I was young till now. They always want to shoot a bull but will settle for a cow.

The first snow brings a wave of hunting memories that I’ve seen. When I saw the snow this morning, I went back to seventeen.

Bryce Angell has lived around horses all his entire life and is a retired registered nurse who still works part time at Ashton Living Center.