October 18: Ben Rising, Rick Hawkins, Jarod Hawkins

Earlier this year I was invited to go with Jarod, his brother Jason and his dad Rick Hawkins on an Elk & Mule deer hunt in Colorado in Oct. I wasn't to thrilled at first because of all the things we had going on at the sawmill and our new outfitting business. I was afraid I would be to worried about all the things we needed to be doing at home instead of enjoying my first trip out west. I couldn't have been more wrong!! I had the time of my life.

Jarod and I now refer to Oct 19th as the day of "Double Death". First thing on that day Rick and I were overlooking an alfalfa field hoping to catch the herd of eld going back to the mountain to bed. We could hear the bulls bugling and chuckling in the dark. Needless to say we were excited for it to get light. Long story short I ended up harvesting my first ever elk and witnessed Rick shoot an elk that was wounded from a fight the day before. He made the best shot I have ever seen., 550yds, 1 shot & piled up. It wasn't a giant elk but he didn't want to see it suffer. He showed us the true ethics of a true hunter and we were all very humbled by his actions.

Once the elk were taken care of, Jarod and I were making plans on how to set up a ground blind for 2 big Muleys we had seen the night before. We slipped into the opposite side of a small canyon that was chocked full of cedars and sage that made great bedding. We set the clind up to where we thought we could get atleast 150yd shot or closer to where the deer were exiting the canyon to feed. Jarod was up to bat since he filmed us earlier that morning. We weren't in the blind 30min when some does walked out of the cedars and up the side hill. Within 20min we saw the bucks together in the creek bottom. They started to make their way up the trail and when the biggest one stopped, I told Jarod I was on him and he pounded him right in the lungs and he ran down hill 50yds and piled up. The other buck was still standing there to our surprise. I basically threw the camera to Jarod and he handed me the gun. I quickly took aim and fired. I knew I had connected but wasn't sure how good because it all happened so fast. Well, I hit him a little back but we found him about 180yd in some cedars. We were so pumped to have 2 doubles in one day!!

My THANKS to the Hawkins family for their generosity and friendship.