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Stories of Howard Hill

Stories of Howard Hill and Art Young and Saxton Pope

Stories of Howard Hill My dad was a hunter, a traditional bow hunter, and all through my childhood hunting was this thing we did together as a family—it was a tradition. I started shooting when I was two or three. Every night after dinner we’d shoot in the backyard. And now, many years later, I’m doing the same thing with my son Cash.

Anyway, we took our bows everywhere we went. And at bedtime my dad didn’t read Cat in the Hat, he read stories about Howard Hill and Art Young and Saxton Pope. It was like living in the movie A River Runs Through It, only with archery equipment and deer, and instead of Montana we lived in Southern California.

Most of our annual trips and vacations were hunting-oriented. Every year at least once a year, we’d go to Colorado or Utah to hunt deer. I killed and field dressed my first animal when I was nine. My dad and I were hunting wild goats on Catalina Island. I snuck up on one and shot it. It was small but still it was an awesome experience.

Throughout High School, I worked in the local archery store in summers. I made arrows, cleaned up stuff, sold stuff, I was basically a shop-kid. I didn’t care if it was cool. I loved doing anything that had to do with hunting. It was weird, I’d go to parties on the weekend and have to leave at one or two in the morning because my dad would be ready to leave for a hunt in a couple of hours. I never missed a hunt, not once.

The process and the challenge

My dad was always in good shape, and my brother and I were in good shape. We were young and we both played sports. So part of our huntingthing on these longer trips was to try and get ever further in, further away from people. That meant getting up earlier and getting home later. It was the early eighties and my dad was reading Dwight Schuh and Larry Jones. They were both writing about backpack hunting and getting further off the main roads, so pretty soon we were buying backpacks and going backpack hunting.

The process and the challenge of it and the feeling that came from being more remote and removed from civilization than ever before was rewarding. The deeper we went and the harder the trips, the greater the satisfaction. And it paid off too. We started having a lot of success. Soon it just became part of our process. We started looking for new areas to hunt, places with limited access. Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Idaho—we’d do our homework and research the topography, and we’d put these amazing adventures together with lots of animals and no people.Click Here…

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