I grew up on the East Coast, enjoyed most of my twenties in San Francisco, several years in D.C. and  then on the Monterey Peninsula before landing in the Rocky Mountains — I’d have to say hunting was not something I thought much about. When our kids were little, we did not have any guns and frowned on play that involved shooting. Now here we are in the heart of hunting territory, and find that oddly it all makes a lot of sense.

When we lived in Idaho, our friends all hunted and we saw the value of filling one’s freezer with meat that was hormone and antibiotic free. We were introduced to the tastiest way to prepare duck and goose, and my husband returned to a sport he had abandoned years ago.

Our teenage son and daughter passed hunters safety last year. This year, our thirteen year old daughter expressed an interest in an elk hunt. She had been with her father previously on a hunt, in which a whitetail buck was shot. She practiced at the range and was quite a good shot. Off they went with some friends for the Thanksgiving weekend.

As the photo illustrates, she got her elk. She learned about safety, humane hunting, the hard work involved, and about bounty. When we recently enjoyed the tenderloin with some close friends, she was thrilled to have contributed to the meal. We are all thankful for the elk and wholesome bounty of hunting.