This hunt was a true family affair, as Dad expertly calls a bull elk in for his daughter.
Although only 17 years of age, Oregon's Ashley Warden has accomplished what many of us dream about--and that's to down a brute of a bull elk with a bow.
She fulfilled that feat on September 8. It was her first year with a tag, and her proud father was at her side when the arrow flew, only making this story all the more awesome.
Ashley lives and breathes hunting. It's in her blood. And for the last few years she has made it a goal to mentally prepare herself for the day when she might get a chance with an elk.
Three hours into the hunt on that fateful Friday everything fell into place, when her Dad expertly called in this beautiful bull to ten yards.
For us, the following image truly defines what hunting is all about:
"When I found the animal all kinds of excitement and joy filled through me! Knowing I am 17 years old and my first year with a tag (though I have spent the last few years and basically every day of my life preparing for it.) I live it, breathe it, and love it. It felt amazing! There's grown men and women who never get this opportunity and I was blessed enough to get it at 17 years old and with a bow. It was pure beauty. And I couldn't have done it without my Dad! His aggressive bugles drew the bull right to me."
I asked Ashley's father, Jason, what it meant to him to share this experience with his daughter. This is what he told me:
"I felt proud, and happy as well as appreciative. With highs and lows there's not enough words to explain what it truly means, my goal for the season was met by her getting the opportunity, it was more fulfilling than if it was me."
Congrats on an amazing bull elk, Ashley! A definite dream come true. And a big tip of the hat to you, Dad, for passing on your love and passion for a sport we all hold close to our hearts. (And of course, for being pretty darn proficient with that elk call.)
Images Courtesy of Ashley Warden/Facebook
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