Joe on a hunt in Colorado.

Where do you hunt?

There’s a couple of different places we like to go hunting. One is Michigan Creek, it’s up in Kenosha Pass, Colorado. It’s big game hunting, so elk and deer. Another area is called Meeker, Colorado and there’s a lot of large herds in meeker. We’ll also go out to Russell, Kansas for pheasants, quail and dove hunting.

What’s your favorite game to hunt?

Big game, that’s kind of where my heart lies and elk specifically. Definitely my favorite. I think you can gauge it upon how fast it gets your heart going when you actually have a chance– and elk is by far the best.

Who taught you how to hunt and how long have you been hunting?

My dad taught me how to hunt. He gave me a rifle when I was 8 years old. Every winter we’d go up in November. I took the hunter safety course then. Ever since then, every winter we’d go hunting and try to fill up the freezer for mama for the rest of the year.

Do you do any bowhunting, or are you strictly guns?

No bowhunting, I haven’t done that yet. I’d actually love to try, but I haven’t got into that yet.

Will you teach your daughters to hunt when they are older?

Yes. I think my oldest would really enjoy it. But there’s a certain age where they’re still in the “Bambi Phase” and I can’t quite change that because they don’t understand what that means to go after and kill an animal yet. It’s funny because I was heading out hunting and I went into my oldest’s kindergarten class and I said, “OK honey. I’m going to miss you, I’ll be back next week.” You know, that kind of thing. And she turns around to the class and is like, “My daddy’s going to kill Bambi!” I said, “No no! I’m going to get an elk for the family.”

She’ll be ready someday. I’m a Texas girl, born and raised. I understand. At some point you want to show them that you can play with the big boys.

Exactly. My sister, she’s two years older than me. She’s blonde hair, blue eyed. She’s just gorgeous, and she goes hunting with us every year. And there will be the good old boys there, and they see this blondie shoot better than them. It’s kind of amazing seeing a girl out there on the field.

What’s your most memorable hunt?

Probably, just because it’s so fresh in my memory, this last hunt in November. We’d gone about 3 days and hadn’t seen anything. And finally, the last day one of the other guys fires a couple of shots. I radio him and I say, “Hey what’s up? What’s happening? Did you get one?” He said, “No, I missed them. They ran over there over the hill, they’re long gone.” I literally said, “Well, I’m going to go chase them down.” Me and my brother put down our rifles, put down our bags, and just started sprinting up the hill, hoping they’d be on the other side. So we ran up, kind of Last of the Mohicans style. We get up there, we’re out of breath and we see them [the elk]- one looks back at me. I had one second, and I got him. And that was finally one animal down.

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