Hunting is a family sport that many in our area participate in.
Each year Kingman residents, including younger family members, put in for big game tags.
Fathers and mothers put in their sons and daughters for tags.
This year, Kingman resident Rink Gordon put in his two daughters, 13-year-old Talyn and 17-year old Taylor in for antlerless elk tags in Unit 10.
Lady Luck smiled on both young ladies when they got a pair of the 800 tags that were issued for one of the largest game management units in Arizona.
Hunting is a sport that is shared by friends and family alike.
Gordon, who is a fireman at the Kingman Fire Department, has many friends who also like to hunt. These dedicated sportsmen understand the value of taking our youth hunting and who are always ready and willing to help out when the opportunity presents itself to help a friend and neighbor.
But this hunt story has some very different twists.
In the case of Talyn, she was able to take her first elk on opening day of the hunt with the help of her dad, and friends Erik Berg and Fred Moore.
In the morning Rink had spotted a small herd of elk, including two bulls, two cows and a calf. Despite their best efforts to relocate the elk after they were spotted, they just seemed to disappear.
Later that day, after Moore had joined them, the group was back out looking for elk when a bull was spotted over a mile away. More glassing revealed other elk, including a young elk bedded out in the open.
The young hunter and her dad moved in, and Rink was able to get Talyn within 250 yards of the bedded elk. Rink noted that he felt the range was too far for his young daughter to shoot, since it was her very first elk hunt.
They decided to wait and see what happened.
When the elk stood up 40 minutes later, Gordon decided to use his elk call. Much to his surprise the young elk started running towards them.
In the end, the elk stopped at 23 yards and Talyn had her first elk with one quick shot.
Taylor wasn’t there for the opening weekend of the hunt, and wasn’t even sure if she was going to hunt.
With the seven-day hunt coming to an end, finally it was decided that Taylor would come out for the last day of the season.
Helping out Gordon with the glassing duties that day would be his friend and fellow firefighter Kelly Johnson, and Gene Keller.
Talyn also took the day off from school to share the hunt with her sister.
Their efforts produced sightings of bulls, but no cows, which was what the young lady had a tag for.
Finally, after moving to a different area, and with time running out, they located a small group of elk that had two bulls and 12 cows.
But they were a long ways off and time was getting short.
As it turned out, the young hunter was able to find a cow in her scope and a couple of shots produced the sounds of the shots hitting home, but the cow ran off and the hunters couldn’t locate her before darkness set in.
Gordon knew the cow was fatally hit, so the next morning they went back out and within minutes found the expired animal. Rink had walked to literally within a few feet of her final resting place.
It had been a tough hunt for Taylor, but she got the job done.
Gordon noted that he was very appreciative of the help that his friends had given him on his daughters’ hunts. And that he couldn’t have done it without them.
But really, that is what the hunting experience is all about.
Friends and family helping each other in the pursuit of a sport that we all love. That is the definition of hunting.
Rink Gordon is not only a great father, but a hunter in his own right. Rink got a very nice 4x4 buck on the last day of his hunt!