The family who hunts together | CraigDailyPress.com

The family who hunts together

Patrick Kelly

BeccaAnn, left, Chance, Doug, Samantha and Chase Wagoner love to hunt together.

In the Wagoner household, hunting is more than a way to keep food on the table.

"There's a huge amount of life skills in hunting," Doug Wagoner said.

Doug has taken his two oldest kids Samantha, 19, and Chase, 18, on elk hunts since they were 12-years-old. Both kids bagged their first bulls years ago and look at hunting as a valuable way to bond with family and opportunity for personal growth.

"It teaches them patience, it teaches them to be thorough, it teaches them to be aware," Doug said.

One hunting excursion in particular stands out for the family.

The trio was hunting together and Chase, who was 16 at the time, had just shot his first bull elk, dropping it where it stood.

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Celebrating the shot, the three hunters were momentarily distracted all of the sudden Samantha, then 17, noticed another bull about 30 yards away from their makeshift blind.

"I hollered at her to shoot it," Doug said.

Samantha made the shot and the two siblings were able to compare their first bulls side-by-side.

It's experiences like these that make all the work and waiting worthwhile for the Wagoners and it isn't the only story the family has to share.

"Every hunt that I've ever been on is something that I'll remember forever. It'll always be with me," Chase said.

Doug's two younger children, Chance, 10, and BeccaAnn, 7, aren't old enough to go after elk yet but they have some hunting experience and Doug plans to keep them exposed to the sport.

"It teaches them respect for everything — for the land that they're on, for the rifle that they're shooting, for the animal that they're shooting at — and that translates to a lot of different aspects of life." Doug said.

The meat that the Wagoners take from their hunts keeps them fed, but the time spent together and lessons learned are just as valuable.

There's hundred of life lessons wrapped up in hunting." Doug said.

Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.