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A great family experience

November 30, 2005

Three generations of Goe guys packed up ten days worth of camping and hunting supplies and made a trip east toward the Wallowa Mountains in search of second-season Rocky Mountain Bull Elk. After trekking several miles into the eastern Oregon wilderness on horseback, the Goes, along with three other hunting buddies, set up two large tents — one for sleeping and one for cooking.

For 13-year-old Wy’east Middle School eighth-grader Brent Goe, dropping a seven-by-seven-point bull from 450 yards on the first day of the hunt yielded the thrill of his first-ever kill.

Brent, with the help of his dad, Ken, and his grandfather, gutted and skinned the animal into the night, hanging it in the cold air from a tree before heading back to camp.

“He sure grew up a lot in a week,” said Ken. “He has tagged-along with us before, but this was the first year he could do it himself … It is definitely something he’ll never forget. I went to the same area with my dad when I was 16 and I remember it like it was yesterday. Seeing the animals, the wilderness and the experience of camping with father and son is what sticks with me the most. It’s a great experience even without getting a kill.”

Fortunately for the group, both tents were equipped with heavy canvas ceilings and wood-burning stoves. On the third day of the trip, the weather changed for the worse, dumping over a foot of fresh snow.

The snow, of course, made camping harder and tracking elk a lot easier. By the end of the trip, all six hunters bagged their tags and came home with enough elk meat to last their families through even the longest Hood River winter.

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