Returning from Big Sky country

December 1, 2008

Faith Outdoors

We got back from our trip to Great Falls, Mont. very early yesterday morning — 5 a.m. to be exact. It got interesting in western North Dakota when we encountered some snow and slush, making for some tense driving. But, God answered our prayers for protection and brought us safely home.

I did some elk and deer hunting with my two oldest boys, Joe and Andy, and their Grandpa Bob Guditis, his daughter, Jessica Gray, and her husband, Jerry. The results will be revealed in my monthly outdoors column in The Catholic Spirit in an upcoming issue. For now, I’d like to highlight one important aspect of the hunt.

It has to do with being prepared for the hunting conditions out west. Thanks to my friend, Steve Huettl, we had the right clothing. He works for a hunting clothing company called Gamehide and he was able to get us jackets, bibs, caps, neck gaiters and gloves at a significantly discounted price. He shipped them to us just a few days before we left and even shipped another jacket when Joe needed a bigger size.

Everything worked great and kept us warm and comfortable, even when it got cold and windy. The weather can vary greatly out west in the mountains, and we experienced that in our five days of hunting. It got to 60 degrees the first day, then dropped into the teens later in the week. The clothing worked through it all. I was confident it would do the job because Steve told me he uses the same stuff himself. It’s Gamehide’s top of the line and it showed. Many thanks to Steve!

A second important part of being prepared is to have rifles that shoot accurately. Bob is a civil engineer who understands technical things like bullet trajectories very well. He sights in every rifle he uses and we had a very important sight-in session at the gun range before the hunt. Unlike many hunters, he zeroes his rifles in at about 250-275 yards. He knows that shots that long — and longer — are common out west. Although the bullets will hit two or three inches high at 100 and 200 yards, a hunter can take longer shots without having to aim high on an animal.

All I will say for now is I’m very glad we took the time to sight in our rifles. Stay tuned to my upcoming column for a detailed story of our hunt!

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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

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