We sat there in silence as we looked over the pond at my family’s farm in Central Pennsylvania. My best friend Rick Hutton and I had just decided that Montana was going to be our new home. I’m not exactly sure why our conversation faded to silence, but I know we both had a lot going through our minds. I had always dreamed about the West, but just didn’t think it was possible.
Growing up in a hunting family, I was introduced to the lifestyle very early in life. As a young boy, I would spend my weekends in September retrieving doves for my Dad and Grandfather. At age five Santa delivered my first BB gun under the Christmas tree. Every little critter in sight was fare game in my eyes. I remember my dad heading off to deer camp in late November and wishing so badly that I could go along with him. I wasn’t allowed until the age of twelve. It wasn’t until I turned twelve when my hunting addiction started.
It didn’t take long for Rick and I to figure out exactly where we wanted to live. Originally we were looking at Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, but we weighed all our options, put in a lot of hours researching hunting and fishing opportunities, and came to the conclusion that Montana was where we wanted to be. In fact, Montana was where we needed to be. Don’t get me wrong, Pennsylvania is an amazing state and offers an abundance of hunting and fishing opportunities, but we just needed more.
The job application process was a painful one. I am by no means a fan of filling out job applications, but it was something that had to be done. The thought of screaming bulls in September and cutthroats sipping dry flies kept me motivated and on track. It took Rick just under a year to land his job and I secured my job a few weeks later. We quickly rented an apartment in Helena, MT and started packing.
May 9th was pack day. We loaded up two U-haul trailers full of hunting and fishing gear mixed with some clothes and furniture. It was go time. After saying our goodbyes, we rolled out early morning on May 10th. It was hard to believe that this was all coming together. All our hard work was finally paying off. Our dreams were coming true.
After three days of travel and over 2000 miles later we finally arrived in Helena. The trailers were quickly unloaded and we settled in fast. It was time to get to work and do what we came to do.
Maps covered our living room floor. I was logged into my goHunt account for days. My gps with an onXmaps chip became my bible. Scouting was officially a go. It was overwhelming at first. Everything was new to us and we had a lot to learn. It took some time but we found some good spots and we have had some great scouting weekends so far. The 2016 hunting season is quickly approaching and we still have a lot of scouting ahead of us. This journey has been amazing so far and its about to get a lot better.