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Photos by John F. Russell

Question

& Answer

residents now, and they’re coming up and saying we don’t want out-of-state hunters. If they’re only giving 20 percent of the tags to out-of state people, we’re not bringing in the thing that keeps the Craig, the Maybell, the Lay, the Meeker — this is their big income for their whole year and yet the DOW is cutting them off … by bowing to the Front Range people and population centers that don’t have to live out here and make a living out here. It’s the small towns in the West that are really getting hurt.

CH: How much are gas prices going to add to that hurt?

RH: My philosophy, and I’ve been in the

recreation business since ’64, the last dime somebody has, they’re going to spend on

86 | Colorado HUnter | Fall 2008

recreation. They might not buy a million dollar condo, but they’re going to take a vacation and go hunting and go skiing. They’re going to do something that involves recreation and the outdoors.

CH: What’s the greatest reward? RH: The greatest thing is when they show up,

asking, “What time do we do this, what time do we do that?” They get to camp and it’s, “What tent do we sleep in, where’s our tent?” The second night, nobody’s in their tents, they’re all laying up around the campfire, looking at the stars. By the third day, they’ve all forgotten watches and what time something happens. By the fourth day, they forgot where they came from. And by the fifth day, nobody wants to leave. And it’s just seeing

that evolution.

CH: So why hunt? RH: To get away and do something instinctive.

It’s been in our blood thousands of years — in the fall, you start gathering in the meat. It’s just something that’s pretty hard to get away from. Like I said, getting around, the camaraderie around the fireplace, getting up in the morning and scrape the frost off your sleeping bag and start a fire in the tent.

CH: Any advice? RH: Respect what’s out there, respect the animal. If there’s any one piece of advice, anything, it’s respect this animal. This is his home and he’s a heck of a lot smarter than you are being out there.


Ray Heid