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My North Park Story

I started hunting at the age of five with my dad, I am twenty now. My dad has hunted all his life and was taught how to hunt by his dad, the man I call Papaw. We are all from Southern Illinois and are avid hunters of deer and turkey. My dad and papaw have been going to Colorado to archery elk hunt every fall since 1990. They stayed in a place called the Ox Yoke Ranch and would drive to their hunting spot in Colorado near Walden. When I was little, I dreamed of the day when I would get to go with my daddy and papaw so that I could live the stories they would tell when they came home. In my mind, I could picture the big bugling elk they would see and could feel my heart race when they told of their encounters with black bear and mountain lion.

Throughout the years, my dad and papaw made friends with those who stayed at the ranch, those in the town of Walden, and even those that they met while out hunting. One day while hunting, my dad came across a man named Quentin Smith. They instantly got along and shared each of their stories. Quentin shared that he owned an outfitting business near Walden which was QRS Outdoor Specialties. My Dad shared that I had always wanted to go elk hunting in Colorado like him and papaw. Quentin invited us to come with him the following year and that is exactly what we did. This was started my sophomore year of high school. We have gone there every year since and this fall will mark our sixth-year hunting with Quentin at QRS Outdoor Specialties. It has been the absolute best experience and I am so thankful for the friendships we have made through hunting with QRS. When hunting with QRS, the lodging is spectacular, the food is amazing, and each experience hunting is a forever memory. I have seen countless amounts of elk, mule deer, whitetail, black bear, antelope, and even moose while out hunting.

I love the feeling that North Park brings. This part of Colorado is unique in the way that it provides you with a feeling of being in the wilderness but also a close connectedness with nature. North Park is booming with wildlife and amazing views. The people we have encountered are beyond friendly and my least favorite part of every trip there is when I must go back home. I hope to visit North Park at least once yearly for the rest of my life. It will never get old. I will always look forward to seeing the beautiful Colorado mountains along with the smiling faces of the friends we have made there.

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