Enjoying The Trip
Today there are a growing number of ATV owners and enthusiasts. I myself am an owner of ATV’s. As well, several of the Pure Adrenaline staff also own ATV’s. Unfortunately, if you don’t know where to look it can be hard to find a place to ride them where you are welcome and not disturbing someone else.
Over the years in our hunting ventures we have always taken our ATV’s with us, but only to use them for game retrieval or to get us into the end of a trail and walk several hours from there. I was one of the many hunters who scoffed at ATV’s even being in the area for any other use. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel that during the hunting season the use of the ATV should be limited, to respect the short season that the hunter has. However, my views on their impact on the area have changed.
On a recent hunt Dan, our Hunting Team Leader and Fishing Pro, and I went out to our hunting location early. In fact, very early. We wanted to see what was going on out there in the weeks leading up to the Elk season. What we witnessed was unbelievable and eye opening at the same time. If you hunt and only travel out west to hunt that is all you think of. But there must be other things going on the rest of the year, right? Well if you said yes, you are right on the money. In addition to the folks fishing, hiking and camping, there were ATV’s and dirt bikes everywhere. This is evidently normal behavior and although we had never seen it before it has not affected our previous hunting trips at all.
After the first day of watching what was all going on, we realized that this is a normal event for the game animals in the area. We noticed that in the evenings when things calmed down the Elk and Deer came out and were feeding as they no doubt do all year long. In early mornings, very few ATV’s were active until well after the animals had gone to lie down for the day. This activity goes on each weekend and then during the week when the vacationers go home, the animals come out again a little earlier, but never seem to be bothered.
We found that it was not until a couple of days before the opening of the season when the hunters showed up and started leaving the trails on scouts that the animals behavior changed. The animals could sense that something was now different. The animals realize that the recreation vehicles are not there to bother them and the people on ATV’s do not seem to pay much attention to them. We then visited with other folks staying in our “Hunting Camp”. Yeah, that’s what we thought it was. Remember I said we were early? Well the folks in these cabins that we liked to think were for us hunters were all here to ride horses, ATV’s, hike, etc. These folks had come from all over the US to spend family vacations here and do the things that they liked to do together. We had just opened our eyes to more ways to use our ATV’s, and more ways to get families into the outdoors together. These folks had no interest in our hunting, but did not mind us doing our thing either. Mutual respect and a common goal, to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, help us preserve our freedoms.
So we decided if this was normal for the animals, what better way for us to get to know the area even more. When in Rome . . . well, you know the rest. I highly recommend taking a trip with the family to any of the states that permit the use of ATV’s with your family. We found endless trails and some of the most awesome sites in the world on these trails. We observed more wildlife from a distance and traveled miles and miles on well marked trails. It definitely goes to show there is more to do on a trip than just hunt. Closer to season some of our group arrived and we took them out onto the trails. One of the gentlemen in our group is retired and has never been able to do anything like this in his life. We followed the marked trails all day long showing him the awesome sights.
Old mining towns mark the trails abundantly, along with some beautiful lakes and hidden streams. At one point, we found ourselves on top of the continental divide and actually found lakes right on top. We had found another way to make these out west excursions a memorable event for those we take along. All this land and these beautiful trails are there for our free use so long as we respect the laws and the environment. I proved to myself that these activities had no impact on our hunting success so long as we did it before the hunt. At the end of the hunt, we ended up very successful. Some of our Elk were taken in areas we had walked hours to get to. So guess what, we packed our trophies out on foot. However, in the end some of the folks did not tag out in our group. The funny thing is they have great stories to ell and when I listen to them talk now, you would almost not know they had been on a hunting trip and came back empty. They have great stories, great memories and had a great time, because we took the time to enjoy the trip for all we could get out of it.
I can only tell you of the few places I have been able to participate in this awesome past time, but my favorite place to date is the area around Taylor Park, Colorado. There is plenty to do all summer for everyone, whether it is fishing, wildlife observation, horseback riding or ATV and Off Road Riding. If you would like to plan a great summer or early fall expedition with your family and see once in a lifetime sights, contact the folks at Taylor Park Trading Post. They have cabins for rent, a general store, gift shop and restaurant all located in the heart of the wilderness. It is a very secluded area and a great place to relax. No busy streets, no heavy traffic. Call the Taylor Park Trading Post at 970-641-2555 or visit their web site www.taylorparktradingpost.com.
Keep your eyes open for the possibilities on every trip. Take the time to “Enjoy The Trip”. You never know what you may discover next.
Pure Adrenaline, Host