We have been so lucky to meet inspiring hunting families across the nation through social media over the last few months. It has been remarkable to see the pride and dedication that Hunting Dads and Moms have when speaking, posting pictures, or recalling memories with their kids. One of the most inspiring and proud hunting Dads we've met has been the Jason Peak and his family from Reno, Nevada. We met Dad, Jason through instagram (@jpeakr2r) and have enjoyed getting to know him, his family, and his passions through River to Ridgeline. Please read on to learn more about the Peak family this week for #huntingfamilyfriday.
The Peak family includes Hunting Dad Jason (42), Mom Jen (32), and daughters Emma (11) and Ava (1).
When did (each of) you learn to hunt/fish: Jason started fishing at five and tagging along on hunts at seven. Emma's first hunt was during archery antelope season with Jason when she was eight. Ava is primed this year to tag along during scouting trips and will certainly follow in her big sister's footsteps in the coming years.
What is your preferred season? There are so many fun seasons, but the most we have shared together are archery antelope season. It is warm and early enough in the year that the days are not cut short by cold and darkness. Antelope are so active throughout the day that there is no "down" time, and it allows for non-stop action.
Why is hunting/fishing important to your family: It is hard to ignore that which is in your DNA. Humans have been hunting for thousands of years. It is how we are built. And the thrill of finding an animal, getting close enough to see its whiskers and putting a tag on it is something that is very hard to describe to those that don't hunt. But Emma now realizes what joy and accomplishment come from a hunting experience. Sharing that with those that know us best is really what life is all about.
Are you willing to share a favorite recipe for game? The best way to cook any game meat is to first soak it in milk overnight, then in a marinade of 2/3 Apple Cider and 1/3 Apple Cider Vinegar for a day. Then slow-cook the cut on a smoker at 275 until the internal temp reaches 160. Serve with roasted asparagus and dirty rice and it is a meal made for royalty.
What is your ‘can’t hunt/fish without it’ accessory: Emma and I both have our superstitions. She always carries her Mystery Ranch backpack. It carries her food, homework, gear, etc. She can't leave home without it. And Jason always has to wear a bracelet that Emma has made for him. It doesn't have to be fancy. But it has to be something she has made. The filled tags prove it!
Favorite hunting/fishing memory or favorite thing about hunting/fishing: Emma remembers her first antelope hunt. Moths infested our camp, the truck broke down and it was unseasonably hot, but she had a great time and spotted several bucks on her own. Jason and Emma both share another memory as one of their favorites--shooting a Wyoming antelope. It was at that point that Emma "caught the hunting bug", which will forever change both our lives.
What is your favorite tip/trick for hunting/fishing? Emma said it best--hunting and fishing are about paying attention to details and patience. There is always something to consider, and being patient allows you to make solid and reasonable decisions regardless of the situation. It's easier said than done, but that one tip has proven to be the best lesson of all.
What are the lessons you most wish to preserve about hunting/fishing for generations to come: give more than you take. Hunting is more about enjoying Mother Nature. But right now is as good as it is going to get unless we do more. Volunteer. Join conservation groups that matter. Try and think about what things will be like seven generations from now and do your best to make sure those folks have what we do.
A big thank you to Jason and Emma Peak for their #huntingfamilyfriday interview this week. Be sure to check out River to Ridgeline on facebook for regular outdoor living inspiration.