Written by Shiloh Wittler
Land and Ranch Broker
Licensed Appraiser and Broker Associate
Mason & Morse Ranch Company

A few weeks ago, I got the rare opportunity to capitalize on a day off and spend it in the Colorado Rocky Mountains horseback riding with my wife and her father scouting and locating a drop-camp location. My father-in-law has been guiding since he was 21 and has operated a guiding and outfitting business in the particular game unit we were riding in for nearly 30 years.

With hunting season upon us there are always new articles on improved hunting gadgets, gear, and techniques that will most certainly increase your odds of filling your tag this year. This article will offer no such recommendations but will instead offer a short reflection on the legacy, tradition, and perhaps true essence of hunting from a slightly different perspective.

For an article on hunting the above picture doesn’t necessarily appear suitable, but for me and my reflections in the saddle that day, this photo is perfect and very fitting. The quality of what is in the photo far outweighs the quality of the photo itself.

What you see is perhaps quite simple, three horses and two individuals surrounded by God’s beautiful unaltered creation called the Colorado Rocky Mountains. What you don’t see is much more than can be shared in this short article. The cute blonde on the grey mare in the back can ride, rope, hunt, shoot, and among many other things, cook much better than me (since my wife will be reading this it never hurts to try and earn extra brownie points whenever I can – even though all of that is true regardless). I don’t know about the cooking, but I know the rest she learned from the man under the cowboy hat on the lead horse – the Resistol that has possibly helped fill more tags than Kuiu and Sitka combined. Whether or not that is entirely true the man is certainly a cowboy’s cowboy…a rancher, horseman, hunter, father, grandfather, and true conservationist who has carved a life on the land.

Hunting, like farming and ranching or any livelihood built off the land, is more than an activity we do. It is a way of life, a tradition and legacy passed from one generation to the next. A true hunter embodies a certain passion and respect for the land and the wild creatures that inhabit it. They accept an unwritten rule and responsibility to maintain the land and protect the way of life for the next generation. I know that while the Resistol cowboy hat mentioned in the picture above has harvested its fair share of trophies, the biggest trophy is being able to guide other hunters and instill the passion for the outdoors and this way of life in the next generation. Legacy is the ultimate hunting trophy.

This is further evident in the clientele he and his family have been blessed to build into their hunting and outfitting business over the years. These hunting clients share the same passion and respect for the land and wildlife as they do. While trophies and putting meat in the freezer is the goal, the hunt and experience amongst good friends is perhaps most coveted. Campfire stories and lifelong friendships are more talked about than the size of elk they harvested last year, the year before, or the year before that. That isn’t to say there haven’t been animals harvested worth the boast, it just personifies the true essence of hunting that this group of individuals strives to encourage in other hunters around them.

Countless hunting stories and more wisdom could be garnished from that Resistol hat, but it may take a good campfire and steak. So, until then, for those of you hiking or riding through the woods this fall, good luck and enjoy the hunt! If you are investing in others, inspire quality. If you are investing in property, buy quality. At the Ranch Company, "We live it to know it"... and if you are looking to buy or sell your quality hunting recreation properties for sale, please reach out and contact one of our knowledgeable ranch brokers.

About the Author:
Shiloh Wittler is a land and ranch broker with Mason & Morse Ranch Company and also a certified general real estate appraiser. He has a passion for agriculture and the western way of life. Whether it’s a smaller luxury ranch estate, working farm and ranch operation, or thousands of acres of recreation associated with timber and live water, Shiloh employs traditional values of hard work and dedication to help clients navigate the nuances of the ranch market. He has extensive education and experience in agricultural, rural, transitional, recreational, and natural resource properties. This experience also includes many projects involving conservation easements and water rights. His background, knowledge and experience are valuable in researching, analyzing, and considering a myriad of complex property components and issues. In today’s ranch market these not only face buyers and sellers during the transaction but influence the long-term asset management of the property long after the transaction has closed.

Exceptional Hunting Property For Sale:  Moonshine Spring Ranch, Meeker Colorado