By Tyler Ferris, June 2015
Life always seems to keep you on your toes, constantly taking unexpected turns, and it happens right before your eyes. Change is inherently good, so all we can do is keep our heads up, hold on, and let the experiences come together. If you would have asked me just a year ago if I thought I would be taking my dream job and be moving to and living in the vast desert of southern Utah, I would have said without a hiccup in my voice, "Absolutely not!" With utmost certainty, this was the last place I ever saw myself landing.
When an opportunity arises, sometimes you have to take the risk and make a leap into the unknown. It is funny how quickly life can change, a mere blink of an eye can be all the difference. I have now had the pleasure of living in Utah for the last several months. What a big move. Things are different. This is what I wanted, but it has been an eye opener as Utah has proven to be a very different place than the wild mountains of western Montana that I am so accustomed to. Like any new adventure, I will be embracing this new opportunity and can’t wait to see where it leads.
As the newest consultant joining the Huntin’ Fool team, I would like to first introduce myself and give the members a little background on who I am and where I came from as well as what I am hoping to bring to the table here at Huntin’ Fool. My name is Tyler Ferris, and I am a new transplant to Cedar City, Utah from all the way up north in Missoula, Montana. I was born in Spokane, Washington and lived there until I was 9 years old when my father took on another job and moved our entire family to live in Missoula, Montana. That is where I grew up and spent my childhood running around the hills of western Montana, chasing anything and everything. Montana has and will always be home for me, but there always comes a point where you just have to pick it up, leave it all behind, and start anew.
Montana is a state full of opportunity and the place where it all began for me. I have been fortunate enough to experience all the finer beauties that Mother Nature has to offer. At the young age of 12, I was lucky enough to be able to harvest my first elk, deer, and antelope. Since then, I never looked back and have had the pleasure of pursuing and harvesting some awesome trophies over the past decade. While growing up, I could go down to any local sporting goods shop and pick up an over-the-counter elk and deer tag and be hunting within minutes of leaving my house. As a young, ambitious kid with a lot of drive, Montana proved to be the best playground I could have asked for.
Over the last decade in my hunting career, I have been fortunate enough to share some of my life’s greatest memories with many great friends and family members while hunting the rugged mountains of the West. I have personally hunted Whitetail and Mule deer, elk, antelope, Black bear, Mountain lions, wolves, and hogs. I have also played a helping hand on several buffalo and moose hunts. I have been lucky enough to have the ability to do a fair amount of traveling, covering most of the northwestern states, such as Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Texas. This year, I will be looking to add New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and New Jersey.
One thing I truly value more than anything is opportunity. I am happier in the outdoors than anywhere else and that trumps the size of the trophy every time.
A trophy in my mind is made up of a lot more than just the size of the animal’s headgear. I’m not saying that being able to harvest a stud is not unwelcome, it just adds that much more to it all. For me, it’s more about the people I am able to share the experience with, where I am at, how hard I had to work for it, and the emotional feelings we as hunters all feel and know so well. While growing up, I did not have much for money. Every year I worked my tail off to bank enough so I could afford to do my exploratory hunting trips each fall, exploring many of the surrounding states. I took any opportunity I could manage to scrounge up. I have several criteria to help narrow down my hunt options when looking at hunting out of state – the state has to have affordable tag prices, easy to draw or over-the-counter tags, and be within 1,000 miles. I am continually looking for and researching new opportunity hunts all across the West. I hope to share my wealth of knowledge on many of the western states with a special handle on over-the-counter opportunity hunts with you, the Huntin’ Fool member.
I may be young, but I make up for it in spirit, drive, and eagerness to continually learn more on a day-to-day basis. It’s a great honor to get the opportunity to work with such a great company and publication. I look forward to being a part of the continual production of the absolute best source for western hunting information, data, stats, and odds.