Each September, my dad and I travel to southwest Wyoming to camp in the Wind River Range, fish in remote streams, and – above all – hunt sage grouse across an endless sea of sagebrush. For us, sage grouse hunting is about much more than the pursuit of this elusive bird – it connects us to our family history and Western heritage.
Almost 170 years ago, my pioneer ancestors left Illinois in search of religious freedom and the American dream. Their arduous journey took them through the very areas my dad and I hunt each year. Their journals recount stories of hunting sage grouse to stave off hunger and sustain them on their way to the Salt Lake Valley. Today, my dad and I continue that tradition – reminding us of the trek made by our pioneer ancestors and bringing to life some of their experiences.