The Saratoga Sun -

Passing on the tradition

Dennis Goodwin takes daughter on successful black bear hunt outside Savery


September 18, 2019

Photo courtesy Mandy Goodwin

Dennis and Katelyn Goodwin pose with the black bear they harvest on the opening day of the season.

For many people, hunting isn't just something to do during the fall and winter seasons, but is a way of life that is passed down from one generation to the other. Dennis Goodwin is one of those people. Having archery hunted for nearly 25 years and understanding the importance of the hunt to conservation and management, it's a tradition that he wants to teach his children.

"I don't care if they hunt when they get older, but as long as they experience it now as they're growing up," said Dennis. "It's been such a way of life for myself, I'd like to pass the tradition on to my kids."

Dennis's daughter Katelyn Goodwin enjoys hunting with her dad, a lot. While she is shy and hesitant to open up, the smile that crosses her face when talking about going hunting with her dad says more than words ever could. Recently, Katelyn and her dad were able to harvest a black bear outside Savery.

The father and daughter hunters saw a total of three bears as they hunted Savery Creek. The night before the hunt, Katelyn spotted the first black bear. While she wouldn't admit it at first, her dad said that she was very excited.

"She was jumping up and down. 'I found the first bear,'" Dennis said.

The next day, early in the morning, Dennis and Katelyn both spotted the second bear of the weekend and Dennis harvested the animal.

"It ran around and then it dropped dead," said Katelyn.

"Like 30 yards," added Dennis.

With the black bear down, Katelyn was anxious to get a closer look.

"She wanted to go down to see it real quick and we had to wait," said Dennis.

While waiting to make sure the harvested black bear was dead, another black bear came into the area. According to Katelyn, the third black bear of the weekend sniffed the downed bear before running off a short distance. The two waited for the bear to leave before going down to look at their harvest.

Once it was safe, Dennis told Katelyn to wait while he checked to make sure the black bear was dead. While Katelyn said it felt like it took forever for her dad to go down and then come back for her, it took a total of 30 seconds. When she finally was able to see the bear up close, Katelyn said she was "kind of excited."

Katelyn is unsure if she wants to go bear hunting, again. There is no denying, however, that hunting is a large part of the family's life. Two weeks after the opening day of black bear, the family helped Dennis' father-in-law harvest two antelope and Dennis himself harvested a spike elk.

"It's a huge part of our lives," said Dennis.

For Dennis, it's not always important for a hunt to end in a harvest.

"Some of the best days out there with my kids are the days that I don't even harvest. Just getting out there and spending time with them and see animals and just enjoy the one-on-one time with the kids," Dennis said. "It's nice."


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