Lauren Luse did not grow up in a house of hunters. “We didn’t have anything against it, it just wasn’t what we did,” she explained. But then she married Jason Luse, who not only was a hunter from multiple generations back but has also been a guide for other hunters.
“My hubby is the hunter and guide extraordinaire. He really knows what this is all about and makes sure he does everything right, with extreme caution and care,” she added.
Once she knew after marrying Jason that hunting was going to be his life, she decided to get “into” the whole thing as well and learn to do it and do it right.
She took a hunter’s safety class. Her husband taught her to shoot and made her “practice, practice and practice,” she said. She went out with him on numerous hunting adventures before she even starting packing her own gun.
“I have only been hunting for three years,” she said. “But once I got into it, I told my husband the first thing I wanted to shoot was a bear.”
She got a tag for a bear a short time later and off they went to the Labeck Hills and it was there Lauren had her first kill, a black bear measuring from nose to tail over five feet, eight inches.
“It was pretty exciting,” she proclaimed.
This year, so far, Lauren has also bagged her first antelope. “It was a big one. I was happy and we love to eat antelope.” They have some deer hunts planned for the next coming weekends as deer season opened on Oct. 24 this year. And they have cow elk tags they hope to fill, doing the hunting for those in the Missouri River Breaks area.
All three, Lauren, Jason and daughter Jaycee drew a tag for a cow elk this year, making the family very excited about that upcoming hunting trip.
Hunting is definitely a Luse family affair.
Jaycee, their daughter who is 12 and a seventh grader at Cut Bank Middle School, also completed hunter’s safety this year.
She shot her white-tail deer on the youth deer hunting day, which is a special hunt day for the kids held in mid-October. She also got her first antelope this year too.
Myles, their son who is seven and in second grade, is not quite old enough for either hunter’s safety or to carry a gun, but he goes along and is the more adventurous one when it comes to eating what the family shoots.
“If you were to ask my son what he would rather have for lunch to take to school, McDonald’s or the Hungarian Partridge his dad shot the day before, he would say without hesitation, the partridge and he takes it to school for his lunch,” Lauren said laughing.
“He even thought the Big Horn Sheep roast I cooked in the crock pot was great and it truly was not all that good. We eat everything we shoot and he especially thinks that is so very cool,” she added.
Their youngest daughter, Jozie, is just four, but on mild weather days, even she tags along with the hunters, learning a little bit as she toddles through the weeds and forest.
“This is something we love to do as a family,” she said. “I remember all the hunts, but it is more than that, it is family time. As someone once told me, hunting is more than the trophy, it is the story that goes with it. And for us, it is the family that goes with the it too.”
Jason comes from, what Lauren said is, “generations after generations of hunters. He has hunted everything. We have lots of trophies on our walls, but more importantly, we have meat all the time in our freezer. We butcher everything ourselves, use our own grinder for hamburger, make our own jerky. That is the only way we would do it is if we do it all from start to finish.”
The whole family understands the safety issues when it comes to hunting, but even more than that, they understand what it means to be responsible hunters too.
“If we want to hunt on private land, we always, always ask for permission. Most of the time there is plenty of block management land we can use or public land too. My husband has taught us all how to be super responsible and we are. We don’t want to ruin hunting for our family or anyone else by not obeying the rules,” she said.
Jason is, in Lauren’s words, “a really good hunter and an amazing guide. I wouldn’t have any of this without him. I love doing it and I love that we can do it all as a family.”