“Have the confidence to take on a challenge with the understanding you’re not an expert. Embrace that, and allow it to make you better.” -Tag Spenst
FirstLite’s Tag Spenst tells of growing up ski racing, fulfilling his early dreams as a CU Buff, and the crazy details from his recent Dall Sheep hunt in remote Alaska this past fall. If you’ve never hunted and want to, or would just like to learn more – this one’s for you. Our stories always include a life lesson, and in keeping with our tradition, Tag’s advice is tops. Check it out.
Photo Cred: Idarado Media (Left, Center Right) and Rick Smith Media (far right).
2:30 Born at 9,000 ft. Raised in Summit County, CO.
3:30 Soccer, Baseball, Hockey, Ski Racing. Everything moves towards skiing.
5:16 High School in Summit County. Homeschooling/Online H.S.after Jr. year. Skiing.
6:30 Fiance. Confidence. Casey “Made me into who I am today”. Plans for marriage this coming summer.
7:40 Struggling with confidence. A moment of relaxation. “Let this roll.” Best race of the season.
8:06 Coach Rokos at CU Boulder.
8:50 A glimpse into the mindset that allows me to be the most successful.
9:13 Tragic loss of a friend in a climbing accident. Emotional. National Championship & Assistant coaching. Spencer Nelson – lost him too young.
12:00 Commuting between Boulder and Commerce City. An opportunity for Sun Valley.
12:30 FirstLite Ketchum. “Awesome opportunity with a company that’s growing. There’s gonna be a big learning curve. I’ll admit I thought that learning curve would be a littler flatter”
13:20 Everything went out the window at Sheep Show in Reno.
14:13 The “< 1 club” drawing. “Whoever wins this hunt, it’s going to change their life.” -Kenton Carruth.
15:16 Zach Higgen’s voluntarily dq’s himself – they resubmit the drawing, and drew my name. Everything went black. Shock.
16:03 “Okay, what are we gonna do” Can’t believe this actually happened.
17:25 This is like being in the World Series and telling the bat boy – “we really need you to clock one home here.” DDV (sort of) quoting Callahan.
20:14 The Less than One Club
21:17 The training and the shooting. Fortunate to be at firstlite. Fundamentals of shooting. Basic components. Light trigger pull. Building up in caliber & gaining confidence up to the 300 WM to take on the hunt.
23:05 Flying into the Brook’s Range. So un-impacted. Raw. Cool.
23:59 Jim Kudrowski outfitter. Casey Bardon, guide. Horseback. Rivers. I expected the first day to just be traveling. Amazing.
25:48 “Whatever, I was in ski racing.” Fog came in. Fog lifted and a group of Rams came in.
29:00 Look up to glass them and…They’re gone. Saw us from about a mile out. “We’re in a different game here.”
30:37 Casey comes back “They’re there. They’re different. They’re in a great spot.”
31:50 That same feeling from the ski racing days… “Oh, I can do this.”
34:37 Thinking about a shot opportunity. Two leg cramps. Waited 3 hours, felt like 45 minutes.
36:00 Before you know it, you’ve got six Rams, four of which are legal walking into your comfort zone. Coming right at you. Feeling calm, breathing like a Grizzly.
37:30 Went through my motions. First shot was back. Quickly re-chambered and went through the motions again. Second shot lungs.
39:00 Emotions of taking an animals life. Thankful.
41:00 The pack out. 3,500 vert off the mountain. So happy. Back to camp late, in the dark.
42:00 Butchering the animal. Spending time with Casey.
43:00 Customarily eating sheep ribs over the fire.
45:00 “Have the confidence in yourself to take on a challenge with the understanding you’re not an expert to begin with. Embrace that. Allow it to make you better.”
47:00 FirstLite. Pushing boundaries. Sourcing the best wool. Pushing 95/5 Merino Spandex.
51:11 .300 Win Mag. You can get so caught up. At the end of the day, just use what works for you.
54:00 One piece of gear: Rifle.