Throughout 2006 and into 2007 Rick and I fleshed out our concepts of the club. Who would we invite to be members? How much should dues cost? What would we do with the money? How would we add new members? Would we have officers? When, where and how often should we meet?
By the spring of 2008 we were ready to get some guys together to talk about forming a club. We held our first meeting at a bar. What a mistake. Attendees could barely keep their attention on one another with the TV’s and general noise in the bar. We decided that we would form a club, but could not decide on a name for the club. Some interesting names were offered up; Chinese Chicken Chokers, Limit 3 are two that I remember. A few weeks later we finally decided on the Yellowstone Hunt Club.
The original members of the Yellowstone Hunt Club were: Richard Cope, Todd Baier, Forrest Hunt, Jeff Schelle, Maurice DelCostello, Nick Coffman, Chris Smith, and Brady Heinamen…..at least that’s how I remember it.
The Club was formed and immediately lost a member. Looking back, again with a more perfect sight picture, the YHC had a lot of ‘What if…’ conversations in the early years. I remember one conversation about our annual pheasant hunt. What if the club gets too big for all the members to attend? How would we decide who would go? ‘It better not be me that gets left out.’ ‘I think that some people should just automatically be on the list.’ Funny to think that was such a big issue early on. To this day I cannot think of a hunt that was truly a club hunt in which we have had to choose who got to go. Most hunts end up short 1 or 2 people from the original plans.
The reality of the early club was that it was largely comprised of individuals that all wanted to go their own way. That’s not to say that the club didn’t get some things done that benefited everyone.