Hunting Season: A Family Love Affair

For over 30 years, that chill in the air and change in the leaves has heralded the arrival of one family's favorite season...hunting season!

Darren and Janie Darby, Sidney, have shared their passion for hunting together with their two boys, Jordan and Garrett, and meet throughout it to hunt both upland bird and big game together. Originally from Washington, Darren and Janie moved to Montana in order to be closer to the pheasant hunting they adored, landing in Big Timber and then Sidney in 2012. The Darbys enjoyed big game hunting in Washington, and they have harvested bull and cow elk, and many deer and antelope in the state since their move here. When the boys were young, they were brought along in a backpack carrier or on foot to join in the hunts, and have stayed hooked into adulthood.

Garrett and Jordan currently live in Bozeman, MT, and the family applies for tags in draw areas of the state to meet and hunt together, or separately. Garret builds homes in the Big Sky area, and Jordan is currently a civil engineering student at MSU. Their father Darren is a civil engineer working for Interstate Engineering in Sidney, and Janie is a nurse practitioner at Sidney Health Center.

Two other members of the family, Gus and Gator, are important to their love of upland bird hunting. They are both Black Labrador Retrievers, and the latest in a long beloved tradition of "labs" by the Darbys. At one point, they raised and even showed Labrador Retrievers in field trials. Traditionally, the Darbys, including Gus and Gator, meet in North Dakota for the last two weeks of pheasant season to end their hunting season together. Bird hunting works especially well with the whole family participating as it is easier to block and push a section as a team and ensure everyone gets a chance at game. Their dogs love the hunt as much as Darren, Janie, Jordan, and Garrett, and share that excitement whenever the safe is opened!

All year is spent looking forward to and preparing for this season, and the love for the hunt is a bond that brings the Darbys close. May they and all the other families that share a passion for hunting have a successful and safe season this year.


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