age five hunter | Dakotan

Garrison – At the age of five, Brackley Colden was the youngest participant in the state’s largest lizard tournament, and the annual Governor’s Cup was held from Fort Stephenson State Park on nearby Lake Sakkawea.

His partner in the two-day event? His father is Chris Colden. Father and son are residents of this community. Both were present at the base meeting before the tournament kicks off on July 15. Braxley was announced to the public at the City Auditorium where he was brought on stage and presented with a new rod and reel.

“He’s excited and I can’t wait to see how he does,” said Chris Colden. “It’s going to be fun and an experience.”

Father and son, lifelong partners, honored the back of the shirt Chris Colden wore while fishing with his 5-year-old son. (Photo: Kim Fundingsland/The Dakotan)

Father and son, lifelong partners, honored the back of the shirt Chris Colden wore while fishing with his 5-year-old son. (Photo: Kim Fundingsland/The Dakotan)

But eight hours on the water on consecutive days? While this might seem too difficult for a 5-year-old, Brackley’s father has been fishing with his son enough to know that the youngster was more than willing to spend time in the boat with his father.

“He loves it. He really does it,” Chris Colden said when asked about fishing with Braxley. He loves to wrap them up.”

There is also something special about an adult spending quality time with a child, sharing experiences with them, having fun, and fully enjoying every moment together. It was something that Chris Colden experienced when he was very young, and he has never forgotten that feeling.

The youngest fisherman in the last Governor’s Cup was 5-year-old Braxley Colden. His father, Chris Colden, Garrison is clearly enjoying the experience. (Photo: Kim Fundingsland/The Dakotan)

“I’ve hunted Sakakoia ever since my uncle and dad brought me out when I was little,” Chris Colden recalls. “It was always fun.”

The youngest fisherman in the last Governor’s Cup was 5-year-old Braxley Colden. His father, Chris Colden, Garrison is clearly enjoying the experience. (Photo: Kim Fundingsland/The Dakotan)

Now Chris Colden is doing his best to recreate some of those moments for his son. On the first day of the Governor’s Cup, they exchanged hugs and smiles in the boat, while keeping a close eye on their fishing rods. They had a good catch the first day but didn’t find the big fish they were hoping for.

Brackley’s mother knows the tournament well. She’s partnered with her husband for the past few years, but this year she gave up her seat on the boat for her young son.

“She’s pregnant this year and can’t catch her,” Chris Colden said. “What better time to bring up the little guy.”

Father and son together outdoors – a winning experience every time.

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