November/December 2011 EBJ (Issue 68) - After 15 continuous years of applying for the coveted Wenaha archery tag in Oregon, my number finally came up, one of only 20 lucky guys. This is a hunt I had been dreaming of ever since I first stepped foot in this unit 13 years ago when a good friend, Bruce Wold, drew the tag and invited me to join him on his hunt and do some calling for him.
Preparation for my hunt began the day I received notification that I was successful in drawing the tag. The unit encompasses the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness thru which deep canyons are carved. To hunt the really big bulls that inhabit the Wilderness, one needs to be in good shape. First order of business was to get some cardio and endurance conditioning, so I purchased some running shoes and hit the trails around my neighborhood.
Opening weekend I went out alone, figuring my buddies were anxious to get some hunting in and perhaps fill their tags before joining me to help on my hunt. The four-day hunt was productive as I was able to hunt a large segment of the unit, visit with other hunters and pinpoint where I should focus my efforts. I called in several small six-point and fivepoint bulls, but decided to pass on them knowing that if I hunted hard, I would certainly have an opportunity on a trophy bull.
Bryan Summers, who was eager to do some calling for me and experience the Wenaha, joined me the following weekend. Bryan called numerous bulls to close range, several of which presented excellent shot opportunities inside 30 yards. The one bull I would have taken, dubbed Moby Dick for his large whale tail, hung up at 60 yards and didn’t present a good shot opportunity. Bryan was able to get him on video briefly which afforded us a second look at what could have been – there was always next weekend.
For a full account of Michael's adventure, go to page 36 in the November/December 2011 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.