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Jan/Feb 2012 Issue of EBJ

In a Class of Its Own by Tim Carpenter

In a Class of Its Own

Tim Carpenter

January/February 2012 EBJ (Issue 69) - Hunting elk in my home state of California has been a dream of mine since I started hunting at the age of 12. For the last 14 years, I have religiously applied to hunt all species of big game in California, never missing a single year. Each year, the big game draw has left me disappointed, until this year. A friend of mine called to share that the draw results were up early, so I finished up work and went home to check the results. I had drawn one of the few and highly coveted Roosevelt elk tags in California.

When I was 18, I moved to northern California to study wildlife at Humboldt State University. I was excited to be on the north coast, and able to capitalize on my love for the outdoors. Students earning a degree in wildlife mangement are expected to complete a senior project. I chose to do my study on the herd dynamics of Roosevelt elk in the area. During the time I was in school, and especially when working on my project, I realized that one area in particular had the potential for producing big Roosevelt elk. The herd genetics were first class, and I spent the last six years videotaping and taking pictures of these magnificent animals.

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One Last Try by Shane Whiting

One Last Try

Shane Whiting

As I hunkered in the small patch of oak brush, the mind chatter began. Is he going to come down the same trail he did yesterday evening? Will the wind remain good or is a sudden unexpected burst going to blow this stalk and the buck out of the county? Is this little patch of brush going to give me the cover necessary to conceal me and my movements? Can I get a shot on the 5x5 or will the other bucks see me again and spoil it? Over and over the chatter ran through my frontal lobe and continued until I saw the buck feeding toward my strategically chosen position. He appeared to be alone this evening, tipping the odds in my favor to get the job done.

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Just Me and the Backcountry by Wayne Endicott

Just Me and the Backcountry

Wayne Endicott

My first visit to the Wenaha was in 1972 at the age of 12. My father was an old-school, backcountry elk hunter and we loaded up the ‘66 GMC farm truck with horse tack and four horses and headed for northeast Oregon for what was, at that time, a general season rifle elk hunt. That first Wenaha elk season was full of adventure and through the eyes of a child, it was a country that hunting dreams were made of. I witnessed the high-mountain wilderness, rich gardentype soil and sharp-cut tabletop ridges that make up the Wenaha Wilderness river drainage. It burned a permanent vision in my mind of what the perfect elk country should be.

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The Thirst for Antelope Hunting by Chris Stone

The Thirst for Antelope Hunting

Chris Stone

On day three, following unknown hoursin my blind and 90-degree heat, I had an antelope in sight on the desert floor. I wouldn’t have it any other way. My buddy and cameraman for the hunt was Joe Frater. Joe and I were laughing at stories we were sharing about bloopers we had in the woods. I don’t know if it was the heat or the amount of time in the blind that made the stories more hilarious, but without warning a great antelope buck was running up the ridge to the west with his tongue hanging out as if he had been running a 26-mile marathon.

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Long hikes, Heavy Packs and Big Stone's Rams by Adam Moleski

Long hikes, Heavy Packs and Big Stone's Rams

Adam Moleski

In September of 2011, my hunting partner Rod Aspden and I decided to go on another archery Stone’s sheep hunt. Being fortunate enough to be born in British Columbia, Canada, we can hunt Stone’s sheep every year for the small price of a tag, food and gas to travel to northern British Columbia where these beautiful creatures call home.

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Finally My Turn by Robbie Trujillo

Finally My Turn

Robbie Trujillo

For the past 10 years, I have been guiding hunters all around the state of New Mexico. I love hunting so much that I decided to make it my job. Well, it turns out that when you’re a guide, you don’t really get to do much hunting for yourself. Even if I would get drawn for a tag, I wouldn’t be able to hunt much because I had to work. I’ve drawn a couple of elk tags since I started guiding, but only hunted two or three days total.

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Risk and Reward by Justin McLaughlin

Risk and Reward

Justin McLaughlin

As the heavy 28 inch wide 4x4 came running down the draw to within 20 yards of my ambush site, I couldn’t help but feel a little lucky.

It had been one week to the day since I had first spotted the buck feeding on an open hillside with a couple smaller bucks with about a half-dozen does and fawns. They eventually fed their way up to some bumps and bedded down for the day amongst the sagebrush. With a good wind, I attempted somewhat of a stalk.

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Two for Two by Thomas Hoerr

Two for Two

Thomas Hoerr

It was coming, and it was coming fast. September archery was around the corner and I was getting nervous. I hadn’t been able to shoot the bow like I usually do because of a left shoulder injury and I was just praying that when the time came, I would be able to.

I dream all year of the Colorado archery season and couldn’t imagine not being up there. This year was special because other than my overthe- counter elk tag, I had also drawn a mule deer buck tag for a general unit that I knew held some brutes!

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The Dead Zone by Scott Faiman

The Dead Zone

Scott Faiman

Smartphones, e-mail, Facebook, texting, tweeting - let’s just call it what it is, unnecessary information overkill. Many embrace technology and what it has to offer, but I guess I have old school wiring because I spend most my time trying to avoid it. I believe this is why I have developed a passion for high country, DIY, backpack bowhunting. My favorite hunting spot just happens to be a cellular "dead zone”, how perfect. My son and I frequent this area every bow season – one-on-one time with your children is something I hold very close to my heart, and bow hunting is the best way I’ve found to experience it.

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Hardcore Field Test

Brunton Restore by Brandon Mason

Brunton Restore

The modern western hunter has an unbelievable list of tools at his or her disposal. Some of us have become almost obsessed with the various gadgets and pieces of equipment that are available, while others prefer to self-limit the ‘technology side’ of hunting.

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