March/April 2012 EBJ (Issue 70) - The dream of having this tag started well before I was able to comprehend what hunting was all about. In 1992, when I was two years old, my dad, Paul, set out on his Nevada elk hunt. He returned home from the hunt with the new typical Nevada State Record, scoring 393-4/8 net B&C.
Growing up hunting with my dad and having the opportunity to get to hunt all over the world, I was hooked on the sport at a very young age. It didn’t take me long to discover that my passion was hunting Western big game. There is nothing as satisfying as harvesting a trophy after putting in all the work on your own, especially with a bow.
When I was 12, my dad started getting me bonus points in Nevada. I went to the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2008 and played golf there for two years before having to hang up my clubs due to injuries. Not being able to compete on the golf course, I was finally able to fully commit to my pursuit of hunting trophy big game out West. The obsession began.
When I looked online at the drawing results for Nevada I was surprised and excited to see that I had drawn my firstchoice elk tag. This tag belonged to the same unit in which my dad harvested his bull 19 years ago. The excitement grew as I began to do my research talking to outfitters I knew who had hunted the unit, spending lots of time on Google Earth, and getting equipment ready to go on my scouting trip. I decided that I wanted to backpack into some very rugged, steep, and nasty country, with no roads or trails anywhere. I had heard that there where some big bulls that called this particular drainage area their home. My scouting trip was planned and I was looking forward to discovering for myself if the rumors were true.
At the end of July, I found myself scrambling up the mountain into the area I had heard so many good things about. It took me all day to reach the area and find a good spot to set up my home for the next few days. As I was setting up camp, I looked through my binoculars up on the mountainside into a patch of aspens, and there was a big six-point bull standing up and feeding. I used my spotting scope to get a better look. He was a perfect typical that I named "Typi.” I proceeded to set up my camp quietly.
I woke up the next morning well before sun-up to get out to a good vantage point. Before the sun was up, I had located several other good bulls, four of which were over 350. I had watched where they were feeding, bedding, and where they went to water. I was able to grab all the intel I needed.
It seemed like one of the longest months of my life from the time when I scouted in July to the season opener. With all the backpacking gear loaded up and ready to go, my friend, Joe Crowder, and I headed to Nevada to start the hunt. We parked the truck at the wilderness line, which was just over 6,000 feet, and began the steep climb to the top. It took us four hours to cover two miles and get to the top of the 10,000-foot ridge. We had that evening and the next day before the opener, and we needed to relocate the bulls I had scouted.
For a full account of Connor's adventure, go to page 14 in the March/April 2012 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.