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May/Jun 2012 Issue of EBJ

A First of Many by Hunter Mason

A First of Many

Hunter Mason

May/June 2012 EBJ (Issue 71) - It was already a week into the archery antelope season, and just before sunrise on a Saturday morning, when my dad and I crawled into our blind. We were hunting near a windmill with a round water tank 25 yards away. I had my binoculars, and was looking around for any sign of life as the sun began cresting over the horizon. I soon spotted antelope in the distance and the anticipation started to mount. Lying by my side was my bow with four arrows in the quiver. This was my first time to hunt with a bow, and I was filled with excitement knowing there was a great buck using this water on a regular basis.

It was around 9:00 a.m. when I seen the antelope I had been waiting for. My dad and I had spotted him weeks prior to my hunt while out scouting. The buck’s horns had big prongs and lots of mass, earning the name "Forwards”. He was a definite shooter.

As he began his approach to the water, I slipped on my release and knocked an arrow with hopes of getting a shot.

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Vertical Success by Louis Wasniewski

Vertical Success

Louis Wasniewski

I scaled across a rock chute nervously thinking, "Is this the right thing to be doing on a solo trip with 500 feet of nearly vertical loose rock below?” With a sigh of relief, I reached the other side and emerged through a line of dwarf trees that surrounded a small rock bench. Each step revealed more of the bench and a small snowfield. To my surprise a group of three goats appeared at 30 yards. One was a thick-horned billy, easily measuring nine inches in length.

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Wide Reminders by Omni Warner

Wide Reminders

Omni Warner

I’ve always been a strong believer in making one’s own luck. The harder you work, the more rewards will come your way; especially in bowhunting. For the year leading up to my fall hunts in 2011 my gym workouts intensified; one to keep my body in shape, but mainly because I knew physically what it would take to have success on my hunts this fall. I shoot year round to keep my shooting skills ready. Going into the bowhunting season I was confident in my abilities to get it done because of all my pre-season preparation.

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Created Not Found by Chris Lopez

Created Not Found

Chris Lopez

The Arizona big game draw has been good to me over the past few years, but I believe that my good fortune was created. Even from randomized lottery systems and high-pressure hunt areas, there are things any hunter can do to tip the odds in his favor. The data needed to make educated decisions about which hunts provide the greatest chance of draw and hunt success are public information.

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Eye on the Prize by Tom Patterson

Eye on the Prize

Tom Patterson

In September 2010, I traveled from my home in Wisconsin to southern Alberta for my first archery mule deer hunt. I was successful on an adrenaline-filled, spot-and-stalk archery hunt, taking a nice 156-inch mule deer; I was immediately hooked. 

When I got home, I started to plan my 2011 mule deer hunt. Since Alberta requires the use of a guide, I decided I would hunt somewhere in the states where I could hunt DIY and closer to home. 

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Adapt and React by Francis Cameron

Adapt and React

Francis Cameron

I'd rather be lucky than good.” How many times have you said that? I know this cliché represents a basic gesture of humility, but I think it’s used far too often. While luck and chance play into the whole equation of success, truth be known, I’d rather be good. After all, consistent achievement has everything to do with preparation and relative action. Having a plan, working hard and following through are what it takes to make good things happen.

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The Ridgeline with Rams by Bret Scott

The Ridgeline with Rams

Bret Scott

I was dumbstruck as I watched my first desert bighorn ram. The pure sight of this majestic ram in his own environment took my breath away. It was my first scouting trip on a bright sunny August morning, in the San Gorgonio Mountains of southern California. 

I had been applying for this once-in-a-lifetime sheep tag for the last 20 years, with no expectations of ever being drawn. However, just two weeks earlier, I was notified that I’d drawn a tag and now here I was, on an uppermost ridgeline, just 50 yards from a 150-class ram. By days end, I’d found a total of six rams and one was a shooter. During subsequent scouting trips walking this same ridgeline over and over, I learned that this was going to be the place to be.

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When Opportunity Knocks by David Divito

When Opportunity Knocks

David Divito

Just as I pulled my eyes away from my tripod-mounted binoculars, a pale silver flash coming over the next ridge below captured my attention. It was a doe and her fawn and they looked like miniatures compared to the mulies we were watching earlier in the morning. With a wrinkled forehead I whispered to Boze, "Coues’ deer? Down here?” As he nodded his head in confirmation, we watched them work toward a little bowl that held a few scrubby trees in the open rolling desert terrain.

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An Unlikely Series of Events by Michael Cole

An Unlikely Series of Events

Michael Cole

When I’m not in the woods, I work as a paramedic. A benefit of my job is it allows for me to stack my shifts so I can maximize my days off. Before our departure, I worked 144 hours straight (24-hour shifts). The last two days were particularly brutal and I had been running calls all night. But even they couldn’t deter my excitement.

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Hardcore Field Test

Crispi USA Summit GTX by Adam Bender

Crispi USA Summit GTX

One of the most important things to take care of on any hunt is your feet. Regardless if your day hunting for antelope or packing in several miles into the backcountry for elk, the fact remains that once you’re feet are ruined, so is your hunt.

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