July/August 2012 EBJ (Issue 72) - While cursing myself about coming into the basin via this route, I took a moment to inspect my bow and my bloody knee. Hoping that nothing heard my limb pocket bouncing off the rocks or my groan of pain, I hobbled over the skyline and nestled into the rocks. As I sat there to compose myself, I had some time to look back on some of the journey to get here.
At application time I was trying to put together the best plan to optimize my time afield during the fall. I finally wrapped up my plan and decided to put in for sheep in one of the units that Warren, a friend of mine, had previously hunted. My gut told me I was going to be drawing a goat tag, so I didn’t want to be learning two new areas from scratch, plus I was planning on hunting whitetails in Kansas.
The morning after the Kansas draw was due I was lying in bed feeling like I had forgotten something, then it hit me. I had completely spaced out sending in. I jumped out of bed and fired up the computer, hoping that for some reason they had extended their deadline, but to no avail. The draw had passed. While I was on there I figured I might as well check my draw status for Colorado as some people had been seeing sheep and goat tags start hitting their file. As I sat there wiping the sleep out of my eyes I about fell out of my chair when I saw that I had a sheep license on file.
My girlfriend was wondering what all the commotion was about. When I told her she did not think it was worth waking up at 6:00 a.m. to learn I had drawn a sheep tag. I would like to know how many times I logged off and logged back on that morning double-checking my file. With only seven points there was no way I could have drawn a sheep tag was there? Finally 7:00 a.m. arrived and I figured that most of my friends would be awake and if not, it was time for them to be awake anyway; I had to tell someone. My first call was to Warren. I am not sure if he was completely awake or not, but by the time I got sheep and tag out of my mouth he was already hollering in the phone. I think he was more fired up about it than I was.
Since moving to Colorado in 2003 to expand my hunting opportunities, I have been sending in for as many archery tags as the checkbook will allow. I had figured one of these years I would run into the problem of having too many tags. As time passed I was counting my lucky stars as I had gotten through most of the draws without pulling another tag and then I pull up Utah’s results and see a successful behind my name for an archery elk tag. Then a check of the Colorado deer results revealed I had drawn a high-country mule deer tag. Darn the bad; or is it good luck. Whatever kind of luck it was now, I had a problem that many western hunters would like to have on their hands. Three premier tags plus a Montana general tag and only three weeks to take off work.
The thought about quitting my job had crossed my mind, but with the way the construction industry is right now I figured that wouldn’t be the best longterm choice. Fortunately, my boss is very understanding of my passion and is flexible in letting me take off whatever time I need. So in the end I decided to turn in my deer tag and Montana general tag and concentrate on the Utah elk and Colorado sheep.
The summer was going to be short enough as it was and with my sheep tag starting in early August, that made it that much shorter. Weekend after weekend found me driving into the mountains looking for sheep and I managed to sneak in one trip to Utah. I was blessed to get to see some breathtaking country, but I was starting to get worried, as during all of my scouting trips I had only seen rams in a huntable spot one time. With that area not being a secret, I knew I had to find some off the beaten path… at least that is what I thought.
For a full account of Jeremy's adventure, go to page 58 in the July/August 2012 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.