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Nov/Dec 2012 Issue of EBJ

Within Striking Distance by Lee Blankenship

Within Striking Distance

Lee Blankenship

November/December 2012 EBJ (Issue 74) - Scouting in July and August in 100-degree heat for "THE ONE” is tough. On this hunt the usual bachelor herds were almost nonexistent. The deer were spread out and the bucks were in tiny little groups and sometimes solo. I had three weeks to find a buck, pattern his daily routine, figure out his watering areas, and find his bedding area. I was getting nervous.

On my tenth scouting trip, my father-in-law Duane and I were sitting on a ridge glassing a small bachelor herd of bucks and for some reason I got the urge to turn around. On the ridge behind us, about 1,000 yards away right on the skyline were two bucks; one of them didn’t need a second look. He was almost 36 inches wide, with a few extras. I scrambled to get my scope on him and got a short video as he went over the top. We picked our jaws up off the ground and headed in that direction.

It took us a couple hours to locate the buck, but when we did we were not disappointed. He was without a doubt a buck that I was going to hunt. My father-in-law nicknamed him "Lefty” because of the trash on his left antler.

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The Search for Flattop by Jon Yokley

The Search for Flattop

Jon Yokley

His name is Flattop. This is how we met. It was March when draw results came out in Arizona for pronghorn. I couldn’t believe I drew a pronghorn tag in a premium unit. Arizona issues only four archery tags in this unit per year due to the scarcity of antelope in the area. Although the antelope are few, the quality is impressive. To take one of these majestic creatures, I knew I had to do my homework.

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Summertime Highs by Austin Headrick

Summertime Highs

Austin Headrick

Early summer to many people may mean boating, BBQ and baseball, but to me, the month of June has always meant the first look at that year’s velvet mulies. It’s not easy or convenient to make early season pack-in scouting trips, but that’s exactly why I’ve always enjoyed them - no crowds, no pressure, just the challenge and excitement of searching for the buck that gives you a reason to go back. 

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Too Good to be True by Josh Epperson

Too Good to be True

Josh Epperson

On opening morning I found myself in the pop-up blind around 4:30 a.m. I wanted to be there early because I’d gotten several pictures on my trail camera of a beautiful 350 inch six-point bull several mornings in a row and I didn’t want to mess it up. As I got within about a quarter-mile of the waterhole I started to hear bulls bugling. They were very close to my blind and I knew getting to it in the darkness of early morning without my flashlight was going to be tough.

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The Good Luck Charm by Adam Moleski

The Good Luck Charm

Adam Moleski

The spring of 2012 was late. The mountains were still packed with snow and even our local ski hill was able to stay open for an extra two weeks. The grizzly tag in my pocket was not getting a solid effort at getting cut due to the late spring and conflicting schedule with my regular hunting partner, Rod Aspden, who had also drawn a grizzly tag in the same unit. My brother, Jeff, also drew the same tag, however, his professional lacrosse schedule was getting in the way as it usually does and he would not be able to make it out until the late season.

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I Can Do This by Juli Cooper

I Can Do This

Juli Cooper

My heart felt like a trapped frog leaping inside my chest. The frog couldn’t see for itself, but it was trying to escape through my throat to get a view of the first bull elk that I had ever lined up in my sights. I stood frozen at full-draw on this "rag” bull, and tried to remember every piece of advice I had received for this moment. "Don’t focus on focusing, just breathe evenly, stay as still as you can, and let go of your arrow with a clean, straight shot.” I can do this. 

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Burning Boot Leather by Lucas Zemlicka

Burning Boot Leather

Lucas Zemlicka

As I sat at camp and washed the dried elk blood from my hands, and changed out of my sweaty, blood-stained clothes, I couldn’t help but think of how great it would be to kill two bulls in one day. The hunting had been extremely slow over the last five days, but that morning my buddy, Kiley, was able to kill a nice six-point and we had just got back to camp with the last load of meat. It was 2:00 in the afternoon and I was beat. The long days of hunting combined with short nights of sleep were taking their toll on me.

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Sweet 16 by Jaden Russell

Sweet 16

Jaden Russell

It was about 5:00 a.m. and I was not going to waste any time getting into position on opening day of the Utah archery season. The cool, crisp August air was a little chilly as my dad and I rode our four-wheelers up the trail. Before long, we found ourselves on top of a familiar ridge. As the sun began to rise, we quickly nestled into the rock ledges and began glassing the area. In the perfect position, we soon noticed small movements below our location.

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Pair of Aces by Cougar and Peter Sanchez

Pair of Aces

Cougar and Peter Sanchez

We have taken our kids hunting since they were babies. First in the backpack flying my falcons at grouse, shooting pheasants and later tagging along for turkeys and deer. But, I think their real learning came from stalking small birds and rabbits with their longbows and BB guns. My oldest son, Cougar, killed his first deer, a nice 145- inch mulie buck, after a two-hour stalk and a forty-yard shot with his bow. He was 12 then and has since arrowed five other deer…all on the ground, spot and stalk.

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Teamwork by Steve Schulz


Steve Schulz

The hollow, gut-wrenching feeling of disappointment and disbelief had overcome me. After a year of planning and preparation, and putting the finishing touches on organization, this year’s archery elk hunt had spun rapidly downward. There was a fire in the area I generally bow hunt elk.

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