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Jan/Feb 2013 Issue of EBJ

Back for a Bull by Tim Neal

Back for a Bull

Tim Neal

January/February 2013 EBJ (Issue 75) - Two flat trailer tires had my friend Darin Warke and I running late as we approached our pre-arranged camping spot, but to our surprise, our friend Todd George was waiting for us. Todd had been guiding a client and wasn’t supposed to be there for another couple of days. His client had filled early and he had a few more days before he had to be back at his "real job” as a captain in the Flagstaff Fire Department. Todd had guided in our area numerous times. Being lucky enough to have a friend with his experience was a huge advantage for me. Camp was set and we headed out for the last couple of hours of light.

I had drawn an archery deer tag in this unit a few years back. Todd had helped me on that hunt also. Although I didn’t harvest a deer that year, I did learn a little about the unit. There were two prominent glassing positions that allowed a good view of the mountain. The problem was we would be looking two to three miles into the wilderness where the elk lived. The three of us scrambled up the hill on the wilderness boundary and immediately started seeing elk. My hope was to find a bull that would score over 370 inches. We were seeing some good bulls, but they appeared to be just a tad too small.

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Drop-Tine Dandy by Ryan Reed

Drop-Tine Dandy

Ryan Reed

As most Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal readers probably know, Washington State is not a mecca for mule deer trophies. But, being a three-point or better state, there are a few. I wouldn’t consider myself a trophy hunter. I am, however, a guy that will scout out two or three better-than-average deer and pass up numerous smaller deer until I get the one I want. I have burned a few tags and gotten some flack from my buddies who tell me they haven’t found a good way to cook antlers. But for me, I’d rather go without harvesting a deer than kill a small one just to notch my tag.

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Making Memories by Jason Stafford

Making Memories

Jason Stafford

A low growl erupted from the dense underbrush mere yards away. I looked at my friend, Blake Stinson, and saw that his eyes were as big as saucers. He nervously whispered, "You called in a grizzly bear.” I smiled and looked back at my dad who was running the video camera to make sure he was capturing all the action. After all, I had my dad to thank for being addicted to moose hunting. I remember vividly the year Dad drew his once-in-alifetime moose permit in our home state of North Dakota. Dad put his one moose permit to good use and tagged a giant bull that still stands as the second largest moose harvested in North Dakota.

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Young and Determined by Brenon Coleman

Young and Determined

Brenon Coleman

The 2012 hunting season for Brenon can be looked at in several ways. Everyone who hears the story of his experience says the same thing; "Oh, what a lucky kid! He’s ruined for life!” I guess from their perspective there might be some truth to that sentiment. Personally, I choose to see it from a different light. I believe his passion and drive to appreciate, study, hunt and live the outdoors will now reach a level I’ll only dream of. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience to teach my son this important principle.

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Opening Morning Roosevelt by Nathan Jones

Opening Morning Roosevelt

Nathan Jones

"Don’t you think I’m a little old for birthday parties?" I asked my wife. Her look was an answer in itself. I knew what she was thinking, but she was just too sweet to say it. Last year I missed our two-year wedding anniversary because of a hot and dusty mule deer hunting trip in Nevada. A few months later, I missed Thanksgiving in the name of late season whitetail hunting in eastern Washington, not to mention that we had not taken a vacation together since our honeymoon in 2008. So, I guessed I could swing a birthday barbeque in my honor.

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Crunch Time

Heath Peterson

My dad Todd Petersen, and I sat near a clearing in a small canyon at the bottom point where several ridges met. We were getting some bugle responses even in the early afternoon. At about 6 p.m. we decided to walk up around a corner to get closer to where a bull had been bugling and chuckling back at us. As we were settling under a tree, I noticed a thick and heavy 5x6 rack coming up over the ridge towards us. The bull was walking and feeding at a fast pace so I dropped to my knees to get ready for a shot.

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Cruising for a Bruiser by Bryce Purtzer

Cruising for a Bruiser

Bryce Purtzer

Like many Oregon archery elk hunters I had been holding out for a tag in the coveted Wenaha unit. That changed in 2010 when my friend Ryan Justus returned from a hunt in the Walla Walla unit that borders Wenaha on the west. The Walla Walla unit is only 33% public land and the Umatilla National Forest portion has around 60 miles of OHV trails, many of which are moderate to difficult single-track motorcycle trails.

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Desert Rhino by Wade Cavender

Desert Rhino

Wade Cavender

Pursuing different big game animals has become a real passion for me, but over the years I have gained a new appreciation for hunting pronghorn antelope throughout the open plains of Wyoming. Many of us are aware that antelope permits on public land and permission on private ground can be difficult to come by, but even during those unsuccessful years, I have always enjoyed assisting other hunters so I could participate in these annual trips. It was during one of these outings in 2011 that I realized we had found an area that showed promise and held animals that could reach their genetic potential to become trophy pronghorn.

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Home-Field Advantage

Charlie Peterson

Finally, it happened. We found out who had drawn tags. My dad, brother and I had all drawn out. The search for the perfect buck began. I was driving only a few miles from home during midsummer when I spotted some bucks in a hayfield off the side of the road. I turned to my girlfriend and said, "Now that’s a big buck!” We raced home and got my dad and my binos to go back for a better look. After glassing for a few minutes, we found one nice three-point and one huge four-point. After that, the real searching began.

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A Morning to Remember by Jon Howell

A Morning to Remember

Jon Howell

I realized I had a dilemma. I was looking in awe at the biggest blacktail buck I had ever laid eyes on. Through my binoculars I estimated him to be 26 inches wide, with the biggest, most symmetrical forks I had ever seen and eye guards that were at least four inches. I was scouting a friend’s newly acquired property which I had permission to archery hunt. This property was in an over-the-counter general area I had a tag for but I had also drawn a limited-entry archery X-zone tag in a different unit.

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