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Mar/Apr 2013 Issue of EBJ

Lightning Strikes Twice by Howard Hooper

Lightning Strikes Twice

Howard Hooper

March/April 2013 EBJ (Issue 76) - As the massive 6x7 bull walked over the ridge I silently sat down to give him time. This provided a couple of hours to reflect in the cool, New Mexico morning air as the sun worked its way up the eastern ridges. Had my years of faithfully applying for elk hunts in the Western states, the thousands of hours of exercising to challenge their mountain domain, the hundreds of shooting sessions to perfect my form, finally culminated in the bull of a lifetime? I was hopeful, but not certain.

How well did I hit him? How much time should I give him before I begin the tracking process – an hour? Two hours? I can hear the bulls from the split herd continue their morning chorus of bugles, trying to reassemble the herd - Satellite One, Satellite Two, and numerous others calling to each other.

Then I hear the monarch, just over the ridge. My anxiety level rises. He has lung capacity! Oh, NO! Did I really just botch this opportunity? Do I dare go look for my arrow yet, or do I just sit and enjoy the mountain melodies of these beautiful creatures? I must have patience…

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Misjudging the Right Way by Nick Brummett

Misjudging the Right Way

Nick Brummett

Playing the lottery, you look at the jackpot and think, what if; then you look at the odds and think, I wish. When they draw those numbers, deep down, that hope comes back and you really feel like you have a chance to win. Normally, this hope turns to disappointment. The same could be said for controlled tags. Most of you know what it feels like when your draw results finally show up in the mail or finally become available online.

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Be Careful What You Wish For by Nathan Coleman

Be Careful What You Wish For

Nathan Coleman

It began with a single golden aspen leaf. My Dad gave it to me on his return from a Colorado mule deer hunt when I was nine years old. I was fascinated by that leaf and by his stories of how they quiver and shake at the slightest breeze, making the trees look like they’re alive. I was held captive by his tales of the cold, crisp, thin air, the lonesome sound of a bull elk bugle, and by his description of the rugged and magnificent landscape. I was hooked. 

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Exhaustion + Dehydration = Success by Dan Dye

Exhaustion + Dehydration = Success

Dan Dye

YES! He’s still there, I thought to myself. I had just ranged the boulder the two bucks were bedded behind at 40 yards. I had been trying to keep calm by telling myself that the bucks were still there, but the pessimistic side of me kept saying they had snuck out. I couldn’t believe that they were still there, going about their day, with no idea this predator was so close. 

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Don't Judge A Bull By His Bugle by Adam Haarberg

Don't Judge A Bull By His Bugle

Adam Haarberg

We broke through the thick wall of brush and slid down the steep northfacing slope to get on his level. Calling a bull uphill to you usually doesn’t pan out; besides, the wind was falling. Old logging practices had created decent visibility – a pleasant surprise. I always picture what a bull looks like based on his voice, and unfortunately, more times than not, I never get the chance to confirm or deny the accuracy of my imagination.

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Rural Education by Jordan Seitz

Rural Education

Jordan Seitz

Whoever coined the phrase, "Third time’s the charm,” never spot andstalked public land pronghorn with a bow! My first year hunting speedgoats was 2011, and they very quickly humbled me as an archer. Luck, more than skill, led to my arrow connecting with a buck that fall. By the time the 2012 season rolled around, I’d become a savvier stalker, and my success ratio for closing the distance on any animal had greatly improved.

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Soaking It All Up by Corey Paulsen

Soaking It All Up

Corey Paulsen

In my experience, most opening day elk hunts never go as planned. But, opening day for my Washington State Quality Archery elk tag in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State was better than I could have planned. I was very happy to have my dad, Steve Paulsen, and Uncle, Al Gadd, along for the hunt. I took them on a four-hour journey on mountain bikes up logging roads to an area where I had located four great bulls the weekend before.

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Arctic Roller Coaster by Rose Timms

Arctic Roller Coaster

Rose Timms

After I returned home from a hunt in 2011, my wife Rose began asking me what I thought about her learning how to shoot a bow and the possibility of going hunting with me. She saw me going on these adventures and felt like she was missing out and wanted to share in my experiences. I was excited at the idea, so we got her set up with a bow and she practiced and practiced. I thought the best hunt to take her on would be for caribou on the Haul Road in northern Alaska, which required her to pass a bowhunter certification course.

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Wallowing In Elk by Ryan Parker

Wallowing In Elk

Ryan Parker

As the lead cow made her way down into the wallow my eyes did a double take. While I essentially had to keep my eyes shut and watch her every move through my eyelashes, I knew in my heart of hearts that a big bull would be trailing shortly behind. The fact that I was on a solo hunt and was experiencing this in the serenity and peace of my Maker’s creation without anybody to share the event with made this an unforgettable hunt that will be etched into my mind and memory for the eternities.

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Yesterday is Gone by Jason Peak

Yesterday is Gone

Jason Peak

In 1972, California Governor Ronald Reagan signed a bill banning all mountain lion hunting in the state, and that ban has been extended over and over again by California’s Legislature. In February, 2012, the president of California’s Fish and Game Commission got into some hot water because he lawfully hunted and tagged a mountain lion in Idaho. That hunt ultimately lead to his resignation as political pressures mounted.

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