Gary Chicoine & Ted Geohagan
Arizona, 2008, DIY, Public Land
"Holy #%*," I told my sons-in-law as we looked at the photos from my trail cam. "That bull is GINORMOUS! That has to be the biggest bull I have ever seen." Brock and Dave agreed as we kept flipping through the still pictures from my trail camera. Every picture just made him look even bigger.
It was early July and stifling hot in Arizona. I had convinced Brock and Dave that we needed to get out of the heat and head to the mountains, or 'to the rim' as we say here, to check on my stands and to see what photos we had captured.
When we downloaded the card from the camera on my third stand and started viewing pictures, we were astounded, or better yet, dumbfounded. There was the most magnificent bull I had ever seen, hanging out right under my stand. He was a heavy 7x8, just shy of being an 8x8. He had long upward-curving eyeguards that looked as if they could cradle a 30- gallon drum. The beams were long and thick, sporting long tines, and he was just massive; that's all there was to it! We guessed him to be over 400 and quickly named him "The Toad!" The incredible thing was that he still had another month of growing to do. All three of us lamented that none of us had a bull tag for that unit!
After we got home, and perhaps without thinking about the ramifications, I sent some pictures to some buddies via email. As you can guess, when you get a picture of something like that, it ends up being forwarded all over. Apparently, the pictures caught the attention of someone who really wanted to hunt this bull. I was contacted and told that if I showed this person and his guides the area where the bull was hanging out, and he harvested it, there would be a very hefty finder's fee involved.
For a full account of Gary and Ted's adventure, go to page 46 in the June/July 2009 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.