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Oct/Nov 2009 Issue of EHJ

Running the Gauntlet by Jason Burns

Running the Gauntlet

Jason Burns

Growing up in Michigan, I’ve been chasing whitetails since I was quite young. The number of whitetail deer hunters in my home state is very high and the number of trophy deer is not. There are many reasons to hunt, and I’m not saying trophy hunting should be everyone’s priority, but I can tell you it sure beats the “if it’s brown, it’s down” mentality.

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The Dawn of a New Day by Robert Millage

The Dawn of a New Day

Robert Millage

I was bumping along on what locals might call a “native surface” road in the high country of northcentral Idaho. After years of waiting, and one afternoon sitting by the computer for on-line conformation that the courts hadn’t suspended Idaho’s first wolf hunt, I was looking for wolves.

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Swords Among Blades of Grass by Trevor Carruthers

Swords Among Blades of Grass

Trevor Carruthers

Heavy dark beams swept over his back as he lay with his harem on the prairie grass. The spotting scope whipped in the wind, my eyes filling with tears as I strained to study the herd bull at 45-power magnification through a thick mirage of early morning heat waves.

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High Desert Hiatus by Ron Bozarth

High Desert Hiatus

Ron Bozarth

Opening morning of the 2008 eastern Oregon mule deer season wasn’t your typical day. Rain had been falling since daybreak, and only our raingear had kept my son Chris and I from having a miserable morning. We had been watching several does about 200 yards below, but so far we hadn’t seen any bucks. It was early yet, though, and the rain was starting to ease up.

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Unforgettable Antelope by Jared Mason

Unforgettable Antelope

Jared Mason

As I eagerly await this year’s antelope season, I can’t help but think back on the past few seasons of hunting prairie speedsters. For me, trophy antelope hunting has become my obsession. I know others are addicted to big deer and elk, but for me it’s all about antelope. When my new Eastmans’ magazine arrives, I enthusiastically check for a big, beautiful antelope on the cover, and then flip through the pages to read the antelope hunting stories first.

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Two Smokepoles, Two Days, and Two Smoker Bucks by Fred Borges

Two Smokepoles, Two Days, and Two Smoker Bucks

Fred Borges

Mule deer hunting in the high desert country of Idaho is something I look forward to every year. The rimrock and sage that make up this country hold a lot of memories of past hunts with family and friends. I’ve been lucky enough to draw a couple of rifle tags here and take a few nice bucks over the years. My wife had a muzzleloader tag in 2006, and took her first buck ever, a big non-typical, on the second to last day of the hunt.

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Eight Days by Reese Hand

Eight Days

Reese Hand

It was 4:30 p.m. on the second to last day of my hunt. With just over an hour of shooting light left on our eighth day of hunting, we spotted two nice bulls a good two miles away. That’s a lot of ground to close.

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Pondering the Big Questions by Kevin Johnson

Pondering the Big Questions

Kevin Johnson

Who would ever guess that returning to work after hunting could be fun? Four days after a successful muzzleloader hunt, I was all too eager to show hunt photos to my coworkers. Most shared my enthusiasm, but one passing coworker asked, “How can you be so excited and happy about having killed a beautiful animal?”

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Muzzleloader Dreams and Elk Serenades by Jared Hadlock

Muzzleloader Dreams and Elk Serenades

Jared Hadlock

At first light on the first morning of my hunt, I was right where I wanted to be. Set up on a high ridge where I could shoot across a steep, narrow canyon with my muzzleloader, I was also between two small canyons of bugling bulls.

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Knee-Deep Snow and Big Bucks by Jared Bloomgren

Knee-Deep Snow and Big Bucks

Jared Bloomgren

On December 19, I set out with my smokepole in search of a mature mule deer buck in South Dakota. The week prior I had spotted some nice bucks the day before season, but as luck would have it, the opener was nasty with gusting winds, blowing snow, and temperatures well below zero. I was able to find a buck that I had a chance at earlier in the season and quickly began to trudge through the snow in hopes of closing the distance.

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