Utah, 2009, Guided
I guess one could say that hunting is my passion. Before I was old enough to hunt, I tagged along with my neighbor on dove hunts and other similar hunts. When I was 13, I took my first deer in Potter County, Pennsylvania with Uncle Warren. As I was growing up, my favorite hunts were going small game hunting (pheasants, rabbits and grouse) with my cousin, Mark, on Uncle Calvin’s farm. Those were the days; I remember filling my quota in no time at all! I really became serious about hunting when I was 24, and started applying for big game tags. My first out-of-state hunt was in 1976, when I got my Quebec caribou.
I love to hunt elk, and in 2001 I drew a late season Arizona elk tag. I ended up harvesting an elk scoring 331. Now with a good bull under my belt, when I drew an elk tag for Utah, my goal was 360. After 14 years of applying, I was lucky enough to draw an elk tag for a great unit.
Once I drew a tag, the next thing was finding the right outfitter for the job. I made several calls and ultimately decided to go with Guy Mills and Gooch’s Guide Service. Guy told me that my guide was going to be Josh Osborn, and through a few phone calls, we got to know each other. Josh told me that being in good shape could mean the difference between killing a good bull or an awesome bull, so I trained hard in everything from biking to backpacking to stairclimbing.
When I arrived in Utah and met up with Josh, I checked my rifle, took my belongings to the lodge, and spent the remaining hours scouting. After sitting for a short time, I spotted some elk coming out of the timber in the distance, including a gorgeous 340-360 bull. Upon return to the lodge, we discussed our plan, eventually deciding to return to the spot where we had been the previous evening.
On opening day, we got a glimpse of him and heard him bugling in the distance. After a quick decision to pass, he returned to the timber. That was the extent of opening morning. It was very warm that day – 85 to 95 degrees – so we backed off until evening, but that hunt was uneventful.
For a full account of Karl's adventure, go to page 48 in the June/July 2010 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.