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Jun/Jul 2011 Issue of EHJ

To Shoot or not to Shoot by Matt Clissold

To Shoot or not to Shoot

Matt Clissold

June/July 2011 EHJ (Issue 125) - "Shoot’ or ‘No’ is all I want to hear.” This was my last request to my friend, Tony, as we stopped below the crest of the ridge, waiting to catch our breath and watching our friend Orion slowly vanish. The sky to the east was glowing orange over the ragged black outline of the mountain - opening day was here at last. I had been looking forward to this day for 15 years, patiently building bonus points and doing research. The term “once in a lifetime” is used a lot, but when I see the gray around my muzzle and add 15 years to a five-year waiting period, I realized that I might be well into my 70s before I got another chance like this. This is why I gave the “shoot” or “no” instruction - my biggest fear was shooting an average bull in an area with trophy bulls. When I got that magic letter telling me I had drawn a coveted Utah elk tag, I began to accumulate photos of trophy elk from magazines and calendars. Every elk is different and I analyzed them over and over to see what qualities I wanted in a trophy, as well as to be able to instantly recognize - in the heat of the moment - that the elk in my scope was a “shoot” or a “no.”

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A Trail Well Taken by Robert Roman

A Trail Well Taken

Robert Roman

Dawn was still three hours away when I rose to greet the morning. It was an early morning filled with darkness and sleepy boys being roused from their warm beds and shuttled into a cold bedroom where chilly pants awaited their reluctant legs. Soon, sleepy minds awoke as the meaning of the unusual event asserted itself. There was anticipation in that crisp morning air - an elk hunt. 

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Do Shoot The First 6x6 You See by Dave Hamling

Do Shoot The First 6x6 You See

Dave Hamling

 "Don’t shoot the first 6x6 you see!” This is the standard recommendation from the experts when you are about to venture into one of Colorado’s premier elk hunts.

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400 Inches of Heart-Pounding Adrenaline by Travis Mann

400 Inches of Heart-Pounding Adrenaline

Travis Mann

I’m what you might consider a lucky man. I live in one of the most beautiful areas in the country with wildlife right out my door. I have a wife who is my hunting partner and loves the outdoors and a challenge as much as I do. Growing up in Utah, hunting was a lot more difficult, with all the restrictions we are given there, and it has honestly made me appreciate the opportunities I have been given since we moved to Montana six years ago. 

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Maiden Voyage by Don Seitz

Maiden Voyage

Don Seitz

It’s funny how a whim can turn into a dream, and a dream can suddenly turn into reality. The whim? Winning a lottery-type, hunt-anywhere-you-want tag in a Western state. A group of buddies and I decided that we would compile a list of possible lottery hunts across the country and enter them all. None of us believed that we would actually win a hunt, considering the odds.  

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A Hidden Gem by Brad Boulter

A Hidden Gem

Brad Boulter

I had waited many years to draw this special mule deer tag in western Montana. There are a limited amount of tags available and after finding out I had drawn, I was ecstatic. Coincidentally, I went to work and found out that my friend, Ryan Knapp, had also drawn the same tag. It was looking like a had a hunting partner. 

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80x2 by Vince Cebuhar


Vince Cebuhar

"Vince! Hey, Vince! Wake up; it’s raining!” I glanced at the clock - 1 a.m. I managed to wiggle out of my sleeping bag, which isn’t easy to do in the front seat of a truck, and sat up straight. Still half asleep, I knew we had to hurry in order to get out before the road became impassible. It’s amazing how a little water can make a decent road a mud-flinging, late-night adventure. Finally, on safe ground, we remembered that in a mere three hours, we were supposed to be going after a big buck. It was time for plan B. 

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My Yukon Adventure by Greg Poley

My Yukon Adventure

Greg Poley

My Yukon hunt began with a trip to the Hunting Expo in Salt Lake City in 2009. I was introduced to Jarrett Deuling and Ralph Adams of Deuling Stone Outfitters. I wanted to meet my potential outfitter face to face rather than over the phone or on the Internet. 

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2010 My Year To Remember by Todd Wayment

2010 My Year To Remember

Todd Wayment

My adventure last fall started when my dad, my older and younger brothers and I each drew deer and elk tags in Wyoming. As a family that lives to hunt, we started the summer off by scouting and fishing in the beautiful mountains of Wyoming. We have always enjoyed vacationing there, so drawing buck and bull tags made it even more exciting and gave us all the more reason to go over. 

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One For Pops

Mike Demming

Almost all of us have someone that they look up to and should thank for showing them the ways of the outdoors. Missing a father in my life, my uncle stepped in to help mold me as a child and a young man. His oldest son, Troy, and I spent almost every day of our childhood together and Dave quickly became my father figure and held the title of “Pops”. 

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That Pose Just Got You Killed by Jon Vance

That Pose Just Got You Killed

Jon Vance

"That pose just got you killed.” Did I just say that out loud? Here I was wedged in a crack on a cliff face watching three rams and five ewes through my camera (attached to my spotting scope) and I started to laugh. Desert sheep hunting by yourself in a tough wilderness unit already points toward mental problems, so I guess having a conversation with myself was not that big of a deal. 

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Hardcore Field Test

Vortex Razor HD Binoculars by Adam Bender

Vortex Razor HD Binoculars

Few people would argue with the fact that your binoculars are one of the most-used pieces of equipment you own. From scanning a basin to sizing up the last few inches on that trophy, quality glass is a must. However, the gap in pricing between binoculars has become so severe that at times it’s hard to determine low-end, mid-range and high-quality optics. What used to be thought of as “expensive” is now mid-range and what used to be mid-range is now low-end.

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