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Aug/Sep 2011 Issue of EHJ

All In by Rayne Rohrbach

All In

Rayne Rohrbach

August/September 2011 EHJ (Issue 126) - The odds were stacked against us. The country looked desolate and uninhabited. In fact, during a quick pre-scouting trip to the area, my mom said, "This is where you’re hunting? I don’t think there’s any deer here…but if there is one, you guys will find it.” Little did we know that those words would come back to haunt us and lead us to the thrill of a lifetime.

The archery and muzzleloader deer seasons had come and gone, and it was down to the Utah rifle hunt, all or nothing. My dad and I had been hunting southern Utah for about five years, and we had come to know the rollercoaster of excitement and heartache that comes with hunting in such barren and dusty land. Although we knew there were plenty of places to find a deer, we were always dreaming of finding that once-in-a-lifetime buck. That dream is what brought us, year after year, to some of the most deserted and isolated country the state has to offer.

We went days and years without getting a shot at one of those dreamy giants. Dad and I were relentless, though, and it was hard to get us discouraged.

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Riverboat Gambler by Josh Riley

Riverboat Gambler

Josh Riley

A loud "crack” echoed through the canyon as four rams smacked heads to gain rights to one hot ewe. One ram in particular was obviously dominant and wasn’t about to let the others near her. I was just 220 yards straight downhill and loving all the action. The only rest I could find was my spotting scope, so I raised the tripod to a comfortable position and waited for a clear shot…

I never dreamed I would be writing a hunting story with bighorn sheep as the main character, but it all became possible on June 20 when I called Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to see if I had drawn anything. Amazed at the answer, I actually called again to make sure I had given the correct ID number. Thankfully, I got the same response. I couldn’t believe it and neither could every hunting buddy I could think to call.

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Natural Selection by Colton Bagnoli

Natural Selection

Colton Bagnoli

My newlywed bride and I had just relaxed into our honeymoon suite when I received a text message stating, "The draw results are out.” Being the understanding woman she is, she allowed me to make "one” phone call. After nine years of waiting, I finally got the news I had been waiting for! I had been drawn for an Arizona archery bull elk tag! 

"One more call, please!” I had to call my buddy, Rusty Ulmer, who was on the application with me to tell him the good news. Not only did I draw the tag of a lifetime, I was going to be hunting the monster bulls of northern Arizona with one of the most accomplished archery hunters today, who was on a hot streak of tipping over giant bulls.

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Alpine Blessings by Lewie Foltz

Alpine Blessings

Lewie Foltz

After explaining to Doug that it was bittersweet to end my hunt on the first day of the 2010 Colorado muzzleloader season, he quickly reminded me that in reality, my hunt started long ago. He was absolutely right! In my six hunting seasons since moving to Colorado, a mule deer tag was something I carried in my pack just in case one ran in front of me while elk hunting. However, after last year’s archery elk season had ended with another filled bull tag, I began dreaming of a new challenge - an early season, high country mule deer hunt. 

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Staring Down Medusa by Chris Papineau

Staring Down Medusa

Chris Papineau

As I sat there hunkered in the middle of a sagebrush flat in the wind and rain, I could hardly wait for the chance to take my first antelope. I was anchored on my shooting sticks; all he had to do was stand up out of his bed and I would have the chance I had been waiting for. 

I had wanted to go antelope hunting for the past several years, but being from north Idaho and applying for moose tags, I didn’t have many chances in my home state. I knew my best chance was probably in Wyoming, but until my brother-in-law, Matt Hammer, called me in the spring of 2010, I had nobody to go with.

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Worth the Effort... and the Wait by Derek Pouchnik

Worth the Effort... and the Wait

Derek Pouchnik

Long ago, I begrudgingly accepted the fact that I’m one of those guys in Idaho who simply doesn’t draw a deer tag. Statistically speaking, I should have drawn this tag a couple of times over already, but yet again I came up empty-handed. But as luck would have it, the great state of Idaho has a "second chance” drawing for those leftover tags not picked up after the first drawing. Being a glutton for punishment, I put in, expecting to get two rejections for 2010. After all, if I couldn’t draw it with "good odds”, what were my chances with horrific odds on the second go-around? Well, you guessed it – I drew the tag. 

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The End of an Era by Marc Hamlen

The End of an Era

Marc Hamlen

After around 18 years of applying, I was fortunate enough to draw a coveted late-season antlered elk tag for the Gardiner area north of Yellowstone. This area has been famous for wintering thousands of elk that migrate from Yellowstone and the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness. The rare chance to hunt this famous herd with a late-season tag, which is only a four-day season, had me excited beyond words. 

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Mooseingitis by Bill McEwen


Bill McEwen

In June 2010, my family and I were sitting at the dinner table with some great friends in Bellevue, Idaho. We were discussing our plans for the fall hunting season when my friend, Bruce Weber, became frustrated with the fact that once again all of my plans revolved around moose hunting. Bruce said, "Something is wrong with you. I think you have mooseingitis.” 

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As Seen On TV! by Sean Harrison

As Seen On TV!

Sean Harrison

To be honest, I’ve never really thought that much about hunting black bears. I was always one of those guys who would buy a bear tag every couple of years before I headed out on my deer and elk hunting trip just in case I "ran into one”. That’s before it seemed like everyone I knew was bear baiting and every show on outdoor TV was bear hunting. With gas prices so high and bear country so far from town, bear baiting wasn’t really an option for me.

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Taking It All In by Dylan Garretson

Taking It All In

Dylan Garretson

This day started out like any other day of hunting with my uncle - out of the truck and walking well before daylight. Our plan was to walk our way to the top of the ridge and wait for the light to come up to start glassing.

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First Trip Into the High Country by Devon Willadsen

First Trip Into the High Country

Devon Willadsen

After spending $600 on hunting gear, my friend Justin wasn’t even close to having everything he was going to need for his first hunting trip ever. I loaned him my rifle and some raingear that we knew we would need after watching the weather for the last week. With everything I could think we would need, we loaded the packs and felt ready. We had no idea what was in store for us. 

On a previous trip into this area, a buddy and I had seen very little wildlife activity because of all the hiking pressure. On that trip, when we signed into the trailhead there were already 60-plus hikers in the area. However, it looked promising and I wanted to try it again when the weather wasn’t so nice. 

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Hardcore Field Test

S4 Gear Lockdown by Adam Bender

S4 Gear Lockdown

When the first binocular harnesses hit the market, I rushed out and bought one. Finally, gone were the days of those uncomfortable, cheap factory straps that never felt like they were quite right for hunting. After just a few months, it seemed as though everyone had or wanted one.

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