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Dec 2011/Jan 2012 Issue of EHJ

The Art of Patience and Persistence by Bob Schnee

The Art of Patience and Persistence

Bob Schnee

December/January 2012 EHJ (Issue 128) - Dawn…its amber edge and pink puffy clouds, advanced on the eastern horizon. Bob Schnee and I slipped quietly down an old abandoned jeep trail that led to a hidden arroyo. The cries of a solitary coyote cut the brisk morning breeze and subtle dry grass aroma of the high prairie. Providing light for our approach, the harvest moon faded into a dark sky over the snow capped Spanish Peaks to the west. Hopefully, a big mule deer buck was still here.

The river bottoms south and west of us held good concentrations of deer. Mature bucks were joining herds of does in the alfalfa fields. Finding the great buck we were seeking would be a challenge, as he might be in the river bottom country on neighboring lands.

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Hiking for Success by Michael Bost

Hiking for Success

Michael Bost

Ahhhhh, May 8th. The day where everyone waits anxiously to log on to the Game and Fish website to check their draw results. I started work early and had to call my mom so she could check my results. While day dreaming about a sheep tag, the tag I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember, my phone rang – it was my mom.

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A Non-typical of Record Proportions by Levi Dawes

A Non-typical of Record Proportions

Levi Dawes

The buck stood perfectly still, only thirty yards away, staring directly at me. He watched my every move as the snow slowly fell between the two of us. The doe that accompanied him slowly meandered through the small trees toward the creek. The crosshairs bounced along the buck’s vitals – there were four days of hunting season left. My finger gently squeezed the trigger, but I stopped.

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No Risk, No Reward by Brian Smith

No Risk, No Reward

Brian Smith

It was Christmas day, day seven of the hunt, and I was hunting alone in high altitude. The temperature at my truck, which was now far below me, was 19 degrees. With a steady 20 mph, bone-chilling wind, I started to question my own sanity. I was fighting a serious sinus infection that even the strongest antibiotics couldn’t even knockout. The ‘what if ’s’ were clouding my mind and I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I were to slip and re-injure the ankle that was shattered on a previous fishing trip.

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The Barefoot Buck by Tracy Bennett

The Barefoot Buck

Tracy Bennett

Waiting for draw results is just as painful as waiting for opening day of hunting season. When the results came out, I hurried home like many other hunters do, to see what my fall was going to look like. I was preparing myself to be let down, but when I seen that I had drawn the mule deer tag I was after, I was honestly shocked.

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A Little Father-Son Rivalry by Joe Olson

A Little Father-Son Rivalry

Joe Olson

I started my hunting career 10 years ago and what better place to start than central Wyoming chasing antelope. I remember the preparation for that first hunt out West like it was yesterday, my dad had me shooting countless rounds of target practice preparing me for my first shot at a big game animal. When that moment of truth finally arrived and I had that buck in my sights, I acted like any excited kid would – so excited that the first shot went sailing high! Needless to say I calmed down after three more shots hit the dirt and finally connected with my first antelope. This hunt ended with my dad, brother and I all shooting nice antelope.

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Long Time Coming by Curtis Tobias

Long Time Coming

Curtis Tobias

The year was 1966, I was nine years old, and my father brought home a 6x6 elk mount from the local Elks Lodge. They were doing some renovations and needed somewhere to store the elk mount for the time being and I was awestruck the incredible animal. I would stare at it for hours and dream that someday I would hunt and take on one of these magnificent beasts.

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Lost and Found by Duane Purcell

Lost and Found

Duane Purcell

After waiting nine years, it finally happened. I drew the high country deer tag I’d been waiting for. I will admit, I’m more of an elk hunter, but after a third season deer hunt with my father and brother in-law last year, I wanted to get a big mulie on the wall. During that hunt, they both were able to take 24” bucks and I thought they were huge and couldn’t wait for my chance.

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Burning Points by Richard Nicolas

Burning Points

Richard Nicolas

When’s the right time to spend your preference points? It was always one of the discussions we had every year at hunting camp. How many points do you have? How many points to pull this unit? Sound familiar? Well, last year when the topic came up, I said, "I want to hunt.” By the end of the conversation, we agreed on a five-year game plan. With myself having the most preference points, I was first up and one of my hunting partners would follow each year thereafter.

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One Last Gasp by Chuck Tholl

One Last Gasp

Chuck Tholl

The ice on the window and the howl of the wind let me know it was still snowing. Day five of my bighorn sheep hunt looked like it would be a repeat of day 4 - snowy, cold, and miserable. I didn’t know how many more days my lungs could at 11,000 feet. My lungs were really burning and I knew my chances were dwindling along with the possibility of fulfilling a lifelong dream.

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Hardcore Field Test

Minox BL 10x44 by Brandon Mason

Minox BL 10x44

One of the challenges that the Western hunter faces when dealing with equipment is to find the right pieces of the puzzle without breaking the bank. Many hunters, like myself, are very price conscious, but won’t sacrifice quality - herein lies the challenge. Speaking from a personal standpoint, the family budget is almost always tight – especially with a lovely wife who is a stay-at-home mom, and four young children that think they need to eat every day (the audacity!). To put it bluntly, a $2,000 pair of optics will probably never be in my budget, only in my dreams.

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