One Last Gasp

By Chuck Tholl
Wyoming, 2010, Guided, Public Land

Chuck Tholl - One Last GaspDecember/January 2012 EHJ (Issue 128) - 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.

I prayed every year for a sheep tag, but for the past four years, I was almost hoping I didn’t draw it. My youngest son, Chad, was in the Marines Corps and serving our country in Iraq. Surprisingly enough, I got two wishes - a sheep tag and our son home safe from Iraq. By the time hunting season rolled around, Chad had been discharged. As a guy might know, Chad couldn’t get time off from work to hunt with me in October, so against my better judgment, he quit his job. He said, "Dad, we may not ever get this chance again.”

I have had Asthma since childhood and to complicate matters more, over those years of waiting, I was diagnosed with a chronic lung dysfunction and that was going to make my hunt a bit harder. I was only going to be able to spend a few hours at the higher elevation before needing to come back down. Chad, my other sons, Chris and Cory, and I, hunted weekends for a solid month without seeing a ram.

When October rolled around, I hired outfitter, Fritz Meyer, along with his guides, Cody Brown and Jarod White. They knew what they were faced with when they agreed to take me, but they didn’t seem to mind. The hunt was going to be very difficult because I was not going to be able to stay on the mountain. On the first day of my hunt, Cody spotted a huge ram that took almost all day to get to. Finally in position, I took the shot and shot right over his back - I was just sick. We hunted hard the next few days and did see some other rams, but nothing worth shooting.

Chuck Tholl - One Last Gasp

For a full account of Chuck's adventure, go to page 42 in the December/January 2012 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.