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Jun/Jul 2012 Issue of EHJ

The Big Bull Drought by Shane Louder

The Big Bull Drought

Shane Louder

June/July 2012 EHJ (Issue 131) - It was early August and I was planning five western big game hunts for the 2011 season. I had three hunts in New Mexico for pronghorn, Coues’ deer and elk. I also had a Nevada mule deer hunt and a Colorado Eastern plains mule deer hunt. The good news was that I had a lot of hunts planned, but the bad news was that it would not leave as much time as I like to scout before the hunts.

The pronghorn hunt was first and I ended up killing a very nice pronghorn in northern New Mexico. A few weeks later I was off to central New Mexico for my elk hunt. I knew the unit was a good one, but this area was in the midst of one the worst droughts in history and the reports of the elk being killed in the early season were not good. The only good news I was hearing was the rut was extremely late this year and we would be hunting the peak of the rut. Work obligations only allowed me a day and half to scout before the season opened. Truthfully, as I drove to New Mexico I didn’t have high hopes of killing a big bull.

I arrived on Thursday around noon, unloaded my gear, and was off to scout. 

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The Waiting Game by Justin Ludwig

The Waiting Game

Justin Ludwig

My hunting buddy, Matt Horner, and I were sitting in the freezing rain glassing the oak brush and chokecherry covered hillsides for bears. It was the end of September and Matt had a rifle bear tag. As we scanned, we noticed some elk on the opposite ridge about 800 yards away. Like it was a dream, out stepped one of the largest bulls I had ever seen in the wild. From a distance, you could see his antlers with the naked eye. He had incredibly long points and a spread that looked like a field goal post. We watched in amazement as this old warrior of the mountain defended his cows from other would be bachelors.

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Doubling Down by Lisa Pascadlo

Doubling Down

Lisa Pascadlo

To say I have a passion for the outdoors and hunting is an understatement. I love every chance I have to escape city life and just listen to the wind. Each winter is spent over maps and hunting proclamations, the spring sending in applications, and the summer using any excuse to go scouting. But the fall? Oh my, the fall is what I really live for, because fall means elk. Elk alone make me distracted year-round, but big bugling bulls make me stupid.

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The Reason We Hunt by Stefan White

The Reason We Hunt

Stefan White

The bull lay motionless just 142 yards away. "Woo hoo,” I shouted! Time seemed to stand still and I didn’t know what to think. My dad was so overwhelmed with joy he started to get tears in his eyes. "We did it, Stefan! We did it!” He exclaimed. "Yes,” I replied, "we did it, dad. We make a great team.” As I stood there and looked at my overjoyed father and enjoyed our moment of bonding, it dawned on me that this moment almost didn’t happen. 

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A Marathon Not A Sprint by Jason Quick

A Marathon Not A Sprint

Jason Quick

It’s October 11th at 4:00 p.m. and I couldn’t believe this bull! I’d been there almost two hours and he hadn’t moved once; my legs were starting to hurt. My gun was on the shooting sticks and I was ready for him to make a move. I thought to myself, "Do I cow call? Try to get closer? Move around for a better angle? No, wait, he has to get up eventually and when he does, you have him!”

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Faith Turns to Fortune by Michael Sperry

Faith Turns to Fortune

Michael Sperry

Heading into the Nevada wilderness on horseback, I took in the breathtaking scenery surrounded by sheer cliff walls and listened to the constant clip clop of the horses’ hooves. Slowly they worked their way down the trail next to the creek as we rode through large stands of burnt pine trees. Years earlier, a huge wildfire had ripped through this drainage. I looked at the wildfire as a blessing as it opened up the landscape. Ridges that were once solid pine trees were now exposed, making it easier to find the elk that called this high mountain home.

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Date Night in Elk Country by Amy Kincheloe

Date Night in Elk Country

Amy Kincheloe

Scott called at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning and said, "You gotta get up here, there is a bull, a big bull and I don’t have a tag.” At approximately 2:06 p.m. my husband and I drove out of town toward the mountain. Our date night that we had already planned was going to start four hours early. Who can complain when date night involves elk hunting?

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Right Place, Right Time by Kevin Petersen

Right Place, Right Time

Kevin Petersen

During the pre-dawn light, the three of us were beginning to wonder if we had made the right decision leaving the comforts of the warm Suburban in order to hike the long and steep ridge to glass for elk. It was opening morning of the Utah 2011, early-season, limited-entry elk hunt, and after applying for 12 years, I finally had a tag. This was more than enough motivation for my buddy, Jason Greer and my dad John, and me to continue on our climb and endure the terrible weather conditions that Mother Nature decided to throw at us that morning.

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No More Begging for Elk Steaks by Mark Hernandez

No More Begging for Elk Steaks

Mark Hernandez

It was mid morning in the Elkhorn Mountains as Jake and I stood on a ridge looking east. Steadily and carefully we glassed the hillside below. Turning around briefly to glass uphill, there was some movement just above the tree line. Soaring gracefully, a bald eagle appeared; it moved right over us. The eagle appeared to be hunting the same hillside. It was already a perfect and beautiful day, and the eagle was just the beginning of great things to come.

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The Way it Should Be by Larry Fritz

The Way it Should Be

Larry Fritz

Elk season was the result of a series of events starting in the summer of 2002. A college internship in Denver, Colorado led me to a new friend who took me under his wing on a couple of high country scouting trips that summer. Many of his backcountry fundamentals soaked in over a three-day trip and at that point I knew this alpine country would be a place I’d frequent in future years.

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Hardcore Field Test

Primos Bullet Bugle by Ike Eastman

Primos Bullet Bugle

Spring. The time of year when we here at Eastmans’ have a chance to catch our breath from show season, get caught up on e-mails and phone calls, and start to work on new projects. One of my projects each spring is to come up with the plans for the new Primos call giveaway.

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