December/January 2013 EHJ (Issue 134) - As far back as I can remember I can hear those words from my father…"Get up, let’s go. Those deer aren’t going to be moving all day.” My fondest memories from my childhood up through high school were, no, not the girls I dated or the sports I played. It was hunting deer! There wasn’t anything I liked more than hunting. I’m 39 now with a beautiful wife and four kids, three of whom are boys. Still, to this very day, hunting is my passion and I love taking my sons whenever I can.
I owe my deep love for hunting and the outdoors to my dad. He grew up hunting with his family and he definitely passed on those burning desires of hunting to each of his six sons. We’ve been on countless deer hunts, duck hunts, fishing trips and camping trips together as a family. These trips are some of my most wonderful memories. We have hours and hours of video taken in the field to pass on to our children and grandchildren.
This year, my dad, with seven elk points, put in for a limited-entry permit on one of northern Utah’s CWMUs. As luck would have it, he drew the tag. Luck is an understatement in my book. I don’t care what anyone says, he was plain lucky to draw this permit with only seven points. For me, I had never hunted elk before, but always wanted to. My dad is 67, so the chances of him drawing a tag like this one again while still real healthy are not very good, considering you have to wait seven years to put back in for the draw and then wait for your points to build up. So, knowing that this might be the only time I will ever be able to hunt elk with my dad, I made arrangements to secure the CWMU operator’s permit so I could hunt with him.
August found us in "full on” elk scouting mode. We enlisted help from my brothers, friends, family and anyone with knowledge of elk hunting. My sons, brothers, dad and anyone we could stuff in a truck started a relentless search of the entire 30,000-acre ranch looking for bulls. Occasionally we spotted a few here and there and soon started to learn their patterns of behavior. After many days of scouting, we had narrowed down the areas we thought the bulls were living in. We saw some that would score in the 360s and some a lot smaller, but there seemed to be a lot of them and our chances looked pretty good.
On the last day of August we headed for camp. I think I prayed to myself at least 10 times on the ride to camp that we would see a couple bulls and fill our tags. I was so excited to be hunting elk with my dad. He was so excited when we pulled into camp. I think he packed everything he owned for this trip. Like a kid in a candy store, he rummaged through his bags pulling out clothes, boots, bullets etc. All, I might add, had new tags on them.
We had enlisted the help of our close friend, Jim Sigg, with South Creek Outfitters. He is widely known for successful elk hunts and his wife, Linda, is probably the best camp cook in the western USA. We also had my brother, Tom, my son, Nate and two of our close friends, Blaine Bambrough and Paul Gillespie.
For a full account of Marc and Gary's adventure, go to page 46 in the December/January 2013 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.