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Oct/Nov 2013 Issue of EHJ

Taking Mr. Cheater by Dean Dolenc

Taking Mr. Cheater

Dean Dolenc

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Persistence Pays in Darker Shades of Black by Briana Beich

Persistence Pays in Darker Shades of Black

Briana Beich

Putting in for tags is usually one of the biggest decisions of the year. But, I have picked the same antelope unit for the past five years, mainly due to its diverse ecosystem. It’s a small unit that’s easy to access and easy to draw, a perfect tradition for us college students getting away from the classroom to the scent of sage and pine.

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My First Mule Deer Tag by Leslie Harris

My First Mule Deer Tag

Leslie Harris

I guess this all started when I was eight years old. My dad started taking me deer and turkey hunting. Like my sister, who is five years older than me, I took my first deer when I was eight years old. I shot a nice fat doe first and then a buck. My dad said that was how it works. Over the last several years my sister and I have managed to take a couple of really nice whitetail bucks. We live in middle Georgia and whitetail deer are plentiful.

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The Score Doesn't Always Tell The Story by Chris Cohagen

The Score Doesn't Always Tell The Story

Chris Cohagen

Every hunter has been a part of discussions about what an animal will score, was it taken legally with fair chase, etc. There are good reasons to have scoring systems in place. They honor the hard work hunters put in to take these magnificent animals and they describe and honor the animals as well. But there is more to hunting and a lot more to the animals we harvest than the final numbers.

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Elation at High Noon by Wayne Mathis

Elation at High Noon

Wayne Mathis

In the predawn of that September day, our guide, Dan Bishop with Antelope Adventures, had driven us to the ranch where I would be hunting. The previous afternoon, we scouted the general area and seen a number of speed goats, including one very nice buck. Our heightened hopes made sleep fleeting at best.

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Lightning in a Bottle by Bob Richert

Lightning in a Bottle

Bob Richert

My quest to draw all of the tough-draw animals in California started well over a decade ago. I figured someone had to draw them, so why not me? I had drawn two Zone X mule deer tags and an elk tag in the past six years - a lucky streak, but for how long no one knows.

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The Chalk Line Bull by Brian Turner

The Chalk Line Bull

Brian Turner

My annual April dilemma had arrived. Should I accumulate preference points for one of the limited entry trophy units that I might draw in 10 years or put in for the unit where I live and hunt 40 minutes from my house? The only downfall to Plan B was that I would have to hunt the chalk lines, as there’s a lot of private land. 

I elected to put in for the unit where I live knowing that I ought to have a tag in hand come fall. I met with several locals that allowed me to pick their brains about the unit. I also talked to Pete, one of my hunting partners that drew an archery tag four years earlier and harvested a 353” bull there. 

Pete’s luck and mine collided as we both drew tags for the 2012 season. He drew an archery tag and I drew a first season rifle tag. After several scouting sessions and falling asleep nearly every night with Google Earth open, September finally arrived. Pete hunted hard and passed a lot of information my way but never connected. 

The day after archery season ended I received a phone call from Pete saying, "You need to see this bull that is working the alfalfa fields. He’s not the biggest on the mountain but he’s the widest, with ivory-tipped and fairly symmetrical dark antlers except a slight curl on his left 6th. Oh yeah, he’s bedding on BLM land too.” 

That was all I needed to hear and as soon as I was able to get out of work I drove up to our lookout that provided us a view of four different alfalfa fields. We saw a few elk, including a couple of good bulls but their antlers were narrow and tall like the majority of the bulls that I had been seeing. A group of about 20 cows and another narrow bull had walked out of the pinions and junipers to feed. At the same time I noticed a bull skirting the edge of the fields that was rather wide. 

Pete was looking through the spotting scope as I heard him whisper, "There he is.” 

I cannot tell you how many nights and mornings Pete or I watched the bull. He was working three different fields and had three different bedding areas, two of which were on public land. He always separated himself from the other elk and seldom would go into the alfalfa fields until after dark.

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Arctic Red River Double by David and Tom Parish

Arctic Red River Double

David and Tom Parish

I am laying on a warm, sandy beach in Maui, concerned with tan lines, SPF ratings, the melting ice in my drink and whether we should have steaks or sushi for dinner. As I lay here, I reminisce over my past guiding season – the highs, lows, successes and failures. One trip stands out in stark contrast to my current environment.

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Added Insurance by Bill and Kevin Barker

Added Insurance

Bill and Kevin Barker

Preparation for the next hunting season usually starts as soon as we break our current hunting camp. My son Kevin and I usually start conversing on the drive home and the end of the 2011 Colorado big game season was no exception. We brainstormed about application deadlines, unit statistics, draw odds, hunting location, preferred outfitters, etc.

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Timber Rams & Wildfires by Russell DeFusco

Timber Rams & Wildfires

Russell DeFusco

Each summer I try to step up my fitness routine in anticipation of upcoming fall hunts. One of my favorite ways to do this is to run a sevenmile trail loop about fifteen minutes from my home in Colorado Springs. It traverses several canyons and ridges with alternating steep elevation gains and drops and is known as the Waldo Canyon Trail.

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Backcountry Brotherhood by Bobby Mick

Backcountry Brotherhood

Bobby Mick

I was trembling with excitement as I zoomed in and focused my spotting scope on the image of a magnificent buck raking his antlers on the willows. As he thrashed the brush with his heavy rack I could identify numerous bloody tines and long, loose strands of velvet flipping about his head. I was confident that this deer would exceed 190 inches. His mass and extra points had me mesmerized.

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A Desert Rose for Karalee by Karalee Rowley

A Desert Rose for Karalee

Karalee Rowley

When I married into my husband’s family, I knew hunting was a big part of their lives. In fact, on our honeymoon we spent one day hunting with his brother. Af ter a month of marriage we went on a rifle deer hunt and were treated to a snowstorm that dropped six inches of snow. It was cold and miserable.

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Gubernatorial Freedom by Charlie Loan

Gubernatorial Freedom

Charlie Loan

Last year I won a Colorado Governor’s elk license in a charity auction. This phenomenal license allows you to hunt in any area, with any weapon, in any season you want. You can even hunt between seasons in an area once any season has started there. My tag was valid from 8/25 – 12/31.

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