Hunger for adventure leads to a duel with a monster Arizona bear This spring, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity had my number, […]
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"The big, palmated G5 was too amazing. I didn’t see the two extras when I shot, but they looked like flames coming off the back end. He had the width, the mass, everything; everything you dream of in an elk but never dreamed you would actually shoot. I had my elk of a lifetime..."
"As I emerged from a patch of timber, I noticed a patch of white on a cliff face on the other side of the drainage. Through the spotter I saw that the white patch was indeed a goat; a good goat..."
"The only good shooting lane was the dirt road itself, so I positioned myself on the edge next to some brush and ranged the opening I thought they would come out of. The first deer was a doe. She walked on to the road, stopped, and stared at me..."
"The wind was still, and every step seemed louder than the last. As I walked, I would stop and survey the area with my binoculars before continuing on. Eventually, I caught movement in the trees ahead. “Was it him?” I thought.
"Forced to readjust we climb some more and slide over the ridgeline. Years of failed set ups have taught me that positioning yourself at the same elevation or above the target works best for successful call-ins. On the ridgeline the wind still isn’t great, but it’s better."
"And then it happened! As I was enjoying this beautiful fall morning on the Kaibab, I realized I was looking straight at a big buck, and he was looking straight at me. He was facing me, his body engulfed in a tall thicket of oak brush but his head was exposed as he ate acorns. He was the biggest buck I had ever had in front of me on a hunt."
At the time, any chance of ever hunting for a grizzly bear was just a pipe dream; but even so, these stories were indelibly etched in our minds. One day, I thought, ‘I want to go on a hunt like this!’
“You’ve got 48 minutes.” The update snapped me back to reality. My next step would seal my fate. After being so cautious on the open face, I made the trees and started to relax. With one slip and the sound of gravel underfoot, the whole herd stood at attention.
Hunting has taught me to seek and embrace challenges. Whether that challenge is a more primitive weapon, a tougher style of hunting, or taking the risk to invest in an out-of-state hunt, I have learned that the effort put forth only makes the whole experience more rewarding, and I can’t wait for the next adventure.