Better Late Than Never
Well, with the 2020 application period approaching, and the restricted guide tag applications approaching even faster, we realized we haven’t even had time to sit down and share our success in 2019. There were several “firsts” this year. I got out in the field first, heading to the Ruby’s to chase down (or up is more fitting) a Himalyan Snow Cock for the first time. I’m told this is considered the holy grail of upland game hunting, and it did not disappoint. I thought I would be lucky to even see one of these elusive birds, but by the time the sun came up the first morning, I was in the middle of them. All I can say is a shortage of ammo coupled with poor marksmanship is a bad combination. But I am hooked, and I’ll be back this year… with more ammo.
Stan’s daughter Jen drew her first Nevada bull elk tag this year during the muzzle loader season. They had a fantastic wilderness hunt chasing some spectacular bulls.
Braving several days of drizzly wet weather, she finally connected with this beautiful heavy horned stud. The giant smile on her face could only be matched by that of a very proud father from behind the camera.
Something that’s not new, Kevin once again found the big bucks. He and his clients took these 3 big boys on restricted guide tags.
We had the opportunity to take a retired vet for his first back-country wilderness deer hunt. John was fountain of never-ending war stories and made our time around the camp fire at night a real joy. A lifetime of jumping out of planes, taking gun fire and explosions did not make hours in the saddle very comfortable. But he’s a trooper, and he can shoot, dropping this buck in his tracks at 400 yards on the walk.
Rick finally drew his first Nelson bighorn sheep tag, after more than 20 years. Determined to put another one in the record book, he had a whole team of support on this one. Friends and family all came together to help find his ram.
While his mind was set on holding out for that once in a lifetime ram, passing on several quality rams over the span of several days, the hunting gods had other ideas. First they brought in days of foul weather, and ultimately bringing the man down with sickness. Knowing it was now or never, he toughed out one more day and dropped this quality ram. There was satisfaction in harvesting the best ram they had seen in the unit, but he was not ready to be done with the hunt.
Finally, as I close this out, this was the first season of chukar hunting for me without my best hunting partner Norma Jean. While I don’t have the words to express the loneliness I felt the first time out without her, and how frustrating it was to try to find the first bird I shot and couldn’t find without her, I was heartened to see that my dad’s new pup, Rascal, is taking up her spot and is proving to be a worthy partner and companion in the field. Good bye Norma, you are missed. Rascal, you’ve got big paws to fill. Here’s to hunting, family, and friends. Let’s go get ‘em in 2020!