American Hunter - June 2014 - 80

member'shunt

If Not Now, Then When?

By Louis Avasso, Cape Coral, Fla.

F

or many of us living along the
East Coast, a Western elk or
mule deer hunt is the stuff of
dreams. We either don't have
the time, or we don't have the
resources to make it happen. That was my
predicament for more than  years. Not
that hunting local whitetails wasn't a treat,
but for a person who spent a good part of
his youth in northern Colorado, returning
for an elk hunt with my son was a wish that
in  finally came true. Being retired, time
was no longer a factor. As far as the expense,
well, I'd prefer to leave him with a few good
memories rather than a few dollars. In other
words, if not now, then when?
And so I booked a hunt for both of us
with Myers Hunting Services out of Hamilton, Colo. Don Myers owns and operates
a cattle ranch, and leases land in Game
Management units  and . I had hunted
with Don the year before and was greatly
For Bragboard photos go to
AmericanHunter.org.

impressed with his professionalism. He
and his guides work very hard to make
your trip a success.
The first morning I noticed that somehow in the intervening year the trails
became a little steeper, and now the air held
a little less oxygen. I didn't object when our
guide, Alan, suggested I post while he and
my son, Dan, still-hunted a ridge. It wasn't
long before they saw what turned out to
be a calf elk. The guide, assuming that
Dan wanted something more impressive,
advised him not to shoot. My son, always
the pragmatist, had visions of tender elk
dinners dancing in his head. Quickly taking
the prone position, he squeezed the trigger
on his . Winchester Model , sending a handloaded -grain Swift A-Frame
bullet  yards and reducing the calf to
possession. The first morning, his first shot,
his first elk! Meanwhile yours truly, on post,
fell sound asleep.
We both had antlerless and bull tags, so
that afternoon we went back out, Dan for
a bull and I for whatever. It didn't take long
for "whatever" to show up. No more than
 yards away, on an opposite slope and
closing fast, was a fat cow being followed

by a huge x bull. The drooling, lovesick
beast was following the cow so closely that
if she ever stopped short, he would have
broken his nose. Having once tasted a steak
from a big bull in rut, my focus automatically turned to the cow. Instinctively, my
Remington Model , chambered in .
Win., came to my shoulder, and the shot
put the cow down instantly.
The bull remained transfixed, motionless. To be honest, for a moment I thought
about taking him, too, but only for a
moment. With  pounds of last year's
elk still in my freezer and now with this
cow down, I certainly didn't need the
meat. Someone once wrote that one of
the pleasures of owning a hunting rifle is
sometimes not pulling the trigger. It was
almost dark when Alan and Dan came to
help field-dress my cow. Photos were taken
and the moment captured.
The next morning I slept in while Dan
sought his bull. At about : a.m., a herd of
cows was spotted with a nice x bull. The
rangefinder read  yards when Dan sent
the shot cleanly into the bull's chest. But
the bull showed no signs of a hit and slowly
walked away. He had gone no more than 
yards when they found him. Some authorities claim the . Win. is an adequate cartridge for elk. I just wish the words "more
than" preceded that characterization.
And so it was over. Decades of wishing
and planning culminated in less than 
hours. My son, a physician and director of
emergency medicine at a regional hospital,
had to cut the remainder of our trip short
as he was called away the next day. But the
memories of those three days chasing elk
will last a lifetime. ah
Do you have an exciting, unusual or
humorous hunting experience to share?
Send your story (800 words or less) to
americanhunter@nrahq.org or to American
Hunter, Dept. MH, 11250 Waples Mill Road,
Fairfax, VA. 22030-9400. Please include your
NRA ID number. Good quality photos are
welcome. Make sure you have permission to
use the material. Authors will not be paid, and
manuscripts and photos will not be returned. All
material becomes the property of NRA.

American Hunter (ISSN 0092-1068) is published monthly by the National Rifle Association of America, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030-9400; 703-267-1000 for the benefit of its members. Membership
dues (U.S. and possessions) $35 a year, $85 for 3 years, $125 for 5 years. $3.75 per year is designated for a magazine subscription. For foreign postage add $5 a year in Canada and $10 elsewhere. Membership
inquiries only 877-672-2000. Copyright 2014, the National Rifle Association of America. All rights reserved except where expressly waived. Periodicals Postage paid at Fairfax, VA, and at additional mailing offices.
POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to the American Hunter, c/o National Rifle Association, P.O. Box 420648, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0648.

  R

 R .


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American Hunter - June 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - June 2014

Table of Contents
American Hunter - June 2014 - Cover1
American Hunter - June 2014 - Cover2
American Hunter - June 2014 - 1
American Hunter - June 2014 - Table of Contents
American Hunter - June 2014 - 3
American Hunter - June 2014 - 4
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American Hunter - June 2014 - Cover4
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