American Hunter - October 2019 - 84

Photos: Author

member'shunt

The Elk Rifle Goes Elk Hunting
By Arthur J. 'Bud' Kenney, Adams, Tenn.

I

t was the first split of the 2017 rifle elk season in Colorado.
My father-in-law Charlie and I had gone on a semi-guided
Colorado elk hunt four years earlier and were itching to go
again. This time, we would be hunting with Tom Tucker of
Buford Guide Service just outside Meeker. Gregg (above photo,
right), who was a member of my father-in-law's hunting camp,
would be going with us. This was his first elk hunt.
Over the summer, we learned that the three of us all drew
bull tags for the unit in which we would be hunting. I exchanged
several phone calls and emails with our guide, Tom, to discuss
the details of the hunt and what we would need to bring. Each
time that I got more information, I would relay that to Charlie
and Gregg so that they were tracking as well.
During one of the phone conversations I had with Gregg
about the upcoming hunt, we began to talk about what guns we
would be using. It was at that time I first learned about a rifle that
Gregg's father had won in a members-only raffle held by the Jefferson Sportsmen's Association in Codorus, Pa. The gun was a
Winchester Model 70 in .300 Win. Mag. with a 26-inch barrel.
The Sportsmen's Association commissioned Baron Technology to
adorn it with custom engraving. The receiver had detailed accent
marks, and the magazine floorplate had the image of a bull elk
in gold inlay. The stock of the gun bore the logo of the Jefferson
Sportsmen's Association. This rifle was tailor-made for elk hunting. Describing it in writing really does not do it justice.
I understood the significance of that rifle immediately. You
see, Gregg's father, Ed, passed away two years earlier at the
age of 74, and he never got the opportunity to take the rifle on
an elk hunt. Gregg told me that his mom gave him the Model
70 for Christmas the year prior, but asked him not to shoot
it until after she had passed away. After hearing all of this, I

asked Gregg to speak with his mom about it again and explain
to her that his dad would have wanted him to take that gun to
Colorado. As it turned out, however, Gregg had already asked
for an exception to that request.
When his mom heard that we had drawn our elk permits,
she didn't hesitate one bit.
"Yes, go ahead and use it," she said.
October finally came. Gregg and Charlie drove Gregg's
truck from Pennsylvania to Denver and picked me up at the
airport. It would be another five hours of driving to the camp.
When we exited I-70 to head north through Rifle, Colo., we
noticed quite a bit of noise coming from the truck's front end.
We stopped at a local service station in Rifle and came to find
out that both front wheel bearings were shot. We feared for the
worst, but the fine folks at Ken's Pit Stop were able to replace
the parts and had us back on the road three hours later. We
made it to camp in plenty of time for the season opener. Someone was definitely looking out for us.
On the evening of the second day of the hunt, all of the
pieces fell into place. Gregg, who was on his first elk hunt with
his Dad's elk gun, connected with a beautiful 6x6 bull. My
father-in-law and I got the news via text message. Standing in
the cold darkness under a Colorado starlit sky, the deep meaning of what had just happened was apparent and appreciated
by all.
The next morning, the guide put me on the same stand that
Gregg was on the night before. At around 7:45 a.m., I made a
330-yard shot on my bull, and he went straight down. Someone
was obviously looking out for me, too.
It was the hunt of a lifetime in so many ways, and I'm just
glad that I was a part of it. 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.

october 2019 [

84 [ americanhunter.org


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American Hunter - October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - October 2019

Contents
American Hunter - October 2019 - Cover1
American Hunter - October 2019 - Cover2
American Hunter - October 2019 - 1
American Hunter - October 2019 - Contents
American Hunter - October 2019 - 3
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American Hunter - October 2019 - Cover3
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