My story starts off like so many others, Apply, Apply, Apply! My first year of applying, I drew a unit 16D New Mexico elk tag. I wondered what was so difficult about getting tags. Fast forward 18 years later. I had drawn a few general tags here and there, but now I had a coveted Nevada late season rifle elk tag. My first call was to Greg Krogh and Mogollon Rim Outfitters. After a few answered questions, I booked the hunt and the preparation started.
I first had an archery hunt in Utah with an outfitter that Garth Jenson from Huntin’ Fool had introduced me to by the name of Jake Bess. Jake and I hunted elk for 10 days, and although we never got the one we were after, I shot one the last day. I had hunted with Jake before, and you’ll never find a better outdoorsman and tracker.
November came, and I was off to Nevada. I would be meeting up with Greg’s team there. Sergio was the main guide who knows the area like the back of his hand, and the team also included Greg’s two spotters, Jeffrey and Matt, whom I swear could climb hills faster than the elk. After shooting at the public range in Ely, which is one of the top ranges I have been to, Sergio and I hooked up and strategized on the first day.
The first day, we climbed a few mountains and saw many elk, I would say over 20 bulls, but not the one we were after. Day two was much the same as we saw numerous bulls, but Sergio kept saying that we would find the one. Around lunchtime, we received a call from Greg. He had heard of a monster in a secluded area and felt we should take a look.
That afternoon, we all spread out, with Jeffrey and Matt going to another drainage. It didn’t take long before the two young bucks found our monster and the hunt was on. We all realized he was in a really tough spot and would take a heck of a climb to get there. We left Ely at 3:00 a.m., and after a short drive, we started the climb. We finally arrived at our glassing spot at 8:00 a.m. It didn’t take long to find the elk. He was high on the opposite ridge, around 1,500 yards away, with some other elk. The plan was that Sergio and I would make our move and Jeffrey and Matt would stay at the vantage point and keep tabs.
After another two hours of climbing, Sergio and I finally arrived at our shooting point. On cue, our bull got up from his bed and started to feed. Sergio called out the distance of 560 yards, and I shot my Christensen Arms .300 Ultra Buck. The first shot went through the heart, and the second one went through the lungs. The last shot was a Texas heart shot, and he was down. Sergio and I were so excited that we had shot the bull that was so unique. Sergio said I may shoot a larger bull sometime, but this bull is one in a million with his dagger out to the side. We took pictures, bagged the meat, and decided to get horses or llamas to help us pack it out. That night, we called Jason Wittwer and he met up with us. With the help of his llamas, we packed the meat out. What a great guy, and his team of llamas are the best.
I have to thank the team, Sergio, Jeffrey, and Matt, for all they did. Greg’s team of young guides never stop, they know the area, they are prepared, and they are able to spot the animals. Huntin’ Fool and Garth Jenson have kept me in the game, and over the next five years, I will have many premium hunts to look forward to. A lesson I learned is that if you are older, stay in shape year-round because it makes the hunt so much more enjoyable and possible. Thanks to my family for letting me go on these hunts and to God for putting the elk on the mountains.