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2017 APPLICATION STRATEGY S TA F F A R T I C L E GARTH JENSON PROFESSIONAL HUNT ADVISOR RESEARCH SPECIALIST T his year, my application strategy is going to be a little different than years past. Over the last two years, I have used up quite a few points in different states on some better than average hunts and found myself missing the over-the-counter and general season hunts. Even though I still managed to go on a few of these hunts during this time frame, it just wasn’t enough. Therefore, in 2017 I am going to be applying for points only in Colorado and putting in for the best of the best units in other states for elk, antelope, and deer, knowing full well I am most likely not going to draw and anticipating hunting mostly over- the-counter and general hunts the whole year. To be honest, I am simply burned out with trying to find an animal that is a good representative of the amount of points/years I burned on that permit. With every year that passes, I find that I savor the flavor and smells of the steaks coming off the grill more than the horns hanging on the wall. It is nice to look at the horns every once in a while to remember the hunt and everything that went into it, but I have found that the adventure, enjoyment, and hard work that goes into a hunt doesn’t change my outlook if the animal has a lot of inches. I still want to harvest the most mature animal I can, and I still get wound up over a giant racked buck or bull, but the adventure of just hunting an area every year and figuring those animals out gives me more pleasure than worrying if an animal has the correct score for the amount of years I waited for that tag. The 2017 season will be more of what I grew up doing, which is enjoying my time in the outdoors with friends and family and discovering new areas and researching units that the masses of hunters can hunt, not just a handful of applicants who have built up points for 10-20 years. Those highly sought-after areas will always consume my winter with countless hours of phone calls and research for the January through June magazines, but I really want to drive home the point that there are plenty of opportunities to have enjoyable hunts every year if your overall goal isn’t the amount of inches acquired but rather the memories and experiences gained. GARTH ON HIS 2016 WYOMING RIFLE ELK HUNT GARTH’S 2016 MUZZLELOADER ELK FROM COLORADO 10