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JEFF WARREN PROFESSIONAL HUNT ADVISOR OUTFITTER SPECIALIST R eady or not, it’s almost here! Scouting for the 2017 big game season is in full throttle, and the actual hunting seasons, at least for me, are only six weeks out. This hunting season will be like nothing I have ever experienced. It isn’t because I have a bunch of great tags, it is because I no longer have a dad whom I can share my hunt experiences with. Dad moved on to bigger and better things back in December, and the range of emotions I have experienced has been very interesting. It was my first experience with losing a parent. It is amazing how fast life goes by. Dad took me everywhere with him when I was young, going hunting, fishing, camping, or playing a variety of sports. The time he spent with me in the outdoors truly shaped who I am today. I guess that is why I am so dedicated to following his example by doing the same things for my family that he did for and with me. Thank goodness Dad didn’t worry about drawing tags to take me hunting. Because of him, I place a high value on experiencing what life has to offer, especially when it concerns the hunt. There are so many different opportunities to hunt a variety of species in this great country, which is why we are working hard here at Huntin’ Fool to find and inform our membership of these guaranteed tag opportunities. You don’t need gobs of points built up to hunt somewhere every year. All of our PHAs have a full hunt card every fall because of opportunity hunts that are offered 6 in virtually every state. You can put as much or as little effort into these hunts as you see fit, but the fact is that the opportunity to hunt is out there. We are making an extended effort to put the information for these types of hunts at your fingertips. This is something we are going to concentrate on going forward so that you have the chance to expand your hunting opportunities if it is important to you. In the following pages of this issue, you will see some of the results of these efforts. If you want to hunt in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Wyoming, or even Alaska without having to draw a tag, there is information in this issue that may interest you. For many years, I have kept Montana and Idaho deer hunts in my back pocket to help fill up my hunting schedule. Last season, I gathered up my gear around November 20 th and loaded it into my truck for a whitetail hunt in Idaho. Seconds before hitting the road, I decided to call Idaho Game and Fish to make sure they still had deer tags available. To my extreme disappointment, I learned that they had sold out of tags just a week or so prior to my phone call. Idaho hadn’t sold out of deer tags in years. There have been times when I have purchased two tags in Idaho. I guess folks are catching on. If an Idaho deer hunt is on your schedule for 2017, I would get a tag locked up sooner than later. I know I am going to pick one up immediately after all the draw results are out. Montana had always been good for a deer tag that you could pick up after the main draw, but that all changed just a couple of JEFF’S GRANDSON, COLBY WARREN, AND SON, JOSH WARREN, WITH THEIR OVER-THE-COUNTER PUBLIC LAND BULL ELK months ago as Montana’s big game combo and deer combo tags all sold out in the draw. If you were planning on a leftover deer tag in Montana for 2017, that party is over. If you have any questions about the information presented in this issue, feel free to give us a call. Keep in mind that all of the PHAs are out and about this time of year scouting, hunting, and gathering valuable boots on the ground information in numerous states so that we can pass that information on to you. However, between our office staff and our commitment to be at your disposal this season, we are ready to help you succeed. Please give us a call and we will get back to you ASAP. A good friend once said to me, “I would rather pack deer than points.” I will never forget that statement. I believe he was spot on. Enjoy your time away from the chaos of life this fall, hunt hard, take good photos, but most of all, have fun while in pursuit of whatever critters make your heart pound.