By David E. Petzal
I went on my first elk hunt, to Montana, in November, 1971. I did not get an elk. This year, four decades later, I hunted in Utah and did get one, which you can see here. He’s a 6x6, 8 ½ years old, and about 800 pounds. The handsome devil on the right is my guide Amos Ames, which is the finest name I’ve heard for an outdoorsman since Ted Trueblood. Amos has guided for elk for over 30 years, and is a forest-fire fighter, a rodeo clown, a cowboy-boot maker, and a general hard-case geezer.
An elk hunt is about the finest experience you can have standing up, and since I’m in a benevolent mood, I thought I’d pass along what I’ve learned from four decades of chasing the crazy bastards up and down mountains. Forsooth:
I. Thou shalt be in shape, for elk dwelleth not in the flatlands, nor where there is oxygen.
II. If thine ass resembleth 20 pounds of chewed bubble gum, bitter shall be thy lot.