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The Mysterious Case of the Shrinking Elk Head

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August 22, 2008

The Mysterious Case of the Shrinking Elk Head

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

A couple of days ago, I visited an old friend in Vermont. In 1973, I had given him the mounted head of an elk I had killed the year before in Montana. It was a 6x6, and I think I was prouder of that animal than anything else I had ever taken. I lost 30 pounds in order to be able to climb the mountain where he lived and I shot him on a day when the snow was up over your knees and it was 15 below that morning.

But I had not been to visit my friend in something like 25 years, and my memory of the elk head was not accurate. I recalled it as being a massive beast with a humongous spread of antlers. It is not; it is indeed a 6x6, but it’s a small bull. If you saw him in a herd you wouldn’t look twice at him. But he was the first elk I ever took, and to me he was the greatest wapiti ever collected.

Your memories—particularly the fond ones—rarely match up with reality. If you have a choice, stick with memories.

Comments (77)

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from flintinfrizzen wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

My first deer was a button buck--a young, stupid deer for a young, stupid kid. Dad, full of the joy only a hunting father feels toward hunting offspring, mounted the "rack" for me and that young buck has his place of honor amongst others The Lord has blessed me with. But,--most importantly,--he has his place in my heart, for I so treasured my experience with him and got to know that unique sorrow upon the taking of a life that every "true" hunter knows. It seems that every kill I'm blessed with produces this very same feeling, and I wouldn't give up any of my deer for the "world record". To do so would dishonor the whole whitetail race and spit on the positive impact these deer have upon my life. "...all flesh is grass..."

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 5 years 33 weeks ago

All game animals look much larger on the hoof at 2-300 yds than they do 5 yds way lying on the ground. Never forget, beauty, size is always in the eyes of the beholder.If you only hunt for huge HORNS, best you stay at home,as the killing is the last straw and the hunt is over. You are not a true hunter, just a killing machine.Lot more to see, enjoy in the wide open spaces than killing animal.I will be going to MT come late Oct. and if by chance I do take a shot thats a bonus to l6 days of pure heaven in our gteat wonderful wild world. My trophy room is full, no space left.Plan to try out two new firearms i just purchased that have wanted for many years.At 73,decided best I buy now,rather than later, as later is far sooner than you expect. The old Southern Gun Slinger: Shoot often and straight, then shoot again.

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from CJ wrote 5 years 33 weeks ago

I'd rather have a sister in a whorehouse than a brother on the Obama campaign.

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from james ti wrote 5 years 33 weeks ago

like i told my brother who is an obama lover, if people want to kill people they will do it wether you ban guns or not. at least we can defend ourselves as lawful firearm owners. people who own guns are less likely to have to defend themselves. consequences and repurcussions!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 33 weeks ago

Dr. RalphWe had an Airman at Holloman AFB that shot himself in the foot. After he recovered from that, he shot himself in the hand. The reason? He wanted to know how it felt! If someone wants to do harm to themselves, there is no way in stopping them unless you put them in a body cast and they will still find a way.

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from Duck Creek Dick wrote 5 years 33 weeks ago

Dave:Don't sell Pb Head and the outdoor magazine reading public short. I would welcome lengthier well written articles. "Deep in the Heart of Roosterland" by T. Edward Nickens in F&S's August issue was excellent. A little less fluff and glitzy, whiz-bang,paragraph-long bullet points. Not all of us out here in the reading public have attention deficit disorder.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 33 weeks ago

Zermoid the last year statistics are avaiable (2004) 30,000 people died from gunshot wounds and suicides were the #1 cause. These accounted for 2% of all deaths... heart attack 28%, Cancer 22%, Stroke 7%, Emphysemia 5%, and automobile accidents 5%... more people were accidentally killed in hospitals than by guns!

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Clay:The neighbor's kid turned up with a box of this Tannerite. Oddly enough he set it off with his ole man's .25-'06 also. Man what a blast. So loud that the chickens quit laying, the cows ran through the fence, and the horses bucked down the road until out of sight. His neighbor called out that she was going to phone the sheriff if he didn't quit the noise. Apparently it was rattling her windows loose. You probably know how it is in Wyoming, the kid was shooting off the stuff in his rural back yard. We'll have to take the next batch far into the desert or up into a mountain canyon. What an echo tht would make...

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Zermoid:You have an extremely valid point, I think I will order a set of 8 x 8's and a pair of 38DD's. Anyone got an address?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Want to have real fun!Yesterday while unloading my ATV I heard a gunshot on top of the ridge above me. Didn’t give it any thought until I heard the biggest thundering boom that literally shook the woods for miles and the loudest I ever heard besides a Military Range! What the hell was that gun detonation (blowup)! I grabbed my EPRB formally known as SPOT (www.findmespot.com) and code 3 up the ridge expecting the worse only to find a group of people having the grandest of time! What the hell was that and don’t tell me it was a gun. They all started laughing and one fella said tannerite! I remember that stuff on the internet! One of the guys made up another batch enough to fill a coffee cup and placed it under a large television and asks if I wanted the honors of shooting it, sure and I shot it with my 25-06. It went off like a bomb obliterated the television every part of it. Then they placed one in an old smoker and I shot that. The top went flying over the tree tops and the housing was ripped apart like an M-80 in a Dixie cup!Good stuff worth the money!http://www.tannerite.com/

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

The #1 weapon is a knife!

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from SD Bob wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Hey Chad Love:You said your first buck was a spike exactly 3 inches in length and had only one antler, sounds like your describing mine with the exception being mine was 3 and an 1/8th. We measured close because we thought I was going to have to tag it with an anterless license but rest assured in the laws eyes it was a legal buck. I happen to have that antler on a key chain for my work keys but unfortunately after 19 years of drying it is now 2 7/8ths inches in length. According to a guy I work with who is an official scorer with P&Y or B&C (I can't recall which) , it falls in a loop hole and scores substantially higher than any reasonable man would agree to. I can still see that deer hitting the deck after my 30-06 went boom! I don't believe I stepped one foot to the ground in that 90 yard dash!

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from Zermoid wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

And james ti,You realize more people are killed by cars than guns, but you never hear the lame brained schemes to control cars as you do guns, and cars are not even protected as a Constitutional Right!Where's the logic there?

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from Zermoid wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Hey ishawooa, Fake antlers might not be so bad, you could have the Buck you remember and not the one the taxidermist gave you back. A little artificial enhancement isn't a bad thing, just look at Pam Anderson, do you think anyone cares that her "rack" is fake? Really?

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from james ti wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

where was it that i read "more than 90% of murders are committed with something other than a firearm?" time to outlaw your golfclubs and hammers. better yet, just outlaw liberals.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

It’s a WAV says, Guns don’t kill people, the Government does!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Jim in MOyou have to copy and paste to get it to work right.www.wavsource.com/snds_2008-08-23_101278502061610/tv/misc/king_of_hill_guns.wav

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

I don't get it. You sellin shoes?

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from Lone Star 45 wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

A special message!http://www.wavsource.com/snds_2008-08-23_101278502061610/tv/misc/king_of_hill_guns.wav

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

The elk may not, in reality, be as grand as the memory...but the memory is unique, positive, wonderful and THAT is one of the reasons we hunt. An old friend produced a photo of a whitetail that I remembered as larger than it was, but 38 years ago I suppose I was smaller and the buck was larger by comparison. At any rate, it was larger in my recollection. Still, I remember that hunting trip in Upstate NY as a page in a volume of good memories. The venison has long since been consumed but the memories endure and they're still tucked away for easy retrieval on a quiet day.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

CmcdonoughGood grief Charlie Brown! I’ve herd allot of tales, but this tale takes first place, a tube of chapstick!Since Lone Star 45 is telling off on me, I might as well tell a stupid stunt from my much younger years. I made a string bore cleaner out of the center of parachute cord and used a fishing weight on one end. One day I got sand in the bore of my 25-06 so I whipped out my homemade job, cut a piece of t-shirt and started to pull it thru when the string broke halfway thru. So I went to the truck and not thinking dropped a couple of ¼ inch drill bits in and you know the rest of the story, barrel replacement time! Needed a new barrel anyhow.Speaking of Coues deer and The Mysterious Case of the Shrinking Elk Head. Dad and I was walking 150 yards or so parallel to the west bank of Pinion Lake. A big doe jumped up on our last day, dad had a doe permit and shot it with his 30-06 with a 150 grain bullet. Dropped her like a ton of bricks! Dad and I walked up expecting a big ol’mulie doe….. NOT! A coues doe and destroyed the shoulder!!! Dad gutted it out and tied the front and back legs together and I at the age of 13 carried it out like a hand bag. It’s amazing how surrounding objects and light mislead your senses of size and distance.

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from Shaky wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Steve Ferber: missing a shot seems like an insufficient reason for a guide to commit sucide,you must have done something else to him that you're not telling us about.Mac; you are very lucky that bolt didn't close because a deer shot with chapstick would be completly inedible, to say nothing of the damage it could do to your rifle.

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from james ti wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

here's an idea: have dick cheney take obama on a bird hunt and let them make fond memories together. dave can even narrate it. a few bits of humor during the dark moments if you could, dave.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

cmcdonough,LOL, lets do this again. Did you unload on the buck or actually unload?

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from cmcdonough wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Clay,Your story reminds me of one of my favorite whitetail hunts in which I DIDNT get one. I was hunting in the same area near Paradise AZ and just getting back to the truck when I spotted a nice Coues buck not more than 100 yards away. I shot, missed and had such buck fever that I actually unloaded my rifle. The buck looked around, not knowing where the shot came from and I reached into my pocket (not looking of course), loaded a round and then couldnt close the bolt. I looked down to see that I had loaded a tube of chapstick. Truly a Bill Heavey moment!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

You got it, bactrian has two. BTW, who the hell would want a nasty spittin camel?

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Jim in MOThe single camel was in a corral on the west side of the highway not far from Sedalia. Also it is a liter of "Jack in the Black" as scnapps always gave me a headache. Or maybe it was a fifth of The MacCallan 18 year old. Anyway the critter only had one hump. Is that a camel or a dromedary?

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Jim in Mo,If you drive I-70 west of Topeka there used to be a pasture with 2 camels in it on the south side right next to the highway. Last couple years they were gone when we go out for Pheasant and ducks.

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from Carney wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Jim in Mo,Thanks for looking that up for me; I really appreciate it! Last time I looked -- several years ago -- the particular parts were out of stock... My biggest challenge now is finding time for one more project!

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from Steve Ferber wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Five or six years ago I missed a proud and prancing 7x7 elk within a herd of cows and minor bulls, in Wyoming, at an elevation of 10,000 feet from an up-hill distance of 340 yards.Acccurately measured with a binoc/rangefinder combo by my First-Rate guide, I even got to lay prone for the shot. It was a stupid miss.Only when we got back to camp was the ugly reason for the lousy shot determined. The more I think about the event--the bigger the beast gets. It might have only been a 6x6 but only the frustrated guide would know for sure today...and he commited suicide.

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from Michael wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Memories may be all we will have depending on wins the election in November.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

buckstopper,Yes I know about the bear in Ark. A friend has a small hunting cabin with bear scratches around the door and windows. We've had some bears migrating up here over the years but the conservation dept. refused to acknowledge them. In essence the locals must be hallucinating. They finally admitted an increasing presence after a few were killed harrasing farm animals. One interesting thing thats come along the past few years is an expanding range of wild/ferrel hogs. Open year round and deer hunters are encouraged to have at 'em. One caveat, make sure they don't have ear tags, farmer Jones wouldn't be pleased.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

ishawooa,What you probably saw was a game farm. In N. Mo theres farms that produce 'exotic' cuts of meat for restaurants, such as elk/bison/imu etc. Never heard of a camel ranch though, you sure there's not a half pint of schnapps under the truck seat? HaHa

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from Gritz wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

My first buck came in my third year of hunting. It was also my first deer I had see in my first three years of hunting that had horns. It was a beautiful 6 pointer and my father was so proud he had it shoulder mounted. After 10 years I came home and looked at the mount and it seemed rather small, beautiful, perfect beams, but on the small side. My father's explanation was that all horns shrink over time. I have a snap shot of the day that we took the deer. I was 14. It does in deed look smaller now. It is one of those deer that, seen on tv, would be a deer to "let grow a couple of years" even though the deer was older and was probably just not fed optimally. I would never had thought to let it go but it is an eye opener. I have shot deer with much bigger racks but nothing was as thrilling as that first "big buck" and I keep that mount of my beautiful beast that I took first with my ole 30 30. Hunting is like a love affair. You always remember your first with a little bit of magic that makes everything much more perfect than it really was.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Reminds me of a friend of mine Ish. He shot a buck with huge antlers, a nice ten pointer by any one's standards but the spread was tiny... in fact the horns almost touched when they came back together except that one was about two or three inches lower than the other. Next thing I know he's got his rack mounted on a doe's head and the spread has grown dramatically and somehow perfectly aligned. It ain't right.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Now that should send shivers down your spine thinking Barack Obama and Joe Biden as his vice presidential in the White House!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Clays thought for the day,“Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.”-Joseph Stalin

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from Totalrecoil wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Dave: At least it took 35 years for you to see the groundshrink in your elk. I've found that in the case of black bears the groundshrink is often immediate.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

BuckstopperO’yes do we have Elk!The best place to spot Elk is on AR43 at Beechwood AR, between the junction of AR21 & AR43 near Boxley and AR43 & AR74 near Ponca. I see them every time in the mornings when driving thru and there is one big Ol’Boy in their 8x7! And yes, it’s within the Park boundaries!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Jim in Mo.Reintroducing Elk? I hope it works and doesn’t flop like it did in the area of Page Oklahoma. They poached them out faster than they can bring them in! Haven’t been down their lately but the last time, some fella said I was trespassing on his land! Should have seen that ol’boys face when I told him who I was. He needed a change of pants he did!!!

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from PbHead wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Chad, I too hunt the haunts of used literature, looking for the trophies. I wish somebody could inform me of the all the names some of these writers were published under. I believe Jack O'Connor went by a few names and George Nonte went by a few dozen. The best local place to look for old books and used magazines also happens to be the home of the "Members Only Adult Section" in the back room. Often the parking lot is full and I am the only one in the front half of the building.

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Seems to me I saw some elk about halfway between St. Jo and Hannibal about ten years ago. On the other hand I am certain I saw a camel somewhere around Warsaw. And no I was not drinking.

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from buckstopper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Jim in Mo,There is a population of Elk in Northen Arkansas at the Buffalo National River. Clay may could tell you if there is a season on them. BTW back before westward expansion, Arkansas was known as the Bear State. Bears have been restored in the Ozarks with bears from Michigan about 30 years ago and have a huntable population. In the White River National Refuge the original strain of bears remain and are protected but have been spotted along the Saline and Ouachita River bottoms.

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

I have not looked into this matter other than a casual glance at a local butcher shop. While leaving a so-so buck carcuss to be sliced and packaged I happened to notice a fantasticly wide set of huge 4 x 4 mule deer antlers complete with "drops" laying on a desk in the owner's office. Go look at them he says which, of course, I did. I was awestruck by the massive tines and deep dark color of the antlers. The owner walked into the room and I asked where the buck had been killed. He only replied "pick them up". They were light as hell AND make of some kind of plastic material by a taxadermist in Billings, MT. Sure looked real and impressive. So if you guys get tired of the little antlers on your first buck or bull I am sure this guy can simply make you a replacement set. Sort of takes something out of it don't it?

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Clay,They say at one time we had elk here in the heartland. Now Ky is doing a restoration project for elk. I'm wondering is it just folly, or will it work for the blue collar man? I doubt it. Prices to hunt, I'd like to see.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Jim in Mo.Suppose to be true. Elk habitat did include Louisiana at one time.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Don’t mess with this little girl!http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/just_plain_stupid/Little_Girl_With_a_Machine_Gun/#163387Coil gunhttp://www.stupidvideos.com/video/just_plain_stupid/Coil_Gun/#590655 Gallon Propane tank explosionhttp://www.stupidvideos.com/video/stunts/5_Gallon_Propane_Tank_Explosion/#38944

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Coop,Sounds like a theft gone bad.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

It was 2 years ago or so some fisherman pulled up at the antlered skull remains of an elk in a Louisiana creek?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

I like to take a fake Bull Elk of record breaking B&C and P&Y, stick it up on a hill side about 300 yards full of pyrotechnics and let some well known like Dave thinks he has the Daddy of them all in his sights and to have hidden cameras to capture it all!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

jack,You brought back two recollections. The best is my 4 yr old sons first fish which is always a bluegill, pictures are taken and child is told how great he did. Fast forward 7yrs and same son catches first largemouth bass.Still get ribbed today about not catching a bass yet that big.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Carney,I just googled 'Numrich gun parts' and they have parts for model 49 repeater or 49 single shot.

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from Shotgunlou wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

PbHeah...Brilliant!!!!Dave...I think this is an excellent idea and I second the motion!! If they cant be printed can we find the archives online?

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from Dave Petzal wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

To Pb Head: Nothing would please me more than seeing Ruark and Page (and for that matter, half a dozen of the great old-timers) back in F&S, but:The days when you could run a 3,000-word article are gone, and cutting the old-timers is a crime; it destroys them. Also, the reprint fees for Ruark are about what the Iraq war costs us in a week.And, lastly, I'm afraid that the number of people who are willing to read 3,000 words would not fill up a decent ground blind.But thanks for asking.

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from OrangeNeckInNY (formerly RedneckInNY) wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Gosh, I wish I had a mount of the first animal I ever shot. Too bad I blew out the rat's brains with the slingshot LOL!!!

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

buckstopperPerhaps we need to add viagrato the water supply at F&S

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from buckstopper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

maybe that old elk needs a viagra

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from Chad Love wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

PBHead, I'm snapping up every old issue of F&S, Sports Afield and Outdoor Life I can find at rummage and garage sales, library book sales, etc.A lot of those great old writers simply can't be found any more and there doesn't seem to be much interest in anthologizing them.Everything from the late seventies to mid 80s (my formative years) back I'm grabbing, 'cause when they're gone they're gone.Same thing with books. A lot of them are out of print and they're not coming back.Saw on bird hunting board I frequent that a guy found an autographed copy of "Mostly Tailfeathers" sitting on the shelf at his local library.Now don't get me wrong, I don't advocate library theft, but...

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from Thomas wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Everything gets shorter or smaller with age. My memory isn't what it used to be, my height is getting shorter, my endurance for being out in the cold, and my eyes do not see as far as they once used to. With everything getting shorter the only thing that as not gotten smaller is my waist.Tom the Troll

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from PbHead wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Hey Dave, why did cavemen produce paintings of trophy animals on walls? Was it for the memory or to prevent Ogg from becoming a legend in his own mind? It works in many ways.Anyway, sometimes the best part of this blog for me is the memories awakened by the mention of the giants like Ruark and Page. How about using your influence at Field & Stream to get them to reprint some of the writing of those giants? You could call it "Classic Corner". When profits soar from subscription increases, you could afford to take off for Africa again. Feel free to take all of the credit but if you need a gun bearer I could be available.

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from Carney wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Fond memories of "firsts"...My first gun was cooler than all get out -- and still is if I can get parts for it. .22 Ithica model 49 repeater.My first girlfriend really was good looking = she's been a model through her 20's, 30's, 40's and she might continue as she moves into her 50's. Of course she may end up just doing Geritol commercials.My first deer had tiny antlers when I shot him and he still does.The only fond memory that I have to keep adjusting to reality is the memory of my wife being so beautiful -- she gets more beautiful with the passing of time and the enjoyment of life together!

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Many times I have suffered from ground shrinkage. One time tho he got bigger as I walked up. To add panic to the mix he jumped up and ran. A quick follow up put him down for good. Seventeen points with 13 inch G-2's. Best buck shot on Ft Leonard Wood in 1989. Still my best buck to date.Hey guys if any of you are interested in scrimshaw I found a guy down in GA that does beautiful work. He's making me a powder measure out of a warthog tusk and customizing my powderhorn right now. He has a store on EBAY called Captain Robs treasure trove.

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from jack wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Rather like my grandsons' first fish: (a fistful of bluegills off the end of the dock). We hollered and yelped. I grabbed the camera and recorded the grand catch.I pulled out the photos and as it turns out, their smiles were bigger than the fish - which is how it should be.But as I recall, my joy was not the fish - my joy was their joy at having done so.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

My first was a doe that probably weighed under 100#'s on the hoof. The best part is I killed it with a muzzle loader I built from a kit and was using iron sights and patched round balls as the twist was 1 in 66". The fact that my new father-in-law was with me and didn't like me and everyone else there was his friend and thought I was some Yankee SOB that had taken his little girl away helped a lot too. Especially since I was the only one to punch his tag and they all had in-lines with scopes...

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from Lone Star 45 wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Ask Clay about the stuck patch in his 25-06 out on McGregor Range!LMAO!

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from wgp wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

My favorite T-shirt has the message: "The older I get, the better I was."

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from Robert wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

I think that story is right on par with my experiences. My first buck (actually my first deer) was an 8-point white-tail I took on my parents' place in TN during muzzleloader season. I got some pictures of it that morning and took it to a taxidermist that afternoon. I didn't see it again until a few months later when I went back home to visit, and was surprised at how small it looked. Even the angle of the pictures made it look bigger than in real life. I'm still completely psyched about that deer and wouldn't trade it for anything. But it does provide an interesting story of how the excitement of the moment can influence your perception of things.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Age 12 when I got by first deer somewhere in the neighborhood close to Paradise AZ. Dad and I walked all over the backside of a ridge that morning and as we approached 100 yards from Dads International Scout, a Buck jumped up running at 30 yards and I dropped him with my 03-A3 with Hornady 130’s. Yep, that was a hard job to get it out. Backed the Scout up and loaded it!But that evening came the worse hunt I’ve ever been on.One of Dads friends’ brothers was packing a Ruger 22 magnum. When he jumped down into a gully, the butt of the rifle hit the hammer and the round went thru the top of his foot shattering all the bones. It was a long way out that night.

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from Chad Love wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Well said, Tom.

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from Tom Sorenson wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Memories are what we hunt for anyhow.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

It's the experience that matters to me not the trophy. My favorite deer (so far) was a doe. It was my first deer, one that I shot in the company of my father, while I was carrying my father's favorite rifle, one that he inherited from HIS father, whose favorite rifle it was.

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from Chad Love wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

I had no such illusions about my first buck. He had one spike that protruded exactly three inches above his skull. The other one never grew in.I've seen keychains with bigger attachments than that little bit of antler, but it occupies a prominent spot on one of my bookcase shelves. I wouldn't trade it for anything. It's a totem, a reminder of just how new and exciting everything once was for me.Memory's a helluva thing, isn't it? It constantly forces you to square who you thought you'd be then with who you really are now.My wife often accuses me of having a fundamentally melancholy disposition.I can't disagree, but I find it's a useful state of mind for dealing with the sometimes jarring realities of modern life, sort of a shock absorber for the soul...Geez, Dave. Now I'm all wistful, depressed and pining for a second chance at a youth squandered.Thanks a lot...

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Dave, I bet you sounded like a 10x10 Bull Elk in heat when you realized you dropped that 6x6!As for that 6x6, that is defiantly one of your best of memories. The preparation for, the hard work before and after the shot is the part that makes your moment in time so special. If it was a canned hunt, you would have viewed it as another outing! But you did it and that what makes it so special!!!It’s too bad Sportsmen don’t realize the grand of things until they are in the autumn of their life.One thing I’ve learned about Elk and Moose hunting. The real work starts when you pull the trigger!

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from Chip wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Like many folks I'm sure, my first buck was huge. So huge I had it mounted and still today it hangs proudly in my foyer with my other mounts. It's actually tiny by any standard. I am a bit embarrassed when friends come over but then I remind them, and me, that it earned its spot by being my first.There's got to be a term for this like "ground shrinkage". Maybe "memory shrinkage"?

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from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Must agree with you, DP. Time has a tendency to shrink the size and grandeur. It seems when I was younger the world was like a Sergio Leone western set…….huge and volume-ish. Now in my age when I physically return to the places or look as photos, things have indeed shrunk.It’s why I look upon “hanger talk” and “war stories” with a little doubt. In some talking memories distances expand; the animals become bigger, weather fiercer, etc.Think it’s why I relate my memories with caution. I may not have it right in my age.

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from Brian wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

I think rifle scopes also have a way of altering reality. I was looking through my 3X9 at a nice 8 point with a huge spread and heavy main beams. After I shot him and walked up to him it turned into a 8 point with a above average spread and above average heft. When it came back from the taxidermist it turned out to have average spread and rather spindly main beams. What happened to the monster that I saw through my Tasco?

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Kinda like your first girlfriend who was the most beautiful creature ever, and then you go to your 30th High School re-union and ewwwww... my advice is stay home. Everyone there is fat and bald and old. By the way what in the world are you doing giving away your very first elk? Must be a really close friend.

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from flintinfrizzen wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

My first deer was a button buck--a young, stupid deer for a young, stupid kid. Dad, full of the joy only a hunting father feels toward hunting offspring, mounted the "rack" for me and that young buck has his place of honor amongst others The Lord has blessed me with. But,--most importantly,--he has his place in my heart, for I so treasured my experience with him and got to know that unique sorrow upon the taking of a life that every "true" hunter knows. It seems that every kill I'm blessed with produces this very same feeling, and I wouldn't give up any of my deer for the "world record". To do so would dishonor the whole whitetail race and spit on the positive impact these deer have upon my life. "...all flesh is grass..."

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 5 years 33 weeks ago

All game animals look much larger on the hoof at 2-300 yds than they do 5 yds way lying on the ground. Never forget, beauty, size is always in the eyes of the beholder.If you only hunt for huge HORNS, best you stay at home,as the killing is the last straw and the hunt is over. You are not a true hunter, just a killing machine.Lot more to see, enjoy in the wide open spaces than killing animal.I will be going to MT come late Oct. and if by chance I do take a shot thats a bonus to l6 days of pure heaven in our gteat wonderful wild world. My trophy room is full, no space left.Plan to try out two new firearms i just purchased that have wanted for many years.At 73,decided best I buy now,rather than later, as later is far sooner than you expect. The old Southern Gun Slinger: Shoot often and straight, then shoot again.

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from CJ wrote 5 years 33 weeks ago

I'd rather have a sister in a whorehouse than a brother on the Obama campaign.

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from james ti wrote 5 years 33 weeks ago

like i told my brother who is an obama lover, if people want to kill people they will do it wether you ban guns or not. at least we can defend ourselves as lawful firearm owners. people who own guns are less likely to have to defend themselves. consequences and repurcussions!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 33 weeks ago

Dr. RalphWe had an Airman at Holloman AFB that shot himself in the foot. After he recovered from that, he shot himself in the hand. The reason? He wanted to know how it felt! If someone wants to do harm to themselves, there is no way in stopping them unless you put them in a body cast and they will still find a way.

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from Duck Creek Dick wrote 5 years 33 weeks ago

Dave:Don't sell Pb Head and the outdoor magazine reading public short. I would welcome lengthier well written articles. "Deep in the Heart of Roosterland" by T. Edward Nickens in F&S's August issue was excellent. A little less fluff and glitzy, whiz-bang,paragraph-long bullet points. Not all of us out here in the reading public have attention deficit disorder.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 33 weeks ago

Zermoid the last year statistics are avaiable (2004) 30,000 people died from gunshot wounds and suicides were the #1 cause. These accounted for 2% of all deaths... heart attack 28%, Cancer 22%, Stroke 7%, Emphysemia 5%, and automobile accidents 5%... more people were accidentally killed in hospitals than by guns!

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Clay:The neighbor's kid turned up with a box of this Tannerite. Oddly enough he set it off with his ole man's .25-'06 also. Man what a blast. So loud that the chickens quit laying, the cows ran through the fence, and the horses bucked down the road until out of sight. His neighbor called out that she was going to phone the sheriff if he didn't quit the noise. Apparently it was rattling her windows loose. You probably know how it is in Wyoming, the kid was shooting off the stuff in his rural back yard. We'll have to take the next batch far into the desert or up into a mountain canyon. What an echo tht would make...

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Zermoid:You have an extremely valid point, I think I will order a set of 8 x 8's and a pair of 38DD's. Anyone got an address?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Want to have real fun!Yesterday while unloading my ATV I heard a gunshot on top of the ridge above me. Didn’t give it any thought until I heard the biggest thundering boom that literally shook the woods for miles and the loudest I ever heard besides a Military Range! What the hell was that gun detonation (blowup)! I grabbed my EPRB formally known as SPOT (www.findmespot.com) and code 3 up the ridge expecting the worse only to find a group of people having the grandest of time! What the hell was that and don’t tell me it was a gun. They all started laughing and one fella said tannerite! I remember that stuff on the internet! One of the guys made up another batch enough to fill a coffee cup and placed it under a large television and asks if I wanted the honors of shooting it, sure and I shot it with my 25-06. It went off like a bomb obliterated the television every part of it. Then they placed one in an old smoker and I shot that. The top went flying over the tree tops and the housing was ripped apart like an M-80 in a Dixie cup!Good stuff worth the money!http://www.tannerite.com/

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

The #1 weapon is a knife!

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from SD Bob wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Hey Chad Love:You said your first buck was a spike exactly 3 inches in length and had only one antler, sounds like your describing mine with the exception being mine was 3 and an 1/8th. We measured close because we thought I was going to have to tag it with an anterless license but rest assured in the laws eyes it was a legal buck. I happen to have that antler on a key chain for my work keys but unfortunately after 19 years of drying it is now 2 7/8ths inches in length. According to a guy I work with who is an official scorer with P&Y or B&C (I can't recall which) , it falls in a loop hole and scores substantially higher than any reasonable man would agree to. I can still see that deer hitting the deck after my 30-06 went boom! I don't believe I stepped one foot to the ground in that 90 yard dash!

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from Zermoid wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

And james ti,You realize more people are killed by cars than guns, but you never hear the lame brained schemes to control cars as you do guns, and cars are not even protected as a Constitutional Right!Where's the logic there?

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from Zermoid wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Hey ishawooa, Fake antlers might not be so bad, you could have the Buck you remember and not the one the taxidermist gave you back. A little artificial enhancement isn't a bad thing, just look at Pam Anderson, do you think anyone cares that her "rack" is fake? Really?

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from james ti wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

where was it that i read "more than 90% of murders are committed with something other than a firearm?" time to outlaw your golfclubs and hammers. better yet, just outlaw liberals.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

It’s a WAV says, Guns don’t kill people, the Government does!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Jim in MOyou have to copy and paste to get it to work right.www.wavsource.com/snds_2008-08-23_101278502061610/tv/misc/king_of_hill_guns.wav

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

I don't get it. You sellin shoes?

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from Lone Star 45 wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

A special message!http://www.wavsource.com/snds_2008-08-23_101278502061610/tv/misc/king_of_hill_guns.wav

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

The elk may not, in reality, be as grand as the memory...but the memory is unique, positive, wonderful and THAT is one of the reasons we hunt. An old friend produced a photo of a whitetail that I remembered as larger than it was, but 38 years ago I suppose I was smaller and the buck was larger by comparison. At any rate, it was larger in my recollection. Still, I remember that hunting trip in Upstate NY as a page in a volume of good memories. The venison has long since been consumed but the memories endure and they're still tucked away for easy retrieval on a quiet day.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

CmcdonoughGood grief Charlie Brown! I’ve herd allot of tales, but this tale takes first place, a tube of chapstick!Since Lone Star 45 is telling off on me, I might as well tell a stupid stunt from my much younger years. I made a string bore cleaner out of the center of parachute cord and used a fishing weight on one end. One day I got sand in the bore of my 25-06 so I whipped out my homemade job, cut a piece of t-shirt and started to pull it thru when the string broke halfway thru. So I went to the truck and not thinking dropped a couple of ¼ inch drill bits in and you know the rest of the story, barrel replacement time! Needed a new barrel anyhow.Speaking of Coues deer and The Mysterious Case of the Shrinking Elk Head. Dad and I was walking 150 yards or so parallel to the west bank of Pinion Lake. A big doe jumped up on our last day, dad had a doe permit and shot it with his 30-06 with a 150 grain bullet. Dropped her like a ton of bricks! Dad and I walked up expecting a big ol’mulie doe….. NOT! A coues doe and destroyed the shoulder!!! Dad gutted it out and tied the front and back legs together and I at the age of 13 carried it out like a hand bag. It’s amazing how surrounding objects and light mislead your senses of size and distance.

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from Shaky wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Steve Ferber: missing a shot seems like an insufficient reason for a guide to commit sucide,you must have done something else to him that you're not telling us about.Mac; you are very lucky that bolt didn't close because a deer shot with chapstick would be completly inedible, to say nothing of the damage it could do to your rifle.

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from james ti wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

here's an idea: have dick cheney take obama on a bird hunt and let them make fond memories together. dave can even narrate it. a few bits of humor during the dark moments if you could, dave.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

cmcdonough,LOL, lets do this again. Did you unload on the buck or actually unload?

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from cmcdonough wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Clay,Your story reminds me of one of my favorite whitetail hunts in which I DIDNT get one. I was hunting in the same area near Paradise AZ and just getting back to the truck when I spotted a nice Coues buck not more than 100 yards away. I shot, missed and had such buck fever that I actually unloaded my rifle. The buck looked around, not knowing where the shot came from and I reached into my pocket (not looking of course), loaded a round and then couldnt close the bolt. I looked down to see that I had loaded a tube of chapstick. Truly a Bill Heavey moment!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

You got it, bactrian has two. BTW, who the hell would want a nasty spittin camel?

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Jim in MOThe single camel was in a corral on the west side of the highway not far from Sedalia. Also it is a liter of "Jack in the Black" as scnapps always gave me a headache. Or maybe it was a fifth of The MacCallan 18 year old. Anyway the critter only had one hump. Is that a camel or a dromedary?

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Jim in Mo,If you drive I-70 west of Topeka there used to be a pasture with 2 camels in it on the south side right next to the highway. Last couple years they were gone when we go out for Pheasant and ducks.

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from Carney wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Jim in Mo,Thanks for looking that up for me; I really appreciate it! Last time I looked -- several years ago -- the particular parts were out of stock... My biggest challenge now is finding time for one more project!

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from Steve Ferber wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Five or six years ago I missed a proud and prancing 7x7 elk within a herd of cows and minor bulls, in Wyoming, at an elevation of 10,000 feet from an up-hill distance of 340 yards.Acccurately measured with a binoc/rangefinder combo by my First-Rate guide, I even got to lay prone for the shot. It was a stupid miss.Only when we got back to camp was the ugly reason for the lousy shot determined. The more I think about the event--the bigger the beast gets. It might have only been a 6x6 but only the frustrated guide would know for sure today...and he commited suicide.

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from Michael wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Memories may be all we will have depending on wins the election in November.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

buckstopper,Yes I know about the bear in Ark. A friend has a small hunting cabin with bear scratches around the door and windows. We've had some bears migrating up here over the years but the conservation dept. refused to acknowledge them. In essence the locals must be hallucinating. They finally admitted an increasing presence after a few were killed harrasing farm animals. One interesting thing thats come along the past few years is an expanding range of wild/ferrel hogs. Open year round and deer hunters are encouraged to have at 'em. One caveat, make sure they don't have ear tags, farmer Jones wouldn't be pleased.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

ishawooa,What you probably saw was a game farm. In N. Mo theres farms that produce 'exotic' cuts of meat for restaurants, such as elk/bison/imu etc. Never heard of a camel ranch though, you sure there's not a half pint of schnapps under the truck seat? HaHa

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from Gritz wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

My first buck came in my third year of hunting. It was also my first deer I had see in my first three years of hunting that had horns. It was a beautiful 6 pointer and my father was so proud he had it shoulder mounted. After 10 years I came home and looked at the mount and it seemed rather small, beautiful, perfect beams, but on the small side. My father's explanation was that all horns shrink over time. I have a snap shot of the day that we took the deer. I was 14. It does in deed look smaller now. It is one of those deer that, seen on tv, would be a deer to "let grow a couple of years" even though the deer was older and was probably just not fed optimally. I would never had thought to let it go but it is an eye opener. I have shot deer with much bigger racks but nothing was as thrilling as that first "big buck" and I keep that mount of my beautiful beast that I took first with my ole 30 30. Hunting is like a love affair. You always remember your first with a little bit of magic that makes everything much more perfect than it really was.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Reminds me of a friend of mine Ish. He shot a buck with huge antlers, a nice ten pointer by any one's standards but the spread was tiny... in fact the horns almost touched when they came back together except that one was about two or three inches lower than the other. Next thing I know he's got his rack mounted on a doe's head and the spread has grown dramatically and somehow perfectly aligned. It ain't right.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Now that should send shivers down your spine thinking Barack Obama and Joe Biden as his vice presidential in the White House!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Clays thought for the day,“Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.”-Joseph Stalin

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from Totalrecoil wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Dave: At least it took 35 years for you to see the groundshrink in your elk. I've found that in the case of black bears the groundshrink is often immediate.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

BuckstopperO’yes do we have Elk!The best place to spot Elk is on AR43 at Beechwood AR, between the junction of AR21 & AR43 near Boxley and AR43 & AR74 near Ponca. I see them every time in the mornings when driving thru and there is one big Ol’Boy in their 8x7! And yes, it’s within the Park boundaries!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Jim in Mo.Reintroducing Elk? I hope it works and doesn’t flop like it did in the area of Page Oklahoma. They poached them out faster than they can bring them in! Haven’t been down their lately but the last time, some fella said I was trespassing on his land! Should have seen that ol’boys face when I told him who I was. He needed a change of pants he did!!!

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from PbHead wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Chad, I too hunt the haunts of used literature, looking for the trophies. I wish somebody could inform me of the all the names some of these writers were published under. I believe Jack O'Connor went by a few names and George Nonte went by a few dozen. The best local place to look for old books and used magazines also happens to be the home of the "Members Only Adult Section" in the back room. Often the parking lot is full and I am the only one in the front half of the building.

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Seems to me I saw some elk about halfway between St. Jo and Hannibal about ten years ago. On the other hand I am certain I saw a camel somewhere around Warsaw. And no I was not drinking.

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from buckstopper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Jim in Mo,There is a population of Elk in Northen Arkansas at the Buffalo National River. Clay may could tell you if there is a season on them. BTW back before westward expansion, Arkansas was known as the Bear State. Bears have been restored in the Ozarks with bears from Michigan about 30 years ago and have a huntable population. In the White River National Refuge the original strain of bears remain and are protected but have been spotted along the Saline and Ouachita River bottoms.

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

I have not looked into this matter other than a casual glance at a local butcher shop. While leaving a so-so buck carcuss to be sliced and packaged I happened to notice a fantasticly wide set of huge 4 x 4 mule deer antlers complete with "drops" laying on a desk in the owner's office. Go look at them he says which, of course, I did. I was awestruck by the massive tines and deep dark color of the antlers. The owner walked into the room and I asked where the buck had been killed. He only replied "pick them up". They were light as hell AND make of some kind of plastic material by a taxadermist in Billings, MT. Sure looked real and impressive. So if you guys get tired of the little antlers on your first buck or bull I am sure this guy can simply make you a replacement set. Sort of takes something out of it don't it?

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Clay,They say at one time we had elk here in the heartland. Now Ky is doing a restoration project for elk. I'm wondering is it just folly, or will it work for the blue collar man? I doubt it. Prices to hunt, I'd like to see.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Jim in Mo.Suppose to be true. Elk habitat did include Louisiana at one time.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Don’t mess with this little girl!http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/just_plain_stupid/Little_Girl_With_a_Machine_Gun/#163387Coil gunhttp://www.stupidvideos.com/video/just_plain_stupid/Coil_Gun/#590655 Gallon Propane tank explosionhttp://www.stupidvideos.com/video/stunts/5_Gallon_Propane_Tank_Explosion/#38944

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Coop,Sounds like a theft gone bad.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

It was 2 years ago or so some fisherman pulled up at the antlered skull remains of an elk in a Louisiana creek?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

I like to take a fake Bull Elk of record breaking B&C and P&Y, stick it up on a hill side about 300 yards full of pyrotechnics and let some well known like Dave thinks he has the Daddy of them all in his sights and to have hidden cameras to capture it all!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

jack,You brought back two recollections. The best is my 4 yr old sons first fish which is always a bluegill, pictures are taken and child is told how great he did. Fast forward 7yrs and same son catches first largemouth bass.Still get ribbed today about not catching a bass yet that big.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Carney,I just googled 'Numrich gun parts' and they have parts for model 49 repeater or 49 single shot.

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from Shotgunlou wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

PbHeah...Brilliant!!!!Dave...I think this is an excellent idea and I second the motion!! If they cant be printed can we find the archives online?

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from Dave Petzal wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

To Pb Head: Nothing would please me more than seeing Ruark and Page (and for that matter, half a dozen of the great old-timers) back in F&S, but:The days when you could run a 3,000-word article are gone, and cutting the old-timers is a crime; it destroys them. Also, the reprint fees for Ruark are about what the Iraq war costs us in a week.And, lastly, I'm afraid that the number of people who are willing to read 3,000 words would not fill up a decent ground blind.But thanks for asking.

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from OrangeNeckInNY (formerly RedneckInNY) wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Gosh, I wish I had a mount of the first animal I ever shot. Too bad I blew out the rat's brains with the slingshot LOL!!!

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

buckstopperPerhaps we need to add viagrato the water supply at F&S

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from buckstopper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

maybe that old elk needs a viagra

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from Chad Love wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

PBHead, I'm snapping up every old issue of F&S, Sports Afield and Outdoor Life I can find at rummage and garage sales, library book sales, etc.A lot of those great old writers simply can't be found any more and there doesn't seem to be much interest in anthologizing them.Everything from the late seventies to mid 80s (my formative years) back I'm grabbing, 'cause when they're gone they're gone.Same thing with books. A lot of them are out of print and they're not coming back.Saw on bird hunting board I frequent that a guy found an autographed copy of "Mostly Tailfeathers" sitting on the shelf at his local library.Now don't get me wrong, I don't advocate library theft, but...

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from Thomas wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Everything gets shorter or smaller with age. My memory isn't what it used to be, my height is getting shorter, my endurance for being out in the cold, and my eyes do not see as far as they once used to. With everything getting shorter the only thing that as not gotten smaller is my waist.Tom the Troll

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from PbHead wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Hey Dave, why did cavemen produce paintings of trophy animals on walls? Was it for the memory or to prevent Ogg from becoming a legend in his own mind? It works in many ways.Anyway, sometimes the best part of this blog for me is the memories awakened by the mention of the giants like Ruark and Page. How about using your influence at Field & Stream to get them to reprint some of the writing of those giants? You could call it "Classic Corner". When profits soar from subscription increases, you could afford to take off for Africa again. Feel free to take all of the credit but if you need a gun bearer I could be available.

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from Carney wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Fond memories of "firsts"...My first gun was cooler than all get out -- and still is if I can get parts for it. .22 Ithica model 49 repeater.My first girlfriend really was good looking = she's been a model through her 20's, 30's, 40's and she might continue as she moves into her 50's. Of course she may end up just doing Geritol commercials.My first deer had tiny antlers when I shot him and he still does.The only fond memory that I have to keep adjusting to reality is the memory of my wife being so beautiful -- she gets more beautiful with the passing of time and the enjoyment of life together!

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Many times I have suffered from ground shrinkage. One time tho he got bigger as I walked up. To add panic to the mix he jumped up and ran. A quick follow up put him down for good. Seventeen points with 13 inch G-2's. Best buck shot on Ft Leonard Wood in 1989. Still my best buck to date.Hey guys if any of you are interested in scrimshaw I found a guy down in GA that does beautiful work. He's making me a powder measure out of a warthog tusk and customizing my powderhorn right now. He has a store on EBAY called Captain Robs treasure trove.

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from jack wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Rather like my grandsons' first fish: (a fistful of bluegills off the end of the dock). We hollered and yelped. I grabbed the camera and recorded the grand catch.I pulled out the photos and as it turns out, their smiles were bigger than the fish - which is how it should be.But as I recall, my joy was not the fish - my joy was their joy at having done so.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

My first was a doe that probably weighed under 100#'s on the hoof. The best part is I killed it with a muzzle loader I built from a kit and was using iron sights and patched round balls as the twist was 1 in 66". The fact that my new father-in-law was with me and didn't like me and everyone else there was his friend and thought I was some Yankee SOB that had taken his little girl away helped a lot too. Especially since I was the only one to punch his tag and they all had in-lines with scopes...

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from Lone Star 45 wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Ask Clay about the stuck patch in his 25-06 out on McGregor Range!LMAO!

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from wgp wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

My favorite T-shirt has the message: "The older I get, the better I was."

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from Robert wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

I think that story is right on par with my experiences. My first buck (actually my first deer) was an 8-point white-tail I took on my parents' place in TN during muzzleloader season. I got some pictures of it that morning and took it to a taxidermist that afternoon. I didn't see it again until a few months later when I went back home to visit, and was surprised at how small it looked. Even the angle of the pictures made it look bigger than in real life. I'm still completely psyched about that deer and wouldn't trade it for anything. But it does provide an interesting story of how the excitement of the moment can influence your perception of things.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Age 12 when I got by first deer somewhere in the neighborhood close to Paradise AZ. Dad and I walked all over the backside of a ridge that morning and as we approached 100 yards from Dads International Scout, a Buck jumped up running at 30 yards and I dropped him with my 03-A3 with Hornady 130’s. Yep, that was a hard job to get it out. Backed the Scout up and loaded it!But that evening came the worse hunt I’ve ever been on.One of Dads friends’ brothers was packing a Ruger 22 magnum. When he jumped down into a gully, the butt of the rifle hit the hammer and the round went thru the top of his foot shattering all the bones. It was a long way out that night.

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from Chad Love wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Well said, Tom.

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from Tom Sorenson wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Memories are what we hunt for anyhow.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

It's the experience that matters to me not the trophy. My favorite deer (so far) was a doe. It was my first deer, one that I shot in the company of my father, while I was carrying my father's favorite rifle, one that he inherited from HIS father, whose favorite rifle it was.

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from Chad Love wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

I had no such illusions about my first buck. He had one spike that protruded exactly three inches above his skull. The other one never grew in.I've seen keychains with bigger attachments than that little bit of antler, but it occupies a prominent spot on one of my bookcase shelves. I wouldn't trade it for anything. It's a totem, a reminder of just how new and exciting everything once was for me.Memory's a helluva thing, isn't it? It constantly forces you to square who you thought you'd be then with who you really are now.My wife often accuses me of having a fundamentally melancholy disposition.I can't disagree, but I find it's a useful state of mind for dealing with the sometimes jarring realities of modern life, sort of a shock absorber for the soul...Geez, Dave. Now I'm all wistful, depressed and pining for a second chance at a youth squandered.Thanks a lot...

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Dave, I bet you sounded like a 10x10 Bull Elk in heat when you realized you dropped that 6x6!As for that 6x6, that is defiantly one of your best of memories. The preparation for, the hard work before and after the shot is the part that makes your moment in time so special. If it was a canned hunt, you would have viewed it as another outing! But you did it and that what makes it so special!!!It’s too bad Sportsmen don’t realize the grand of things until they are in the autumn of their life.One thing I’ve learned about Elk and Moose hunting. The real work starts when you pull the trigger!

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from Chip wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Like many folks I'm sure, my first buck was huge. So huge I had it mounted and still today it hangs proudly in my foyer with my other mounts. It's actually tiny by any standard. I am a bit embarrassed when friends come over but then I remind them, and me, that it earned its spot by being my first.There's got to be a term for this like "ground shrinkage". Maybe "memory shrinkage"?

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from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Must agree with you, DP. Time has a tendency to shrink the size and grandeur. It seems when I was younger the world was like a Sergio Leone western set…….huge and volume-ish. Now in my age when I physically return to the places or look as photos, things have indeed shrunk.It’s why I look upon “hanger talk” and “war stories” with a little doubt. In some talking memories distances expand; the animals become bigger, weather fiercer, etc.Think it’s why I relate my memories with caution. I may not have it right in my age.

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from Brian wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

I think rifle scopes also have a way of altering reality. I was looking through my 3X9 at a nice 8 point with a huge spread and heavy main beams. After I shot him and walked up to him it turned into a 8 point with a above average spread and above average heft. When it came back from the taxidermist it turned out to have average spread and rather spindly main beams. What happened to the monster that I saw through my Tasco?

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 34 weeks ago

Kinda like your first girlfriend who was the most beautiful creature ever, and then you go to your 30th High School re-union and ewwwww... my advice is stay home. Everyone there is fat and bald and old. By the way what in the world are you doing giving away your very first elk? Must be a really close friend.

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