Hello everyone! I am pleased to say that once again we had an excellent year here at Antler Ridge Outfitting. In spite of dealing with poor hunting weather for most of the season, 2016 brought a lot of success.
This year I didn’t have any archery or muzzleloader hunters so the first rifle season kicked things off. Scott Hardison came from Oklahoma and on the first morning he was able to put his tag on a nice 5×5 bull down at Archie’s. Jack Summers came up from Texas and quickly followed Scott’s lead by taking a great bull at Bruce Clark’s that evening.
Second season brought the return Hodge Phillips who made his way up from Florida. Hodge waited patiently for a couple of days while the elk stayed on the wrong side of the tribal fence. They finally slipped up and came into Pargin’s lower place and he was able to take a nice 5×5 bull.
Dennis, Bill, and Mark came out from Ohio again and Dennis got things going for the Ohio guys about 3 days in when he took a nice 160 inch muley down at Pargin’s. Since he’s getting up in years and had left his Centrum Silver at home, he decided not to buy a bull tag and just napped the rest of the season. Mark and I went down to Pargin’s lower place one evening, and after his guide spooked the elk herd away, a nice 6×6 came out by himself. Mark made an excellent 300+ yard shot and filled his bull tag. Over the past 4 years Bill and I have worked really hard to get him a bull. We have had several close encounters without success that have left him and I both really frustrated. One morning over at Bruce’s after a couple warning shots and some elevation recalculations, Bill took a nice bull from 440 yards. It was a very fulfilling morning for my friend Bill and I.
John, Joe, and Grace returned from Boulder for the last three days of the season and both Joe and Grace took a nice buck. Joe was set up in the lean too of the Adobe House and Grace was in a ground blind a few yards away. After Joe made an excellent shot on a buck, Grace was able to do the same on another in the field.
Third season came a short five days later and, it too, turned out to be a great season. Rowdy, Roy, Shawn, and Randy came back this year from Florida and didn’t quite have the luck we hoped for. Rowdy and Roy, being the fair guys they are, fired some warning shots at some bulls over at Bruce’s but just didn’t get another chance for success on elk. Roy did redeem himself by taking a nice 170 buck later in the week. Shawn and Randy were holding out for some really good bucks, but with warm weather, they just didn’t get the opportunity. Shawn was able to get a decent buck at Archie’s the last night he was here, but not what he had hoped for.
Rob Figgins and Jesse Sprinkle came out from Illinois for the 3rd rifle season also. After being extremely patient and hunting hard for most of the week, Jesse finally tagged a big mature buck. Rob spent most of the week hunting a buck that I spotted earlier, but the buck just wouldn’t come out where I had seen him. One of the other hunters in camp was not too far away and ended up getting him, so Rob and I made a new game plan. Although it wasn’t until the last evening, Rob was able to harvest a great buck.
The last group of hunters I had for 3rd season came out from California. Cheo, his brother Greg, his other brother Greg, and their friend Brian turned out to be some pretty “interesting” guys. Even though they were awfully busy playing practical jokes on each other and me, as well as plastering Hillary 16 stickers all over my camp, they were still able to do pretty well hunting. The younger Greg started things off when he took a nice bull over at Zelitti’s. Then Brian tagged a stud of a buck at the adobe house. (He’s the one that shot Rob’s buck. Kind of messed up…Geez Brian) The next day or so Cheo was able to put his tag on a really nice buck over at Zelitti’s place. Old Greg showed his many, many, many years hunting experience with commendable patience all week, holding out for a really nice buck but never had an opportunity. The cow elk eluded the three of them that had cow tags, but overall they faired pretty well and they were definitely a lot of fun to have in camp.
Fourth season came a few days later and Jim Yancy and Jerry Hans returned for their favorite season. After the super moon showed up the deer movement really shut down. Jerry and Jimmy both hunted hard all week but the caliber of bucks they were looking for just never showed themselves. The last morning both of them finally got a couple of nice 4×4 muleys, just not quite a big as they had hoped for.
I want to express my gratitude to all the hunters that came this year making it another great season for Antler Ridge Outfitting. I would like to thank Kevin Hronich for his help again this season. I’m already looking forward to the 2017 season and seeing everyone back out here again!