Hello everyone! The 2017 hunting season turned out to be another good one here at Antler Ridge Outfitting. We had the worst weather for hunting this year that we have had in a long time but still managed to do pretty well. The elk hunting wasn’t as good as it had been for a few years but with hot and dry weather it wasn’t surprising. The mule deer hunting started slow but ended up being pretty good. We still had a great year despite the weather and I was pleased to see pretty much everyone have some success!
1st Rifle Season started the year off with the return of Jack from Texas who hunted a couple days at Bruce’s before moving to South Pargin’s and taking a nice 6×6 bull. This was his second year with me so he is two for two now. Scott returned from Oklahoma bringing his brother in law Tanner along with him this year. I got a call from Tanner a couple days into the season with news of his success. With Scott doing some calling they were able to locate some elk at Archie’s. Tanner put a stalk (using that word pretty loosely because I think he might have been just walking back to the truck) on them and got a nice 6. Scott ended up striking out for the first time and went home empty handed. Jason and Josh were some first timers here at ARO, and after hunting really hard at Zelitti’s, ended up striking out as well. As I mentioned before, the poor hunting weather definitely had an impact on the elk hunting.
This year I had several new faces in camp for 2nd Season. Quentin and his dad Chuck came out from Wisconsin and spent several warm days down at Archie’s. After seeing a few does and some uncooperative elk, Quentin was finally able to get his first bull. Chuck was as patient as you can be but opportunity never came for him.
Willy and Carl came out from Indiana this year for the first time. They had some interesting encounters with Pargin’s cows down on the creek but were never able to get an elk. They moved to Bruce’s and were able to get a couple bucks the last day they had to hunt.
Mike and his son Michael also made their way out from Wisconsin and were pretty successful. The first morning of the hunt, Michael got a stud of a three point buck down at Pargin’s, measuring in at 36” wide on the outside of his mains. His dad was also able to get a great buck at Pargin’s. Towards the end of the week, Michael was leaving his perch at Zelitti’s, when he was able to shoot a really nice 6×6 at 50 yards.
John, Joe, and Grace returned from Boulder again this year. John and Grace fired some warning shots at some elk up at Bonine’s but weren’t able to make it happen. Joe put his tag on his biggest buck to date, and minutes later at another spot, Grace was able to do the same.
Third Season was filled with a bunch of my long time clients so it was really enjoyable for me. Larry and Mike made their return from California after a one year absence. Larry was able to take a nice buck down at South Pargin’s. Mike only had a cow tag but with the warm weather, neither he nor Larry were able to fill their elk tags.
Rowdy and Roy were up from Florida again this year. Rowdy was able to tag a nice bull over at Bruce’s the first morning, and a few days later he got a great buck down at Pargin’s. Roy saw some game this year but just never got an opportunity. He might need to be cautious when his buddy Rowdy reassures him he is giving Roy the “good spots!”
Bill, Dennis, and John came out in 3rd this year from Cleveland and were able to do pretty good. John started things off by getting a nice buck , and since he is a top hand elk hunter, he was able to take a bull at Zelitti’s a couple days later. John has been lucky (or if you ask him, skilled) enough to get a bull every year he has hunted with me! Dennis spent most of his time up at Bonine’s and was finally able to get a buck. As he gets older and older and older every year, his naps get a little longer so he might have been sleeping when the elk came by. This was the slowest the elk hunting had been for Bill since he has been here, and he never had a chance at one. He spent most of the week at the Adobe house trying to figure out which bucks were “ babies” and which ones I wouldn’t make fun of him for shooting. He ended up doing really well though and got a nice buck towards the end of the week!
Jerry came up from Prescott again this year in 4th and was able to fill his tag at Bonine’s a couple days into the season. Jimmy came up again from San Antonio and brought his friend Marvin along this year. Marvin hadn’t been up for a few years but was able to get a great buck. Jimmy also did well and got a great deer on our farm towards the end of the season.
Brothers Steve and Ed Wells were new here at ARO. They both waited until the very last evening but were able to both fill their tags within a few moments of each other. Steve shot a crazy looking buck over at the Adobe and Ed got a big heavy buck across the road at Linda’s.
It was a really good year overall and I had a great time as I always do. It’s wonderful to see my old friends and get to make new ones each year. I want to thank all my clients for coming and hunting with me if it was your first time or your fifth. Without the great clients, Antler Ridge Outfitting would not have the success it does. Thanks to Kevin and my folks for helping me out again this year. 2018 is already booked up and I am looking forward to the fall!