UPDATED: January 17,2021 2020 was certainly not like any year I can remember, and that was not good. Now in 2021 the week coming up is different from most years. It is normally the coldest week, but it is much warmer than normal, and I am OK with that. Shortly, the weeks ahead will have warmer temperatures and longer days. Our club tax status does not allow me to get into politics, but I think I can get away with one conclusion. If you look back at Romney, McCain, and now Trump: If a republican loses the election, they also seem to lose their mind. Our great nation is arming itself. I tried to buy .410 shells, but not even those were on the shelf. Gun sales are at record numbers. A friend of mine has waited 7 months for a 20- gauge home defense shotgun and has not received it yet!
Big Game Draws - It is an interesting observation that as hunter numbers decline, application numbers for most draw and raffle tags have increased for most of the hunts that I track. Wyoming elk applications are due January 31st Wyoming has a draw system with some points I like. First, it is a preference point system, so if you buy points, and wait long enough, you will draw. Second, if you don't have maximum points, many units have 25% of the tags available in the random draw. On the dark side, you do have to front the entire tag fee. Wyoming offers a regular tag and a "special" tag. Same tag, same area, same everything except the special tag costs more to apply for. Supposedly, less people apply for the special because of the cost, so you pay more for better odds. That is not always the case. Wyoming guides are good politicians. You can fish. You can hike. But you can't hunt in a wilderness area without a guide. And, believe me, some of the wildernesses are artificial. Doze the road closed and you get a wilderness. The first of several draws is for elk. We like the areas around Rock Springs. Country is a bit less rugged than some up North and they don't let wolves hang around down there. I have killed 6-point bulls in both units 31 and 32. Figuring that other units were as good in
the Southern side, I burned elk points a few years ago a little East of there in unit 111. I wanted to scout bighorns there also. Well, some rancher bought the area that had a lot of elk and I was not willing to pay his trespass fee. This year, we are trying for unit 100. I have always wanted to hunt the Red Desert. it is high success, and an easy elk hunt. The terrain is from 6400 feet to around 8400 feet. Cathy will have a 1 in 4 chance with 15 points if her COPD will let her out of house. I will have somewhere around a 1 in 200 chance in the random draw. There are rumors of elk with white horns. In the desert terrain, with few trees, there is limited tannin to brown the antlers. The Elk “regular” application costs 724.68 with all the fees. You do have to front the entire sum.
Arizona elk and antelope applications are due February 9 th Arizona requires a $160.00 license, and a $15.00 application fee per species. If you draw, the antelope runs $565, and the elk is $665.00 Arizona’s ease of application is at an all time low. You get a clue when the password now requires a capital letter, a lower-case letter, a number, and a symbol. First, they created a “portal” account, but failed to understand that some have one email for more than one family member. This year, they have taken another step backward. I did manage to buy a $160.00 license (with some effort) for me but could not apply for applications on January 17, 2021 for applications due February 9 th . Cathy does not have a portal account. I will call and see what hoops I require me to jump through so she can participate. Proof that there is not any program, programmers will not screw up if they are allowed to improve it. Past years, to draw a quality tag in Arizona, the only chance was to save points. Now, they allot some tags to the random draw, so you can draw great tag without being too old to use it. It is hard to draw, but at least there is a chance ELK - I think any of the early hunts are great. We have hunted in unit 1, 5b and unit 9. Not hard to kill a bull in any of these units. The early hunts in unit 1, next to the Fort Apache, and the unit 9 hunt with bulls jumping the low fence out of the Grand Canyon Park are extremely exciting, that is, if hearing bugling elk and seeing big bulls excites you. In Washington, we close roads so we don't disturb elk. Unit 9 has bus tours available to look at the elk. They think a little different down there. ANTELOPE- We have experience antelope hunting in 18B, 5B, 10, and 13B. There are not a lot of antelope in 13B. The 13B choice was so we could scout deer there, although, we did see one book goat. I think one of the 5 series units might be a good choice for a big goat.