BY KENDALL JONES
Hunting is a lot of things to a lot of people, but certainly among our collective list of definitions, it’s a “sport.” Hunters compete against nature, our quarry, and even ourselves when we wander into the wild. We learn something about our competitors during every trip afield, each time making us better hunters and better human beings. Our game is rarely easy. Perhaps that’s why hunters tend to be some of the finest people on the planet: We continually train to respond positively to adversity. The same can be said of most athletes from just about any sport.
Kendall Jones is a prime example. During the week, when she’s not busy maintaining a 4.0 GPA and studying for her next college exam, you’ll find this dedicated Texas Tech University cheerleader preparing for her next sporting event. She hits the gym every morning at 6 a.m. and practices with her cheer team three times per week.
Hunting The Hard Way For A Big Billy
BY TYLER LESONBEE
I had always dreamed of hunting mountain goats and didn’t think the opportunity would ever be possible because of the drawing odds and cost of buying a hunt. The opportunity presented itself when my dad found a two-for-one backpack hunt in the steep hills of British Columbia, with a fantastic guide, Brandon, in an area that hadn’t been hunted for approximately 25 years. The other man that had booked the hunt backed out last minute; that gave me the opportunity to go with my dad on my dream hunt for the majestic mountain goat. In the few short months I had prior to the hunt, I prepared as much as I could by running, and reading all I could about a backpack hunt for goats in British Columbia. As the hunt finally approached, my hopes were high; however, as always on any hunt I have ever been on, I wasn’t sure what to expect or what would happen.
Little did I know of the white majestic animal in my future. We drove the 28-hour trip that took us from Utah to British Columbia and my hopes were soaring…until we arrived in Smithers, B.C.; the rain, snow, and bad weather kept us grounded from our flight. Another plane somehow flew the other three hunters and our gear out to another camp in front of us. Finally after a couple days, and hours of sitting and waiting, we got a brief window of opportunity. They called us from the float plane base and took a shot at making the hour and fifteen minute flight to our little lake that rested in the tops of the mountains.
BY JOHN MOGLE
My hunt for a big moose started nearly 10 years ago. I was at the Safari Club Show as an exhibitor; like any crazed hunter would do when the show slowed down, I would wander. When I first started going to these shows I would wander away from the booth every chance I could.
I often nearly tripped on my tongue from walking down the aisle, salivating at all the incredible animals and places that a person could hunt. During one of those little wandering events of mine I met a young outfitter who had just bought an area in northern British Columbia. He offered moose, wolf, caribou, black bear, and stone-sheep hunts. We talked for a while, did some horse-trading and before long I had my first moose hunt booked. As I would wander around these type of shows every year, I would see an animal that I would put on my bucket list; at a young age I had a bucket list that was fairly simple and comprised of the following: a 30” mule deer, 350+ elk, a bear, and a moose. No real size for the moose…I just wanted to kill a moose.
Shawn Raymond of Coal Lake Outfitters was going to help me knock one of those critters off the list, so I thought. Joining me on the hunt was my good friend from Swarovski Optics, Dean Capuano. He, too, wanted to cross one of these swamp donkeys off his own list. We were flown in to a lake called “Long Lake”. You guessed it, it was quite long. We hunted mainly from a boat and had little success. The rut was supposed to be in full force but it was quiet. Dean got very lucky and bagged an old moose on the last day and I ate tag soup.