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VW's 2012 Arizona Elkventures

 
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vanderb79
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Apr-02-12, 
10:03 PM (MST)
"VW's 2012 Arizona Elkventures"

It’s 9:27am on Monday April 2, 2012 and I have decided to start this, my 3rd successive attempt to capture my hunting efforts in word and picture this year. I say attempt because my effort in 2011 was pitiful and left incomplete.

In 2010, my entries captured everything that was important going on in my life if it was even remotely connected to hunting and they also described aspects of a few family hunts, not just a certain quest. When the contest concluded and the entries were rated, it became clear that most readers didn’t care for this “general” type of storytelling. So in 2011 I set out to describe a single hunt – my quest for a big AZ archery bull.

But, I soon found out that’s not really what I wanted to do. My interest was in documenting the whole family’s adventures so we would always have something to go back and re-live. Winning the contest wasn’t what it was about to me! So with that said, I’m going back to my 2010 style and look forward to a lot of entries in this blog and a lot of excitement along the way.

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 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: VW's 2012 ...  vanderb79      Apr-03-12   1 
  RE: VW's 2012 ...  vanderb79      Apr-03-12   2 
   RE: VW's 2012 ...  vanderb79      Apr-10-12   3 

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vanderb79
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Apr-03-12, 
08:50 AM (MST)
1. "RE: VW's 2012 Arizona Elkventures"

So why did I choose “Elkventures” as part of my blog title? I think the reference to “elk” and “adventures” is obvious, but why pick elk when I already stated I was going to keep this year’s entries of a general nature?

Well, AZ has gone back to on-line applications as an option after many years of a paper only process. For those of us who chose this method, we were notified last week that our credit cards would be hit with charges if we were successful. The specific drawing results would then be available in a week or two. So of course, I immediately logged in to the credit card account that I used for the applications!

After numerous checks over a couple days, I was finally greeted with not 1, not 2, but 3 pending charges from the AZ Game & Fish Department! I have to explain, that this draw was for elk and antelope and that there are 4 of us (wife Kelly and sons Cody & Jordan) who all put in separately. So there were actually 8 tags available, but still, 3 tags are fantastic. And because of the fee difference between elk and antelope, it was easy to determine that all 3 are elk tags!

That’s the really, really good news, but there’s a slight catch. First, we don’t know which 3 of us drew. More importantly, we don’t know if we drew any of our first choice hunts – which are all primo – or second choices which are antlerless for everyone except Cody if I remember correctly. So now the second wait is upon us while we ponder “what if’s” until we hear the specific results. I’m hoping against hope that at least 1 of the tags is a first choice (bull) tag.

So with 3 elk tags, I’m going to have plenty to write about and lots of pictures to take regardless what happens in the upcoming deer and sheep draw. I just checked the AZ Game & Fish site and the draw section is closed so maybe they are loading the results now? I can’t wait for them to come on-line…please, please, please can just one of them be a bull tag?

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vanderb79
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Apr-03-12, 
02:12 PM (MST)
2. "RE: VW's 2012 Arizona Elkventures"

That turned out to be a false alarm yesterday - dang it! The draw section of the website came back on-line with some graphics changes, but no results. Maybe later today?

While I impatiently wait, I will post a few pictures from last year’s hunt – my quest for the big archery bull. As you can see below, I was ultimately successful though this bull was not quite what I had hoped for. He’s nice, especially for my first archery bull, but is around a 320” bull (if the tine wasn’t snapped off) instead of the 350”+ I was dreaming of. It tickles me that after waiting about 10 years to draw that tag, I may have it again this year!

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vanderb79
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Apr-10-12, 
11:36 AM (MST)
3. "RE: VW's 2012 Arizona Elkventures"

Wow, what a long and frustrating wait…yesterday, the word on the street was that the results were finally available! But, that was just the beginning. Obviously, the phone lines were constantly busy, but you’d think the internet link would work right? Wrong! A lot has been written in blogs on the ineptitude of this whole process with countering points that it’s just whining and get over it and lend a hand on a project instead of complaining about the draw. All I will add is that there absolutely has to be a better way!

So I, along with the other 130-some odd thousand applicants, jammed the phone lines and website trying to see what or if we had drawn. Due to the CC hits, I was pretty sure we had drawn 3 of 4 elk tags and 0 of 4 antelope tags. But, there were enough conspiracy theories flying around that even that wasn’t certain! Recall that 3 of us had primo bull elk hunts as first choices and antlerless elk as second picks. Only oldest son, Cody, had bull hunts for both selections. As fate would have it, Cody was the first to get through on the phone last night.

Knowing that he could only check results for one of us during that call, I told him to input his own info thinking that he was the least likely of us to have drawn. As I listened in, I could hear the automated voice say “you were NOT drawn for antelope…you WERE drawn for elk – you were drawn for hunt number 3123. Unbulleivable! Cody drew the same tag I had last year – archery bulls in unit 3A / 3C…and he drew it with only 2 bonus points (hunter safety + loyalty) having been drawn for late rifle bulls last year! Wow, what a start – now who drew the other 2 tags and for which hunts?

Many, many more busy signals later, Cody got through again and he handed me the phone and I punched in my own info…same drama, but I got 2nd choice – archery antlerless same dates and zone as Cody’s tag. There was one more tag to decipher. We kept trying and trying both on phone and internet to no avail. We had other obligations and pretty much decided to wait for Tuesday and hopefully easier access to the results.

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