In 1971, at the ripe old age of 17, I ventured into the roadless area of Utah’s Uinta Mountains on my first elk hunt. I knew nothing about this vast wilderness other than it contained more elk than just about anywhere else in the state. That’s all I needed to know to set my young, well-conditioned legs in motion on an all-day venture that would cover nearly 20 miles and produce my first big-game animal, a nice 5-point bull. That solo hunt meant so much to me that I took one of the ivories from the bull and threaded it on a crude necklace. I think more than good luck itself, this little charm has given me confidence through the years. When the hunt seems tougher than I can handle, I think of the charm around my neck and find the strength to carry on, as I did in 1971.

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