The letter arrived as usual, smelling a little rank, and sealed with a hoof print. BB had invited me to meet with him at our favorite spot, the Bugle Inn in Forest Lakes. The note said we could spend some time, as it was prior to the rut, and he would just be getting in shape. Since it was mid-August, I was looking forward to some conversations without his usual screams, chuckles and whistles. I actually thought it might be a fun evening. Little did I know how wrong I was to be.
Just one day after receiving the invite from BB, I received the dreaded messages from the Arizona Game and Fish department: “Not Successful.” Now I don’t know about the rest of the readers, but there is just something wrong with that message. I would prefer to see something like, “Gee, you’re a really great person, and we appreciate you for trying to get these wonderful tags, but there were a few more people applying than tags available, and this year we had to let others hunt rather than you.” I somehow would feel better than seeing those two nasty words. However, I digress. I knew that meeting BB in a bar with no elk tag for the year was less than fun, but a job is a job, and elk relationships are hard to develop, so I went up early. The bar was just getting ready to close, and the owner let me in as long as I promised to close it up tight when I left. I agreed, and sat down to watch some big screen entertainment until BB arrived. Sitting there nursing a good bottle of Cabernet, I started thinking about how hard it would be not to be hunting this year. Pretty soon, the bottle was gone, and I was brooding about how to handle the rough season ahead. Continue reading