In early October, I completed a personal goal of mine....the archery NA29. I chose not to post it at the time, as it was a private matter, nothing more. I needed no endorsements and had no reason to post the accomplishment. The satisfaction of successfully completing the task was reward enough.
HOWEVER, here we are on the cusp of Thanksgiving, and a recent experience has proven so important to me, that I simply must share it....for I am that thankful.
Grab your beverage of choice, and get comfortable....this is going to be a somewhat lengthy read, but hopefully you will find the read worth your time.
I will admit, that I have "inkled" to some friends in the bowhunting community that I completed my personal goal. It is because I chose to confide in a couple bowhunters, that this story now begins....
In mid-October, I was returning from the Yukon and I texted or e-mailed Tom Edgington (previously Tom in Pa, now known as Mad Trapper), and Ned Greer (aka Loesshillsarcher). I let them know that I had completed the Super Slam and that I was returning home as soon as I could make plane arrangements.
A few days later, my fiance picked me up at the airport and during the ride home, I get a phone call from Tom with the usual dose of banter, as well as a heartfelt congratulations. Then he asked to speak with my fiance, Nancy. Now if you know how Tom thinks, that is wayyy beyond normal. Flags go up. Something is going on....I can tell that these cohorts are up to something.
Fast forward a few days, and Tom calls me to let me know that he has a client appointment about 45 minutes from my house. If my schedule permits, Tom can stop by around 5PM and we can watch a hunting video that he recently acquired....and we can share a beverage and maybe a nice wild game meal as well.
But there is still that flag....so I interrogate Nancy, and all she can do is hide behind the book or newspaper that she pretends to be reading.
So the day of Tom's visit arrives....did I mention that we are talking 5PM during bow season....and we are in the pre rut?!! Tom is scheduled to arrive around 4-5PM, and while I really wanted to be in a treestand, I don't get to see Tom that often, so I suck it up and wait....and wait...and wait. No Tom. Now it is 6 pm and getting dark, do I get concerned or do I bust his ass for not showing up? Better yet, I call his house....and his wife tells me that he is home...but that he can't talk to me!
She then pauses, and eventually tells me that he still plans on driving up (but what happened to his client "appt")? More flags. So I chill a bit and sure enough, a couple hours later, I see his vehicle pull into the driveway....you need to know that this clown lives 2 - 2 1/2 hours away, and since it is hours after some supposed "appt", the plot begins to thicken.
There is a knock at the door, and Tom comes in. We go into the kitchen and I am making him a beverage of his choice, when suddenly, there is another knock at the door. I open the door, and there stands Ned Greer. Understand that Ned Greer lives in Iowa!! Ned booked a flight and flew to Pittsburgh. Tom picked him up, and those crazy fools drove from the Pittsburgh airport to Tom's house, and then on to western NY just to shake my hand in person because I had fulfilled a personal goal...nothing more. Tom was late because Ned's flight had been delayed.
Pretty cool, eh? Well, it gets better. After dinner, we head up to the gameroom to check out this video that Tom brought with him. I am walking up the steps and reading the sleeve on the video about the DVD. totally oblivious to the contents of my gameroom....until they clear their throats and I look up.
Not only had those conspirators planned this surprise visit, they had commissioned Jack Paluh (a regionally reknowned artist) to paint an original of me. The photo that they selected was of me with my mountain caribou...it is absolutely breathtaking! I took a photo of it, but the glare from the flash doesn't allow you to get the real feel for just how gorgeous this painting is....
...and that fellow Bowsiters, is why I am one thankful SOB. Great hunting memories, a wonderful fiance, and some damn good friends. I will now take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving....and you'll have to excuse me... I need to go stare at that painting some more...LOL.
Peace Brother, Jay
All I can say is I thank you very much for taking us along on so many of your adventures. The polar bear was a test of determination. The sheep slam whirlwind was nothing short of amazing. I don't think it's been done, an archery sheep grand slam in one year. Everything had to fall into place just perfectly and it did.
Anyway, what a cool thing for good friends to do. Not easy to come by good folks like that.
And...... well.... congratulations on reaching the goal of a lifetime.
Congrats...i figured you had it in the bag already but had not sent you an email yet to see how you made out.
Well deserved accomplishment, I know how hard you worked for it.
Have a great holiday.
PS: I just heard they added another species--now its the NA30. Pack your bags!
To Mad Trapper and Loesshillsarcher. You guys are top notch and even though I don't know you personally if we ever cross paths I hope to shake your hands. True friendship is a blessing.
Tom/Ned, way to go gentlemen. Very thoughtful and touching.
simply put.........you just "get it".
Congrats and happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Their actions speak volumes as to who you are as a person.
Congratulations, well done.
I believe that I have used at least ten different taxidermists. I am of the opinion that taxidermists in a given region sometimes capture subtle nuances in animal artistry that a taxidermist from across the country might miss. The downside to that is the cost of the crate and the freight if you go that route. One taxidermist did six mounts.....which is the most by any one individual.
I gave Tom Edgington the golden horseshoe the evening that they surprised me with the painting.....I couldn't give it to Ned. He is the one who gave it to me...and I felt the need to pass it on, not to return it....Ned was there when I gave it to Tom, it was like a changing of the guard!! LOL
Here's a moose photo, per your request. He green scored about 230"-235". Wait until you see where he died...I'll send it in the next post -
The bull was so big, that he actually "dammed" the water around him. If you look closely, you'll see that water level where I am standing (the downstream side) is lower than it is on the upstream side by a few inches. It took us over three hours to butcher him and get him out of the river.
Annnd, Happy Thanksgiving :)
POST MORE PHOTOS ASAP of your NA29 for all of us to enjoy.
That simply won't happen again with a a bow. getting the NA 29 and nailing the four sheep in less than a year. unreal.
You will have to thank me that I was able to talk Tom and Ned from using another caribou photo of yours. That would involve a little pink fletching....YKWITA.
Great and wonderful tribute to a fine gentleman. Classy touch, Tom and Ned.
Congratulations JakO, great friends and an awesome goal and acheivement.
I am sipping coffee as I type this....and it is good, but it'll take one hell of a cup of coffee to beat that Colorado java.
Orange damnit....the vanes were orange!! I am NOT a "pink" kind of guy.....LOL!!
Happy Thanksgiving. Mike
There is a really great story to go with this animal. A year or two ago, I had booked a one on one brown bear bowhunt with a very well known outfitter. Mid way through that hunt, my guide "teamed up" with another guide and gun hunter. On that day, I spotted a mature boar bear and before I could even attempt a stalk, the gun hunter shot the bear. Needless to say, as an archer, I am very leery of being "grouped" with other hunters....especially gun hunters.
Now fast forward to 2011. I have just killed my 28th species (A/Y Moose) and the Porcupine River herd of BG caribou are expected to migrate into the area where we are hunting. The migration doesn't appear to heading our way in a timely fashion and things aren't looking too good. Near the end of the hunt, Jim Fink, the outfitter, suggests that we fill up the truck, and drive the Dempster highway to the extreme northern edge of his concession....where a few caribou are starting to trickle in. There will be four of us in the truck, Josh and Ryan (the guides) and Thomas Martini (a gun hunter) and myself.
After a couple hour drive, we are literally at the edge of Jim's concession....and we see a grand total of 10 caribou. A group of three (cow,calf, and yearling bull) and a group of seven (modest bull, six cows and calves). Eventually, the two groups merge....about 500 yards north of Jim's concession.
Understand that Jim Fink has a 10,000 sq. mile concession....what are the odds that the only caribou that we see are 500 yards OFF of his huge concession? We eventually sat up about 500 yards south of Jim's border, hoping that the animals might move to the south. It is cold and we have about a foot of snow on the ground....perfect to make the caribou want to start moving.
Around 2 PM, we suddenly see a lone bull approaching the group of ten. This is a mature bull, and where he came from, I have NO idea!! As he closes on the group, the "herd bull" approaches to confront him....and when the mature bull gets to within 20 yards, the groups leader bolts and leaves the group....tail between his legs (I know, I know...caribou don't have much of a tail....)
The group now has a new leader, and they are still 500 yards from being legally huntable. Eventually, the misplaced bull starts to head our way. I turned to Thomas Martini and asked him if he would like to take that bull...he said that it wasn't large enough for him. I said that I wasn't interested either....but I would like to do a practice stalk. Thomas thought that would be cool, and he offered to video the stalk! Cool.
I immediately took off with Josh, and we got to a small line of trees that offered some cover. Over the course of the next hour, that displaced bull eventually closed to within 54 yards. I even went to full draw just to see how everything felt, but I let down after convincing myself that I could have taken him, if I had chosen to do so.
We then returned to Ryan and Thomas, who had filmed the entire event. An hour or so later, Thomas signaled me over to him (we were sitting about 10 yards apart), and said "The caribou seem to be starting to move our way. If they follow the earlier bull, this might work out. You go back to your previous ambush spot, and if you can kill him with your bow, great. If he gets past you, I'll take him with my gun".
I was dumbfounded. This guy has taken a moose just like me, and wanted a caribou, just like me....but he was giving me first dibs. Thanks again, Thomas.
Josh and I beat feet to get back to our ambush spot before the caribou could detect us. I had on a snowy camo pattern, and I had Josh get behind me, so he wouldn't be as visible. As the group approached, I really thought that they were going to walk right at Ryan and Thomas, but at the last minute, the lead cow turned and headed right towards Josh and myself.
Eventually, one of the calves walked through the line of trees and looked right at us....35 yards away. Next came the cows....and none of them seemed too concerned. Then I saw the antler tips....and the bull finally cleared the trees. Josh had my rangefinder and he whispered "Four Five" for forty five yards (I asked to do that because my hearing isn't the best).
I went to full draw and the bull walked in front of one of the other caribou. No shot. I don't remember if I let down or not, but finally he cleared the animal and I released. I thought that the shot was perfect, but Josh though that I hit the shoulder. The bull hadn't stopped walking, I took a walking shot because he was about to walk in front of another animal and the distance was going to start to increase with every additional step.
After the shot, as the bull turned, I saw that quite a bit of arrow was sticking out....maybe half. It was broken off a second or two later. The animals ran up over the little hill that we had been glassing from, and were out of sight in seconds.
We rejoined Ryan and Thomas, and slowly made out way up the edge of the hill. I am quite a bit taller than everyone else, and I can see the group of caribou milling around, about 100 yards in front of me. We back up and drop back over the hill. Everyone else is concerned about the hit, and that darkness is only an hour or two away....I asked everyone to wait there, and I retraced the bulls steps....I wanted to find that arrow. I found about 50 yards from the point of impact. It had 12-14 inches of blood on it....and the shot was slightly quartering away.....so I knew that I had good penetration on the bull, even if I hit the shoulder because he was walking.
We waited another 30 minutes, and then Thomas offered us his gun (as a last resort) and Josh and I worked back up over the hill. The group of caribou was gone....but Thomas signaled that he had seen movement to our right. Sure enough, it was the right palm of the bull's rack. He was laying on his side, and every once in a while, he would struggle to lift his head and look around. He was hurting...bad. Josh and I worked to our left until we could put a small, snow covered bush between us and the bull. Then we closed the distance until we were 40 yards away. I stood up to take a finishing shot, and the bull saw me. He managed to get to his feet, as I shot. I whiffed!!
I calmed myself down a bit, and now the bull has turned away. It is a texas heart shot until he turned to look back at me....and I shot him in the throat. He collapsed on the spot. I asked Josh to go get the other guys, and I spent the next couple minutes alone with the bull, as I have a small "ritual" that I always go through when I take an animal.
The guys came over and we all shook hands, took pictures, and everyone carried out some of the bull. It was a very satisfying conclusion for me.
Unbeknownst to me, Thomas had managed to get the first shot on video!! He was leaving for a hunt in Africa after the caribou hunt, but I assume that he has returned by now. Someday, I am hoping to get a copy of the footage.....
First, Thomas gives me the first shot on the bull, then he is the one that spots it after it is down, then he tells me that he was able to video the shot! Thank you, Thomas Martini.... I owe you one!
If you don't mind would you post all of your pictures of the species you took during you're quest for the NA 29. I think a lot of folks would really like to see them.
Again congrats on achieving this mildstone it's quite an accomplishment.
Sorry, I seemed to remember it was flo pink? Also help me with my aging mind. Where what that pink?? orange eminating from? I need some amplification.
Congrats again friend, great accomplishment.
Perhaps when you post all the photos, mention some of the great shots you made but share a few of your misses.
Folks, we had the privelege of meeting Jake and Nancy last year, and I have to say that you won't meet a more humble person. When I asked to see some pictures of some of his critters, Jake handed me a photo album and then jumped in the mule to go help Matt pick up hogs for our other hunters. While they were gone I got to look at picture after amazing picture of some of the animals that Jake has taken. We could have sat up all night listening to stories of his hunts, but that's just not Jake to sit and talk about himself. I'm glad he is such a gifted writer, lest we may never get to hear about his incredible adventures! Thanks for taking the time to share them with us. We're really looking forward to seeing the rest of the pictures as you have the time to post them.
Congratulations my friend!
-Matt and Cheryl
I had a very similar experience with mountain caribou being just off Jim's southern border that we had to walk away from one year. FYI- I finished my caribou slam there taking both barrenground one year and the following year a mountain caribou along with a gorgeous grizzly.
Amazing accomplishment and a great gesture from good friends. Congrats again.
Kelly Harris here.
I just want to say congratulations on such a cool success!!!
Now for the holidays I think you should work on the C.R Grand Slam yes the Crown Royal grand Slam. Celebrate by completing every size bottle that Crown Royal comes in. (grin)
Once again congrats and I am glad I have had the honor (yes it is a honor) to say I have shared camp with you!
Take care and talk soon. (Yes I just left you the voicemail before I sent this)
Happy Holidays to You and Your's! -}}}}}}}}---------->
Obviously, I didn't choose the photo, the other two rascals in the first picture did..... but it was a picture that you took, so if the pizza business ever slows down, maybe you should consider photography! Are you still hunting in Kansas?
You've have time to reflect on completing a goal, one question remains! Now what?? I don't see you hanging up the bow anytime soon.
I have been giving this quite a bit of thought, and I don't have a definite answer yet. However, I do have some possibilities.
1.) I booked a hunt to New Zealand a year or so ago for Red Stag. I would like to try to expand that hunt to include a water buffalo or a camel in Australia either before or after the stag hunt. Unfortunately, the dates of the hunt do not correspond with optimum times of the year to hunt water buffalo or camel....but so what? It would still be fun to try. The shark hunt that Pat did sure looks like fun too.
I might even fly via Hawaii, to break up the long flight. That way Nancy and I might be able to hunt with TD for a day or two...for pigs and goats. I think that would be an outstanding adventure. How many people think of hunting when they think of Hawaii??...?!!LOL.
2.) My shoulders still don't seem to complain about my draw weight, so I might try for some of the "big boys" in Africa. Even when the day comes that I need to reduce my draw weight, I can still chase plain game animals.
3.)Since the whitetail rut seems to start a little earlier to the north every Fall, I am quite interested in trying to contact landowners in several states, and possibly follow the rut from north to south. Start way up north, and just work my way to the south and let the rut, hunting season, and hunting success determine where I hunt and when.
4.) While I have never entered any of my animals into Pope and Young, I do know what they have scored. That way, friends can have a mental picture of the animal taken. If I say a 24" grizzly, or a 150" buck, hunting buddies know immediately the overall dimensions and mass of the animal .
At this moment, I believe that 24 of my 29 species qualify for the P&Y record books. Maybe I will hunt the five species that did NOT qualify....because they are some of the biggest animals and would give me a lot of really good meat. The only animals in my gameroom that I did NOT eat are the red fox, the wolverine, the badger, and the brown bear (because of tapeworms).
If the remaining five species were ever taken, I might consider entering them into the P&Y books. I think it would be hilarious to enter ALL of them at the same time.... and it generate some $$$ for P&Y.
5.) Brad Pritz and I are trying to work out the details for a rather unique hunt for next summer. If that works out, I'd rent a satellite phone so we could share it with Bowsiters....
Those are some thoughts........
I can not imagine the planning and hardships that accompany these experiences as all we really see are the after pictures, with indeed, a smile on your face. You surely have paid your dues.
Stay safe on your future hunts.
The worst part about the trips had always been the waiting in the airports.....especially after 9/11....and especially if you had to claim the bags and then recheck them for some reason.....sitting around the airports alone meant that whenever nature called, I had to lug everything into the head with me until I could check my bowcase and my duffle bag.
Whenever I have been fortunate enough to hunt with another archer, it has always been a great experience. The camaraderie has always been wonderful, and I could leave my gear where it sat while I made a nature call, because my friend would watch it for me.
Returning home from hunts has recently become very enjoyable because now there is a friendly face (Nancy) waiting at the airport to pick me up. Returning home (even from "successful" hunts) used to be a drag because there was no one to share the experience with during the ride home.
The planning part of the hunt is actually one of the most enjoyable parts of the journey for me.....and it helps to build the anticipation, and therefore the enthusiasm......
I have always found it rather easy to share my hunts with Bowsiters. Growing up, I lived vicariously through the exploits of others....and now that I have a chance to do the same, I am returning the favor or perhaps paying it forward....whatever you wish to call it.
In 2008, I was extremely lucky and was able to tag many of the animals that I thought would prevent me from ever completing the NA29. I don't remember there ever being a "moment". I just kept hunting the different animals of the continent, hoping to be able to hunt each critter.
It has been really cool to learn some of the local tricks that people learn to hunt various animals. Some of them are probably species specific, others can be applied to other animals. All of them have made me a better woodsman.
Hey, you wildman .....how goes life out in Oregon? Saw the photos of the bucks that Charley was chasing around....looks like fun stuff!! Be sure to say "Hi" to your family for me!! Still got those turkeys in the back yard, I hear!!
I posted on the thread a few days ago but that disappeared during the hack job I guess. Anyways, just wanted to sincerely congratulate you on your incredible accomplishment. I am very grateful for all that you have done for us here on Bowsite. You are a huge inspiration for me, no doubt.