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Night Hawk Stories... Entry 28

Setting Up the Campsite

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Tim Hooey, the host of "North American Fish and Game Outdoor Magazine," has hunted avidly since childhood. One of the lucky ones, he's turned his love for hunting into a 10-year career. His show runs in syndication in several cities and the Outdoor Channel runs his show on cable on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST.

In September 2000, Tim Hooey took a monster elk with his bow in New Mexico. Viewers will have the opportunity to see the hunt on the next season of Hooey's show. This week, he gives visitors to Mossy Oak's website the inside scoop on how he took this elk.

click to enlargeQUESTION: You were telling us that on this hunt you set up a spike camp away from the other hunters. What is a spike camp?
ANSWER: A main campsite has big wall tents, and for a few miles around the main camp will be smaller camps with smaller tents. Our smaller tent had a rain fly tarp. We also created an awning from a tarp to protect us from the rain that we had. I put my Boy Scout Pioneer badge to use by making a clothes-drying rack out of twigs and twine. I had only brought one set of clothes with me and that was the only way I could keep them dry. I was at the spike camp for seven days. We had no direct communication with anyone at the main camp. Just my cameraman and I were in the thick of the wilderness alone. Although we could hear cougars and bears in the area, we only had our bows with us and no guns for protection. We really were roughing it. We ate MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) and had to ration our water consumption. I lost about 14 pounds in those few days.

click to enlargeQUESTION: Where were Tom and Abe at this time?
ANSWER: Actually, Tom and Abe scouted the area out for me ahead of time, but they didn't stay at the site with us. Tom was guiding another hunter. He knew the area well and was confident we'd find some big bulls. Abe was also with another hunter, Cory.

click to enlargeQUESTION: Did they know about the elk you bagged while there?
ANSWER: Word of the big elk traveled the old-fashioned way ... by word of mouth. But Abe and Tom didn't even hear about my taking the elk until the next day.

Tomorrow: Setting Up the Hunt


Entry 27-Taking a Monster Elk
Entry 28-Setting Up the Campsite
Entry 29-Setting Up the Hunt
Entry 30-Getting In To Predator Mode
Entry 31-After the Hunt

Night Hawk Stories