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Night Hawk Stories... Entry 29

Setting Up the Hunt

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: What was the hunting site like?
ANSWER: Weeks before the hunt, Abe and Tom had scouted the area. Because the region where we hunted had had a dry year, they knew that the elk would be drawn to water. They located this great area with a nice-sized wallow for me. I set up my API tree stand. For about two days prior to the hunt, the weather had been very warm and dry, which made the wallow even more appealing to the animals.

That first day I heard some males rutting and bugling. So, I used my call. At first I didn't hear or see anything, but then I heard this growling bugle that I could tell was made by a mature bull. However, this 330-class elk took off. I couldn't figure out what made him run. I realized that for this bull to run, an even larger bull had to out there that the bull I could see feared. He must have thought I was a monster elk bugling to him.

click to enlargeQUESTION: What kind of call did you use?
ANSWER: I used one of Abe and Son Elk Calls -- the cow-in-heat call. The pitch of the call is what's important.

QUESTION: How were you dressed?
ANSWER: I was wearing the Mossy Oak Breakup pattern in a Scent-Lok suit. And that bull was never spooked by the scent in the air, because that suit did what it should do. Also, my cameraman said that when he took some footage of me in the tree for the show that he couldn't even see me, the Mossy Oak Breakup pattern blended in so well. He said I'd just disappeared into the tree.

Tomorrow: Getting In To Predator Mode


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