2016 Hunter Testimonials

Chris Pangburn and his 2016 bull. Photo by Dale Rush.

Hunter: Chris Pangburn

I began planning my moose hunt 10 years ago. I didn’t know anything about moose, but a friend told me it was hard to draw a tag, so I thought I better get started applying.For the next five years I applied for preference points thinking someday I would apply for an actual moose tag. About then I met Dale Rush and he told me that he had harvested a moose in 2008 and that I needed to apply for an actual tag because it’s hard to get drawn. Well 2016 was my year.

Dale joined me on my hunt in early October. We hunted tree lines along willow-heavy meadows the first day and saw nothing. The second morning we spotted a cow moose alone in a meadow just before the weather turned and the snow came. We hunkered down out of the fierce wind and snow until late afternoon and spotted a small bull playing near a creek like he was the only one for a hundred miles around. The wind was so brutal that at sunset we nearly ran back to camp. On day three we hiked the tree line around other meadows until we began seeing tracks in the snow. After a couple of hours we saw this 44-inch bull following a cow into the middle of an open meadow. Just like that, I took a single quartering shot at 150-yards with my 300 Weatherby Mag. It was a great hunt with a good friend that I’ll never forget.

Rachel Ritzmann with her first deer. Photo by Robert Ritzmann.

Hunter: Rachel Ritzmann

My name is Rachel and I am 12 years old. About a year ago I asked my dad if he would take me hunting with him. He was glad that I asked him and he said he would. He first told me that I needed a hunter safety certificate. So in March of 2016, I completed an online hunter safety course then went to the local range for the completion course. My dad helped me apply for a deer tag through the Colorado draw. I received my antlerless rifle deer tag in June. I was really excited to go hunting.

During the summer my father took me out to the range and I learned how to operate and shoot his .243. I had previous experience with his Ruger 10/22, so it was easy to operate the .243. We didn’t get out to the range as much as he would have liked to, but when the season opened I was ready to go.My license was really awesome because the season was almost 3 months long. It gave us some flexibility to go when the situation was right, when the weather was good and when I didn’t have any interference with my cheerleading competitions.

On Oct. 22 we left our house around 5:30 a.m. and drove over an hour to a friend’s property. It was my first day out and I was eager to learn and excited at the same time. When we got to our hunting spot my dad and I sat on a small hill for around and hour and spotted some deer with the binoculars. Realizing the deer weren’t getting any closer, we decided to walk to another spot on the property. As we were walking we spotted 3 does. My dad asked me “are you ready for this?” I said “yes.”

I steadied my dad’s gun on a fence and readied for a shot. My dad coached me through. My first shot was a clean miss. My dad calmly instructed me to load another shell. I shot a second shot. It was a hit and my deer was down. I shot my first deer at 100 yards. I watched as my dad dragged it out of the bushes and up to the grass. It was so cool.

While we took pictures we went by some cattle and they were curious. My dad showed me how to field dress the deer and he loaded it into the truck. We were on our way home by 10:30 a.m.  I will never forget my hunting trip with my Dad. I want to go again!

Arvil McAdoo (left) with his 2016 bull. Photo by Jeremiah Vandorsten.

Hunter: Arvil Wayne McAdoo

After 18 years of applying for a Colorado bull moose tag I was finally successful. Prior to my first scouting trip I studied the Colorado Parks & Wildlife statistics pages related to locations and antler sizes of bull moose killed in past years in the GMU near Grand Lake I was drawn for, and I plotted out all the locations on a map. These areas were where I concentrated my scouting efforts.

Two friends (Chris Berisford & Jeremiah Vandorsten) went with me and we arrived in the area Friday night before opening morning. The morning hunt was unsuccessful, so for the afternoon hunt we decided to walk through the woods for about a mile to a location I had identified a few weeks earlier as a good location to call from. As we moved along, Chris and Jeremiah would occasionally make moose calls. About three-quarters of the way to our intended destination, a bull answered. We quickly took up positions, with me closest to where the call came from, while Jeremiah continued to occasionally do bull calls. It probably took 8-10 minutes for the bull to slowly move on in, but it seemed like forever, with every second an opportunity for something to go wrong. Finally he moved to a spot that gave me a shot, and at 15-20 yards distance I fired and placed a 250gr, Nosler AccuBond, 338 Winchester Magnum round into his shoulder. He ran for about 10 yards and then went down.

We worked into the night to get all the meat hanging, then left to let it cool. The next morning we went back and deboned everything before carrying it out. Although we were only a quarter mile from the nearest road access, it was all uphill, through heavy terrain and at 10,000 feet above sea level. And did I mention I’m 71 years old?  Thank goodness Chris and Jeremiah are in their mid-30s and very physically fit. So, while I made two round trips carrying meat to the vehicle, they each made three trips. I believe this gives a whole new perspective on the recommendation to take a young person hunting with you.

My hunt was a big success and the antlers received an official Boone and Crocket score of 154 points.

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