Cougar - This Indian Guide A Real Find


Published: November - 1999

The San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation is about an hour's drive east of Phoenix, where I live. It recently made news when a hunter took a monstrous five-point bull elk that green-scored an astounding 500 gross points! Record book animals are regularly taken from this 1.8 million-acre area, and trophy fees for them can cost anywhere from $1,000 for a bull elk scoring 360 P & Y to $40,000 for a B & C bull over 450 points. Coues deer permits range from $550 to $3,000 and antelope permits go for $2,500 to $3,000. The bargain here is the mountain lion permit, which both Arizona residents and non-residents can get over the counter from the San Carlos Recreation and Wildlife Department for only $10 a day, and you don't pay a trophy fee for your lion.

My problem taking advantage of this opportunity was that I couldn't take five to seven days off to go hunting. Fortunately, I found an approved tribal guide by the name of Jimmy Burke, who was willing to work out an arrangement that allowed me to hunt several weekends with him last April. The total cost for his guiding services and the use of his dogs to run the lions was $2,000. I found Burke to be an extremely knowledgeable and gifted hunter. He was also incredibly flexible, willing to camp out in remote areas with me to get a jump on the next day's hunting, or pick me up at my motel in town each morning. He was ready to run my hunt as hard or as easy as I wanted it to be. Speaking of motels, you are responsible for your own accommodations and meals when you hunt with Burke. Sometimes I stayed at the Apache Casino, a reasonably priced Best Western hotel and casino in San Carlos, and ate at the restaurant next door. Other times, I camped out on the reservation at sites Burke recommended.

I worked it out with Burke so that he would scout cat tracks during the week and call me when he found something promising, then I'd........(continued)

 
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