At this time, I am happy to report that the new elk hunt manager, Jon Cooley, ran successful hunts in both 1997 and this year, continuing the tradition of providing what I think are the finest elk hunts in the world. Cooley and the Tribal Council did in fact use their experienced guides in both 1997 and 1998 - a wise choice since the tribe has invested heavily in guide training. As regards trophy quality, the largest bull taken this year was Allen Hamberlin's nontypical 8 x 8 that gross scored in the 470s with a net score in the 450s. Although it is too early to be official, this bull could take the No. 2 spot in the Boone and Crockett all-time records. Other bulls taken this year included a 6 x 6 that green scored 405 B & C and three other bulls green scoring above the 370-point B & C minimum. Overall, hunter success was around 80 percent despite an erratic rut. When you consider the average size of the bulls taken, this rate is pretty remarkable.
Clearly, the great hunting on this reservation still exists. Moreover, after several conversations with Cooley I am convinced he understands game management and is interested in maintaining a sustainable level of trophy production over the long term. To be sure, it remains to be seen if the Tribal Council........(continued)