2018 Commission Bull Elk Tag
For the past 6 years we have been awarded a KDFWR Commission Bull Elk Tag that we have raffled off. We have had many supporters the last 5 years that have purchased raffle tickets, raising nearly $100,000.00. Proceeds from those raffles have been awarded to KDFWR Conservation Camps, designated as scholarships for KHA Youth event winners and utilized for Youth hunting events in the state.
The Big News!
This year the Kentucky Houndsmen Association accepted a very gracious offer from a donor for the 2018 Commission Bull Elk Tag that surpassed our fundraising goals. These funds will continue to work for Kentucky’s hunting youth.
We want to thank all that have purchased a raffle ticket in the past, those funds were put to a very important purpose; supporting Kentucky’s youth and protecting our heritage as sportsmen and houndsmen.
Here is a list of Organizations that have been awarded a 2018 Commission Bull Elk Tag.
**Each organization decides independently on how to raise funds from their tag sale. **
2018 ELK CONTACT PHONE #
Appalachian Wildlife Foundation
David Ledford (606) 523-1323
Friends of Green River Lake
Shawn Canada (270) 789-3776
Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Foundation
Rachel Crume (502) 564-3400 Ext 4492
Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry,Inc.
Ivan Schell (502) 589-1000
Northern Kentucky Quail Forever
Watson Jones (859) 640-0835
Quality Deer Management Association (National Office)
Brian Murphy (800) 209-3337
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Bill Carman (859) 489-1593
Scholastic Archery Association – KY Division (KY S3DA)
Chris McDonald (606) 219-2397
The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky
Cathy Galante (859) 259-9655 Ext 3015
To say I’m a lucky man would be an understatement. I have a beautiful wife, four healthy kids, and have had many opportunities to go on some great hunts. To say I’m blessed would be a much better description of my life and the luck I’ve had the last several years. Little did I know last year when I was lucky enough to draw a Kentucky archery bull tag that it would be the start of a much bigger opportunity. I did my research, called many outfitters, and booked my hunt with Hurley Combs of Lost Mountain outfitters. I made the 20 hour drive from South Dakota to Kentucky by myself with much anticipation in my mind. I was able to harvest a beautiful 6x6 bull on my first day of hunting. In the short time I was there, I experienced the best elk hunting of my life - having them call a bugling bull to within eight yards of me to make a near perfect shot.
This is where this story truly starts and gets interesting. As I was reviling in the excitement of the hunt I told Hurly the only bad thing about it was that I would more than likely never be fortunate enough to draw another elk tag in Kentucky and have the opportunity to hunt there again. He suggested I buy a ticket for the Kentucky Houndsmen Association raffle for the Commissioners Elk Tag. I said if I was lucky enough to win that tag I would give it to my wife, Miriah, as she takes care of things and our four young kids while I’m out hunting. After that I thought very little about the raffle.
Later that year as I was paging through the Kentucky Afield Magazine I saw a picture of a new state record bull that was guided by Hurly. I sent him a text congratulating him on guiding that magnificent bull. He then reminded me of the raffle. I reluctantly decided that I would buy one ticket as a Christmas present to myself and figured I was making a donation to a good cause.
A couple months later the home phone rang about the time we were putting the kids to bed, I got the very distinct look from my wife that I had better not answer it. She wanted help putting the kids down. When I looked at the caller ID and saw an unfamiliar number, something told me I should answer it. Needless to say when the voice on the other end said, “this is Doug Morgan with the Kentucky Houndsman Association” I was caught off guard. He then asked if I was, “David Hicks from Twin Brooks, SD”. I reluctantly answered and was still not comprehending what was about to happen. He then informed me that I had won the Commissioners Elk Tag. Things got a little fuzzy at that point. I may have resembled someone having a seizure as I stood there in disbelieve! Doug asked me what I wanted to do with the tag. I informed him I wanted it put into my wife’s name. I think he may have been a little skeptical at first, but I assured him this was my intention. After the phone call I immediately told my wife the news, which seemed to confuse her, and then text Hurly that either someone is playing a very nasty trick on me or I had just won the elk tag. I received a text back immediately to call him. After a lengthy conversation and him assuring me if the call had come from Doug it was legit. At this point it truly started to sink in. I knew immediately that I was giving this tag to my wife as I wanted her to experience elk hunting at its best in Kentucky so she would better understand my passion for hunting.
The next several months were almost too much to handle. We talked elk hunting nearly as much as we talked about the kids. Even though it seemed to take forever, the anticipation continued to grow until the day came to start the drive East. We arrived in camp a couple of days before the rifle opener to try and harvest a bull with the bow first. We were informed that the bugling was slow but we were going to make the most of it. The first morning our guide, Jerry, called a nice 6x6 in to thirty yards, but Miriah wasn’t ready to be done on the first day and passed. That turned out to be a good decision.
That evening and the following morning were fairly slow. We saw several elk, heard some bugling, but were unable to call anything in. That all changed Friday afternoon as the screaming of bulls was almost constant. After watching the most spectacular display of rutting elk behavior I have ever seen we knew exactly where we wanted to be the next morning for the rifle opener.
After an almost sleepless night we were in the truck early to get to what we hoped would be the lucky spot. As day light approached the sound of screaming bulls confirmed we were in the right location. As the sun started rising the shapes of elk started to emerge from the fog. It was a large heard of cows with several bulls in it. With the help of our guide, Hurley, I got Miriah set up on a good bull. Several seconds later, the gun shot rang out and a big bull was on the ground. I’m not sure who was more nervous or excited as I don’t think either one of us could stop shaking or smiling. As we approached the bull the reality of what had just happened started to set in. She had just harvested a monster bull elk in Kentucky. All the practice and anticipation had paid off.
To say this was just a hunt would be an understatement. From the anticipation of the hunt to the comradery around camp with the fellow elk hunters and guides, to the spectacular scenery and wildlife we saw; this was an experience that has made memories my wife and I will get to share and cherish for the rest of our lives! If the good lord is willing, I pray that we will get to have many more of these experiences as we share a passion for the outdoors and family.
I need to thank the Kentucky Hounsdsmen Association for making such an incredible tag available to the public through this raffle, Hurley combs and all the guides of Lost Mountain Outfitters for the incredible job they did on guiding us and great accommodations, the men and women that serve or country and protect our freedom so we can enjoy these great opportunities, and most of all my wife for being supportive of me and giving me the freedom to go hunting, even when she doesn’t get to come with!Thanks for this great opportunity, David Hicks.