Jeff Blanchard writes, "My best friend and I have been buddies and hunting partners since we were 10 years old (Currently 47). When we were in our early 20's our parents divorced and my dad ended up marrying his mom. That was cool because she had always been like a second mother to me. My dad passed away 4 1/2 years ago and 2 years ago Dottie was killed in a car crash. That threw the family into a lot of turmoil and some of it got ugly. Through all of it, Doug and I told each other our friendship was too important to get caught up in the fighting. In January, he called me and told me to not make plans for the second week of October because he had booked an elk hunt for the two of us. He booked the hunt through Atcheson & Son's, who we have used with good results on a few various trips. We hunted with Jed Wayment of J&J Outfitters in Henefer Utah.
The property we hunted was a large ranch in Northeast Utah. It was the second day of our hunt when my guide and I spotted this bull (top photo) from the top of a ridge we were glassing from. I told him that I wanted to get Doug a shot at him if we could. He looked at me kind of funny, but we watched the bull bed down in some thick oak brush, so we went and found Doug and his guide. We knew this was an exceptional bull, so we wanted to put a plan together with someone to cover any potential escape routes, so I volunteered to do that. We hiked to where we had last seen the bull and just before we split up Doug insisted I get first crack at him. I, said no and he said no so we looked for a coin. Unable to find one we played rock paper scissors and I won. I snuck along about 200 yards below where I had last seen the bull with the plan to get to a small ridge to use as cover for the final stalk. As I was sneaking along I looked up the hill and spotted the bull up and feeding in the brush. I was able to sit down and get a good rest and shot him with a 225 gr. North Fork out of my .338. He staggered about 5 feet and I put a second bullet through his vitals which dropped him. It was good fun and I was very happy with the bull, but the highlight of the trip came two days later when I spotted a big 6x6 right at dark and was able to find him the next morning for Doug. I got to sit on a ridge with my bino's and spotting scope and watch the entire drama unfold as Doug put the stalk on and nailed the bull (lower photo) with his .300 WM. I was doing the elk hunter happy dance and had tears streaming down my face and a grin from ear to ear. It was one of the most magical moments I've had in the field."