Any archer will tell you that bagging any big game animal with a bow and arrow that qualifies for the prestigious Pope & Young record book is quite the feat.
But one local bowhunter, Travis Allman, has had the extreme good fortune to bag three of Arizona’s Big 10 animals in less than 6 months.
This archer has been bow hunting for over 25 years and has taken a number of animals.
He said he quit hunting javelina with a bow as he has taken so many. “I just like to go out now and help folks who like to hunt javelina, “Allman said.
In the past month he has hunted with Bob and Deanna Shaw and was there when Deanna got her first javelina with a bow.
And more recently he was involved with three young hunters who took javelina on juniors’ only hunts in 18A and 18B.
His quest for success started in September. He arrowed an antelope buck that qualified for the record book on opening day in Unit 10.
In December, he was in pursuit of a big mule deer buck in a unit not too far from Kingman.
On New Year’s Eve he put it together with the assistance of Bob and Deanna Shaw.
“Deanna found the big buck I had previously shot at and missed. I went on a stalk and got close (25 yards) to the buck and his harem of does,” Allman said.
Unfortunately, all that the hunter could see was the buck’s massive antlers, so he stepped out to get a better look.
The movement got the attention of some of the does and they spooked, with the buck in tow.
But the mulie buck stopped at 65 yards and looked back.
Allman was on him and let the Easton arrow topped with a deadly G-5 Montec broadhead fly out of his BowTech Commander bow.
The arrow hit home and the biggest buck Allman has ever taken went down. The buck has an impressive 28-inch wide 4 x 4 spread and his rack scored right at 170 inches, easily qualifying for the record book. Allman will have a shoulder mount done of the big deer.
Finally, in January, Allman was on another quest.
Allman had been on several mountain lion and bear hunts with local sportsman Kevin Burgess, who himself is a very successful lion and bear hunter.
Allman wanted to learn the business, and Burgess was more than glad to mentor him. One of Allman’s goals was to take a mountain lion with his bow.
Allman had been out looking for sign in early January and had found an area where it appeared a big cat was working.
Burgess told him that it would be better to wait for snow before they tried to locate the cat.
With the recent series of storms, snow was piling up in Unit 19B, the place that Allman had located the sign.
It was time to go lion hunting.
Burgess and Allman loaded up five of Burgess’s lion dogs and left Kingman at 2 a.m. It was going to be a long day.
When they arrived in the area they wanted to check out, they found an old frozen track, and some bobcat tracks. They turned the dogs out but they weren’t able to find anything.
They had just about given up when Allman decided to go check one more road for sign that the big cat was still around.
And he saw it. There in the fresh snow was the unmistakable track of a large, adult male lion.
They quickly turned out the dogs and it didn’t take them long to track down this prolific killer.
He was treed in less than a half mile from where the tracks were first spotted.
Allman found that this wasn’t an ordinary lion.
This was a huge old male that that showed the signs of many battles with other lions and with the prey he had tracked down and killed.
The take was over quickly, and many elk, deer, antelope and javelina would live with this top predator removed from the landscape.
The lion weighed an amazing 170 pounds. Allman said, “He was a big as you’re gonna get in the desert.”
The Arizona Game & Fish Department in Region 3 aged the lion at 5-7 years old.
And the meat off the big cat? The carcass was butchered just like the other animals that Allman has taken and will be eaten.
Allman said he will eventually have a rug made out of the lion’s hide, and that he is sure it will easily qualify for the record book, too.