Young hunter takes big bull on general hunt
Jake Cave is not just your average kid in Kingman. But at 14 years old, he does like to do many of the things that the youth in our community his age enjoy doing.
He plays a lot of sports and he likes to socialize with his friends, but Jake is also a proud hunter and an angler.
For this young man, his ability to draw Arizona elk tags is uncanny.
In the past four years since he graduated as an honor graduate from an Arizona Hunter Education class, Jake has drawn four elk tags. Two of the tags were for antlerless elk and two have been for bulls.
All of the tags have been in Unit 10, where bull elk tags are much sought after by sportsmen from all over America.
This year, young Mr. Cave drew another bull tag.
Once again, before the hunt started, he spent time at the local rifle range practicing with his trusty 30-06 rifle.
Jake and his father John and uncle Jim made two pre-season scouting trips to the unit.
Jake's dad also drew an early antlerless elk tag in Unit 10, but didn't see many cows on that hunt, but did see a good number of bulls.
The first scouting trip for Jake produced sightings of antlerless elk, but no bulls.
The second trip was much better. They saw several herds of elk including one herd of six bulls.
The day before the season opened, the Cave clan went to the unit to set up camp.
That evening, they went out and within minutes found a group of nine bulls. Though none were huge, Jake didn't care. His mission was to take the first bull he got in his sights and fill the freezer with elk meat.
Things were definitely looking good for the season opener.
Jake spotted the first elk on opening day in the pre-dawn light as they were driving into the area where they were going to hunt. It was a group of four spike bulls. Unfortunately, when there was enough light to go after them, the elk were gone and he didn't get a shot.
When they reached the area they wanted to hunt, they found a couple of bulls and Jake did get a shot, but he had a case of "bull fever" and like many of us, his shot missed the mark.
Gina Cobb, who was along on the hunt, but had stayed with the vehicle, told the hunters when they returned that she had spotted a group of five bulls in a nearby juniper thicket.
As they got closer to the area where the bulls had gone, Jake's uncle glassed up three bulls. Two of them were really nice 6 X 6s.
The hunters had to run after them and after a long stalk, they finally got into range.
Jake fired at a bull in the group and it appeared he had hit it. But the bull ran off and it was quite some time before they located it again going up a hillside. Two more shots were required to put the old monarch down for good.
Jake's bull was a good one. Lady Luck smiled and he got a big 6 X 6, even though he admitted he would have taken any legal bull on the hunt.
The bull, which has terrific third points, scores about 350 inches.
Though Jake is lucky when it comes to elk hunting, his luck on other big game species is another story.
"I've never got to hunt deer and I've never got a javelina," he said.