Young hunter bags trophy bull
There are a lot of young sportsmen, both male and female, in our community who like to hunt and fish.
These kids have grown up hunting and fishing, and under the tutelage of family or friends have developed into very accomplished and successful sportsmen and women.
The Dunton family is one group that just seems to draw big game tags easily, and they rarely miss filling one.
This year 15-year-old Alek Dunton drew an archery antelope tag and an archery elk tag.
He filled them both with great trophies.
His dad, Scotty Dunton, also drew a rifle antelope tag and an archery elk tag.
Scotty was successful in filling both tags.
The last of the Dunton boys is Aden, who is 13.
Aden drew one of the 25 early bull tags in the multi-unit hunt of 15A, 15B and 18A.
This isn't the first elk tag this young hunter has drawn.
He has drawn four tags, three bull and one antlerless, for the multi-unit hunts. And he has been successful in filling them all! Aden has taken a spike bull, a cow, and a broken up 7X6 bull.
This year, he would take his best bull to date, a 6X6 that scored 341 points.
Aden had been on the archery elk hunt with his father and older brother in Unit 10.
Aden said he assisted in the calling chores on that hunt and is, by his own admission, "a pretty good caller," but was quick to acknowledge that his older brother Alek "can do a better bugle than I can!"
They both use diaphragm calls, which are hard for a lot of hunters to use, especially when trying to do bugles.
His hunt in Unit 18A really didn't start out so well. "We didn't see much on the first day, or the second morning," he said.
It was in the afternoon of Day 2 that things really picked up for the young hunter and his brother, who was now doing most of the bugling and cow calling. "We found a canyon that was just full of bulls," Dunton said.
Their calling efforts produced a number of bulls that responded, including a small 6x6 that, according to Aden, "Walked to within 2 feet of my brother!"
Dunton said they passed on the bull and others that they saw.
They had heard a bull that had a low growl, and they wanted to see this bull before pulling the trigger on a custom weapon that McMillan rifles had loaned to him for the hunt.
On Sunday morning, they found themselves almost surrounded by bulls.
The young hunter was again with his brother Alek, and the action was fast and furious.
"My brother called in this one bull who answered his call at least seven times," Dunton said.
The bull actually came in three times, once to 6 yards, once to 10 yards, and then - when he spooked and ran off to about 40 yards - young Dunton had his chance.
"I stepped out beside a juniper and I could see him," Dunton said. He fired a single shot from the McMillan 300 Super short mag and the bull ran less than 100 yards before he dropped.
It turned out to be his best bull to date.
"It wasn't the big growler bull we wanted, but this is a pretty good bull," Dunton said.
Aden's father, Scotty, said he was proud of them and that, "Those boys are hunting machines!"
Alek and Aden are just examples of an old adage that says, "A nut doesn't fall far from the tree."
They have had a lot of experience and they have had the good fortune to have been taught by a father who is also an excellent elk hunter.
Add all that up and you have a recipe for success.