I’m assuming you guys started planning together because you both figured he’d never draw?Follow me on this one, it's a bit of a story. So I'm still pretty new to elk hunting. Been to Colorado twice for 3rd rifle and 1st rifle, and I've found elk both times, but they've either been right over the fence on private land or the wrong sex for my tag. My buddy has been wanting to come with me, so this year we were planning going out to Colorado for archery season where I went last year for his first elk hunt. We both have also starting building some points in some states, and he has this infatuation with Arizona. But instead of just buying the points, he applied for hunts.
Now my buddy is the luckiest SOB I know. By some stroke of black magic, on his first attempt with 0 points, he drew an AZ antelope tag. It was something like a .1% chance of drawing. So we changed our plans that half way through our elk hunt, he would leave and drive down to AZ for his antelope hunt, and I'd continue bowhunting in Colorado. Then the seemingly statistically impossible happens...he also drew a unit 4A archery elk tag on a leftover draw. Now he realizes that he is going to need help on these hunts, as he has never hunted elk before and his only back country experience has been a back country fly fishing trip in the summer, and wants me to come with him and forgo my own hunt, but he did offer to split the meat 50/50.
So herein lies my dilemma. Do I wish my friend good luck even though he bit off more than he could chew and go pursue my own goal of also killing my first elk? After coming close for two years, my determination to shoot one is as high as it ever was, and I also bought a brand new Hoyt Helix specifically to go after rutting elk this year. I'm dying to pull the trigger on one and finally cross that hurdle. ... Or do I put my pride and my own goals aside, realize that this is a rare opportunity to go hunt AZ and probably wouldn't draw that tag for a long long time like most people, and go assist my buddy and call for him? The chances of success seem to say that we have a better chance of coming home with half an elk each than me going by myself in Northern CO and getting one myself. He is also new to archery as he just got a new Hoyt as well this year...shot a crossbow for deer here in Ohio since I've known him, but he's learned to shoot pretty good already.
A couple things to consider: I can't go on the antelope hunt with him. I have a wedding I am in right in the middle of it (non hunting friends don't get it), so I'd have to fly out the day after the wedding right when the archery elk season starts. This would also be my only western hunt of the year. So far I've only been able to do 1 western trip a year, so I won't even be able to take my new bow with me out west until next year.
What would you all do?
Use his tag as an opportunity to see some new country. May give you an advantage if you draw the tag in the future.
I personally have as much fun tagging along without a tag as I do being the shooter.