Things were pretty good the first year Drew Johnson and a group of friends hunted elk in Montana’s Gallatin National Forest. He arrowed a 4×5 bull near the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park in 2000, but things went down hill the next season.
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“Every time we tried cow calling or bugling, we called in wolves. We saw quite a few elk carcasses, and we heard wolves howling around us every night,” recalls Johnson, a Farmville, Virginia, dentist. “We never saw an elk.”
He and his friends moved to a different part of Montana and had a few good years before the wolves eventually caught up to them again. The elk disappeared, so last fall Johnson and his friends booked a hunt with a New Mexico outfitter, a move they plan to make permanent.
“I’m not going back to Montana,” he says.