Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Capping off the Hunt of a Lifetime

Jesse Perrault 
For Jesse Perrault, his 2,000 mile great Montana adventure nears an end but the smile is still on his face. Jesse is coming off a whole lot of firsts—his first trip to Montana, his first time to see snow on the ground, his first time elk hunting, his first successful big game kill, and his first visit to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Jesse, his father Joseph, and Mindy McKee, who served as their Hunt of a Lifetime ambassador, soaked it all in as they roamed among the record elk mounts, displays, and historic photos at RMEF. Jesse’s 90-minute visit included a VIP tour of the Elk Country Visitor Center, a behind-the-scenes tour of RMEF headquarters, and a surprise presentation of becoming RMEF’s newest Life Member meaning he will receive a lifetime subscription to Bugle magazine; a Life member leather jacket, hat, lapel pin and decal; a permanent membership card and engraved plaque.

Elk Country Visitor Center tour & receiving RMEF Life Membership
The Perrault father-son combo flew to the Northern Rockies about a week earlier from Mississippi to take part in a Big Hearts Under the Big Sky dream elk hunt, a fully guided and outfitted excursion sponsored by the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association and using the donated services of Sunday Creek Outfitters. Just 14 years of age, Jesse deals with Von Williebrand Disease, a condition that keeps blood from clotting which can damage internal organs or, rarely, may even be fatal.

Jesse’s planned four-day hunt took place near Philipsburg, Montana. Arising at 4 a.m. on day one, the hunting party hit the field at 6 a.m. Shortly after shooting light, they spotted a herd of some 200 elk, including two bulls. A one-hour, one mile stalk put Jesse and his Savage .308 in position. His first shot connected with a running bull at 200 yards. One shot later, it was on the ground. The 6x6 bull was the first big game animal he ever harvested. It was so large the first thing he thought as he approached was “How do we get it in the truck?” Four people managed to accomplish that task, including guide Jason Vietor, a cancer survivor himself.

Since the hunt ended on the first morning, Jesse spent the rest of his time checking out area Montana sites including a sapphire mine, ate specially prepared Cajun food, took ATV rides in the mountains, ate a whole lot of chicken and tacos, and attended a farewell celebration dinner with his father. His elk meat is packaged and headed home while a taxidermist will prepare the biggest mount to hang on a wall anywhere near the Mississippi River.  (Talk about a great subject for Show & Tell!)
Jesse & his dad Joseph
Congrats Jesse, from your friends at RMEF. Come back real soon.

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