Lindsey May, who turns 18 this week, is the envy of grizzled elk hunters everywhere.
Well, Lindsey, a North Thurston High School senior, tagged a massive, seven-point bull elk during a special-permit hunt in eastern Washington hunt on Oct. 20.
Photos show a beaming Lindsey holding the back-scratching rack of a big bull shot in rugged, remote country.
Many hunters stalk elk for years - decades - without ever seeing a big, seven-point bull.
"We heard him bugling, and 20 minutes later I had a shot," Lindsey said. "I saw him for 10 seconds, took my shot, and his adrenaline took him about 20 yards up a little hill and he dropped.
"Most people don't see a bull that big in their lifetime - it was a once-in-a-lifetime animal."
One shot from her .308-cal. rifle was all that it took. But everything leading up to that shot started years ago.
Lindsey started hunting with her dad, Frank May, when she was 13.
"She always wanted to be in the woods with me," May said. "When she was young, she was real adamant about taking the hunter-safety course - for me it is a dream come true."
Lindsey got her first deer, a doe, at 14, and she took a big Alaska black bear in Sept. 2007.
Now, Lindsey's taken a bull elk that would make any hunter stop and gawk.
"I've never shot anything like that elk," May said. "I've shot an elk, but never anything like hers."
A great family friend came along on the hunt and provided the mule string to haul the elk out of the backcountry, May said.
It took the better part of two days to haul hundreds of pounds of elk meat out of the woods.
"We had some elk steak last night," Lindsey said. "And it was really good."
Lindsey said she's always been close to her dad, and she always wanted to hunt with him.
"It's really special to me to spend time with my dad outdoors - he's a great guy," Lindsey said.
Being outdoors with her family and seeing animals is actually just as fun as hunting, Lindsey said.
That seems like a family tradition.
"For me, it's all about the experience of being in the woods, and I think Lindsey connects on to that," May said. "I just hope we get to keep on hunting together for whatever - it's as good as it gets."
Lindsey said she's a lifelong hunter.
So, what's next after a big bull elk?
"I'd like to shoot a nice buck deer, and I'm going to keep on hunting with my dad," Lindsey said.
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