There is nothing brighter than the smile of a child on their first elk hunt. This is their moment; an opportunity that they have dreamed about their entire short lives. This held especially true on a New Mexico elk hunt with Lee Kenneke. At 12 years young, Lee is quite the accomplished Jr. hunting guide at the Express UU Bar Ranch.
His ability to quickly spot elk in any terrain, is uncanny. The kid has an eye for all types of big game. He has literally been hunting all 12 years of his life and most certainly has more experience than most adult hunters when it comes to elk hunting.
The opportunity for Lee to hunt the Express UU Bar was provided by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, for within Lee, they saw the future of elk hunting, a steward of the land and wildlife that calls it home. Lee grew up on the ranch but no one in his family has had the special opportunity to hunt the bulls that call it home, until him.
Lee’s pursuit for a bull elk was a special one- he was looking for the hard to find management bull. Any sort of clean 6x6 or 5x5 would not do- the bull had to be of a mature age with an antler malformation. This required looking over hundreds of bulls. This type of selective hunt has made Lee the expert that he is at a young age. To be able to look over a herd of elk and age estimate and identify special characteristics on antlers has young Lee on top of his game.
One thing is for sure, we had a blast with a little competitive antler hunting as well. The two of us had a blast finding sheds and comparing size.
Stay tuned for RMEF’s Team Elk television show to see the special moments that took place on this hunt for Lee’s first bull elk.