Skip to main content
Arizona Elk Hunt 2020 – 8 Years in the Making featured img

Arizona Elk Hunt 2020 – 8 Years in the Making

October 19, 2020

Everyone that hunts in Arizona knows how hard it is to draw an archery bull elk tag in this state. For Gearfire’s Director of Consumer Products, Adam McLain, it took 8 long years. Waiting that long for the opportunity to archery hunt elk in his home state meant dedicating all of his free time to scouting, practicing with the bow, and getting into what he calls “mountain man shape”.

When the season opened, Adam knew he did everything he could do to prepare for this hunt. He states that the first part of the hunt was a total let down. It was hot, dry and the elk weren’t rutting at all. After 10 days in, he started having doubts that this was going to be a successful hunt. Fears of having to wait many more years to draw a tag again began to weigh heavily on his mind.

On day 11, it started off just like the mornings before. The bulls would bugle for the first hour of the morning, and then just completely shut up. While hiking back to camp, Adam stopped to take a break and decided to let out a call, hoping a bull would answer back. Sure enough, one did, and he was close!

Adam and his father hurried to get set up and luckily the two helped call the bull in. As Adam describes, “I could see the bull coming through the thick pines working his way to me. Everything was happening so fast I had no time to react to better position myself.” The bull was standing 20 yards away, but there was no clear shot to take. He ended up turning around and started to walk away. Using a quick cow call to stop him, the bull turned broadside, giving Adam a perfect shot opportunity. He let the arrow fly and made a textbook shot. The bull traveled another 15 yards and expired.

Looking back at this hunt, Adam says he is grateful for how it all went down. You can only prepare yourself so much going into a hunt like this. He had to grind and push himself physically and mentally to be successful.

The Gearfire Team extends our congratulations to our own Adam McLain. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take another 8 years to draw again!


  • Kuiu Guide Jacket
  • Kuiu Guide Pant
  • Kuiu Ultra Merino 145 Zip-T
  • Kuiu Ultra Merino Crew Socks
  • Kuiu PRO LT 5500 FULL KIT Backpack
  • Kuiu Climbing Belt

Archery Equipment

  • Hoyt Axius Alpha
  • Easton Axis Arrows
  • Evolution Broadheads
  • Spot Hogg 7 Pin Sight

Camera Gear

  • Sony AX100
  • Sony a7 III Body
  • Sony FE 12-24mm Full-Frame Lens
  • Sony 90mm F2.8 Macro Lens
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • Phone Skope w/ Adapters
  • Razor HD 27-60×85 Angled Spotting Scope
  • GoPro MAX 360
  • Polarizing & ND Filters
  • 1TB of Memory Cards
  • Manfrotto Compact Light 4-Section Tripod
  • Neewer Tripod Carbon Fiber
  • Zeiss Wipes
  • Lens Pen
  • USB Battery Banks & Charging Cables

Miscellaneous Gear

  • Garmin InReach
  • OnX Hunt App
  • Firestarter
  • Marsupial Gear
  • Havalon Knive
  • Headlamp
  • Pillow
  • Slumber Jack Sleeping Bag
  • Flex Bow Tent
  • Teton Cot
  • Yeti Camp Mug
  • Yeti 75 & 160 Cooler
  • Jet Boil
  • Toiletry Kit
  • Wet Wipes
  • Toe Rope
  • Tie Down Straps
  • Game Bags
  • LED Lanterns
  • Tire Repair Kits
  • First Aid Kit