Nebraska Teen, Grandfather Bond After Winning Wyoming Raffle, Home-Run Elk Hunt

by Chris Haney
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In November, a Nebraska teenager and his grandfather went on a special elk hunting trip in Wyoming after the teen won the state’s Super Tag raffle.

17-year-old Bo Behlen, a native of Columbus, NE, entered the draw in September 2019. More than 20,000 people entered to win the 2020 Wyoming Elk Super Tag. In fact, anyone can enter the raffle for the rare opportunity. The lucky winners receive a hunting tag for one out of 10 different big game species in the state.

The Columbus Telegram‘s Molly Hunter spoke with Behlen and his mother, Jaci Behlen, who said her son bought a single $10 raffle ticket. However, that’s all it took to earn the teenager a hunting trip he’ll never forget.

“I was just looking around at other states and stuff and going to different game and parks websites. I made an account in Arizona and Idaho, just looking,” Behlen explained.

In addition to creating accounts in Arizona and Idaho, the teen also created one with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. He purchased his single raffle ticket for the chance at the elk tag, and finally heard back 10 months later.

“I was sitting there playing Xbox one night and I got a phone call from out of state. The guy asked me if I wanted to go elk hunting and I said, ‘Sure, but I probably couldn’t afford it.’ And he said, ‘Well, you just won the Wyoming elk Super Tag’,” said Behlen of winning the Super Tag.

“I heard him go, ‘Holy cow!’ And I was wondering what in the world? Because he got really excited all of a sudden,” Jaci added, saying she heard her son’s excitement from upstairs.

Behlen Bags a 13-Point Bull Elk with the Support of His Grandfather

Behlen and his 78-year-old grandfather, Gary Abegglen, hunt together almost every weekend they can. Jaci said that Abegglen used to hunt in Wyoming often during his younger days. Yet, this particular hunting excursion would be different.

In November, for the first time, Abegglen would go to Wyoming for a hunt with his grandson. Behlen has already learned much from his grandfather during their countless hunts, but Behlen would have to carry on alone as he searched for his prized elk. Abegglen stayed in camp as his grandson went out with an outfitter guide each day, but the family members still enjoyed their time together each day and bonded throughout the trip together.

By Behlen’s third day out during the Wyoming hunting trip, they finally found a huge elk.

“He had heard us, the elk,” Behlen said of when they spotted him. “He was over a mile away and he was staring straight at us when we were walking toward him with the horses. So my guide got out the spotting scope and watched him for a while.”

The teenaged hunter and his guide tied up their horses and continued on foot so they wouldn’t spook the elk anymore. They hiked the rest of the way to get to a good vantage point to shoot the bull elk. Behlen may have been in good shape from cross-country running, but he said he’s never been so out of breath ever before.

“Then we went on foot,” Bo said. “It was a long hike up the mountain and the elevation got to me.”

“He worked hard to get up to that spot to get his shot,” Jaci said of her son’s hard work.

The guide and Behlen found a great spot about 250 yards away from the elk. The teenager readied his .308 rifle and pulled the trigger. Finally, on his third day out, Behlen had his prize – a 13-point bull elk.

The hunt will be one that Behlen will remember for a lifetime. Especially since he got to celebrate with his grandfather back at camp.

He says he doubts he’ll enter the Super Tag raffle again, but he does have future plans to get back to Wyoming for another hunt.

“I’ll probably be going bear hunting with the same guide in about a year-and-a-half, after I graduate,” Behlen concluded.

[H/T Columbus Telegram]

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