Latest edition of hunting stories reaffirms Colorado home to ‘Biggest Bucks and Bulls’
On the day after Christmas, 1997, Darryl Powell got himself a record-book mountain lion while archery hunting on Grand Mesa.
Of course, it’s uncertain which hunter got the best of which, since the lion belatedly gained some revenge by sliding downhill into Powell and pushing him off a 50-foot cliff, his fall somewhat cushioned by a large spruce tree.
“Man, I’m still hurting from that lion,” noted Powell during a conversation earlier this week from his taxidermy studio, Darryl’s Taxidermy on Orchard Mesa. “He messed me up for life.”
Powell, as is his style, wasn’t hunting for a trophy when he treed this particular cougar. He just wanted to hunt and that determination put him in the right spot as the right time.
That sort of propitious sportsmanship a one-day hunt with fewer than five days left in the season and ending the season with a Boone & Crockett record-book mountain lion is typical of the stories recounted by authors Susan Reneau and her son, Richard Reneau, in the latest edition of “Colorado’s Biggest Bucks and Bulls and Other Great Colorado Big Game” ($39.95) set to be released next month.
With more than 1,000 photos and nearly 250 stories, many of them told by the hunters themselves, this third edition of “Colorado’s Biggest” carries on the rich tradition of storytelling and quiet good fortune expressed in the first two editions.
“My third edition is packed with fascinating stories,” Susan Reneau said. “I love my hunters. They are the neatest people and so down to earth.
“None of them were on a ‘trophy’ hunt, they were just out to have a good time.”
Reneau is coming to Grand Junction in late October to sign copies of her 416-page book. She is scheduled for Sportsman’s Warehouse on Oct. 28; Darryl’s Taxidermy, 159 29 Road, on Oct. 29; and Barnes & Noble on Oct. 31.
Powell’s lion, which for many years ranked No. 2 in the state behind a lion killed in 1901 near Meeker by Theodore Roosevelt, was taken in a similar manner.
“I wasn’t looking for a trophy and felt honored to have had the opportunity just to hunt the lion, much less have it ranked so high,” said Powell, who this year marks 35 years as a taxidermist.
Reneau’s book offers many stories of hunters and the animals they harvested from western Colorado.
There is Mike Thomas of California, who in 1974 hunted the deer-rich environs of Blue Mesa and what’s now the Big Blue Wilderness east of Montrose.
Thomas first spotted a big buck while on a preseason scouting trip and then spent most of the deer season trying to find it again.
When Thomas finally harvested the eye-catching, 6x7 typical buck, it scored 209-5/8 points and currently is tied for 27th on the Boone & Crockett list.
The buck was displayed during this year’s Eastman’s Trophy Deer Tour.
And there’s Ken Canterbury of Cañon City, his son Colin Canterbury and Ken’s grandfather W.E. “Will” Canterbury, all of whom harvested Boone and Crockett Club-quality mule deer from Montrose County.
The irony is that Ken’s father, Jerry, was with both his father and his son when they harvested their trophies 57 years apart but has yet to find himself with a big buck.
Which underlines what Reneau’s book is all about — Colorado’s rich wildlife heritage offers everyone the opportunity to harvest a record buck, bull or other game animal.
“In Colorado, a hunter has a better chance of seeing as well as successfully harvesting a B&C mule deer than in any other state or province in North America,” writes Reneau in the chapter titled “What are Your Odds for a Trophy?”
Copies of “Colorado’s Biggest Bucks and Bulls and Other Great Colorado Big Game” are available at the above locations or by calling Reneau at 719-661-4037 to order copies in time for Christmas.