Teen hunter seeks trophy ‘trifecta’
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At Bridger LaBau’s 17th birthday party, his friends and family were asked to answer trivia questions about him.
His favorite season?
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“I would have guessed winter,” his dad, Steve, said.
The answer: “Hunting.”
Bridger, an Eagle High junior, is trying to pull off an unlikely trifecta of successful trophy hunts this year — but he’ll need even more luck than he already has experienced.
Bridger drew a mountain goat tag in 2014 (odds: 1 in 8) and shot one on his first day in the Sawtooths, at 9,500 feet. The trailhead was 2,000 feet of elevation and 6 miles of hiking away. He and his dad packed the animal out.
Bridger’s mom drew a bull moose tag in 2015 (odds: 1 in 8). She transferred the tag to her son, who shot one on his second day hunting near Coeur d’Alene.
And now the LaBau family is rallying to try to get Bridger the most-coveted trophy tag — for a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. The odds of getting a tag are less than 5 percent, but his parents and both sets of grandparents will pursue tags, too.
Hunters are limited to one trophy drawing per year and only get one successful hunt per trophy category in a lifetime (in Bridger’s case, the moose counts as his mom’s).
The bighorn sheep was an easy decision for this year’s target.
“That would be the trifecta,” Steve said. “Those are kind of the big three trophy species. And it would be pretty incredible if he could do that three years in a row. That’s like winning the lottery.”