Saturday, August 3, 2013

Champion, PA Teen to be Featured on Outdoors Show

By Rachel Basinger

Albie Saloom is seen here with his record book elk
he harvested in October 2012 in Colorado.
Saloom will be featured on the Outdoor Channel's
Outfitter's Showcase on Saturday.
At just 14, Albie Saloom of Champion, PA has put together a hunting resume most adult outdoors enthusiasts would love to have.

This past October, while on a hunting trip within the borders of the White River National Forest of Colorado, he added his crowning hunting achievement to date.

By the time the trip was over, Saloom had harvested a record book Rocky Mountain bull elk and a remarkable mule deer while hunting with Winterhawk Outfitters.

On top of that, he was interviewed by David Sparks, the host of Outfitters Showcase and will appear on the Outdoor Channel's television series at 5 p.m. Saturday.

The teenager is excited to be on the show.

“Now my friends can see where I was and the great adventure that I had with my dad,” he said.

Saloom was happy to talk about his accomplishments on the trip.

“The elk was quite a long shot,” he said. “We spotted it feeding more than 1,200 yards away. We tried to sneak in for a close shot but had to stop at 450 yards due to lack of cover.”
Even though it was very far out, Albie Saloom knew he could make the shot because he had spent hours practicing precision shooting before the trip.

Saloom's elk was Winterhawk's Bull of the Year. It scored 312 using the Safari Club International method and is expected to score above 350 using the Boone & Crockett method. In order to make the S.C.I. record book, a Rocky Mountain elk must obtain an score of 264 or greater.

Three days later, Saloom and his hunting party discovered several deer together and managed to slip into the middle of the herd.

“My heart was beating so hard that I was afraid the deer would hear it,” he said. “I was able to take a big buck that was standing a little farther away than the others.”
Both animals were harvested on public land under the guidelines of fair chase.
Albie Saloom's dad George Saloom said he was quite surprised at his son's success on the hunting trip.

“The odds of harvesting a bull elk on public land in Colorado is less than one in six,” he said. “A chance at a record book bull is very rare. I kept telling Albie that we may not even see a bull to shoot at, but somehow Albie seems to make the impossible happen.”

The teen has been hunting and fishing with family and friends since he was 4 years old and has bagged or witnessed someone else bag everything from pheasants and deer to bear and elk.

Albie Saloom's next hunting trip is scheduled for this month to Northeast Quebec to see and hunt Caribou herds with his uncle, Tim Saloom, and cousins.

“I love the outdoors,” he said. “You don't have to take an elk or catch a fish to have a great adventure. You just have to get out there and try. If you go as far as you can and stay out there as long as you are able, then something extraordinary is bound to happen.”
His dad said he is very proud of the teenager.

“It's not necessarily because of the elk,” George Saloom said. “It's his tenacity and understanding of conservation that make me proud. Albie will stay out and hunt when it's freezing and the snow is blowing. He just drinks a cup of tea to stay warm. He will climb straight up a mountain without complaining, and he often decides to let animals pass by without firing at them and rarely keeps the fish that he catches these days. I wish I could say that I'm his best hunting buddy, but I'm not. It's his dog Champ, but I can live with that.”

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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