Zumbo's Response


Well-known member
Dec 18, 2000
Mesa, AZ
Subject: Jim Zumbo Response
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 19:49:11 -0700

Hey all:

Thought you'd all like to read Zumbo's response to the many e-mails he's received, many of which were negative in content ...

Thank you for your email in reference to my association with George Taulman, owner of US Outfitters, and my drawing of an Arizona elk tag.

I'll try to answer your questions.

As I see it, there are three separate endeavors that George Taulman is invoved in. There is George
Taulman the outfitter, George Taulman the licensing agent, and George Taulman the litigant who sued in the Arizona court.

I've known George Taulman ever since he started
outfitting about 15 years ago. My first hunt with
Taulman was with General Chuck Yeager in 1989 as a
fund raiser for RMEF. I've hunted with Taulman a
number of times since then, and practically all
those hunts were with my editors from New York who
wanted an elk hunt, and also with Tony Knight, owner of Knight modern muzzleloaders. Tony and I hunted several times with George to test new firearms that Tony was developing. Most of those hunts were unguided on public land. George essentially provided a bunk and meals, but I had my personal vehicle, and Tony and I hunted on our own, mostly on the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico. For the record, I have not hunted elk with George Taulman for the last six years.

Taulman started his licensing business about 12
years ago, and he's been applying me to hunts since that time. This is how it works. For a fee, USO acts as my power of attorney and applies me to different units in different states. As one who makes a living writing about hunting, and now TV shows, I hunt in as many varied places as possible. It's not uncommon for me to hunt two dozen states each year. My average is 20 states per year, and I'm on the road 200 plus days a year. Obviously, it's an advantage for me to have a licensing agent to take care of the details and paperwork. As you and half the west now knows, I drew an elk tag in Arizona this year. I believe I had five bonus points when I drew the elk tag.

The last tag I drew through USO was in 2001, and that was a moose tag in Utah. I had been applying for that tag for about 15 years. Since 2001, I have failed to draw at least 100 tags that I had applied for through USO.

As far as the court case, I am in no way involved in this litigation. Anyone who assumes that I am is misinformed. Here's my take on this. When Taulman first told me about this litigation effort, I was not in approval if it meant that I had to share equally my tag with nonresidents. As a Wyoming resident, for example, I have the privilege of having priority over tags because I'm a resident, as all of you do in your home states. I can buy an elk or deer tag at Walmart, but you, as a nonresident, must apply. I believe in states rights. Even though much wildlife ranges on federal land, I believe that a resident should have some sort of preference, but I also believe that you as a nonresident should be able to hunt here as well. In fact, I lived in Utah for 14 years, and continually applied for Wyoming
tags, but couldn't draw. I became so frustrated that I moved here!

There are currently some unfair practices that
discriminate against nonresidents. In North Dakota, nonresidents cannot hunt turkeys. In California and South Dakota, nonresidents cannot hunt elk. In Montana, nonresidents cannot apply for bighorn sheep tags in some of the top units in the state. In Idaho, only residents could hunt moose until two years ago, even though most moose lived on federal land. That law was rightfully changed recently. In my home state of Wyoming, a nonresident cannot hunt a wilderness area without a guide. That is a bad law, inferring that you nonresidents aren't as savvy about survival and woods skills as a resident is. I know some Wyoming hunters who would get lost when they got out of sight of a paved road, and I know nonresidents that are outstanding woodsmen.

I don't know where this litigation will go. From
what I understand, it's possible that in the extreme scenario, in all states, the tags will be be allocated 50-50. In other words, a nonresident can have as much a chance to hunt here in Wyoming as I can. When that happens, I won't be a happy camper, if I cannot buy a general tag in my own state. You, as a nonresident, might be a very happy camper, but you won't like it when YOU have to draw against
nonresidents on a 50-50 basis in your own state.
Arizona is different, as are a few other states,
where even residents have to draw, and cannot just
buy a general license.So you see, this is a
double-edged sword. Nobody wins. But we hunters lose. This is another example of how we shoot ourselves in the foot, by bickering and arguing. The animal rights people love it. Trust me, I've interviewed many of them, and situations like this are exactly what they want to see.
I can certainly understand why Arizona residents are upset. I would be, too, if I was in that situation.
I'm not sure exactly how this draw worked, but I'm
told that I, and other nonresidents, were drawn
specifically because of Taulman's litigation.
Frankly, I had no clue that this was all going on,
and I was surprised to get the tag. I also believe
I've been unfairly broadsided by some of you who
have made erroneous assumptions with my relationship with George Taulman. Again, I had no part in the litigation.

For your information, I will not hunt Arizona for
elk this year. This decision did not come about
because of the negative communications I've
received. I love a good fight, but this is not a
good fight. It's divisive. It's bad for hunters and hunting. Sure, I could hunt Arizona and perhaps kill the biggest bull of my life. I will not hunt there to make my point.
I hope this all ends peacefully, but right now it is a volatile issue. Thanks again for writing, even those of you who want me tarred and feathered. Believe it or not, I try to represent all hunters in my work. I'm a board member of the United States Sportsmen's Alliance, a national group headed by ##### Cabela that lobbies for hunting everywhere against anti-hunters. I preach hunting ethics and fair chase in everything I write. I can assure you that I have never asked for or received favoritism. Many people believe that because of my status in a national hunting magazine, I get strings pulled. I have honestly never known that to happen.
Good hunting,

Jim Zumbo
Can he sign his tag over to me :D
The man has class I don't think he will use his tag as stated. He is the only well known outdoors man that really does it on his own. He does the research as to were to go and he gets back in and does it with out a guide most of the time. Any Door knob (dummy) can hunt on a ranch if they got the money. Take the guy from Buckmasters that bastard can"t shoot for shit and if he had to hunt deer on his own he would never get one. any one can hunt food plots he should try going after desert muleys once on his own then he would find out what hunting is really like
He is the only well known outdoors man that really does it on his own.
Not saying that he doesn't do DIY hunts, but I have read about some of his hunts with guides/outiftters in his home state.
judge him as you might but he does represent us and our sport and maybe you nah sayers should look in your own back yards and see if you have done as much for the sport as he has
be thankful we have him on our side
I've met and spoken with Mr. Zumbo on several occasions, as perhaps some of those here have too. He does the sport show circuit and is always in Seattle when it comes to town. The man knows Elk, no doubt of that in my mind. And I believe him to be a man of his words. I think the fact that he even replied says something.

I guess the couple big questions I have for Dumb Jimbo are these:

If you're such a great elk hunter, great outdoorsman, great researcher, out for the average guy, "one of us" etc. etc. etc.

Why the hell arent you smart enough to apply for your own damn elk tags?

Filling out a simple application isnt too complicated, I manage to apply for 7-8 states each year on my own with no problems. I dont buy the "I'm too busy" BS. Get serious about your sport or take up golf...a good start would be filling out your own apps.

The other question I'd have is why did you continue to use USO when they filed the AZ lawsuit at least 2 years ago? This guy is in the loop, he probably knew about the AZ lawsuit the same day it was filed.

Dont be fooled that Jimbo is "one of us", he isnt. The fact he used a licensing service like USO tells me he sure as hell isnt "one of us".

Jimbo is looking out for his bottom line, he cant afford to piss off the sheeple that buy his two-bit stories.
I agree that he is a voice on our side but I think I'd have to ponder the real motive behind what he's saying. Knives, magazines, books, receipes, clothing, etc., all bear JZ's name and IMHO I think when it comes to sportsman's issue he may be more concerned about his marketing.

Not saying the gent is a "man of his word" or not as I've only "met him" (though you really can't call it that) a few times at the Sportsman's Expo in Sacramento. My opinion is only based on that similar to Buzz's...he was always there to sell something and these guys (much like Jim Shockey) know how their bread gets buttered.

That being said, I was hunting the Cabinets (NW Montana) a few years back and ran into a guy that had just guided Zumbo out of a lodge based in Heron. Said JZ dumped an average bull on the third day of his hunt while walking out the main gravel road from the lodge. He then (and again this is second hand) proceeded to go back to the lodge and round up all the folks he could to drag the bull off the road and into the timber for the photo session for "his story" as popping an elk in the middle of the road probably wouldn't be sexy enough for his fan base :rolleyes:

Again, second had news but the guy seemed pretty ligit to me and if that was the case I have my doubts on his sportsmanship values vs. his wallet values.
In a world full of cynics, I'm going to try and take the positive view. The almight dollar spoils most things it touches..but that is another discussion entirely. He hits on great points, and raises many good issues whether you are a strong states rights man or a federalist for equal rights. The short version, we should only be fighting the Anti-Sportsmen...not ourselves.

Did anyone see that National Geographic "Documentary" on hunting last night? What a load of bs from the anti hunting crowd.

I was watching a video the other day getting stoked about an upcoming bowhunt for elk in about 3 weeks and it was realtree.........featuring Jay Novachec(dallas cowboys fame) who missed about the easiest water hole shot on a record book bull you've ever seen from 20 yards, not even grazing the still animal, and Mr Zunbo doing a muzzleload water hole hunt, managing to kill his bull, and then being touted as "one of the world's leading authoritys on elk and elk hunting".........I had to wonder how the 5 minute walk from the pickup he road through the pasture in, and the 15 minute wait over the water tank played a part in his legendary status. Truth is, judging by Mr. Zumbo's waiteline, I doubt he will be seeing much of the "backcountry this year.

Personally, I would rather hear and see of some average Joe killing a spike out in some national forest on his own that watching these clowns take monster bulls in pastures over water holes next to the cattle. I do watch them to get ekked over the majestic bulls, but rarely come away impressed with the hunting prowess of the "hunters" invovled.
Hey DS. haven't seen you around in a while. hope things are going well for you. you guys getting any of that hail that is pounding around Denver? sure would be good for business.

Tim.......we don't get much hail down here in Louisiana.....lots of hell, just not much hail.
The closest I get to Denver in the last year and a half is the national news and driving through once or twice a year on a hunt out west......

Other than the lack of hail we're getting, things are fine with me.....hope the same goes for you and yours......

I really don't understand the criticism of Zumbo. He makes his money by writing. It is a very time consuming job and with the amount of time he spends traveling, I can see why he would use a licensing service to relieve himself of that headache. The applications are worse than tax forms nowadays. They couldn't make them more complicated if they tried. Also, practically every outfitter in business requests that you allow them to fill out the apps for you.

Sure a lot of the TV shows show Zumbo hunting on private land for elk. Those shows won't stay in business if they don't show successful hunts. Nobody is going to be successful 100% of the time on wide-open public land hunts. And he isn't going to draw tags any more often than the rest of us. So, he has to conduct at least some hunts on ranches that can sell tags directly to have marketable television shows. Also, those ranches are helping foot the bill for advertising purposes.

This guy spent many years as a working wildlife biologist. Don't knock him because he figured out a way to get paid to hunt for a living. The rest of us would if we could.

The bottom line is Dumb Jimbo isnt looking out for you and me. Thats a fact. His livlihood depends on him pushing outfitters, private land hunting, hunting gadgets, and pushing his ridiculous articles. The only, and I mean, only reason he wont hunt AZ this year is because it will hit him in the wallet if he does.

There's a couple other things you said that dont add up either.

One is: Nobody is going to be successful 100% of the time on wide-open public land hunts.

Thats a steaming pile of BS. I've killed elk, deer, and antelope every year I've hunted since I was twelve on public lands. What it takes is effort and commitment, and it can be done year in and year out. The reason why Dumb Jimbo cant is because he's an out-of-shape hack looking for the easy score. Theres several people on this board that kill elk, deer, and antelope EVERY year without paying outfitters, guides, or licensing services, ON THEIR OWN. Theres one dude that runs by the name Greenhorn on this board, that not only is successful every year...but also takes top notch animals...much better animals than most people take on high dollar hunts on private land. He does it on his own and makes Dumb Jimbo look like an idiot.

You also said: "Don't knock him because he figured out a way to get paid to hunt for a living. The rest of us would if we could.

Again, not true. I wouldnt ever want to have the pressure of killing an animal decide how, when, or where I hunt. I'm not in it for the money, Jimbo is, and theres a huge difference in attitude, commitment, ethics, and over-all values between his reasons for hunting and mine.

As for the traveling excuse and complicated applications, what a crock. I would guess that most people with a 5th grade education could fill them out. I've yet to find a single one that was complicated. Granted, I only apply in UT, AZ, NV, MT, WY, CO, NM, and OR every year, there may be a "complicated" one somewhere else. However, if you dont have the smarts to sit down and figure out a simple application process...go buy a set of golf clubs.
Whoa Buzzh. Your getting fired up over this. Have a beer.

If i ran into ZUmbo id carry him around on my shoulders singing "for he's a jolly good fellow". Same goes for Chuck.

Good idea, just happen to have a cold guiness in the fridge.

Maybe I can hire an outfitter to open it for me. ;)

Those cans are kind of complicated.
Chambero......I'll tell you where my citicism of Zumbo comes from.......true, you say he is fat and out of shape and needs an outfitter to show successful hunts, and he was once a biologist, so I guess that makes him right on all issues concerning wildlife and the pursuit of it.....and true enough, he is a jolly old fellow......

.....I just don't see him being "one of the world's leading authoritys on elk and elk hunting" as quoted on the last tape I saw him in. Who gets to bestow that title on him?........and what are the merits?

If I were looking for a Zin-master to learn elk hunting wild elk in the backcountry from.....Jumbo probably wouldn't make the first 500 cut list......now of course, this is just my opinion.....and should it come to me having to tuitalage under him, I would take up Buzz's suggestion and buy that set of clubs.

I can tell your a fan of the Zumbo tapes though, and I do hope you continue to enjoy them.....like I said, I watch one occasionally just so I can remember what a bull looks like crossing a pasture to a water tank.....that is stuff few get to see in the wild on a backcountry hunt.

I'll end by saying I have a grand that says Zumbo would be puking his guts out about halfway through the Gila pack-in I'll be doing in about 3 weeks.....he rarely strays too far from the truck.....that don't make him bad...nor does it make him the world's leading authority on elk and elk hunting.... :rolleyes:
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