‘He Was Psyched’ — Evanston Gun Company Helps Man Realize Dream
That's how Mike Cook felt after he downed his first antelope on a hunt that was two decades in the making.
Cook has wanted to go hunting for "20 some odd years," but hasn't been able to due to using a wheelchair.
But that changed with the help of a gun-manufacturing business in Evanston.
Cook said his mom reached out to Straight Jacket Armory in Evanston. The team there built Cook a 6mm pistol. With a donated phone scope — a type of scope that allowed Cook to aim through his phone — he was all set up.
"They got me hooked up wicked," Cook said.
For Straight Jacket co-owner Tristen Arnold, helping Cook achieve his dream of getting to hunt was the right thing to do.
"This guy has been watching hunting videos for the last 20 years and wanting to shoot," Arnold said. "When we heard about it, we had to step in and do something."
The process culminated with an antelope hunt near Lyman on Saturday. Cook was set up in the back of a truck with his 6mm mounted on a tripod. The way he and Arnold tell it, they were only on the road for five minutes before their speedgoat presented itself.
Cook says his buck fever was so extreme the truck was shaking before he took his shot. At 348 yards, Cook aimed and bagged his antelope.
And after more than two decades, he'd finally realized his dream and filled a tag.
"He was frigging psyched," Arnold said. "It was an awesome thing."
Speaking about the hunt Wednesday, Cook expressed nothing but gratitude toward the Arnold family and Straight Jacket.
Now, Cook is hooked. He said he already has a deer hunt and hopefully an elk hunt in the works.
"It was pretty fun," Cook said. "I couldn't do it without them."