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Thread: An Elk Hunt With Me

  1. #1
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    Jun 2010
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    An Elk Hunt With Me

    I put a pretty decent elk down a number of years ago and I wish to share that hunt and story. It had some twists and turns and is worth sharing.

    Myself and fellow elk nut, Elk-Aholic, decided to slip into a mid elevation hole that is a known rutting area to us. If elk havenít been pressured the spot is money. Elk funnel into this area and yard up starting around the second week of October. Itís only a 2 hr hike so not very tough to access for a day hunt and be in tight for first light. The date was October 18th.

    After a quick push in we were met with drifting fog and rain at first light. A soft bugle was met with an instant response. I am not much of a fan of bugling other than to locate a bull(s) then itís ninja time. We are not looking for the first 3 or 4 yr old 6 point that comes running in.

    The response was from some distance away and above. It was difficult to pinpoint with the wind and rain. Knowing the area well we picked are way along never sky lining and staying hidden in tight draws. As we climbed in elevation fog was becoming a factor. I knew we were pretty tight to roughly where we thought the bull had bugled from. We hunkered down and started working the glass when the fog would permit. The bull sounded off from what appeared to be only 200 to 300 meters above us. Elk-Aholic is a glassing machine and he started picking out elk thru the fog. Some were bedded and some were standing. 10 mins of forensic glassing later I found boneÖ..the fog lifted just enough to get a quick look at himÖÖa very solid and mature 6 point that was bedded.


    I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards and forums. - F L Wright


    "Statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases". ~Theodor Billroth

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  3. #2
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    Jun 2010
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    Re: An Elk Hunt With Me

    The challenge we had is we were below and had no way to gain any more elevation without exposing ourselves. My partner asked what do you want to do? My response was, nothing, let’s just put them to bed and hunt them later in the day when they start getting up to go feed. Unless bounced they weren’t going anywhere. Once we were sure the elk were all bedded we headed down the hill to build a fire and dry off. I set up my 8’ x 10’ nylon fly and got a fire going, it was just what the doctor ordered.

    Mid afternoon saw the rain finally stop, the fog was lightly swirling opening up visibility more and more. As I was packing up the tarp and getting ready to roll my partner grabbed my shoulder and says “elk, elk” pointing at the broken finger ridges above us 800 meters away. We picked out elk moving along heading down and across the hill. A few decent bulls were spotted when visibility was afforded ......seldom more than 30 seconds at a time. Nothing special however. Any backcountry guy knows first hand how frustrating trying to glass found animals in fog can be.

    We started back up the hill towards the knob the better bull was bedded on with the 15 – 18 cows. He started to bugle so I assumed he was on the go. Sure enough his next bugle was lower down and to the left. We knew exactly where they were headed and the trail they were on. A quick sprint had us overlooking the draw the herd would come thru and then cut up the opposite bank directly in front of us. I told my partner that I was definitely in the mood to kill this bull so I would shoot given the right opportunity. He looked at me and gave the thumbs up. He knows most hunts with me are more elk viewing trips as I seldom pull the trigger so I knew he was happy that lead was going to fly.


    I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards and forums. - F L Wright


    "Statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases". ~Theodor Billroth

  4. #3
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    Re: An Elk Hunt With Me

    Sure enough the elk could now be seen traveling down the draw below us. No bull yet. The herd was only 100 meters away but in thick brush so not offering any quality shooting opportunities. The lead cow was getting nervous as I think she knew something was up. She headed up the opposite bank out of the draw, the other elk were picking up on her body language….not good. Some of the cows started running up the bank and then stopped. They were acting nervous but didn’t no where the danger was. Sure enough the bull was at the back of the bus and was following them up. The lead cow started to go again….the rest following her. I knew my only chance at a shot would be when the crested the far bank before slipping over the ridge.

    I could now see the bull quite well and he was definitely a shooter. The cows stopped at the top of the far bank with the bull getting in with them. Fak, can’t shoot, some of the cows are directly behind him. Off they go again with a deliberate march. I am well braced, crosshairs on him, waiting for the cows to clear. Finally a shot was about to present itself. As he stepped into a window that my gun was focused on I gently squeezed. All hell breaks loose with elk going everywhere. The bull didn’t go down and trotted over the ridge. My partner walks over with a big smile and asked how was the shot? I answered, I couldn’t be more comfortable with it.

    We gave it about 20 mins and sauntered over to the exact location the bull was standing when I shot. We quickly found blood, nut much though surprisingly. Blood here, blood there…… kept slowly working the sign. Knowing the area extremely well I was pretty sure where he would attempt to go. The blood was sporadic and I became growingly concerned despite being so confident in my shot. My concern took a turn for the worse as I tracked him across a draw and he appeared to be headed straight up hill….NOT GOOD.


    I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards and forums. - F L Wright


    "Statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases". ~Theodor Billroth

  5. #4
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    Re: An Elk Hunt With Me

    Great writing. Keep it coming...

  6. #5
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    Re: An Elk Hunt With Me

    There were only two obvious scenarios that were going to play out. The hit was good and the elk would quickly bleed out with the added exertion of running uphill….or……he is not hit well and is going to f*ck off up and over the hill. Most guys know that when an animal heads uphill any distance at all it is not a good sign. We sat down and gave it another 30 mins and then started tracking him further. He kept going up and up. After another several hundred meters I told my partner I am pulling the plug and coming back for him tomorrow. There are some tight finger ridges up above that bulls like to bed on so I was assuming that’s where he was headed. Hopefully I would find him there in the morning, dead in his bed. We got back home well after dark and settled in for a restless night. I would be on him at first light…..


    I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards and forums. - F L Wright


    "Statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases". ~Theodor Billroth

  7. #6
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    Mar 2006
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    Re: An Elk Hunt With Me

    Oh this is good ....
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    click "New Post" button at top then click "upload images"
    choose pic and wait for upload
    right-click : "copy" or "copy link address"
    paste into your post between [IMG ] [/ IMG] tags

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Re: An Elk Hunt With Me

    More more more.......type faster!

  9. #8
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    Jun 2010
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    Re: An Elk Hunt With Me

    October 19th

    With great anticipation I was on the hill the next morning with another friend of mine fully expecting to use his back retrieving this bull. It was damp and overcast so my concern was the rain and moisture was not going to make for easy tracking. As we neared the area a bull sounded off, several more responded. I could hear cows chirping. It was obvious that a herd was on the move and were headed our way. I moved us out of the draw and up on a rock bank that overlooked the draw. Our bull, if he wasn’t hit too bad, could be in with this group. How sweet would that be.
    Within minutes things got real busy, multiple bulls started to scream aggressively and I could see elk coming our way. There was a zero chance I would shoot any other elk other than the one I wounded. I knew my friend would enjoy being close to the approaching madness and I had us set up no more than 50 feet off the trail and on a rock bank about 10 ft above.

    Some cows started filtering by, they were constantly looking behind them, numerous bulls were losing their sh*t following this broken and annoyed group. The several cows turned into 8 then 12 then 15. Here comes the first bull trotting on the opposite bank bugling hard……small 5x6, not our guy. More cows, several bulls in chase, couple dinks and a 6x6. Still not our guy. A loud bugle comes from slightly above the cows to our left…..my buddy, who had a better sight line than me says, "big bull", his eyes were as big as pie plates. He's easily excitable so I wasn't getting worked up until I could put eyes on him. I smelled the bull but no visual. My partner asked if I could see him yet, I said no. Just then he lets out a monsterous bugle that caught me off guard....it couldn't have been 20 yards away. Heard some branches breaking then saw the tips of some awfully big bone appearing point blank. At 12 yards a tremendous 7x7 emerged, stopped right in front of us and let out a roar followed by a long series of grunts. Not our guy but what a bull!!!
    Last edited by Ourea; 12-20-2017 at 05:31 PM.


    I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards and forums. - F L Wright


    "Statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases". ~Theodor Billroth

  10. #9
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    Re: An Elk Hunt With Me

    The cows were filtering by right in front of us, it was chaos with all the bugling action. The other bulls were having nothing to do with this seven by seven staying well back from the cows now. To add to my misery the bull walks to a 15ft pine that could be no more than 25 feet away and right below our rock perch. He starts to work the tree over. I marveled at the exceptional length of his royals and sur-royals as he ripped away on the tree, what a show and we had front row seats. He worked that pine over for 2 or 3 minutes then let a couple roars fly. The cows had passed by now, he slowly turned and followed them off. Wow, what a show. My friend was beside himself. We just stared at each other and started to quietly giggle like kids. As fun as that in your face experience was still no wounded bull. As gorgeous as that monster 7x7 was I had zero regret not shooting him. I am sure many are thinking why didn’t your friend kill him? Well, I got him an elk earlier that season so no tag!! By far the biggest bull he had ever seen and he was tagged out.

    After the circus had moved on it was onward and upward to the finger ridges where I figured the wounded bull had gone to.


    I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards and forums. - F L Wright


    "Statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases". ~Theodor Billroth

  11. #10
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    Re: An Elk Hunt With Me

    Fire up the pop corn machine I think I know were this tall tail going ...........
    "The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." Cicero - 55 BC
    ..... The NDP approach: if the facts don't fit your ideology, just pretend the facts don't exist.......

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