Bull Elk Hunt

September 23, 2011 by Haley Leave a reply »

By: Alex Maher

Took a short walk Monday morning solo to try out a new area east of Moran, in Grizzly country, planned to be back to the truck by 10am on a 3 mile loop.  I heard a bull bugle at 7am downwind of me, and despite an attempt to circle downwind of him, he never made another peep.  I’m guessing he smelled me coming.  I continued on through the thick timber, picking up more elk sign as I went, marked a huge watering hole on the GPS (probably where that bull had bugled), and I bugled every 20 minutes with no responses.  At 8am, I sat down on a log in the middle of a well-traveled elk trail to have a snack.  With about one bite left on the granola bar, I heard a half-bugle up ahead in the timber 200 yards or so.  So, I quickly put the facemask and pack on, the mouth call in, and headed up the trail toward the bull.  Only 50 yards from my snack spot, I suddenly saw antlers coming straight toward me on the trail at 30 yards and closing fast.  He hadn’t seen me as he was swinging his head low to get his antlers under some tree limbs.  I dropped to a knee and looked straight down at my bow while I pulled an arrow from the quiver, knocked it on the string, and secured my release on the string loop.  When I looked back up, he was frozen in the trail, staring straight at me from 10 yards.  Then he bolted to my right down the hill, so I stood up, came to full draw, and cow called.  At the sound of the cow call, he stopped broadside at 30 yards with a large pine tree covering the back half of his vitals and a baby two-footer covering the lower front quadrant of the vitals.  I had the top right quadrant open, settled the 30 yard pin and released the arrow.  It made a clean pass through the lungs, and he ran about 40 yards, slowing at the sound of my cow call, then scrambled sideways and fell over on his back.  He repeated that routine twice more over the next 40 yards, and all was silent at 8:14am.  There was a little ground shrinkage on this one, not as big a 6 pt as last year, but I’m happy with it. 

No bears this time.  John Turner came in around 1pm, and we made several trips, packing everything out to the truck by 4pm.  Thank you John.

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