Sitka Mountain Gear
An elk hunt worth the wait?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Treeline 25-Sep-17
drycreek 25-Sep-17
Scoot 25-Sep-17
Treeline 25-Sep-17
Treeline 25-Sep-17
Grunter 25-Sep-17
Treeline 25-Sep-17
BULELK1 26-Sep-17
Smtn10PT 26-Sep-17
Treeline 26-Sep-17
KHunter 26-Sep-17
THP 26-Sep-17
Treeline 26-Sep-17
Tim M 26-Sep-17
buzz mc 26-Sep-17
Bowfreak 26-Sep-17
Lark Bunting 26-Sep-17
bowonly 26-Sep-17
Scar Finga 26-Sep-17
Treeline 26-Sep-17
Nesser 26-Sep-17
BOWNBIRDHNTR 26-Sep-17
Treeline 26-Sep-17
drycreek 26-Sep-17
Willieboat 26-Sep-17
Treeline 26-Sep-17
Treeline 26-Sep-17
Treeline 26-Sep-17
Treeline 26-Sep-17
Treeline 26-Sep-17
EmbryOklahoma 26-Sep-17
Treeline 26-Sep-17
Treeline 26-Sep-17
drycreek 26-Sep-17
Treeline 27-Sep-17
Treeline 27-Sep-17
Treeline 27-Sep-17
Treeline 27-Sep-17
Treeline 27-Sep-17
Smtn10PT 27-Sep-17
LINK 27-Sep-17
T Mac 27-Sep-17
Scoot 27-Sep-17
Pigsticker 27-Sep-17
SBH 27-Sep-17
Russell 27-Sep-17
otcWill 27-Sep-17
Treeline 27-Sep-17
stick n string 27-Sep-17
Thunderflight 27-Sep-17
Butternut40 27-Sep-17
Bogie 27-Sep-17
HUNT MAN 27-Sep-17
CJE 27-Sep-17
PA BONES 27-Sep-17
Southern draw 27-Sep-17
venison 27-Sep-17
Grasshopper 27-Sep-17
andyschaef 27-Sep-17
njbuck 27-Sep-17
wilbur 27-Sep-17
wkochevar 27-Sep-17
Heat 27-Sep-17
Glunt@work 27-Sep-17
GBTG 27-Sep-17
Reflex 27-Sep-17
Ironbow 27-Sep-17
Treeline 27-Sep-17
loopmtz 27-Sep-17
EmbryOklahoma 27-Sep-17
deerhunter72 27-Sep-17
Tgun46 27-Sep-17
wildwilderness 27-Sep-17
Treeline 27-Sep-17
Treeline 27-Sep-17
CCOVEY 27-Sep-17
coelker 27-Sep-17
Bowfreak 27-Sep-17
elkcrzy1 27-Sep-17
jordanathome 27-Sep-17
BigOk 27-Sep-17
ohiohunter 27-Sep-17
IdyllwildArcher 27-Sep-17
Treeline 27-Sep-17
Treeline 27-Sep-17
Grunt-N-Gobble 27-Sep-17
Treeline 27-Sep-17
THP 27-Sep-17
bowcrazyJRHCO 27-Sep-17
Brun 27-Sep-17
longspeak74 27-Sep-17
Iowabowhunter 27-Sep-17
drycreek 27-Sep-17
Lee 27-Sep-17
RogBow 27-Sep-17
goelk 27-Sep-17
Treeline 27-Sep-17
Fulldraw1972 27-Sep-17
Paul@thefort 27-Sep-17
Treeline 27-Sep-17
Adventurewriter 28-Sep-17
Shoe 28-Sep-17
RickH 28-Sep-17
Scar Finga 28-Sep-17
sticksender 28-Sep-17
Cheesehead Mike 28-Sep-17
Glunt@work 28-Sep-17
Treeline 29-Sep-17
OFFHNTN 29-Sep-17
Nesser 29-Sep-17
wooddamon1 29-Sep-17
SteveB 01-Oct-17
ELKMAN 01-Oct-17
Jaquomo 01-Oct-17
Treeline 01-Oct-17
Ermine 01-Oct-17
blackwolf 01-Oct-17
TD 01-Oct-17
TD 01-Oct-17
Jaquomo 02-Oct-17
BULELK1 03-Oct-17
midwest 03-Oct-17
Mr.C 04-Oct-17
Sixby 05-Oct-17
mfg bowyer 06-Oct-17
ColoBull 11-Oct-17
Treeline 11-Oct-17
Brotsky 13-Oct-17
Korey Wolfe 13-Oct-17
ElkNut1 14-Oct-17
From: Treeline
25-Sep-17
I will start this out by saying that I do not consider myself to be much of an elk hunter.

Yes, I have shot a number of elk over many years of hunting them, usually the first legal bull (or cow) to give me a chance at my limited ability to make a good shot.

My passion, however, has always and remains to be hunting big gnarly mule deer above treeline.

This is not that story.

From: drycreek
25-Sep-17
I'm fully engrossed in Paul's story, but I have two eyes, so bring it !

From: Scoot
25-Sep-17
Yeah baby! If this is the start of a great tale then bring it on!

From: Treeline
25-Sep-17
I first moved to Colorado 27 years ago with a passion for the high country and the fish and wildlife that inhabit it. I studied the hunting proclamation and figured out that there were many opportunities to pursue various species of big game in Colorado with many being over the counter tags and others requiring application and possibly several years of waiting for "premium hunting" opportunities.

I started applying for every big game species that Colorado would let me apply for within a couple of years of moving to the state.

I set my sights on drawing quality hunts for many of those species at some time in my future and was very diligent in making my annual donations. Over the years, I have been blessed with many amazing opportunities in many different areas for most of the fabulous species in this state - bighorn sheep, mountain goat, pronghorn, mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, etc.

When I started applying, I think the highest point requirement in the entire state for elk was somewhere around 6 points. That did not seem to be that far away and, being young, I though that it would be cool to work on getting one of those great tags and possibly a couple of those better tags - while hunting OTC and learning how to hunt the various species in the years that I didn't draw.

I certainly never dreamed that it would take so many years to get to one of those "pinnacle" units!

As you get older, life happens. Between work, family, kids, etc it piles up. I finally thought I would have the time to make the time needed for one of those premium trophy elk hunts this year. So, I cashed in 23 points for a Unit 2 archery elk tag - with pretty significant certainty that I would get it.

From: Treeline
25-Sep-17
So, the tag came, as expected.

I immediately started thinking of a ton of negatives about the hunt.

The way most people shoot an elk is over a water hole (sounds worse than the rack or water boarding to me to sit on a water hole!).

A majority of the water is on private land and most people pay for access (unfortunately my financial situation was not good enough to afford that kind of cash outlay).

I had spent zero time in that area previously learning the country and elk and it is totally different than what I am used to.

I didn't know anyone else with that tag this year and was not looking forward to doing it all solo.

Almost immediately, I wanted to turn the tag in.

Actually drove up to the CPW office several times with the tag in hand to turn it in so that I could keep my points and try again next year.

I talked to several people with a lot of knowledge about the unit - either had killed bulls in there before or had helped guys out - and decided that, given enough time (for me most likely the entire season!) I might have a chance at a decent bull. This went on right up to the last day that I could turn it in!

In the middle of all this, I was looking for a new job. I had offers from British Columbia to Arizona to South America to California. Finally got a job offer in Colorado. Unfortunately, it was 7 hours from my house and 9 hours from the unit (would have to go home on both sides just to deal with stuff). I talked to the folks with the job in southern Colorado and worked out that I could take two weeks for hunting right after starting work the first of August. Seriously shortened my time for a hunt of a lifetime, but maybe, with a little luck, I could get it done.

From: Grunter
25-Sep-17
I'm with ya, don't forget the pictures! Keep er coming!

From: Treeline
25-Sep-17
I got out a couple of weekends for scouting. The country was really big and not what most folks would consider typical elk country. Definitely not the kind of country I was used to for elk.

From: BULELK1
26-Sep-17
What a day dream unit to have a Bull tag in Tavis!!

Can't wait to follow this thread----------->

Good luck, Robb

From: Smtn10PT
26-Sep-17
Congrats on your decision to keep the tag and make it work. Well earned!

From: Treeline
26-Sep-17

Treeline's embedded Photo
Lots of wild horses
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Lots of wild horses
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Pretty desolate
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Pretty desolate
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Am I even on the right planet?
Treeline's embedded Photo
Am I even on the right planet?
Who in their right mind would think elk would live in this country?

From: KHunter
26-Sep-17
I would! Looking forward to the story.

From: THP
26-Sep-17
I hope it was worth the wait, I've been looking forward to this story

From: Treeline
26-Sep-17
Although I spent some time up in the higher country, I focused most of my scouting time on areas out in the "big empty" areas away from where most folks tend to go. There is so much country up there - very remote and very few people or activity.

It was hot, dusty and dry. I drove the roads and hiked to ridglines for potential glassing points. Took extra gas cans, two spares, tools and gear to be able to take care of any mechanical issues. I would pound the dusty roads dawn till dark and then just throw a pad and sleeping bag on the ground. It was hot out there!

From: Tim M
26-Sep-17
I was wondering when you were going post something on your hunt. Look forward to rest of the story.

From: buzz mc
26-Sep-17
Looking foward to this.

From: Bowfreak
26-Sep-17
This is awesome already. Continue!

From: Lark Bunting
26-Sep-17
Can't wait to hear the story! Congrats on the new job as well, I hope it works out for you.

From: bowonly
26-Sep-17
Alright, alright, alright. This is gotta be good. Thanks for sharing, Tavis.

From: Scar Finga
26-Sep-17
Sounds Great So Far, Keep It Coming Brother!

From: Treeline
26-Sep-17

Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo
I figured out that my sleeping arrangements needed to be slightly adjusted after a couple of close encounters with the slithering kind.

The first occasion was when I sat my spotting scope in a little bush and saw movement under the bush.

Closer inspection revealed a baby prairie rattler! He didn't even have rattles yet, but was upset that I dropped my scope in his bush! He coiled up and struck the end of the scope! I made sure I was out of range and that he was alone before easing my scope back out of the bush.

I have a standing rule that any snake that doesn't try to directly get me gets a free pass, I gave him his space and set up about 20' away. I made sure to go wide of his bush when headed back to the truck!

The second occurance happened on the way back to the truck. I had my arms full of optics and tripod and was weaving thru sagebrush, keeping my eyes out for more snakes. Kind of let my guard down when I was almost to the truck and noticed movement right under the next sage bush.

Wham! A bigger snake struck at my foot! I squealed like a little girl and jumped back dropping over $7,000 worth of optics between me and the snake. Luckily, he missed as my boots were the lightweight tennis shoe type. That snake did not get a pass! I got my bow out and a judo tip did a good job on him! Will make a nice addition to the limbs of one of my bows!

Who is crazy enough to think any elk in his right mind would ever come out into this forsaken county!!!??!

From: Nesser
26-Sep-17
Tavis I love it! Keep it coming brother!

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
26-Sep-17
I'm sure I made the same "like a little girl" squeal a few weeks ago on my coues deer hunt in Arizona! Keep the story coming!

From: Treeline
26-Sep-17
With the changes to the regs for turning in a tag, would have really sucked to get nailed by a rattlesnake and not be able to hunt and lose the points to be able to come back next year!

Just having my 15's and spotting scope hit the ground was enough to make me sick!

Thought my 15's were broken but was able to get them adjusted back in. Not having them or the spotting scope on this hunt would have made it pretty difficult in some of those areas for sure.

Whew! Close call!

From: drycreek
26-Sep-17
I'm still here !

From: Willieboat
26-Sep-17
They don't all live in the trees ;)

From: Treeline
26-Sep-17

Treeline's embedded Photo
Pinyon-juniper and sagebrush hillsides
Treeline's embedded Photo
Pinyon-juniper and sagebrush hillsides
Treeline's embedded Photo
Tremendous vistas!
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Tremendous vistas!
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Beautiful ponderosa stands
Treeline's embedded Photo
Beautiful ponderosa stands
Well, interestingly, there are a few trees in this unit (hell, it's bigger than some small states!)

From: Treeline
26-Sep-17

Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo
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Bull on a rock
Treeline's embedded Photo
Bull on a rock
And... I actually found some elk while scouting.

Not sure why I can't get the second one to rotate...

From: Treeline
26-Sep-17

Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo
And evidence that, at least someone had been able to kill an elk up in this unit!

From: Treeline
26-Sep-17

Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo
I found over 20 bulls up scouting and, most interestingly, a number of cows.

From: Treeline
26-Sep-17

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Water hole in the rocks
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Water hole in the rocks
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Red water tank
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Red water tank
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Little bull at water - wish I could load the video of his buddy swimming around in the tank! Also not sure why it wont rotate 90o
Treeline's embedded Photo
Little bull at water - wish I could load the video of his buddy swimming around in the tank! Also not sure why it wont rotate 90o
This is a desert unit. Very little water and a long way between watering holes. Even up in the higher country, water is very scares. Since everything still needs to drink, water holes can be key to success for elk hunting up in this country. It never hurts to have a good waterhole picked out to possibly stake out in the middle of the day when they might come in or at least know what it is like where they are headed.

26-Sep-17
Waiting... patiently. :)

From: Treeline
26-Sep-17
Hell, Embry, I had to wait like 24 friggin years!

From: Treeline
26-Sep-17
Patience is a virtue...

From: drycreek
26-Sep-17
^^^^^That's what I keep telling myself..........

From: Treeline
27-Sep-17

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Treeline's embedded Photo
Lucky you guys are not going to have to wait that long...

I decided to hunt the second and fourth weeks of the season. Had a buddy come up for a couple of days the second week of the season to get a feel for the unit. He is getting really close to drawing the tag so wanted to learn a bit about the unit. I really appreciated the company.

The conditions were horrible - hot, smoky, and full moon.

I did not see what I was after.

From: Treeline
27-Sep-17
I returned on Sunday, the last week of the season. Had a buddy from Arizona come up on Monday and stay through the end. That was certainly a blessing.

Got into several bulls bugling each day. Passed on several that I did not take pictures of that most guys would love to have, but they were just not what I wanted. Called in two bulls right into my lap (under 20) but didn't have a shot angle on them.

Wednesday evening, the wind picked up and was blowing up to 50 mph up on the mountain. It was miserable. I thought my tent was going to blow away.

It was still very windy Thursday morning. We decided to glass off the mountain down onto the cedar flats in hopes of seeing some elk that might be up and not dealing with so much wind.

We picked up two elk on a slope way out early and nothing else. We decided to drop down further off the hill to get to a spot more out of the wind and try to pick up some elk closer.

Dan picked up some cows in the cedars. I was a few feet away with a different angle and picked up a bull with them. He looked very good, so I decided to make a stalk.

I pealed off my jacket and left my optics with Dan. We discussed how long it would take to get down to the elk and vastly underestimated the mountain underneath us. I took off and had not gone far before I was cliffed out. Had to backtrack and loop around until I found an elk trail that allowed me to get through the rocks. As I dropped, I kept glassing for the elk to see where they were going.

When I got to the bottom, it was much easier travelling but still rough going through thick p-j and rocks in a couple of areas that we also couldn't see from the top. The elk continued to move to the north and wandered east and then back to the west. I spotted the cows a number of times and the top of the bull's rack once during the stalk. Due to the wind, I had to loop way out to the east and north and then come at them from the east or northeast. Got into the cows several times at under 20 yards and luckily did not get busted. Would just freeze in place when I saw any part of an elk close and then move after they moved off.

Finally saw the bull in a small opening with some sage brush. He was north of where I spotted him and I knew there were cows in the cedars between us. I made another wide loop in the cedars and came into his location from the north east. He was too far into the opening for a shot at about 50 yards. I bumped a cow just as I got to the edge. She ran behind the bull and I immediately dropped to my knees and started digging for a cow call.

The bull's head snapped up and watched the cow then snapped back toward where she had come from. I knew that he was going to bolt at any second so the next time he looked toward the cow I let out a cow call.

He looked back my way but couldn't see a cow.

He looked back the other way and I gave him a second call.

He spun my way and trotted in to about 25 yards. He was head on and looking in the brush for that lost cow. No shot.

I hid behind my bow and just watched him out of the corner of my eyes.

After what seemed like forever, he turned to his right go back to the real cow.

I do not remember shooting, just the arrow sticking out of his left side and blood splashing out. It looked like a perfect 10-ring.

I heard him run for a ways and then a big crash and knew he was down.

He made it about 100 yards into the cedars and crashed.

Awesome hunt.

From: Treeline
27-Sep-17

Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo

From: Treeline
27-Sep-17

Treeline's embedded Photo
Had to take a knee. Thank you Lord!
Treeline's embedded Photo
Had to take a knee. Thank you Lord!
Treeline's embedded Photo
No ground shrinkage!
Treeline's embedded Photo
No ground shrinkage!

From: Treeline
27-Sep-17

Treeline's embedded Photo
Amazing amount of stuff going on up top!
Treeline's embedded Photo
Amazing amount of stuff going on up top!

From: Smtn10PT
27-Sep-17
Wow man! What an exciting way to fill the tag!

From: LINK
27-Sep-17
Nice. Well done.

From: T Mac
27-Sep-17
Treeline outstanding bull and write up I felt like I was right there with you on the final stalk. Congrats man!

From: Scoot
27-Sep-17
Wow! WTG! What a stud of a bull! No doubt a great ending to a tag you had questions about in the beginning. Congrats!

From: Pigsticker
27-Sep-17
Congratulations!!!

From: SBH
27-Sep-17
Awesome bull. Thanks for sharing.

From: Russell
27-Sep-17
Congrats! Awesome hunt you had. Thanks for taking us along.

From: otcWill
27-Sep-17
Really enjoyed this, Tavis. Excellent bull/hunt/write-up. Thanks for sharing this with us

From: Treeline
27-Sep-17
Had a massive amount of help from a number of great bow hunters on this hunt.

A lot of them are on the bowsite fairly regularly - Jaquomo, Mathews Man, Kurt, Nesser, and of course Dan (we met here many years ago and has become a great friend).

Thanks for all the support and information. Without that help, this hunt would have been much more difficult!

27-Sep-17
Awesome hunt, awesome bull. Congrats!

27-Sep-17
Epic! Congrats!

From: Butternut40
27-Sep-17
Congrats on a great bull.

From: Bogie
27-Sep-17
Thanks for sharing, an awesome hunt and a beautiful Bull.WTG

From: HUNT MAN
27-Sep-17
That's a elk hunt . Thanks for posting . Hunt

From: CJE
27-Sep-17
Awesome hunt a great bull, congrats!

From: PA BONES
27-Sep-17
That was an awesome adventure. Thanks for sharing and congrats on a great bull!

27-Sep-17
Congrats ! thanks for sharing

From: venison
27-Sep-17
Congrats ! Thanks for sharing .

From: Grasshopper
27-Sep-17
You never answered the question, was it worth the wait?

Congrats!

From: andyschaef
27-Sep-17
Great story and a great bull! Thanks for sharing the story with all of us!

From: njbuck
27-Sep-17
What a bull, congrats and thanks for sharing your hunt with us.

From: wilbur
27-Sep-17
Tip of my cap to you well played.

From: wkochevar
27-Sep-17
Fantastic animal and write up! Congratulations!!

From: Heat
27-Sep-17
Right on! You certainly made the most of that tag!

From: Glunt@work
27-Sep-17
Congrats! Thats a great bull.

From: GBTG
27-Sep-17
Giant...Congrats to one of my Bowsite heroes!

From: Reflex
27-Sep-17
Holy cow...err bull! Way to go. That's an awesome story.

From: Ironbow
27-Sep-17
Great job and a fantastic bull!

From: Treeline
27-Sep-17
Grasshopper,

Yes, I believe it was.

The country, the hunt, the results.... and most of all the support from family and friends.

I will not live long enough and do not have the finances to do this hunt again.

Truly a Hunt of a Lifetime!

Thanks for following along.

From: loopmtz
27-Sep-17
Awesome, thanks for sharing!

27-Sep-17
Man, what a bull! Enjoyed it, Tavis... congratulations!

From: deerhunter72
27-Sep-17
What a bull! Awesome story, thanks for sharing.

From: Tgun46
27-Sep-17
Great write up and an incredible bull! Congratulations

27-Sep-17
Worth the Wait? of course that bull is worth the wait, especially with a long bow!!

From: Treeline
27-Sep-17
As a little footnote, a good friend of mine was planning to come up from Peru to join me this season. He was not able to make it to the US due to the hurricanes.

He Finally showed up at the house Saturday afternoon. He was depressed that he had lost so much time from the hunting season and had to get a new bow because his old one had been stolen. The new bow was not shooting straight and he was very depressed about the whole situation.

My wife and I were up to our elbows in elk meat butchering.

I got my son to help out and take him to a secret spot to at least try for a deer. He got a nice one Sunday morning. Then, my son got a fat cow Sunday evening with him!

Takin it to the wire!

From: Treeline
27-Sep-17

Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo
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From: CCOVEY
27-Sep-17
congrats on a great hunt and an incredible bull!

From: coelker
27-Sep-17
I love that country. I am the total opposite of you... I never hunt anything above about 7,000 feet. Many rattle snakes, lots of long dusty roads, and horses all over as well. I am glad you had a great hunt. I am currently sitting on 22 points. I am so afraid to cash in... I am just not sure I can handle all the other pressure, doubt etc. I have lots of experience in the units. Just afraid to pull the trigger. I think I might wait until my son is old enough to be my dedicated caller then give it a try.

How did the elk act in this unit compared to a normal OTC? Were they more vocal? Did thy tolerate your presence more? Did they run from the truck easier?

From: Bowfreak
27-Sep-17
Awesome hunt and awesome bull! Thank you for sharing.

From: elkcrzy1
27-Sep-17
Awesome job !

From: jordanathome
27-Sep-17
WOW......nicely done sir!!!!!

From: BigOk
27-Sep-17
Outstanding!!

From: ohiohunter
27-Sep-17
Great hunt, one for the books for sure! Looks like your buddy's bow is shootin just fine. Congrats to all 3 of you!

27-Sep-17
Grats! Great bull

From: Treeline
27-Sep-17
By the way, I was using my homemade longbow on that hunt. She likes elk! Think this bull makes 7 or 8 for the young gal!

Glad I am still skinny enough to hide behind her when an elk comes my way!

From: Treeline
27-Sep-17
Coelker,

These elk seemed to tolerate me a bit more than in a lot of otc units, but they still wouldn't put up with me sky lining, or moving across a big opening any more than any other elk.

I typically parked the truck and walked a lot.

I did notice that the elk ran from the side by sides and moved back away from the roads when there were side by sides it 4 wheelers running around as well as shutting up if they were talking at all.

They were slow to start into the rut and talk much when compared to the high country. Heard my first bugle the 17th. Heard absolutely nothing the week of the 2nd to the 9th.

27-Sep-17
Congrats!!!!!

From: Treeline
27-Sep-17

Treeline's embedded Photo
My little blonde elk slayer
Treeline's embedded Photo
My little blonde elk slayer

From: THP
27-Sep-17
Hell of a bull, I'd say it was well worth the wait. Congratulations!

27-Sep-17
Congrats. So many kills with a longbow. You - are a hunter!

From: Brun
27-Sep-17
Great bull and story.Thanks for posting. Like Coelker I'm sitting on a lot of points and trying to decide what to do with them. Any information on any of the units up there is very helpful. Thanks again.

From: longspeak74
27-Sep-17
Great bull and what a GREAT experience! Congrats!

27-Sep-17
Fantastic!!!

From: drycreek
27-Sep-17
Great bull, great story, and well worth the wait ! Congrats Treeline !

From: Lee
27-Sep-17
Wow is all I can say! I remember your posts earlier in the year trying to decide what to do! I'd say you made the right one. Absolute stud and even cooler with the long bow!

Lee

From: RogBow
27-Sep-17
Congrats, nice bull

From: goelk
27-Sep-17
Nice bull and a great story whats the poundage of your bow and what arrows and broardhead

From: Treeline
27-Sep-17
Goelk, My bow is 60# at my draw. I was shooting a tapered carbon arrow and 200 grain Cutthroat broadhead. Arrow weight with that setup is 520 grains. Made the "S" cut and stuck in the offside shoulder.

From: Fulldraw1972
27-Sep-17
Wow great hunt, great story and most of all great bull!

Congrats!

From: Paul@thefort
27-Sep-17
Tavis, you have been a friend of mine for many years, way back when you helped me find a good area for my successful goat hunt in Colorado and I was impressed by your wildlife knowledge and hunting ability back then. You are one that keeps learning, observing, and figuring out how to do it the hard way with the homemade long bow in hand. I am so happy for your success, in the past, the present hunt , and in the future. I know you will do well regardless of the wildlife species or habitat, as was this successful elk hunt as you have a way to figure it out. My best, Paul

From: Treeline
27-Sep-17
Thank you, Paul.

You remain an inspiration for me and I continue to learn from your experiences.

Looking forward to spending some time with you and discussing our love for wild country and the critters we love!

28-Sep-17
Awesome Tavis is my hero!!!!! Well done clap clap clap...... well done!!!!!.....

From: Shoe
28-Sep-17
This is what dreams are made of......Congratulations!

From: RickH
28-Sep-17
Congratulations on a well earned bull and thanks for telling us your story

From: Scar Finga
28-Sep-17
Very Cool story and great trophies for all! Thank you for sharing and what an excellent way to get it done!!!

From: sticksender
28-Sep-17
Congrats on the fantastic bull, and getting it done the hard way!

28-Sep-17
Congrats Tavis on a great bull and an awesome write up. I knew you would get it done.

At times like this anybody would be proud to say that they know Tavis and I'm no different. I had the pleasure of meeting Tavis a couple times in 2007 and 2010 when I drew elk tags in a unit close to where he used to live. Tavis was generous enough to help me with areas to hunt and point me toward some elk when I was struggling. He let me keep my 2010 New Mexico bull in his freezer while I hunted in Colorado and he shared his home, food and beer with me.

Tavis has an awesome collection of animals that he has killed with his longbow and his passion is hunting big mature muley bucks. He was telling me stories of some of the big bucks he has hunted and talked about glassing them from long distance across a canyon and then having to descend 1000 feet or more, cross the drainage and then climb 1000 feet or more and then stalk to within shooting range. After telling me about it I said "and then after all that you shoot them with a longbow". Tavis looked at me with a little glimmer in his eye and said "Well... you have to give them a chance". That's the kind of hunter Tavis is!

Way to go my friend!

From: Glunt@work
28-Sep-17
Wow even cooler that you did it with a bow you made. I shot one bull with a longbow I made and it definitely adds some satisfaction factor.

From: Treeline
29-Sep-17
Thanks, Cheesehead!

The door is always open if you need it out this way! Congratulations again on that great NM bull!

From: OFFHNTN
29-Sep-17
Phenomenal bull!!! CONGRATS and thanks for sharing!!!

From: Nesser
29-Sep-17
Tavis I'm really psyched for you that it all came together. You certainly put your time in and deserve a bull like that. In that unit it's probably top 10 percent of what's there, so to pass on so many smaller and kill him with your stickbow, down to the last couple days! Really a hell of an accomplishment! Congrats man enjoy it!

From: wooddamon1
29-Sep-17
Wow! Congrats!

From: SteveB
01-Oct-17
What a hunt! Congratulations!!!

From: ELKMAN
01-Oct-17
Awesome

From: Jaquomo
01-Oct-17
Great job, Tavis. But I had no doubt you'd either kill a toad or choose not to shoot a bull. People envision it being a turkey shoot, but as you learned it's a difficult hunt with low elk density. Every year I try to help inexperienced elk hunters who draw that unit and find out how hard it is. You were a different animal. Congrats on a cool bull with your own stickbow!

From: Treeline
01-Oct-17
Thanks for all the encouragement and help, Lou!

Definitely not a turkey shoot out there, but there are some really cool mature bulls that can be found with hard work and patience. Threw pretty much everything at this one and was blessed with a truly magnificent animal.

From: Ermine
01-Oct-17
Awesome way to go! Such a stud bull and with a stick!! You deserved that one!!

From: blackwolf
01-Oct-17
Cool Story! Great Hunt! Thanks for sharing!

From: TD
01-Oct-17
Pretty cool.... down to the wire and got it done, amazing how many times that works out when you keep your head in the game.

Congrats on a stud bull and thanks much for bringing us along with you! It's a real over and above effort and we certainly appreciate it.

Have to wonder.... why such a hard unit to hunt with good but apparently not the incredible bulls that other 20 year+ units may have...... is such a hard draw???

From: TD
01-Oct-17
Oh.... forgot..... WRT the OP..... yeah...looks like worth the wait.... =D

From: Jaquomo
02-Oct-17
TD, good question. Part of it is the legendary memory of when the unit had 3x the number of elk before the purposeful herd reduction started in the mid-2000s. Also, they only give out, like, 6 resident archery tags, I think. There is a very realistic chance to kill an honest 350" bull (as opposed to "internet", "TV", and "outfitter" 350...) if you are patient, work hard, get lucky, and can make the shot. Every year seems like there are a couple 380+ bulls killed by somebody. I know two guys who know big bulls who had almosts at true 400-class bulls in the past few seasons.

And a resident can hunt it for about $60 worth of PPs plus the cheap license fee and still hunt OTC every year while building points, vs the cost of buying that many points plus the tag when you finally do draw in AZ or elsewhere. That is an intimidating and expensive prospect for the average CO elk hunter - the AZ/NM thing I mean. Seems like the typical resident hunter just wants a good hunt not too far away with a chance at a "really nice" bull for the wall.

But unless one has hunted or spent a lot of time in the unit during hunting season, people tend to underestimate how difficult it is and how huge the unit is, how much sprawling country exists that doesn't hold many elk.

From: BULELK1
03-Oct-17
My hell Tavis!!!

Congrats Man

Good luck, Robb

From: midwest
03-Oct-17
That was a great story of a great hunt. Thanks so much for sharing it here and congrats!

From: Mr.C
04-Oct-17
SUPER BULL CONGRATS

From: Sixby
05-Oct-17
Such a wonderful bull!!! I don't think words can effectively describe that kind of animal. Congratulations!!!

God bless and God blessed you. Steve

From: mfg bowyer
06-Oct-17
Have hunted Elk in CO for past 40 years & when I went to unit 2 with a friend from CO. to call for him I couldn't believe that there was an elk with in a 100 miles of that area with the desert, just caucus & sage brush & a couple cedar trees. But yes you are correct if young enough it is well worth the wait as I have never seen that many large bulls in all the years that I have hunted CO. & I saw my first 400+ bull there at less than 30 yards. Even that I couldn't take a shot at him it was well worth the experience. Great story & Cong's on a great bull.

From: ColoBull
11-Oct-17
Awesome! Congrat's! Worked up by Hiawatha for several months some years ago... spent much of the time looking longingly at the "elk country" off to the west. 21 current points, it may be worth the wait (rather than 201... sooner).

From: Treeline
11-Oct-17
Thanks! I chose 2 over 201 for a number of reasons. Not a cake walk for sure but the potential is obviously there.

From: Brotsky
13-Oct-17
What an awesome hunt Tavis! Congratulations on a beautiful bull, a fantastic story, and memories that will last a lifetime! I finally got the chance to sit down and read this one through this afternoon. It was time more than well spent! Great pics, great story, and an amazing bull! Way to go!

From: Korey Wolfe
13-Oct-17
Congrats!

From: ElkNut1
14-Oct-17
Absolutely an awesome bull & with a Longbow to boot! Congrats sir, looks like the wait was well worth it! (grin) Now a nice Taxidermy bill! (grin)

ElkNut/Paul

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