Contributors to this thread:
The Half Pint Elk Adventure
Half Pint and I started our elk adventure on Saturday! We started out chasing a few mule deer around on Saturday. Kia got on a great buck but failed on her stalk. She learned first hand what the "walk of shame" back from a failed stalk feels like. Here she is creeping on a giant muley!
We chased a few more muley bucks but she soon found out that open country mule deer hunting is one of the toughest games in town! Here she is dreaming of the big bucks and bulls she's going to chase!
This one is going to be awesome! The one we have all been waiting for:)
We figured a little divine intervention is always a good thing so we skipped evening scouting and went to mass instead. You gotta love a kid who brings their bow to mass in case she "sees a buck on the way home"! Ha!
Bright and early this morning, opening day of elk season! Kia was all smiles as we headed out to chase some bulls!!
Right away in our first spot we glassed up two spikes who slipped over a ridge. We thought a herd may have beaten them there before we saw them. Sure enough, a big bull lights up only about 150 yards away in the timber! We were in hot pursuit. We moved into position and saw the bull was a real smoker. Easily around 320. We worked hard keeping up with the herd trying to get into position for a shot. Finally we had an opportunity at about 150 yards and Kia decided "he was huge and I want to shoot him!" So she lined him up....and missed!! She was so excited, this bull screaming and moving through the trees and all the cows milling about was a lot to take in! She admitted she just got him in the scope and pulled the trigger! She was seriously bummed!
Just a reminder this is a firearms elk season but she is using a rifle or a bow depending on her situation. There is a high probability this ends up being a gun hunt because of the limited nature of the time she has to hunt, etc. If that offends anyone then feel free to skip this one!
If anyone on here says they’ve never “got one in the scope and pulled the trigger I’ll call them a liar!” First buck I ever shot at was what mule deer dreams are made of, an absolute monster. I was 12.. I rattled a bullet off his horn and he ran off never to be seen again. Any question what I was looking at through the scope!
Kia spent a lot of time taking in the beauty of elk country today and enjoying her time in it! She had heard her first bugle, smelled elk for the first time, witnessed how a bull interacted with his cows, and almost shot a giant bull elk!!
It wasn't long and we were into another herd! Kia said this bull looked "as big as a buffalo!" Ha! He had a monster body but not as much rack. We made a move on him but swirling winds cost us our chance! The herd pulled a Houdini on us. We heard them bugle over a couple distant ridges as we fell behind them!
The obligatory elk selfie! Ha! We had so many laughs and so much fun today!
I've been waiting on this one for sure. Looking forward to the hero pic.
This elk hunting is hard work! We put on a bunch of miles and saw a few more cows and calves but no bulls. There was a lot of pressure on the elk today and tomorrow will be a lot tougher! Hopefully we can get back into some elk and get her another shot! 3 more days to hunt on this trip!
Kia says "A family photo of aspens! " Ha!
Kia says "A family photo of aspens! " Ha!
That's it for day one! No elk were harmed in the making of this hunt so far! Even the elk rally hat between spots wasn't enough for today! Until tomorrow...thanks for all the well wishes guys! Will update again tomorrow!
Almost forgot, here's the nails she's sporting on this hunt! I think they are her best yet! Elk antlers and aspens!
Like I said before, when you texted us the “nails” pic the other day, the wife loved em, and I know they will look even sweeter with a little blood on them.
Go get em, Kia!!
Aim small miss small Kia! Good luck!
You got the Kia!!!!!
You've got a good guide!!!
Cheering you on from MN!!
Oh, boy...this is going to be epic. Good luck, Kia!
Pulling for you from Montana. You got this. Hunt
Sounds like a get time . . . reminds me of hunting with my older kids. I have an eleven year old daughter that will start after deer this year . . .
Blessings will be with y'all for making Mass instead of the hunt . . .
Good luck and listen to your guardian angel!
Good luck today Kia! Sure looks like you two are having a blast. Can't wait for this story to unfold!
More MN rooting coming from MN from Ryan and me, Kia! This will be fun! Don't sweat the miss, Kia- even Ryan missed once. OK, maybe more than once! :) Nothing can unravel a person more in the hunting world than a screaming bull at close range. Next time, take your time and pick the tiniest of spots to shoot. You'll do it!
Keep after them. Best of luck Kia.
Good luck Kia and Dad. Very excited to follow this one!
Here goes my productivity at work this week......
This is the hunt I've been waiting for!!! Go Kia, Texas is pulling for you!!!
Thank you all for encouraging Kia along the way with this hunt!!! She is one determined and excited "little" girl. As much as I want to be there with them, reading these threads brings tears and smiles along the way! I love Bowsite it brings out the good in people despite all the negative that surrounds us!! You got this Kia!!!
Loved the photo of her Bugling, very cool! Go getem girl!!!!
A miss allows for more time in the field! Stay with it Half Pint and go make it happen! My 12 year old Son missed 3 times with his bow this season and can't wait to go back out. Like him, you'll figure it out! Good luck!
Good Luck, Kia from Virginia. Brings back fond memories of when my son was your age!
Good Luck from Mesa, AZ!!!!
Cheering you on from WY Kia!
Good luck from the hills of western Maryland. gottoohunt
From the weather here in Western Montana right now . I hope you guys have good rain gear. Good luck . Hunt
I can see the FUN on her face! That's what it's all about! :applaud:
GOOD LUCK KIA, we can see the excitement in your eyes and smiles. Enjoy every moment, these memories will last a lifetime. Keep the updates flowing. Waiting for the hero pictures. Have Fun.
Encouragement from Rhode Island! This hunt has a huge following and many young hunters are being inspired. Safe hunt! C
Charlie x 2 from CT. I'm waiting for more!
Cupcakes, the breakfast of champions ! You go girl !!!
Time for today's update! A lot of action today! It started off slow. We were back in the same ridge complex we were in yesterday morning. Unfortunately the elk had other plans. Kia was ready to walk her tail off today and she did exactly that!
I tempted her with a handful of milk duds but she prefers peanut m&m's! :)
We moved on to another area that I knew always held a few elk. We weren't disappointed. About halfway down the ridge Kia and I both smelled elk, and lots of them. About that same moment a thunderous, deep throaty bugle rang out very close by. Kia's eyes were big as saucers!! A big bull! We were in some super thick timber moving up to the edge of a meadow. There was a herd of elk in the meadow and what a herd it was! At least 40 cows, 3-4 satellite bulls and a smoker herd bull! The big 6x6 patriarch of the herd was easily 340+! We had to move up into position for a shot though because we still had a lot of dark timber in our way. As we began to move Kia grabbed my arm and said there's an elk! A sneaky squirrel little raghorn had slipped in right on top of us! He had us pinned down! Kia was ready and decided maybe this little 5 point bull was good enough! She moved a little to position herself for the shot and that was all it took. A bark rang out and the whole herd was thundering through the timber! Foiled again!
The skies opened up about that time and the snow started coming down hard!
Soon we were hunting in a winter wonderland! The next spot we tried we were instantly into a herd of elk. Slow hunting through the timbered ridge turned up a herd of 20 cows. We knew there had to be a bull tending to these ladies but we could not find him in the timber! We moved up slowly stalking the herd. It was an awesome experience for us both, we were right in their kitchen. Bow range on some of the cows. The cows were mewing and the calves were chirping, in the slowly falling snow it was a surreal scene! We finally found the smallish 6 point bull husbanding this herd and realized we needed to move about 50 yards to our left to get a shot at him. We began to slowly and stealthily move into position. Unfortunately as we were getting close to where we needed to be a swirl of wind went the wrong way and we were finished! Snake bit again! The herd again charged off!
Earlier in the day we had visited an area that had great sign and lots of possibilities. Due to the deteriorating weather we didn't make it back like we wanted to today. Kia is wondering how big an elk must be if she can't touch the top of his rubs? I simply told her "big enough"! :)
Hunting with Kia is always a barrel of laughs! She was determined to get a cow to moo at her! Driving between hunting areas she must have mooed at 100 cows before one finally gave her a halfhearted moo! Old black white face wasn't too interested in her game!
Good luck from KC Chiefs country here in MO! You got this and your living the dream! Thanks for keeping us posted Dad.
Stay after them. I got my Fiancee asking me for updates now!!
As the day came to an end Kia and I started talking about what her goals were for this hunt. She had already seen two fantastic herd bulls, a couple average 6 points, some raghorns and passed on numerous spikes and cows. She had experienced in two days already what some elk hunters hunt for years to experience! Lots of elk talk, lots of elk encounters, and the excitement and disappointments that often come with elk hunting! She knows her time in elk country is fleeting, and she wants more than anything to get an elk! She answered my question with "any elk is a good elk!" She knows how much our family enjoys elk meat and wants to do her part! With a day and a half left to hunt I think she will be trying to take any elk that gives her a chance tomorrow and Wednesday morning. We do have a few days later in the month but the elk go quiet and seem to disappear as they often do after the rut so there's never any guarantees! Hopefully we can put something on the ground tomorrow for her! Stay tuned!
Thanks for all the words of encouragement guys! I can tell you she reads every one of your posts and appreciates every single one! She's amazed that so many people from so many different places care so much about what happens to a little girl from South Dakota!
Good Luck Kia from central MO !
Good luck from Ohio Kia!!! Go get em!!!
Kia's elk hunt is so awesome! So glad you are bringing us along for the ride!
Got us on the edge of our seats and waiting for the next installment!
Awesome photos and great capturing the emotion and thoughts as they happen.
By the way, you and Half-Pint have already had a Perfect Elk Hunt!
1. You have seen elk, 2. You have heard elk, 3. You have smelled elk, 4. You have shot at elk, 5. You haven't had to pack elk!
Hope she kills a Whopper and spoils the hunting! ;-)
Awesome times with a very special girl! Go get 'em Kia!!!
Get 'em! Good luck and God Bless
Following this with great pleasure. Good luck on the hunt. Seems it's already a success, memories that will last forever. Possibly started an addiction though...... =D
Kia you are an inspiration to many young ladies. Go get em. I can wait to see your grip and grin. BTW - my wife loves your finger nails.
This is awesome , can't wait to read tomorrow's update!!! Good luck.
I just got home from Az. elk and was looking frwd to this thread!
Go get 'em Half Pint!!
Good luck, Robb
PS-hopefully she harvest before I leave for Wyoming in the AM!! no service up there.
Bring back memories with my daughters before cell phones and internet good luck great story
So cool. Cant wait for the next update...
Ha- Treeline nailed it! I hope she makes your legs, back, and neck sore, Justin!
Sounds like a hunt of a lifetime!
Another Bowsite Classic! Thanks so much for bringing us along. Get 'em kid!
Best thread of the year!
Her smile in all the pictures is great!
X2 Bob. The smile just makes my day! Good luck Kia!!
What an adventure!!
1 1/2 days left to hunt......you've got this KIA!!!!
Tell your guide to step up his game..HaHa!!!
Another guy from Minnesota wishing you the best.
The Black Hills are wonderful.
Good luck guys! Rick from Connecticut. :)
Thanks for taking on this hunt! Loving it.
Ole joehunter is watching this from the sidelines half-pint. Getm :)
I'm rooting for you from the Northwest corner of the state. If I can help at all let me know.
Awesome thread!! Good luck from southeast PA!
What a great story! Go get'em Kia!
Simply awesome...thanks for taking us along!
Awesome hunt! Go get em Kia!
Since you have reduced my "work productivity" to near nill...the least you can do is give us an update...Ha!!!
I hope this turns out with meat in the freezer, but if it doesn't, y'all still had an excellent hunt. Make it happen Kia !
Good luck from Colorado elk camp in two feet of snow.
I can't wait for the next update. Go get 'em!
I remember in the thread earlier this year, when half-pint found out that she drew the tag, she started working on Dad about some Sitka gear for the Fall elk hunt. Based on her apparel in these photos, my only question is, how long did she have to wait for it? LOL!!! Good luck!!
I can only hope that her birthday falls between the day that she drew the tag, and the day that the elk season starts......that way, you could at least give her the Sitka gear as a birthday present, and kill two birds with one stone. Otherwise, if her birthday falls after the elk season, she's gonna double down on dear ole dad....great hunting apparel AND a later birthday present as well!! LOL!!
The best way to spoil an elk hunt is to kill an elk :)
Sitting in a tree in ct reading your awesome adventure. My daughter took her first whitetail at 12yrs old last year and it was an awesome experience!! Good luck and whatever the outcome thanks so much for sharing it with us... and by the way, It takes a pretty awesome story for this guy to post.... have fun!!!!!
Brotsky, Hope you are getting your work out in this evening:)
Got that feeling that Ms. Kia has "got 'er done"!
Tavis, I had a feelin' mid-afternoon today that it was Kia's day. I hope you're right and that Justin's legs and lungs are just about fried right now! C'mon Brotsky-- howza 'bout an update??? I hope the delay is a harbinger of good things...
Impatiently waiting... hoping for the rest of the story.....
9:00 PM in SD.
Me thinks someone is packing a verrrry HAPPY girl's elk out of the woods about now...
Can not wait to see her smile:)
Shake a leg, Brotsky! Get that rascal packed out and show us that million dollar smile!
"The suspense is killin' me This like waiting on Christmas as a child. Good luck Kia!
Alright boys, I guess everyone was held in suspense long enough! This morning dawned clear and cold with a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. It made for a beautiful sunrise!
We had to get our morning elk selfie in before hitting our morning spot!
Kia led the way down our first ridge to try to intercept a herd on their way to their bedding area. We ran into a herd of cows with no bull. He had either been shot or separated from the herd due to the pressure. Kia lined up a cow but she decided to pass thinking she had all day to hunt yet and wanted a bull! No more encounters at this spot!
Quit stalling, man....details, man, details.....
The next area we walked was a long ridge line that has great bedding and feed for the elk. We had hoped to get on a herd we knew was using this ridge daily. Turns out we weren't the only ones who knew about these elk as another hunter had been through before us based upon tracks we found in the snow. It was a great chance for Kia to try out her cow calling, and not the moo cow type calling!
Seriously more exciting than my elk hunt this year - frame by frame!
Impatient to see updates as I was for Christmas when I was 5.
I stayed up just to read this. I did the same last night. I worked tired and yawning all day. Don't do it to me again man.
I'm going to take this post to comment a little on Kia's clothes. The Sitka women's line she is wearing is awesome gear! We had some cold, wet, and extreme weather conditions the past few days and her combination of timberline pants, heavyweight hoody, and jet stream jacket have kept her warm and dry and hunting hard. We really put on the miles today and she was covers in snow and water dripping off the trees and she stayed dry and comfortable for her whole hunt! Highly recommend it for the ladies out there! Kia loves her Sitka gear!!
Today was a battle for us, we had been in elk regularly day one and two but today we walked and walked and called and still hunted and did everything I knew to get us on elk. We found tons of fresh sign and tracks galore but just couldn't turn up any elk! It was just one of those days! I know a few guys on here have hunted with Kia but everyone should know this girl has no quit. She will walk most guys into the ground including me! Her determination and fun loving attitude makes every hunt with her so much more enjoyable! More calling practice!
Did I mention we like to have fun? Kia heard this stuff was called old man's beard. She couldn't wait to try it out! I guess it works..sort of? Ha!
We had some quick snacks and headed off to try a couple of evening places. The first place I had never hunted but we had seen a cool non-typical club horned bull cross the road here on our way home last night and Kia wanted to look for him. I figured I knew the dark timber he was bedding in so we thought we'd try to find him. We stalked through the timber and found some fresh beds, tracks, rubs, etc. next thing we knew though we ended up on 20' high cliff! Kia says, "how'd my elk hunt turn into a sheep hunt?" :) Obviously nothing good happened here so we backtracked and moved on!
We found a real good little park/meadow to sit at last light thinking a few elk may find their way in to feed before the end of legal shooting time! Kia checked the wind and we set up. Right at the end of legal shooting time a spike and a 5 point bull make their way barely into the far end of the meadow! I ranged it at 250 yards and set Kia's scope for her and got her set-up with a steady rest. She really took her time this time and concentrated and executed her shot sequence beautifully. The bullet was on its way and we heard a hit and the bull reacted and spun in a circle and disappeared back into the timber!
Well Kia had made a good hit alright! This Ponderosa pine took a direct hit! Turns out that at low light we didn't catch this tree trunk across the elk's vitals at that range. We thought she had a clear shot. It's totally my fault for not doing a better job insuring she was clear. The bark and wood chips flew into the elks face at the impact causing his reaction. The late update tonight is due to us doing our due diligence insuring the bull was unharmed. Unfortunately for us that turned out to be the case. Kia was positive she had killed this bull, I tended to agree based on his reaction and sound alone. The scene of the crime told a different story unfortunately. Sometimes I feel like this little girl has the best and the worst luck! 8" left and I have trophy photos for you guys tonight! We will check the spot again in the am just to be sure but I'm 100% confident the bull was not hit.
We have a few hours to hunt in the morning and then we need to pack it in. Kia has church tomorrow night and needs to get back to school. We'll hunt a few hours and then make the long drive home. If she is not successful in the morning we hope to be able to come back for another 4 day stint in two weeks. Until tomorrow...come on elk!
It happens to the best of us...
I believe that bull will live another day.
Tough going and I was really hoping to hear how bad your back and legs hurt after packing out her bull tonight!
It will happen tomorrow!
Fell asleep waiting for me to update the thread before she read everyone's comments! Ha! Thanks again for all the kind words and following along. When we thought she may have killed her bull one of her first comments was "I can't wait to tell the Bowsite guys!" She really loves this site and all the support and encouragement she gets from all of you! Thank you guys!
No matter what happens it has been an amazing hunt and one that will be remembered not only by you two but all of us as well! Thank you for sharing your story and good luck tomorrow!
Oh man not what I wanted to hear. Here's the deal Kia. This happens to all of us no biggie. One thing to remember keep your chin up and stay sharp in the morning. I have taken way more of my best animals on the last day of the hunt than on the first day. It's not over till it's over. You can still pull this off!!
Great read! Good luck tomorrow!!!
TV shows always get it done in the last hour but this is way better than a TV show! any way it works out I think Dad is going to have more elk hunts with Kia in the future.
Patience and persistence.....patience and persistence.....patience and persistence
This is the best Hunt I have followed, I am pulling for Her from Pa. I only wish I found this thread earlier, best of luck to the both of ya, and God Bless..
Sounds like one heck of a fun day and a whole lot like most of my elk hunting days. Hard work and effort leads to a "chance at a chance". She got one, but unfortunately the tree took the hit! Keep at it Kia! Hunt hard until the last minute you can hunt!!! See Medicinemann's post above...
Good luck from Ct! Looks like a great adventure... hunt until the last minute you can.. and if not, good luck in 2 weeks!
Good luck Kia. Whether it's today or in two weeks we will all still be following and supporting!
Kia's smile in the pictures says it all. It sounds like you have some time left and persistence will pay off. I'm looking forward to the next update.
As the father of a little girl still in diapers, this is as great of a story as I've ever read! As much as I want it to keep going, I'm hoping today's edition ends with the two of you kneeling behind a beautiful elk.
Thanks so much for taking us along!
You just gotta love the tenacity of someone her age in continuing the hunt when she's had disappointments. She's gonna be a fine hunter in her on right ! Good luck Kia !
Keep at it and good luck!!!!
What an awesome experience. Definitely learning patience and persistence!
Stay after them and GOOD LUCK from NY!
Just made it home and got unpacked, the unpacking unfortunately did it include any elk meat! We hit a few spots this morning and turned up one lonely raghorn that didn't offer us a good shot. We caught him in the open but he saw us about the time we saw him. I stopped him with a cow call but he needed to hold still just another second or two for Kia to square him up! That was the only elk we saw this morning!
Ki tried her hand at a little bugling, she is actually pretty damn good with the bugle. Her cow calling needs some work but her bugling is solid!
We were blessed to have my dad "Grandpa Eli" hunting with us this week. He was indespensible in dropping us off and picking us up as we walked ridges. It was awesome not to have to backtrack back to the truck all the time. It was also a great experience for Kia and I to have three generations of elk hunters chasing elk together!
More bugling and searching this morning turned up no elk and no responses. The elk of course had gone silent with the pressure and the rut winding down. I didn't expect any responses but she was having a blast so who am I to get in the way of that on the last morning!
Our elk selfie for the day! All smiles even though the elk chances were dwindling with each tick of the clock!
Kia's only trophy photo from this trip! Ha! She wanted to cut this nasty elk ruining tree down to use as our Christmas tree this year! Ha!
The walk back to the truck as time ran out was pretty disappointing for us both. I'm not sure you could have had a better elk hunt with out killing an elk. We had herd bulls screaming, cows mewing, calves chirping, saw elk every hunt, shot at a couple, and experienced about every kind of elk weather there is! All in all you can't really be disappointed in that! I know how bad she wanted an elk this trip though so obviously that plays a role in our feelings. We made a pile of memories and had loads of laughs and got to spend it all with my dad and daughter. There's nothing in this world that could be better than that! The plan is to try again for a few days in a couple weeks. To be continued....
Re-group and good luck in a couple weeks!
Great story! Great kid and great dad for spending the time in the outdoors with your daughter. The hunt is not over, it is only beginning good luck Kia on the next trip.
Awesome elk hunt for sure! Positive a little r&r will be good for both you guys and the elk. Can't wait for the next installment!!!
Great stuff, Brotsky....looking forward to the next edition!
Maybe a new “nail” theme will change her luck. Could they do a “ blood dripping off your fingertips” type thing possibly?! Halloween IS coming up too! Good luck in a couple of weeks!
Yep. Looking forward to the next installment. Good luck and God Bless!
Thanks for sharing Brotsky. You are blessed to be able to share this experience with your daughter and father. Looking forward to the next chapter.
Kia has some fans in our house too. We all enjoy your posts and the smaller ones are REALLY looking forward to the next chapter.
"Oooh, Dad. I want her dad to pack an elk out of some nasty, deep spot for her. You always say that you have more luck in bad spots. Tell him to go where no one wants to go."
Also, "I used to like trees!"
Best of luck. Good job on another "Dad Trip"
Stellar adventure....PM inbound !!
Great stuff Justin and Kia. Kia, remember your time well with Justin and Grandpa over the last few days-- my guess is that you will look back at the time with both of them on this trip and smile from ear to ear some day. Thanks for sharing with us! I look forward to the next chapter of this hunt!
I have really enjoyed following along. The last few days I have found myself wondering how half pint is doing in her elk hunt and subsequently checking this thread often. Good luck in a few weeks Kia!!! I'm rooting for you from Nebraska!!!
Stick with it Kia! Good luck in a few weeks...
Kia, looking forward and keep trucking. It reminds me of my three daughters a way back.
Success, regardless of when it comes, gets sweeter the more work you put in. Great hunt so far. Keep hammering!
Good luck! Can't wait to see how this hunt plays out!
It really doesn't get much better than this (except killing an elk)!! Hunting with my Dad, Mom, Grandpa, Uncles, and Brother was my fondest memories growing up and it's not even close. Plus, it's not over yet!! I'm already excited for the next installment. A wise man once said "if it's easy then everyone would be doing it."
Again thanks for taking us along!
I feel lucky to have the opportunity to follow along! Just love reading these types of threads! That lil' lady has it all, to include a great papa.
Love the comment, "can't wait to tell the Bowsite guys!"
Great thread. I raised 4 daughters who are all married and on their own now, and I miss my hunts with them.
Hang in there Kia!
It's called "hunting" for a reason! I believe a wise man once said "patience & persistence" (twice...lol). In a couple weeks you'll be getting the opportunity to enjoy another hunt. Can't get much better than that!
Still rooting for you there young lady! (grin)
This is an awesome thread. Fantastic story. Thanks so much for taking us along. Looking forward to following along in a couple weeks. Good luck!
Enjoying this thread very much and looking forward to the next few weeks. Kia is a very fortunate young lady with a fantastic attitude.
Looking forward to the next hunt.Dont feel too bad I was in Montana and missed 2 antelope. I have to wait until next September to go back. I also didn't get drawn for a mule deer and had 5 bucks under 20 yards the first day I hunted. But still had agreat week of hunting and will never forget the rush of stalking for an hour and getting to within 50 yards of my first antelope . I cant imagine how cool it must have been to get that close to elk and to be able to do it with dad and granddad.
The "coolest" thread I think I have ever read. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks again for all the kinds words and support for Kia! Looks like we'll be back after them on the 20th of October for 3 days. Today is Kia's 16th birthday! We had hoped for a bull for her birthday this week but we'll settle for the memories!
Happy Birthday Kia! Hit mom and dad up for a new pedicure and be ready for the 20th!
This is very cool thread that keeps me checking back to see how Kia is doing , Happy Birthday and good luck with your next part of the hunt .
Happy birthday! This thread is pure gold. Keep up the good work!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your daughter, can't wait to read the next chapter of this hunt.
Happy Bday Kia! We all know what you will wish for when blowing out the candles!
Happy Birthday Kia! Don't give up hope. I've always felt the longer you go in a hunt the better your odds of success. Good luck on your next trip.
Happy Birthday MissK
What kinda car did dad get ya for your 16th B-Day!! haha
Good luck, Robb
Hope Ms Kia had an awesome birthday! Bet she can’t wait to get back out there!!!
Too much fun and still smiling; the makeup of a true hunter.
Thanks for all the birthday wishes guys! Kia says thank you!
Robb, SD is an ag state, Kia has been driving since age 14! Ha!
We're counting the days now until next week. The cow elk hunters join the fray on the 16th so we're going to have a bunch more competition. Hopefully we can overcome the odds and lay down a bull for you guys!
Go get 'em, Lil' K!!! Ryan and I will be chasing muleys in ND when you are out after your bull. Maybe we could double up with a couple firsts for you two- an elk and a muley would be a good deal! We'll be cheering for you from the Badlands...
HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Great memories for sure!!! There is still time to get it done, good luck:)
Alright guys the half Pint elk adventure resumes again in the morning. We headed west again this afternoon. I had hoped for more hunting time today but Kia had a ceremony at school today to receive her academic letter for her 4.0 GPA. Couldn’t miss that! Once we got the formalities out of the way we headed for elk country.
We literally only had 45 minutes or so and we headed out to check things out. It was super hot today, almost 80, so we checked a few random tanks before dark but didn’t turn anything up. We’ll give it the full go in the morning! Wish us luck! More updates to follow tomorrow night!
Got a good feeling for tomorrow! It's gonna be an awesome day!
congradulations on Kia’s scholastic achievement. Now we know the brains of the outfit!
Hoping she puts an elk on the ground so the brawn of the outfit can receive an achievement award.
Congrats on your 4.0 Kia! Only a few years of school and hopefully a lifetime of flinging arrows. Good luck this weekend!
'Take No Prisoners'! haha
Elk steaks by Sunday
4.0 GPA ~~ how cool is that MissK--Congrats
Good luck, Robb
Good luck, Kia! Routing for you & dad, from PA! :-D
School, schmool, we got hunting to do! JK, awesome job with the grades and now lets go hunting. Good luck you 2!
Don't let her schooling get in the way of her education! I'm rooting for you guys.
She is a ROCK STAR!! Congratulations K!!!
Now go kill an elk:) GOOD LUCK!!!!
Congratulations on the academic achievements Kia. Way to make your parents proud! Make the best of this weekend, you've earned it. Jeff
Go get m Kia and don't let the old man slow ya down lol
LIke other have said, great job at school. And now go have another great adventure and be sure to make some silly faces for the pics for us. Those are the favorite ones of my girls in the outdoors. Have fun and good luck.
4.0 GPA ? Brains, beauty, and a hunter to boot ! Vet her boyfriends carefully Brotsky, don't want to wind up with an inferior hunter in the family :-)
Good luck on your elk hunt !
Pulling hard for her from MN. Good luck!
Well I’ve probably kept everyone in suspense long enough for today’s update. We found this massive bull right away this morning on our way up to our first spot. We decided to give him a pass, even though Kia mooed at him he didn’t seem to like what she had to say!
Our first spot didn’t pan out. We did see a herd of cows but they were a ways off and no shot opportunity presented itself. We received a tip from my dad who is out hunting with a retired buddy of his that he had heard a bugle up near him. We decided to head that way and check it out. We were parking the truck and I hadn’t even gotten out when a big bugle rips less than 200 yards up the ridge. We were off in hot pursuit!
The rodeo was on! Ha! This herd was huge! Easily 60-80 head of elk. We got right into them. Kia got set up in an opening and we were watching all the cows file by waiting for the bull. We didn’t have to wait long! After about 15-20 cows had come through the opening the herd bull stepped in and ripped another bugle. He was a true monarch! Massive 6 point bull. Kia steadied herself as well as she could and fired! Right between his legs! Mass chaos ensues. There’s now elk running literally everywhere. The herd splits in two and we go after the herd to the north because the NW wind is better for chasing that group. It doesn’t take long and we are back on them. I give a couple of lost cow type calls and they all pause. Kia lines up another bull and this time she is flustered with everything going on and really rushes her shot. Another clean miss! The woods are now a cauldron of swirling elk. Some are running right at us, others away, there’s cow calling and bugling and all sorts of stuff going on. We hide in some pines and let things settle down a little and then go back on the stalk. I know this terrain. I know where these elk are. I know we can come up on top of them with a good wind over the lip of this little ledge. We go into ninja mode and close the distance. I peak over the ledge and sure enough there’s two raghorns and about 8 cows 30 yards away!! Kia again moves into position and this is her best opportunity yet. These elk are feeding casually along now about 75 yards away. She really steadies herself but the bull is hard quartered away and not giving her much. She bears down and finally 100 yards out he turns a little more and gives her the angle she’s waited for....
Nooooo ! Don't do it ! It ain't right.........
I know the outcome! Haha I couldn’t resist
May the force be with you
The bull is clearly hit, and the shot looks good. They slide around the corner of the rock outcropping and we lose sight of them. We circle around to get down and search for blood. We had to circle around quite a ways and find nothing initially. Kia is distraught at this point. Tears are in her eyes and I know she is worried that she now wounded an elk and wasn’t going to find him. We continued to look and moved back in the direction of the shot, not quite sure we covered all the ground yet. We come around a corner in the rock face and this is what happened next....
A half pint elk! Oh my did the tears flow then! Kia’s and mine! I snapped this shot right away when she first found him. I have never seen a look of such sheer joy and accomplishment on a hunter’s face. We’ve all been there, that hunt that hasn’t gone right, a once in a lifetime tag, all of it changed in the blink of an eye and it was pure emotion! She had killed her elk! She didn’t care that it was a little raghorn bull and neither did I. As far as we were concerned it was the best damn elk either of us had ever seen! She had finally done it! She killed her first elk!
It was picture time! She was amazed at how big they really are. She commented, “I think they smell good”. I couldn’t agree more! The smell of elk is one my favorite smells!
Congratulations!!!! Looks like one happy girl and I am sure an even happier dad. This is an awesome read.
We took piles of hero shots and shared hugs and high fives galore. It was such a great moment for a guy to share with his daughter. We could still hear the other half of the herd bugling not far off. We savored the moment because we knew the hard work was about to start!
Congrats to you and especially Kia! What a special moment and opportunity for you to share together. Keep rockin girl!
A big congrats to Kia and a proud dad!
AWESOME Kia ! Brotsky, you're a great Dad ! This is just the beginning.....
Congrats to both of you! There is nothing like sharing that with one of your children. A hunt like this shouldnt be easy. The reward is always better with a little struggle. You'll both remember this hunt for the rest of your lives.
It was time to break this boy down and start the long task of getting him back to the truck. We had a little over 3/4 of a mile to go and it was going to be warm today. Kia was an awesome help with breaking him down and getting him in game bags and hung to cool.
When did Kia grow ears? Ha!
We loaded him up and it took us 3 trips to get everything back to the truck. Kia wasn’t able to haul much other than the head and the backstraps but she was a trooper! She cheered me on the whole time. T-R-U-C-K-I-N “keep on truckin Justin!!” Her energy and enthusiasm kept me going and we made short work of the task.
After the elk was in the cooler and checked in we got cleaned up and celebrated with a big greasy cheeseburger! All in all it was a fantastic day!
Awwwwwwwsome! I was hanging a stand when you sent me the pics. Bout fell out when I saw who it was from! Knew it had to be good news!
Great job and congrats to Kia and dad!
One last photo to wrap this up. As I packed her bull out this afternoon I thought back to the first day of this hunt. The first 30 minutes actually. She had a shot at what many would have considered the bull of a lifetime. A dandy herd bull anyone would be proud of. She missed. I thought of that shot and thought about everything we would have missed if she had killed that giant bull. All the memories, all the laughs, all the trials we went through. In the end I think maybe this raghorn WAS the true trophy for everything it gave us along the way. I know I learned some valuable lessons and so did Kia. The time in the woods together is the real trophy, this little elk will be a euro mount on Kia’s wall for us to remember it forever. Thanks for all the support and well wishes from all of you guys! I can’t wait to have Kia read them! The end...until next time:)
That is great! Congrats Kia!
You are a wise young man! Enjoy the ride!
Awesome job both of you! Really enjoyed following this adventure.
Awesome and congrats again to both of you! A special adventure and a lot learned. This brought a smile to my face reading it. Well done!
That made my day! Way to go guys. Elk steaks for dinner next week. Hunt
Congrats to you both. What a great experience to share.
Absolutely wonderful news! Congrats to you both. Great elk Kia and great job Justin! Memories you guys will never forget.
Awesome job, thanks for taking the time to share!
A whole lot of awesomeness!! Congrats Kia!!
Such a huge congrats to Kia and dad. You guys are a class act and this thread is one of the all-time best. Great work guys!
That is cool beyond belief. What a great memory for both of you!!
That is so awesome! Thanks for taking us along for the ride! Spectacular work all around. Congratulations to the both of you to have been able to share such a magical hunt!
Proud to know people like tbe both of you...even if it is by social media only.
Awesome! Congrats to both of you!
congrats!!!! great story.
Good stuff! Grats to both of you!
Congratulations Kia! Glad to see your patience and perseverance paid off. You've got a great dad! Best story on Bowsite all year....thanks for taking us along!
What a great story, congrats!
You 2 make on heck of an elk hunting team!
Thanks for taking us along with ya
Good luck, Robb
Has she had her first elk burger yet?
Very nice. I'm glad you two got it done.
A big congrats!
Congratulations to Kia and great job dad! Thanks for taking us along.
AWESOME surely gets overused these days, but seems to be a worthy descriptive to a truly memorable adventure.
Congratulations to both of you - we (bowsiters) all look forward to the next "Half-Pint" adventure.
what an amazing trip! Thank you for taking us along and congrats to both of you!
Thanks for taking us all on this trip of a lifetime. Memories are make for ever. Thanks! gottoohunt
Wow ! I don't think hollywood could have written a better ending to this epic elk hunt ! Congrats to you both that was the best !
Love it! Congrats and thanks for taking us along
Can't even imagine the emotion when you guys walked up on that bull. Congrats to father and daughter! Thank you for taking us along!
Awesome story! Thanks for taking us along. Congrats to both daughter and dad.
You're right Brotsky, the true trophy was the hunt. It most always is. It was a privilege to share in it.
Celebrating freedom today! The freedom to shoot your first elk! Ha! Thanks for all the kind comments guys! Stuff like that really means a lot to both of us!
Congrats !!! The first of many ;)
Well, Alrighty......Congrats young lady!!!
Bring tears to my eyes i remember my four girls adventures
Awesome sir. Been following closely. Us bowsiters down in Mississippi are proud of you both.
Excellent work by both of you, thanks for sharing. Kia, you earned that bull...welcome to a lifelong addiction!
Best of Luck, Jeff
Well, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you, young lady. Congrats on a nice bull and thanks so much for taking us along. Sounds like a great adventure.
Awesome awesome awesome!
Great job by both of you!!! Congrats to Kia!!!! Way to be a great dad and spend time with your daughter making lifetime memories. I was 14 when I killed my first bull, I remember it like it was yesterday, and I'm sure so will she for the rest of her life!
And I was 58 when I got my first elk! Suuupaa!
That's awesome. Congrats to both of you! Any first is a trophy in my book.
That is awesome. Great job Kia and Dad. Memories you'll never forget and life lessons. Good work!!
Way to go little lady, very well done! Your smile says it all!
Outstanding adventure! I kind of cheated and waited til the end so I could read it all through. All the highs and lows really are a true depiction of hunting. Congratulations Kia and dad as well.
Congratulations Kia !!! Best hunt ever and a great first elk! Your Dad is one lucky guy to have a great daughter like you and you are one lucky girl to have a great Dad to take you on these adventures!
Fantastic! Congrats to Kia on her bull...and to both of you for making great lifelong memories!
Thanks for bringing us along. Great story...start to finish!
Boy it’s going to be hard to beat this epic story for thread of the year. Congrats and thanks for sharing.
This made my evening. I was smiling so hard reading it my wife noticed and asked what I was reading on the internet. I never doubted you'll would get it done. And, it sounds like it went perfectly for the best. Congrats and God Bless you and your family brother.
What a story! So happy it worked out so great!
Wonderful parenting and it shows. Thanks for such a neat story.
Thanks for this wonderful story I hope to read many more with the both of you involved. Kia I'm still trying to get my first!
Awesome, and congratulations Kia and Dad. Thank you for taking us along on this great adventure, and letting us share a part of such a great story and memory.
What a story! A truly great adventure for both of you. Congratulations Kia way to stick with it to the end and not give up. Brotsky way to write up an epic adventure I really followed this one and enjoyed it. Sure hope to say hi to you two again at the next at the next P&Y event!
What a great read, congrats to you both!
LOVED loved loved loved this thread!! So happy for the both of you. I have a 3 year old girl I simply hope I can share the same type of experiences with one day. Congrats on a successful hunt and enjoying the journey!
Thanks again to everyone for all of your comments and well wishes. I keep looking at this picture now and laughing. Like a good buddy of mine said when he saw it: "Heck this is so great even the elk is smiling!" :)
What an awesome hunting season! Congrats to you both. Enjoyed checking on you every day!!
I am so happy for Kia on her first elk, and what a trophy he is!!! On the other hand I am a little sad, The story has concluded, but from the looks of it, she has many more chapters to write in her future. Congratulations Kia from Texas and best of luck this fall, Thanks for taking us along on your hunting trip. Best Thread of the year!!!!!!