Outdoor Vision Gear
A Season on the San Juan
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
BB 18-Sep-05
purist 1 18-Sep-05
nockbustr57 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
iowaPete 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
ELKBOW 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
Owl at Home 18-Sep-05
MF 18-Sep-05
MF 18-Sep-05
Redman2002 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
Dal Lowrey 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
nockbustr57 18-Sep-05
n2mywake 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
BB 18-Sep-05
texasbowhunter 18-Sep-05
Rob 18-Sep-05
Elk Slayer 18-Sep-05
70lbdraw 18-Sep-05
Rob 18-Sep-05
stickbow 18-Sep-05
Horn Seeker 18-Sep-05
BB on old Computer 18-Sep-05
oneida_shooter 18-Sep-05
n2mywake 19-Sep-05
Thunderflight@work 19-Sep-05
CA Bowhunter 19-Sep-05
idahoElk 19-Sep-05
Njord 19-Sep-05
Bowme2 19-Sep-05
one_elk 19-Sep-05
bigelk 19-Sep-05
AZBUGLER 19-Sep-05
BB on old Computer 19-Sep-05
70lbDraw 19-Sep-05
c3 19-Sep-05
c3 19-Sep-05
one_elk 19-Sep-05
Heat 19-Sep-05
Rob 19-Sep-05
c3 19-Sep-05
Silent Stalker 19-Sep-05
BuckSnort 20-Sep-05
BrokenHorn 20-Sep-05
ELKBOW 20-Sep-05
BB on old Computer 20-Sep-05
Elkhunter UT 20-Sep-05
Blue Buck 20-Sep-05
BB on old Computer 20-Sep-05
dj 20-Sep-05
The Buck Stopper 20-Sep-05
4wapati 20-Sep-05
Amoebus 20-Sep-05
DonV 20-Sep-05
bmhuntin 20-Sep-05
BB on old Computer 20-Sep-05
Elkslayer 20-Sep-05
Grizshooter 20-Sep-05
Timbuck2 20-Sep-05
c3 20-Sep-05
nowheels 20-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
Goodbird 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
Thunderflight@work 21-Sep-05
Hoyt 21-Sep-05
thundergut 21-Sep-05
Goodbird 21-Sep-05
deadeye 21-Sep-05
shortbow 21-Sep-05
shortbow 21-Sep-05
No Bark 21-Sep-05
idahoElk 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
Bowme2 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
John Scifres 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
bullelkklr 21-Sep-05
shortbow 21-Sep-05
Scorpion 21-Sep-05
No Bark 21-Sep-05
gil_wy@home 21-Sep-05
Cornbread 21-Sep-05
c3 21-Sep-05
Horn Seeker 21-Sep-05
Timbuck2 21-Sep-05
gil_wy@home 21-Sep-05
TheTone 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
Ewok 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
Elkhunter UT 21-Sep-05
Horn Seeker 21-Sep-05
CNEDEER 21-Sep-05
c3 21-Sep-05
ELKiller 21-Sep-05
COHunter 21-Sep-05
OBH 21-Sep-05
nowheels 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
Txnrog 21-Sep-05
Txnrog 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
NvaGvUp 21-Sep-05
NvaGvUp 21-Sep-05
'Ike' @Work 21-Sep-05
Rob 21-Sep-05
Horn Seeker 21-Sep-05
gil_wy@home 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
Elknut1 21-Sep-05
BB 21-Sep-05
Bighornarcher 21-Sep-05
Shiras@home 22-Sep-05
Texasboy 22-Sep-05
BB 22-Sep-05
BB 22-Sep-05
BB 22-Sep-05
BB 22-Sep-05
herdbulll 22-Sep-05
BB 22-Sep-05
HerdManager@Work 22-Sep-05
BB 22-Sep-05
BB 22-Sep-05
BB 22-Sep-05
sharpstick 22-Sep-05
Silent Stalker 22-Sep-05
Ron 22-Sep-05
tradorion 22-Sep-05
Goodbird 22-Sep-05
dreamingbig 22-Sep-05
NvaGvUp 22-Sep-05
Jaquomo@hotel 22-Sep-05
snag 22-Sep-05
GregE 22-Sep-05
swampbuckhunter 22-Sep-05
Ron 22-Sep-05
NvaGvUp 22-Sep-05
go-in-huntin 22-Sep-05
OBH 22-Sep-05
bullelkklr 22-Sep-05
'Ike' @Work 22-Sep-05
bullelkklr 22-Sep-05
Sully 22-Sep-05
Blue Buck 22-Sep-05
Rob 22-Sep-05
BB 22-Sep-05
BB 22-Sep-05
snag 22-Sep-05
Meadecreekatwork 22-Sep-05
idahoElk 22-Sep-05
NvaGvUp 22-Sep-05
Deerman1 22-Sep-05
tradorion 22-Sep-05
Travis 22-Sep-05
woodsman 22-Sep-05
inthewoods 22-Sep-05
BowFire 22-Sep-05
BB 22-Sep-05
BB 22-Sep-05
Mizzoukispot 22-Sep-05
NvaGvUp 22-Sep-05
BB 22-Sep-05
AZBUGLER 22-Sep-05
SteveCo 22-Sep-05
'Ike' 22-Sep-05
gil_wy@home 22-Sep-05
Tim in Montana 22-Sep-05
hunt forever 23-Sep-05
Rob 23-Sep-05
Mr Wapiti 23-Sep-05
thundergut 23-Sep-05
BB 23-Sep-05
BB 23-Sep-05
BB 23-Sep-05
BB 23-Sep-05
jorjen 23-Sep-05
BB 23-Sep-05
Tim in Montana 23-Sep-05
thundergut 23-Sep-05
n2mywake 23-Sep-05
NvaGvUp 23-Sep-05
BB 23-Sep-05
MNBowMan 23-Sep-05
thundergut 23-Sep-05
gil_wy@home 23-Sep-05
gil_wy@home 23-Sep-05
Brian @ Another 23-Sep-05
jde512 23-Sep-05
ELKiller 23-Sep-05
BB 23-Sep-05
BB 23-Sep-05
oneshot1kill 23-Sep-05
BB 23-Sep-05
Kevin 23-Sep-05
jorjen 23-Sep-05
COHunter 23-Sep-05
bmhuntin 23-Sep-05
Rob 23-Sep-05
OHBowhntr 23-Sep-05
Sully 23-Sep-05
swampbuckhunter 23-Sep-05
nowheels 23-Sep-05
DonV 23-Sep-05
Brian @ Another 23-Sep-05
No Bark 23-Sep-05
gil_wy@home 23-Sep-05
MF 23-Sep-05
Timbuck2 23-Sep-05
Southfork 23-Sep-05
sticksender 23-Sep-05
HoTm00n 23-Sep-05
bullelkklr 23-Sep-05
NvaGvUp 23-Sep-05
Elkslayer 23-Sep-05
Thunderflight@work 23-Sep-05
Booner@laptop 23-Sep-05
Bighornarcher 23-Sep-05
c3 23-Sep-05
dj 23-Sep-05
Yendor 23-Sep-05
Grizshooter 23-Sep-05
Horn Seeker 23-Sep-05
deadhorse 23-Sep-05
WW 23-Sep-05
jde512 23-Sep-05
Elksong 23-Sep-05
Travis 23-Sep-05
'Ike' @Work 23-Sep-05
JTV 23-Sep-05
oneida_shooter 23-Sep-05
Tree Killer 23-Sep-05
BB 23-Sep-05
oneida_shooter 23-Sep-05
Elkhunter UT 23-Sep-05
Jim/VA 23-Sep-05
Yendor 23-Sep-05
SteveCo 23-Sep-05
Mizzoukispot 23-Sep-05
Mizzoukispot 23-Sep-05
seastrike 23-Sep-05
AZBUGLER 23-Sep-05
NvaGvUp 23-Sep-05
HalfRack 23-Sep-05
Meat Grinder 23-Sep-05
woodsman 23-Sep-05
sunsignarcher 23-Sep-05
elkster 24-Sep-05
idahoElk 24-Sep-05
stickbow 24-Sep-05
Don K 24-Sep-05
dsheally 25-Sep-05
Reaper 25-Sep-05
GregE 25-Sep-05
Gator 25-Sep-05
fin little 25-Sep-05
Zia man 25-Sep-05
BB 25-Sep-05
Skeetsbo 26-Sep-05
Blue Buck 27-Sep-05
Jaquomo@hotel 27-Sep-05
FLINGER 27-Sep-05
Dwayne 27-Sep-05
Ron G 28-Sep-05
one_elk 28-Sep-05
nijimasu 28-Sep-05
OutdoorsNole 29-Sep-05
GW4BOW 30-Sep-05
BB 30-Sep-05
jdh 01-Oct-05
SCJeff at home 02-Oct-05
Screamin Bulls 08-Oct-05
Boots 08-Oct-05
BB 08-Oct-05
From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
I just returned from over three weeks on the San Juan. The following will be a short picture essay of a small part of this great experience.

I will start it out with a bull I passed on well into the hunt, in fact, with only four days remaining.

I wittnessed mamy great sites, sounds and experiences. In the days to come I will share a small part of that with those interested, via the pictures I took. I am sure I took well over 1,000 pictures. My card was not large enough so I deleted many of those I took, keeping, what I felt were the best. I hope some of you enjoy and are able to understand what a great experience I witnessed.

I hope those of you whose hunts are over had a great time and for those of you hunting now or soon, I wish you the same.

I am very tired, with lots to do after being gone so long. I also have a good friend coming to hunt mule deer with me on Sept. 22, so I will add to this thread as time permits.

I hope you will enjoy my hunt..

Have a great bowhunt. BB

From: purist 1
18-Sep-05
Lookin forward to it bb. If you run out of bandwidth for pics, I'll give you my email address. Nobody deserved something like that more. You'd appreciate the experience as slightly extraordinary. Dan

From: nockbustr57
18-Sep-05
OMG THAT BULL IS HUGE! Can't wait to hear all your stories, and glad you had a great, safe time. Welcome back to "the real world". :)

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
I arrived late on the evening of August 24th and set up my tent camp.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
In less than an hour my home for the next 3 plus weeks was ready. The adventure was about to unfold.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Little did I realize what would transpire from the time I took this moon shot (second day at camp) until next full moom.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
On opening morning I took a hike to one of my favorite areas. It was early in the morning, not too long after daylight, when the silence was broken by a large, long bugle. Here's the culprit.

This was opening morning and I was alone and would be that way for a least a week. Because of back problems I just watched him and his cows saunter off.

This first week would be for picture taking only!

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
During the summer I had traveled twice to the San Juan on scouting and work trips. I had set up a treestand at 2 separate locations. One was very near to camp (less than 1/3 mile away).

Opening evening I decided to walk to the close stand and see what was going on.

I was disappointed with the results, as I did not see one critter with the exception of this little guy who paid me a visit and let me take his picture in the low evening light.

Any of you bird of prey lovers know what kind of hawk it is?

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
During the day while back at camp I would practice shooting my bow at the target located mid left of picture.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Last year while helping my hunting partner on his 2004 sn Juan hunt we had this area of the San Juan basically to ourself. Such was not the case this year. But that gave me the opportunity to meet some nice guys and great bowhunters and make some new friends.

One such guy I shared the area with took this fine bull on the second day of his hunt. It roughed scored 359 and some change.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
It was now time to spend sometime at the wallow where Shane took his bull. It's a place I call Pine Wallow.

I sat all morning without seeing one single elk. The wallows had not been used, but it was still early and my hopes were high.

Here's a picture of how those wallows looked that morning. Keep this picture in mind as the rut grows nearer and see how it looks in a couple weeks.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Shortly after noon this little guy showed up for a quick drink and departed as silently as he arrived.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Not long thereafter this 2x2 came in, drank and fed in the small meadow that adjoins these wallows.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Here's a picture of my treestand at Aspen wallows, the area very near my camp.

Some mighty big mistakes were made by me in this location.

From: BB
18-Sep-05
Sorry forgot to attach the picture. Hopefully this is it.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Sorry forgot to attach the picture. Hopefully this is it.

From: iowaPete
18-Sep-05
Keep 'em coming, BB. Just love looking over your photos. I didn't pay enough attention to my photo taking this season (photos that were too dark or too far away from the subject). I hope I get another chance to improve upon it next season.

iowaPete

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
As time past I sat both wallows and did lots of walking. Here are a few pictures from some of those walks.

Here a Redtail keeps a close eye on me as I approach the Ponderosa snag it was perched upon.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Here, a decent bull with a big herd of cows, for so early in the season.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Late one evening I caught this mule deer feeding on the grass just outside a quakey grove.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Late one evening I caught this mule deer feeding on the grass just outside a quakey grove.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
On an early morning walk in the low country I caught this buck feeding in the oaks and sage.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
A view from Aspen wallows. Tough to take huh!

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
And yet another looking North. The picture in the last post was looking East.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
And here's one more which also incorporates one of the big mistakes I made at this wallow. When I saw this bull on the hill above I reached for my camera. I took several pictures of him standing with his antlers showing above the oaks. I truly believe he was on his way to water, but I used my scary moma and he just froze and soon turned and walked directly away. BIG BULL! BIG MISTAKE!

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
During one day of my first week I made a decision to go sit Pine Wallows from daylight to dark. I got to my stand just as it started to lighten. About 8:30 I could hear a bull bugling and getting closer from the north. Soon I could hear his cows calling and soon they arrived. The cows began to feed, drink, and lay in the meadow just in front of me, but the bull made a quick pass through the dark pines to my west and disappeared for good, leaving his cows with me..

Here's the quick the snap shot I got of him in the low light of that dark recess as he past by about 30 yards.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Here's another picture from that same morning of the passer through's cows, feeding in the meadow just in front of my stand.

I took a ton of pictures that morning, but deleted most of them as space on my card began to be used up. There's a good reason I liked this picture as you will see in some future thread.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
That very morning I got to see my first bull wallow in 2005. He sure put on quite a show for a long period of time. I think he has great genes and wish him well. He was really a hoot!

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Soon the wind began to blow and the elk got my scent and spooked.

I sat well into the afternoon and for the very first time heard bugling all around me, and it occurred most of the morning and into the afternoon. I was pumped, as I felt I would get some great pictures.

Soon I could see ash falling from the sky and could smell smoke. Within minutes a strong down hill wind filled the canyon with dense smoke. I bailed out of my stand and headed up hill the 3/4 mile to my bike. I was worried I would never make it before the fire got to my 4 wheeler. But the fire had not yet reached my canyon and I got to safety in smokey skies.

It had been a re-flair up of an older lighting strike. Within a couple days they had the fire out.

From: ELKBOW
18-Sep-05
BB wrote:

"I will start it out with a bull I passed on well into the hunt, in fact, with only four days remaining."

You are the MAN!

Watch out ELKNUT he is going to make calls next!

ELKNUT can you put a pictorial together like that?

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
By the time I got back to camp, and showered it was almost 6 p.m. I decided to just head over to Aspen wallows since it was so near to camp,

I hurried down the trail that lead to my treestand location but I was a few minutes too late. A nice bull and his cows departed in fast fashion. I saw another nice bull cross the canyon below my stand later that evening, but it was too late to take pictures by then.

But just before the last os shooting light (camera wise) this critter came in for a drink. In the next few posts I will show several pictures. What species is this animal?

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Here's another picture of the same critter

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
And yet another.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
One final picture. What is it?

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
a lady of the night and early morning.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
One morning while sitting Aspen Wallows I finally had a herd of cows come in and finally a herd bull showed up.

Here he is! A spike by 3 point!

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
You can plainly see he was running with at least one cow!

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
But over at Pine Wallows things were starting to change. I was starting to see a few larger bulls and less small ones. Many were coming in too early or too late to photograph, but this one came at decent time.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
As did this 5x5.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
This 5x6 really put on a show!

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
It was getting too dark to photograph by the time he really got into it. I snapped a lot of photo's but most ended up too blurry. Here's one I took later when he was still and it turned out to be the best of the later shots. He is about 14-15 yards away.

From: Owl at Home
18-Sep-05
BB,

What exactly are you holding out for , buddy? Nice bulls. Great photos.

From: MF
18-Sep-05
BB, I don't post much but I gotta tell ya You're the Man. Your photos are incredible. I have just started elk hunting at 48 years old and your pictures an inspiration. How far are you hunting from your camp?

From: MF
18-Sep-05
BB, I don't post much but I gotta tell ya You're the Man. Your photos are incredible. I have just started elk hunting at 48 years old and your pictures an inspiration. How far are you hunting from your camp?

From: Redman2002
18-Sep-05
BB Thank YOU for sharing. AWSOME. keep them coming, I really enjoy looking at the pictures. Like MF said, you are the man!

Thanks Again.

Redman2002

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
And here just happens to be the favorite bull I laid eyes upon. I was able to photograph him on three different occasions. I nicknamed him the "Brahma Bull".

His body was very blocky, one of the biggest body bulls I laid eyes upon, but at the time I did not realize he would soon become the Brahma Bull.

Here's a picture on the second occasion I was able to take his picture. At that time I did not realize I had already taken a photo of him days earlier.

Late one evening (photo wise) I got this picture of the blocky bull. Notice his body size. He was a tank.

His antlers were short and busted and the rut had not really even started.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
I took this picture of him the same evening just a few minutes earlier as he drank about 30 yards from my stand.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Several days later, in better light I discovered by this photo his name and that he was the same bull I had seen several times earlier.

Remember the bull that had left his cows and just past through. That was him.

His name was taken from his drooping ear and the look on his face. He was indeed a warrior.

Here's the picture that put the puzzle together.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
And here's a closer look at his face. You can almost see Mike Tyson in his face. Look at his face. Doesn't he look like a Brahma? Look at the was scares. He was one of the first bulls I had seen with a big harem.

From: Dal Lowrey
18-Sep-05
BB, really outstanding. Many thanks!

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
A friend who was to join my one week into the hunt was unable to make it when his wife got sick so I remained taking pictures and enjoying myself.

Here's a bull in the meadow at Pine Wallows after drinking some 15 yards from me.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Needless to say this little guy put on quite a show. I think his body says it all!

From: nockbustr57
18-Sep-05
BB, I am probably wrong, but I believe the raptor in your sixth picture is a harrier.

From: n2mywake
18-Sep-05
This is one of the best threads I've seen on the net. Thanks for the great pics! I cannot wait to head west!

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
While still hunting alone and before Shanes arrival, I hiked over to a waterhole that Gary W and I built during the summer. Last year the elk were in this area thick and the water was very limited. I had hoped for the same this year, but few elk and water everywhere changed things a ton.

Here's the picture of the waterhole Gary and I built. It turned out to be quite a pond, but due to all the available water, someone else will have to gain from our hard work.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
In my pursuit for elk I came across a few mule deer too. The deer herds in this area is way down and I think they need to close the season and do something to get one Utah past best areas back on track.

I am one that believes too many elk have a very detrimental effect on the deer herds. I think this unit is a prime example. I saw very few nice bucks.

Here are a couple little ones.

From: BB
18-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
One evening from Aspen Wallows I spotted this big guy watching me.

18-Sep-05
Thats a spooky picture.....

From: Rob
18-Sep-05
Great pics BB. Thanks a bunch for sharing.

Rob

From: Elk Slayer
18-Sep-05
BB,

I am at my Dad's with Cory and the suspense is killing me! It looks like you had a great time! Keep the photo's coming! They are amazing as usual!

Chad

From: 70lbdraw
18-Sep-05
Great spread BB! Some nice mulies in there too! You're making me jealous here in Wisconsin.

From: Rob
18-Sep-05
Just curious, but why did you pass on the bull in the first pic. He looks huge to me but what do I know, I shot a tree this year.

Thanks again for sharing your pics, Rob

From: stickbow
18-Sep-05
Just talkin to Bill, his computer is down so he will get pictures on as soon as possible. Oh the suspense!

From: Horn Seeker
18-Sep-05
You dirty SOB....wont answer my calls and wont tell us if you took a bull! It dont matter, your story and photo-documentation is EPIC! We Love you Buglin Billy!!

HS

18-Sep-05
Sorry Guys, but my regular computer won't work where I have the pictures. Hopefully I can take it in and have it fixed tomorrow. The computer comes on but the monitor won't show anything. In other words it's BLACK! Any suggestions?

Have a great bowhunt. BB

18-Sep-05
We had a lab top that kinda did the same thing. It would just got to a black screen and say to click F2 to reboot. Its being fixed now, I think the hard drives toast.

OS

From: n2mywake
19-Sep-05
When the computer boots up, if you can see any of the beginning screens where it recognizes the components, try to boot in safe mode (press f8). If the screen comes on in safe mode you've probably just changed your display settings.

19-Sep-05
WOW!!!!

Great thread!!!!

From: CA Bowhunter
19-Sep-05
Thanks BB

From: idahoElk
19-Sep-05
Oh man the anticipation, as always thanks for sharing. Try fix that PC soon I'm dying to see the rest of the pics and story.

From: Njord
19-Sep-05
San Juans where. Ut, Co ??. Great pics by the way.

From: Bowme2
19-Sep-05
Uhhhhh..... WE NEED A COMPUTER TECH AT BILL's HOUSE in UTAH Immediately!!!

We can't wait much longer! As usual.... Very nice pics Bill!!

Cya Rick

From: one_elk
19-Sep-05
BB Great pics and story

From: bigelk
19-Sep-05

bigelk's Link
BB,

Great photos as always. I'm a huge fan. Dying to hear the rest of the story - why aren't you eating elk steaks right now.

Bigelk

From: AZBUGLER
19-Sep-05
Awesome BB. In the down time, I'll go with my opinions on a couple of your questions. I'm not sure on the raptor. It's tough to tell how big it is. Looks very small....female Kestrel? The dog looks like common Yote to me. Sorry, I have to agree with the others. What were you thinking passing on that first bull? Can't wait to hear more.

19-Sep-05
Just a few minutes ago, C3 stopped by the house to fix my computer, but I had already taken it into a shop to get it repaired. It could be several days before I get it back and maybe up to four they said, depending upon the problem.

Pete (C3) has offered to let me post from one of his computers and I may just do that if time permits. He seems to think my hard drive is toast. I hope not as I have lots of information that is not backed up and lots of pictures. I still have most of this years elk hunting pictures on the card however.

On a side not, my son took a nice 4 point bull here on the Wasatch while I was on hunt. He made a great hit, just above the front leg, and it only travled 25-35 yards. He was able to watch the bull go down from where he shot it.

Anyway as soon as I get things fixed or get to Pete's, I'll post a bit more.

I can assure you the best is yet to come!

Have a great bowhunt. BB

From: 70lbDraw
19-Sep-05
HEY ROB, Until BB get that puter fixed, why don't you post a pic of that tree you bagged? Since you took the time to shoot it, it must have SOME trophy value to it!! :)

From: c3
19-Sep-05

c3's embedded Photo
c3's embedded Photo
This is a test.

From: c3
19-Sep-05

c3's embedded Photo
c3's embedded Photo
Riddle:

I was out hunting for elk and ran into these bucks. Finacally, what did I find?

From: one_elk
19-Sep-05
a buck an a half

From: Heat
19-Sep-05
My guess on the raptor; a member of the accipiter family. Without being able to tell the size I'd say Northern goshawk (juvenile). If it was a really small bird, then I'd say, Sharp-shinned hawk, only other choice, Cooper's. Size wise: goshawk)coopers)sharp-shinned. The dog is a coyote.

Awesome Thread!

Nick

From: Rob
19-Sep-05
Hey 70lb. i tried to post a pic of the tree several times but when I hit the submit button, my computer locks up big time. Not sure why but I gave up before I tear something up and then I won't be able to see these pics BB keeps posting.

Rob

From: c3
19-Sep-05
Those last two pics above are from BB on my machine, but my software is a bit unfamilar for him.

It appears there will be a few days wait here guys. BB's motherboard took a nap on us. Of course it's under warrantee, but they don't make that model any longer and it may take a complete reload to get him back up again.

I can guarantee that the wait will be worth the while.

Enough teasing, I'm back to looking at more of his incredible pics in full size, LOL!

Cheers, Pete

19-Sep-05
Pete,

Your killing me! Send me an e-mail with the last chapter ! I can't take the wait! Have agreat day!

Chad

From: BuckSnort
20-Sep-05
This is what the internet was meant to be! Thanks for the outstanding pictorial essay and I too cn't wait to see more! Thanks!

P.S. Don't you just love those Springbar tents, they make a great home away from home in the woods.

From: BrokenHorn
20-Sep-05
I wonder if BB is just playing a BAD joke on us??? Naw, he wouldn't do that...would he?

From: ELKBOW
20-Sep-05
ELKNUT,

BB has passed you on the legends board!

1. BB 2. Elknut 3. Nav

20-Sep-05
Since I can't post anymore pictures at this time, I'll just talk a bit about a few things.

First I want to thank C3 for all the time he spent with me yesterday and for his advise. I also want to thank him in advance for the work he has agreed to do on my computer so that I won't have to start everything from scratch. Thanks Pete.

The raptor shown was quuite small Perhaps the size of a pint bottle. I don't think it was small enough to be a sharp shinned hawk. And most Goshawks I've seen seem to let out their identifying call and this bird did not do that. Since I'm not up to speed on hawks, I was just wondering.

I really don't know if the dog is a true coyote or not. It was about the size of a coyote, but acted more like some type of fox. I have pictures of that dog that make me think he is a coyote and others that would make one think he was a fox. In my mind I believe it is a mix. Isn't that possible?

I'm to the point in my hunt where Shane, my regular hunting partner, is about to join me for 8 days. Since I don't have any pictures of this event, and while I wait for my computer to be fixed, I'll tell this story.

One foggy, rainy morning we were out chasing elk on foot. We were standing in a broken opening quietly talking to one another when Shane noticed a cottontail rabbit just a few yards away. All of a sudden a weasel attack the rabbit which immediately began to squeal. I turned my head at the noise to notice the weasel on the rabbit. As the rabbit struggled, it finally kicked the weasel and escaped with its life. On another occasion, while alone and sitting Pine Wallows, I watched a hawk take a small bird right out of the air. It all happened so quickly I did not have time to take a picture as it flew right by me with its prize.

The best pictures and stories are still ahead, so those of you interested, stay tunned.

To say the least, it was an incredible experience and one I will never forget. And I am glad I took the time to photograph a good part of it. I ended up with a few mighty nice photo's. As Pete put it (C3), "Some of those could be sold to magazines for front covers."

Have a great bowhunt BB

From: Elkhunter UT
20-Sep-05
Bill,

Can you at least send an email to me with the ending?!?!?

You are killing us all with the wait for more pictures and stories! Please send the abbreviated version to my email as soon as possible!! :-)

The story and pics have been unbelievable so far-great job!!

Cory

From: Blue Buck
20-Sep-05
As alway, awesome pics BB.

My guess is that the raptor is a female Merlin. 12" long?

20-Sep-05
Cory, hopefully I will have my computer up and running soon. I can only say the wait to see a few of my remaining pictures and the story with them should be well worthwhile.

You may recall that after the fire eposide I was late getting to Aspen Wallows and scared the elk that were already at the pond and wallow. So the next afternoon I vowed to get there early so that would not happen again.

About 2:30 the next day I headed for Aspen Wallows, after doing a ground hunt in the AM. I wanted to be in the stand by 3 pm.

As I walked down the trail towards the wallow, I jumped a cow elk that was lying in the oaks some 100 yards above the wallow. The wind was in my face, but I jumped her just 10 yards in front of me. As I watched her run through the oaks to safety I noticed a huge set of antlers turning some 20 yards to my right. It just happened to be one of, if not the largest bull I saw on my San Juan adventure. Immediately I came to a stop and set my bow on the ground and grabbed the camera from my "gay" bag,that was hanging around my neck, but by the time I got it turned on and pointed he was on his way to safety too, and I never got a chance to get his picture. But he was one mighty big bull. As the saying goes, he was high, wide and heavy. He probably was the biggest bull I saw on the trip and had I been more careful I could have either arrowed him or at least got a good picture. I ended up with neither, but I will never forget seeing that huge set of antlers turn as the cow ran past him in his bedding area.

Needless to say I never used that trail again until I removed and packed out my stands.

More later.

Have a great bowhunt. BB

From: dj
20-Sep-05
BB, wonderful thread thus far...light years ahead of any other I have read.

Your mention of the rabbit/weasel, the small hawk, the calf wallowing, and so forth assures me that you know what hunting is all about. Folks that fail to get out and see the little things, like the cloud formation over the bluff, just have no idea what life is all about. It is all those little things that make up the total experience....yes, killing a critter is important too, but there is so much more.

I don't know you, but I can tell you are a class act. Really brightened my morning!

Great Job! Look forward to the rest of the pics when you get your machine up and running.

20-Sep-05
You are correct, that animal is not a coyote. It is a Kit Fox / Swift Fox. I do not know how rare they are, but that is what it is. Excellent pictures and stories!

From: 4wapati
20-Sep-05
Bill

Your killin' me! Great thread, and I second what dj said. Thanks for the stories, and the great pics. Congrats on a successful hunt.

Jeff

From: Amoebus
20-Sep-05
This reminds me of Dallas about 20 years ago - who shot JR?

20-Sep-05
Incredible thread BB!

I would have guessed that the "dog" was a gray fox. It looks quite abit different than the Wisconsin Coyotes that I'm used to.

Mike

From: DonV
20-Sep-05
Great pics again BB

My guess is a grey fox too, have seen a couple up close out here and from what I remember that is exactly what they look like.

From: bmhuntin
20-Sep-05
I'll vote for a Coyote. That looks exactly like the 'yotes we have around Mississippi and does not even resemble the foxes we have. I know that different regions of the country have different looking versions of the same animal, but my vote if coyote.

Brad

20-Sep-05
On Sunday afternoon Shane arrived (Labor Day Weekend) and we hunted on the ground that evening. Early the next morning we arose early and packed a second stand down to Aspen Wallows where we sat that morning with little action. But now we had two stands at A W and we were ready when and if it turned on.

I remember Shane making a remark like "Wow, this is a neat set up if they come in!", and it was. All we needed now were for the elk to co operate.

Getting a little out of order but since I can't post any pictures until I get my computer back, I will tell this story since I have no pictures to really go with it anyway.

We arose early one morning to a bull bugling just across from camp. He had been doing that for several mornings so we decided to make a try for him and at least see what he looked like.

He continued to bugle as we made our way towards him in the dark. Soon we were within 100 yards of the screaming bull. I told Shane I felt we should sneak in as close as possible while it was still dark and then wait it out until we could see what kind of bull was making that great sounding bugle.

We stopped some 70-80 yards below his position. The skies by this time were starting to lighten slightly and one could make out the form or trees ---------- and of an elk heading right for us. An elk's outline with huge antlers was walking right towards me. I knocked an arrow and on he came stopping broadside just yards away. Shane, who was right behind me thinks he was 10 yards or less in front of me. I thought more like 15-20. We both agreed on one thing, he was close!

His body was broadside, but his head was turned looking down towards me. I froze and watched and listened to his breathing, his moans, his bugles and his glunking. After a minute or two he turned his head and I could plainly see his 6x6 rack. His fronts were great, his thirds were great, his fourth's were huge as were his 5th and 6th points. He was a shooter, probably a 360-370 bull.

After all this time the real time had finally come. I pulled my bow and tipped my eye to my peep. I could see nothing. Not a pin, not a bit of light, but I could plainly see the bull standing just in front of me.

I began bowhunting in 1959 with an old Herter's recurve. I took quite a few deer back in those days shooting instinctive, but that was many years ago and since shooting a compound with pins, I had shot instinctive on very few occasions. As bad as I wanted to release that arrow I had this little voice in the back of my mind telling me I should let down. I listened and let off.

The bull continued to stand there, totally unaware that his life was in big danger. It was beginning to lighten and I could plainly see his tan body and dark mane, face and legs. I can't say for sure how long we both stood there, but it seemed like an eternity. Perhaps all together it was near 10 minutes. It had now lighten considerably and I could plainly see the bull. Again I drew my bow and again could not see my pins through my peep. I looked off the side of my peep and could barely see my 30 yard pin. I had not shot around my peep for many years and could not remember which way I had shoot to make sure the shot hit where I wanted. Again the voice said to let off and I did. The bull continued to stand and it continued to lighten and just as I began to think about pulling once more, the bull turned away and walked off into the trees.

The evening before, I had past on a bull at Pine Wallow that originally I was going too shoot, but had decided at the last moment to just take his picture and let him walk. Now with this happening I could hear Shane say "I guess he wasn't big enough either!" I told him, no that was not the case, it was just that I could not see my pins on his body and although I wanted to shoot him, I was just waiting for better light. (Incidently I suffer from severe night blindness--It is one of a hunters worst nightmares). Shane thought I made a big mistake as the bull was so close he felt I could not have hit him bad from such a short distance. I wished he had stayed there a minute or two more, but I do not have any regrets on that one.

We had a great morning once it got light, with some close calls, but no other real opportunities.

More later.

Have a great bowhunt BB

20-Sep-05
I also do not know you but ALWAYS look forward to your posts. On more that one occassion I've thought to myself " I wonder when BB is going to post again..." It's never more than a few days later when I think that, that you do post. Can't wait to read and see the rest when I get back from a short 3 day adventure of my own.

From: Elkslayer
20-Sep-05
BB, What size are you posting your pictures at? Mine are coming out alot smaller and harder to see? Great thread.....can't wait for the end. Your friend Alan Pringle

From: Grizshooter
20-Sep-05
So far all I can say is "WOW" , and it gets better yet?!?!? Unbelievable!! Thanks BB, Griz

From: Timbuck2
20-Sep-05
Yeehaw...I've been waiting for BB's return.

I've been looking forward to this thread for many months. BB, It's sure nice to live vicariously thorough your hunt. Thanks for taking the time to keep us all entertained.

Eagerly awaiting…"the rest of the story."

Jason

From: c3
20-Sep-05
Bill's computer now has a new motherboard and it's here at my shop getting the drivers updated for his old XP setup. Hopefully it will work and he'll be posting pics tomorrow.

He's off with his wife for her birthday tonight anyway :)

Cheers, Pete

From: nowheels
20-Sep-05
BB,

I just found this post a few minutes ago and I'm already looking forward to whenever you get your computer working again!

Those are some incredible shots. My season would have ended very early in the trip had I been there, assuming I didn't get such a case of elk fever that I left arrows sticking in the ground or in the trees!

Any doubts I might have had about whether or not I would plan my first elk hunt are over and gone.

Thanks for posting these pictures ans your story, I look foreward to the rest.

I wonder which post I'll check first thing in the morning tomorrow?!

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Alan I've been posting most pictures 800 x 600, but the Bowsite has an auto-sizer so you can post big and let it do the rest if you desire. I have noticed that if you post a long vertical picture its way bigger than a horizontal picture. Let's hear about your hunt, I have been anxiously awaiting!

Soon after Shane arrived, so did the bad weather. Wind and lots of rain really put the damper on the elk. Water was everywhere, as if it wasn't bad enough already. The elk were quite and hunting was tough unless you happened to spot an elk and sneak up on him. We tried a few calling sessions but it just scared the elk. Cow calling was an alert to the elk and they just took off. Many of the days with Shane were spent out hiking trying to locate elk and get a shot. Late one evening I got to pull my bow on a nice bull, but saw the movement and took off. I did not get a shot. The exact same thing the next evening. I snuck in 15 yards from a nice bull facing me head on, but as I tried to draw he whirled and was gone.

Finally the weather improved and the sun started to shine. We decided to spend a day a full day at Pine Wallows. We saw several bulls in the morning, this one being one of them.

I will show a series of this bull doing his thing at a wallow for those of you who have never witnessed it.

I know many say that you are not experiencing elk hunting unless your are calling elk. I've done that many times and its very thrilling, but I personally find watching a bull wallow as wild as it gets. And most of the time they bugle just before, during or at the end of their wallow, and it all mighty impressive!

This bull came in and drank the then began to wallow. He then started to drink again from the next wallow. I saw this same procedure quite a few times.

I would just like to thank Pete (C3) for all his time, talents and help in getting this thing running again. And he would not take a penny. I’m indebted Pete and I will look for ways to try to get even. Thanks so much.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
It is not unusal for a bull stand up and lay back down several times. Here's one of the times this bull stood back up. You can notice new mud if you look closely.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
To begin the wallow most often each bull will paw and splash the water before getting down and wallowing. Here a bull is in the process of pawing. It is very noisy and can be heard by hunters from quite a distance. If you hear this, get the wind right and hustle to noise. You just might catch a bull off guard as he rolls, horns, etc.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Many lay right down and some roll completely over as they cover themselves with mud. You can see the bull pretty much laid right out.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Just more of the same.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Getting with it. Notice how he has moved almost out of the wallow and is on its bank.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Some leave the wall pretty muddy!

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Many dig their horns into the mud and scournding bank and throw it high into the air. It really is quite a site and experience.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Once done wallowing, they usually bugle and leave on their merry way.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Shane on a cold, wet, foggy morning. Shane is one of the hardest working most postive guys I have ever meant. I am very lucky to have him as a hunting partner. He gave up over a weeks vaction to help me, pluse all the expense of his trip. Thanks a ton Shane.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
One day while at camp having lunch, we heard a big squawking, raucous out side. We went out to see what was happening, and about 15 tom turkey's were beating up on one tom. Soon 5 or 6 more came running in and joined in the fight.

In this picture you can see a few of the birds fighting.

From: Goodbird
21-Sep-05
BB ...After 4 months of building a new house we just moved in 3 weeks ago. My wife is due with our next child 3 weeks from now. Needless to say I have not had time to hunt this year. Thank you Thank you Thank you for posting such a wonderful hunt. My borthers are all up doing what you have been. I feel like I have been there with you through every day of your hunt...you are awsome!

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Shane and a wonderful San Juan sunset.

More tomorrow hopefully. Perhaps we can get to some of the real good stuff.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Here are just a few of some of the general photo's I took at different times while on my hunt. Here a wood pecker does his thing at Aspen Wallows

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Again at Aspen Wallows I saw this squirrel several times. Notice his back. Something almost got him, and made him a meal, but he was fortunate to get away and seemed to be doing okay.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Another day, a different woodpecker stopped by for a drink.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
A chipmunk does his thing on the same stump where the lucky grey squirrel sat minutes before.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
A small buck stopped by Aspen Wallows late one evening for a drink and I took his picture as he was leaving.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
A flicker stops by for a drink.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
A buck deer I saw while out on foot one day.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Another buck in the same area. 10 days later while hunting the same area, I would have a chance at a 6 x 7 bull.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Same area, same day, different buck.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Early one morning this little guy put on quite a show as he seemed to fan himself with his large tail.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
While out walking one evening Shane and I heard a bull bugling. We snuck in on him after a long hiding session. It turned out to be this huge bull. It was a 5x7 that didn't have a third on one side. The third on the other side was the biggest third I saw on any elk on that hunt.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Bodywise he was the biggest bull I laid eyes upon. He was truly a tank. Here's another picture that show how wide and big he really was. I decided I didn't want him so let him walk and took his picture instead.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
That same evening just after our encounter with that huge 5x7, I had a chance at this pretty good 6x6 but past him too.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Another day another hawk.

From: BB
21-Sep-05
Two small bulls jester for Shane and I as Pine Wallows.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Sorry, here'[s that picture.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
A small buck pretty buck I saw one day while on my way to Pine Wallows.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Here's probably the best buck deer I got to photo on my trip.

I took this picture just before noon, so I was able to use an 80 ISO setting. It's probably the best picture quality wise of any of the hundreds I took. Getting it was a great reward and an adrenaline rush. Getting a good photo is very satisfying.

I can zoom this guy up and he is crystal clear all the way in.

He is not a big buck, but the biggest either Shane or I laid eyes upon. It's sad to know such a great deer area is really on the ropes.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Same buck, different photo.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
After sitting all day under windy conditions at Pine Wallows, Shane and I were pretty discouraged. We had seen two bulls early in the morning, but nothing else all day long... To say the least it was a long day!

But late that evening the winds died down and in the distant we could hear a bull bugling. Soon his sounds were half the distance and he was coming from the direction that most of the bulls that visit this water hole in the evening use.

His bugle was strong, loud, low and very mature. I knew Shane was ready for me to do something.

Soon we could hear the calls of his cows and calves and we knew, if the wind remained clam, we were going to be looking at a good herd bull.

The timber started to break and the both his and his cow's call began louder and louder as they approached our position.

Soon the cows were lined up watering along our edge of the three wallows directly in front of me. His bugle rang out from some 30- 40 yards in the dense timber just before the wallow. For the first time since sitting either wallow, I had my bow, not my camera in my hand.

The bull pictured above is not the bull that came out, as I have no pictures when he broke the timber and came into view. I show this above picture because this is just about where that bull watered and near the exact stance. He was about 14 yards from my tree.

Remember this is not the bull I saw, just one that watered at the same place the bull I was now watching watered at.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Sorry, that was not the bull or the species, just anther screw up by yours truly. Hopefully this is the picture I wanted to post.

From: BB
21-Sep-05
Keep in mind I am now looking at a most magnificent bull, standing and watering just about like the bull above. As this bull entered the wallow opening, his cows split and watered in the nearby stream and distant wallows.

He had long antlers throughout his rack. He was a beautiful bull and I had decided to take him as he drank some 14 yards in front of me.

My mind was going 80 miles an hour. Do I really want to take this bull? His antlers are not heavy and their not that polished and pretty. I still have 10 days of a once in a lifetime hunt ahead of me if I don't shoot. I looked to Shane for direction.

Finally I carefully placed my bow back in its holder. I had decided not to shoot this most honorable bull. Instead I would take try to take his picture.

From: BB
21-Sep-05
Now with camera in hand and photo shooting light at its very limits I began to take several photo's. By this time the bull was wallowing and his movements made it very difficult to get a good picture in such low light conditions. I would wait until the bull stopped moving and then shot the shudder. It was very slow and I knew that. I was being careful as I wanted a good picture or two of this great bull.

After shooting three or four shots I reviewed the pictures to make sure I had my camera on the proper settings.

I was amazed at what I saw. I placed my camera back in my bag and once again went for my bow.

More later.

21-Sep-05
NO!!!!!! Don't leave us hanging!!!!! 8*)

From: Hoyt
21-Sep-05
Well..I hope you're satisfied..it took me over 20yrs. to get rid of elk fever..now I got it again. Great Post.

From: thundergut
21-Sep-05
FOUL!

From: Goodbird
21-Sep-05
next episode please...commercials, arrrrgh!

From: deadeye
21-Sep-05
Can some one get this story published in bowhunter? What a great story.How about the ending?

From: shortbow
21-Sep-05
BB, tell us a little about the type of country you're hunting....terrain, etc.

I do not need to know nearest city or GMU.

I'm trying to develop a model for finding good game country, as I'm beginning to detect similarities from place to place.

From: shortbow
21-Sep-05
Excellent story, BTW, and lots of animals. What a great trip.

From: No Bark
21-Sep-05
OK, everyone quick get some work done and be back in a half hour..........

From: idahoElk
21-Sep-05
Awesome, Riveting! Ebert gives it a 2 thumbs up.

From: BB
21-Sep-05
Shortbow I was hunting just above and below the 8300 foot level. It's an area primarliy of aspen, oaks and ponderosa. The lower elevations were oaks and sage. There are also a varity of different pines beside the ponderosa. It's an area of broken raviens and small open areas. Parts are steep, while other parts were pretty easy going. It's a little piece of heaven right here on earth.

The nearest towns were Monticello and Blanding in southeastern Utah.

From: BB
21-Sep-05
Backing up just a bit to where I had just taken a few pictures of the fine bull now at the wallow, I decided to look and make sure I had a decent picture of this fine bull. In the next post you will see the exact, unedited, untouched picture that made me realize it was time to take a bull. The picture you looking at was the picture that came up on my camera when I hit the view button.

Would you have went for your bow with 10 days remaining and knowing from what you heard that the last 5 days were better than the rest of the season? It’s this picture that made me decide to forgo that chance.

From: Bowme2
21-Sep-05
Man...... this is worse than being right at the GOOD PART of a suspense thriller and you have to hit the PAUSE button because someone has to go take a 20 minute dump. (usually me) ;-]

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
And heres the picture some of you had been wating for, and the picture that made me decide I would finally take a bull.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Although I did take time to look at the other photo's I had taken at that time, here's another of that fine bull as he lays in the wallow.

Well I have to take my dog on a walk as he is getting very anxious to go.

More later.

From: John Scifres
21-Sep-05
BB. Thanks. I'd have killed the first bull I had a good shot at so your last question is moot for me :) What made the difference with this bull for you?

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
I meant to say although I did NOT take time to look at the other photo's. I just put my camera away at that time and went for my bow. Sorry I have a dog pulling on me as we are 3 hours past his walk time.

Hope some of you appreciate this fine bull. He is really a dandy.

Here's the only other picture I have of that bull. It just happens to be the first picture I took of him. He got down and wallowed a bit, but finally stopped moving and took another drink from the wallow and gave me the first chance to take his picture. Had I viewed this photo instead of the one I did, I would have never gone for my bow as I don't think he looks that great in this picture.

See you sometime after the dog walk.

From: bullelkklr
21-Sep-05
what made the difference? The Whaletails of course.

From: shortbow
21-Sep-05
BB, interesting. I'd bet you're hunting north of an east-west ridge, with several finger ridges heading north.

From: Scorpion
21-Sep-05
Yep, from the front angle his rack on the right looks like an average 6pt with a small 4th. definitly smaller than he had already passed,, then when he went profile,, Oh my,, What a dandy Bull!!! Brett

From: No Bark
21-Sep-05
mmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaannnnnnnn, Thhhhhhhaaaattts aaaaa ssssssshhhhhooooooottttteeeeerrrrr!

hhhhooooolllllddd oooonnnn.

There, I got the druel out of the keyboard.

From: gil_wy@home
21-Sep-05
Look at those main beams!!!!!!!

From: Cornbread
21-Sep-05
Back scratchers for sure

From: c3
21-Sep-05
Now you guys know how I felt when I first saw those pics on his camera before we loaded them on the computer. I nearly dropped on in my drawers right there.

Incredible story teller the man is! Pretty exciting stuff, huh?

Cheers, Pete

From: Horn Seeker
21-Sep-05
Well Bill, whatever the outcome of your hunt, I find it highly unlikely that you didn't make a big mistake not shooting that bull. Wow. That is a 365 bull anyday of the week man......hmmmmmm.

From: Timbuck2
21-Sep-05
I'm guessing the 375 P&Y range. Let-er-rip BB.

From: gil_wy@home
21-Sep-05
If that thing had better fronts, you'd have to make reservations to the P&Y banquet. INCREDIBLE BACKS!!!

From: TheTone
21-Sep-05
Suspense is killing me, I've already seen countless bulls I would have shot. I really like the looks of the big 5x7. This last one is awesome on his back end, his first 3 don't look super awesome, but that might be just because he's so goo from his 4th points back.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Back from the walk and ready to continue my story..............

Once I saw the first photo of that bull I made up my decesion to end the hunt a tad early. I could stay on for a few days and just take pictures. I knew it wasn't the biggest bull on the mountain, but what a matched set of antlers.

Quietly and quickly, I put the camera back in the bag hanging around my neck. I reached over the my left and carefully lifted the bow off its holder. I moved it with care not to hit the stand or make a noise. I placed my release on the string and glanced down at the wallow.

The bull was not there, as he had began to head towards his cows. He was close but angling way at a very sharp angle and never offered a good opportunity. Soon he was on the hill just above us bugling over and over.

Soon it was dark and we headed back for camp.

I didn't get the bull, as I had waited too long to make that decision. The window of opportunity slammed shut right in my face. I had and have no one to blame except myself. I am still happy with the experience and hopefully I will learn from having gone through it. At least I brought it home for many others to enjoy. A bull like that is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most of us. I had let mine slip away and deep down I will always regret my poor judgements.

Early the next morning was when I had the big bull walk up, so close to me in the dark. After those two sessions, Shane was fit to be tied.

But it seemed to me things were getting better. There were more elk and they were more vocal. They still could not be called, but I still had plenty of time left.

The picture, another San Juan sunset.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
After a day on foot and no real opportunities I decided to once again spend a day at Pine Wallow.

Before daylight we headed towards our stands and before first light we could hear hounds on a bear chase heading right towards us. Soon the bear switched direction and noise from the barking dogs disappeared as they headed over a distant ridge.

Things were quite at the wallow that morning. Then above us we could hear a bugle and some cow calling. We knew it be hunters. They stopped and rested and talked less than 100 yards above us. They spent about 1 hour there and so when they left we got down and went back to camp for an afternoon and evening hunt. We felt there was probably too much scent and commotion to spend more time there that day.

Here’s a picture of the general country we were hunting.

From: Ewok
21-Sep-05
BB,

Thanks for the awesome pics and story, could not go this year and this is killing me. You da man.

Al

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
It was now Sunday and this would be the last day that Shane could spend with me. He had to leave early the next morning to get home and get ready for work on Tuesday.

Gary W. was going to come down and spend the final days with me, but a boating accident which almost took his eyes site in one eye required him to be flown to a specialist and it looked as if I would spend the last five days alone. That would limit where I could hunt and where I could take a bull. Pine Wallows was definitely out of bounds without packing help.

I decided to spend the balance of Sunday at Pine Wallows with Shane. It was a windy day and things didn't look to promising, either on the ground or in a tree. Our feeling was right as the shifty winds kept any hope of a bull from the water or wallow. With little time left for Shane to witness what he had hoped for, the winds died and light, steady, downhill breeze gave way for the last half hour of shooting light. Soon a bugle and then some cows and calfs and then a nice bull. He was a 6x7. Not as nice as the 6x6, but nonetheless a very decent bull. Maybe a 340ish bull.

But he watered at the distant hole and then walked into trees and started to polish his antlers. Suddenly he walked out of the tree and right for the wallow below us. He pawed and wallowed but never gave me a good shot, and then walked right away from me, much like the 6x6 and back into the trees straight ahead of me.

Here's a picture of the wallows and the arrow shows his route of travel.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Suddenly he appeared in the opening on the right side of the trees. He was broadside and I estimated forty yards away. I drew, aimed and fired. There was a big solid whack, the bull jumped the small stream, stood there a second or two and let out a big bugle. He walked a few paces towards his cows and bugled again and then walked into the trees. We could hear him bugle as he moved away.

I didn't feel like I had hit him, but there was nothing I could see that the arrow could hit and make that kind of WHACK!

We both got down and searched for my arrow, blood, or any sign, but nothing could be found. Finally in the dark we headed for camp.

I remember Shane saying in a sad way, "Do you know how much work you saved me!"

The picture above shows where the 6x7 crossed out that evening. The spike just happened to be a picture I took in my first week at Pine Wallows. I just posted this so you can see the big bull's route and my shot.

Several days later I found my arrow sticking in the grey log near the top of the picture. I had shot over that bull by over a foot. I shot him for 40 yards and later my son range found it and it he was only 23 yards away. Truly a rookie mistake!

From: Elkhunter UT
21-Sep-05
Bill, Keep em coming man!! This is far and away the best thread I have ever read on any hunting site.

How can a guy get any work done during the day with all of this going on?!?!?

Thanks alot,

Cory

From: Horn Seeker
21-Sep-05
Rookie is right......

:0)

From: CNEDEER
21-Sep-05
BB,

Now is the time you should start your own website and charge a membership fee for the rest of the story. I think you would be able to use the money and buy a pretty sweet tag for next year. I am fairly confident that I am not the only one checking the site every five minutes hoping for a new post from you. Great post!!!!

From: c3
21-Sep-05
I've seen the pics, know the whole story and I'm still checking every 5 minutes to hear it again, LOL!

Cheers, Pete

From: ELKiller
21-Sep-05
C'mon man - even Paul Harvey want's to know the rest of the story!

From: COHunter
21-Sep-05
Awesome thread... thanks for sharing! Can't wait to read every post.

Steve

From: OBH
21-Sep-05

OBH's Link
Hi BB, great photos! That Hawk is a female or immature Merlin (Falco columbarius) also known as a pigeon hawk. No doubt about it. Uncommon and at the very southern most part of it's breeding range.

It sure looks like you've been having yourself a great time...lol! There's more to this huntin' stuff than meets the eye, ain't there? Wonderful, wonderful country to have the opportunity to be in. You're a lucky duck and I think you know it!

OBH

From: nowheels
21-Sep-05
BB, I don't know you, but you appear to be a veteran elk hunter and you are most certainly a fine storyteller. I'll be tuning back in tomorrow!

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Shane had been to Alaska on a fishing trip just before he joined me. I had been living on canned and dry soup, cereal etc but once he got there we ate like Kings.

Here's a picture of some of the best halibut I have ever eaten. He fixed this meal the night before he departed.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Heck I thought we were after elk. It's halibut I'm after. Now things should be eaiser.

Sorry for the miss post. I meant this picture.

From: Txnrog
21-Sep-05
Dude, how long are you going to string us out - I gotta get some work done!

From: Txnrog
21-Sep-05
And above that, now you made me hungry

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
We both got up early on Monday morning. I tried to tell Shane I would go hunt for 2 or 3 hours and then come back and help him get ready to leave, but he said all he had was his personal stuff and it would be easy and just got get one.

At that time I was not sure if anyone else (Gary W.) was going to make it for sure or not. so that determined where I would be hunting.

I left camp an hour before first shooting light for a morning at Aspen Wallows. We hadn't been there for quite sometime, and last year that place was getting pounded (although on Shanes hunt we never had it set up.) I just had a good feeling that morning that something was about to happen.

As I made my way to nearby Aspen Wallows I could hear the elk bugling all around me. I had definitely come to the right place.

I climbed into my stand while it was still pitch black. A big sounding bull screamed bugle after bugle less than 50 yards from my stand. In all directions and at close range different bulls bugled. It was a sound to behold.

But as it started to lighten the bugles became distant and finally by daylight faded out of hearing range. I saw not a critter with the exception of a few birds and a squirrel or two. Both ponds were crystal clear and was the morning air.

I sat until 10 AM and by that time had decided I had too much work to do as the hunt was now less than five full days, so I made the decision to take down the stand at Aspen Wallows. By 1 in the afternoon I had all my gear back at camp and Aspen Wallows was just another wet spot among the many in this great elk country.

In my mind I could still see the nice 6x6 I had let slip away. For the first time I was starting to have some regrets.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
While getting ready for the afternoon and evening hunt I checked my cell messages. Gary W. had called and said he got the okay from the Doctor to come down and help. He went on to say that don't get in to big of a hurry to get a bull as he might be bringing "blood" along.

I didn't quite understand, but just after checking my messages the phone rang and it was Gary. He said my son Cody was going to come if he could get his shifts covered and wanted to surprise me. But Gary wanted me to know that in case I came upon a bull I wanted that evening. It might make a difference wither I shot him with a camera or an arrow.

It did! Here's one of four bulls I could have had good shots at that evening. Things were starting to get wild!

More later.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
And here's one you've all seen before. Now some of you know why I didn't arrow this bull that night.

From: NvaGvUp
21-Sep-05
BB,

PLEASE!!!! Write that book as I've been urging you to do!

Do you realize that you passed more bulls on this trip than 90% of the rest of us combined even had an opportunity to nock an arrow on this year?

You are remarkable in your knowledge and a gentleman in your grace.

Now, FINISH THE DANG STORY!!! LOL!

From: NvaGvUp
21-Sep-05
ELKBOW,

"ELKNUT,

BB has passed you on the legends board!

1. BB 2. Elknut 3. Nav"

Thanks, but I'm not only not in the same league as BB and Elknut, I'm not even on the same planet!

Compared to BB, the rest of us are just children.

From: 'Ike' @Work
21-Sep-05
OMG!!! As usual, great story and pictures.......What a great hunt Bill, you are the best sir!!!

From: Rob
21-Sep-05
Great stuff BB. Keep it comin'.

Rob

From: Horn Seeker
21-Sep-05
I'm gonna have someone make you a doctors appt. Bill, I think you've finally lost it!

From: gil_wy@home
21-Sep-05
Horn Seeker, He's certifiable....anyone that has the cool to take pictures of it BEFORE he kills it can't be normal!!!

Pretty please....finish the story and it better be a good ending now.... :)

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
I took my bike to the low country for a quick afternoon hunt. I made a long hike but the bulls were silent. I then drove down below camp to hunt under Aspen Wallows as there had been so many elk there before day break. As I drove down an old rutted road I could see a four wheeler was already parked where I planned to hunt. Disappointed, I headed back towards camp and decided to hunt the area right across from camp. It's the area where I had the close encounter with the big bull in the dark.

I pulled my bike off the side of the road and headed up hill. Soon I heard a bugle and put the sneak on the bull making the noise. When I was about 60 yards from him and readying to take his picture, the wind switched and he was gone.

For several hours I hiked and listened for bugles but could hear none, so I headed down hill to an aspen draw I knew the elk used each evening to acess the higher country where I had been hunting.

As I neared the draw I look ahead to see two nice bulls walking side by side. Little at that time did I realize they were doing the parrell walk. In fact the thought went into my head as to why they were together and did not have cows.

The bulls were heading up hill towards me and were now about 40 yards away. All of a sudden both bulls whirled towards each other and charged. They locked horns and the smaller bull pushed the larger bull back. They unlocked but still faced each other. The more aggressive bull charged and the other bull backed up.

Mean while I closed the distance to about 30 yards and began taking pictures. It was now late in terms of photography and the shudder was very slow even at the 400 ISO setting. I honestly beleive I could have easily arrowed either of those bulls but my son and Gary would be in camp around 2 AM and so that would have to wait until tomorrow. I continued to take pictures.

The bigger bull, backed off and both stood looking at one another. I took advantage of the moment and got each on my camera. The wind then switched and both vansihed.

I began to review my pictures and found all the movement while fighting caused major blurring, so I deleted the fight picture by picture. All that remained were the bulls standing in the Ponderosa's. But I was hyped and couldn't wait to tell Cody and Gary that things were really starting to heat up.

The picture above is of the smaller but more aggressive bull after he first spotted me and just before the wind switched.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
No sooner did they spilt than did I hear a bugle from the aspen draw. I snuck down that was to see a small bull raking his horns in a tree. From about 80 yards I started taking pictures. It was even later now and light conditions were not good, so I had to wait until he stood still to trigger the shutter.

Here's a picture of that bull as he worked over the small aspen.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
As I sat on a log at the rim of the aspen draw, I heard the timber above me snap and looked up to see and decent bull approaching. He walked up to less than 30 yards, put his head back and let out a mighty bugle. I snapped the shot just at that time and the picture above is of that bull.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Here's another of the same bull. It's the same bull that I used in my first post.

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
I took quite a few photo's of this bull as he bugled repeatedly into the canyon where Pine Wallows just happens to be.

Although he had great front, his back end did not match. Nonetheless he was a great bull, but I had four more days and in the morning I would be joined by my son Cody, and my friend Gary. I was not about to end this hunt before they got there!

Here's that bull again and this shows his weak back-end. Nonetheless he was a great bull and stood there and let me take his picture in low light for several minutes. I deleted many of the pictures I took of this bull but still got a few good ones of him. I especially liked this one for all different fall colors. Look closely at that forest. One can't help but fall in love with it.

The day that God made the San Juan, he spared no beauty.

From: Elknut1
21-Sep-05
Good stuff BB!!!!! I apprecieate the fact you've taken so much time not only to relate your hunt, but include details how most bulls enter wallows, then what they do and then give that single bugle as they leave!! That's good solid info!!

Too, i've enjoyed your delivery! Congrats on an already successful hunt!!

ElkNut1

From: BB
21-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Here's one more that better shows his weak back-end.

If any of you see a photo you like and would like to use as your desktop just let me know and after things settle down a bit I will be happy to email it to any of you who have shown so much interest. I thank all of you for your nice responses, PM's and email’s and even phone calls. It means a lot to me that others too, feel much like I do. Nature and its happenings are indeed special and something we must never take for granted or without proper respect.

More tomorrow.

Have a great bowhunt. BB

21-Sep-05
Great stuff BB. I've been reading and waiting all day like everyone else. Can't wait to see the rest!!

Take care, Dan

From: Shiras@home
22-Sep-05
BB I leave for my elk hunt on Friday...Are you gonna keep me in suspense until 10/3 when I next see a computer? ARGHHHH

Thanks for sharing your words and pictures!

From: Texasboy
22-Sep-05
BB great posts!! Thanks

From: BB
22-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
I headed back to camp that night really pumped up. Things seemed to be really coming on. It was by far my best night on the ground and offered me my best opportunities at multiple bulls. I was excited for Gray and Cody and felt bad that Shane would not be here to share in the last few days of my hunt.

Earlier that evening I snapped this shot of a blue grouse feeding in the aspen canopy.

From: BB
22-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
About 3 AM, Gary and Cody arrived at camp along with Gary's father in law Dion. With all the excitment and anticipation of their arrival, I did not sleep an oucne that night.

Here's a picture of the two (Cody right, Gary left), taken early the next on Tuesday morning.

From: BB
22-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Before daylight, we walked out of camp and headed for the area I hunted the previous evening. It wasn't long before we heard a nice bugle and were on a good bull, but several cow calls later and we were once again looking for elk.

It didn't take Gary or Cody long to find out that these elk could not be called. It seemed no matter what call you used, they detected human and were on their way. We would hunt them sielent and hope for the best.

The morning was a bust so to speak as the elk were not in the area they were the night before. I felt bad as I had Cody and Gary all pumped up for wild morning. But that did not materialize. We did have this little guy come running in to one of our earlier calls.

From: BB
22-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Since we were close to the camp of Ralph (the guy who took the nice bull on the 2nd day) and John we stopped by for Cody and Gary to meet those guys. John had scored on a nice bull early that morning and they had just arrived back at camp.

It just so happens that Ralph and John had been hunting in an area with a lot of elk. An area that Shane and I had camped by last year and an area that I planned to hunt. But early on I realized those guys were hunting there, so I went elsewhere.

That area was now opened up and that's where we went that afternoon.

Gary's father in law tagged along with us that afternoon.

We headed for the area where Ralph had killed his bull. We no more than got to edged of a big aspen canyon and a long, loud bugle rang out just over it's edge.

Cody and I edged forward, while Gary took up the rear with his video camera. Just in front of us was the bull that had bugled. He was a nice 6x7 probably about a 330 type bull. Cody range found the feeding, quartering away bull at 42 yards. I looked him over closely and decided that was not yet the bull I wanted to take. For the first time on this hunt, my camera was in my pack and my Ziess 10x40's occupied it spot.

For some reason I told the guys that I wanted to go hunt the area where John had taken his bull earlier that day. I knew that area better and I knew there were nice bull there.

So we hiked back to the bikes and headed in that direction. We parked by a pond that the elk use regularly and made the big loop around the edge of the wilderness that feed the elk into this area. We did not hear or see one elk that evening with the exception of some elk spotted by glassing deep in a canyon. I was dumbfounded. As time past I put it in gear and we covered a lot of country. It was the last Dion wanted to hike with us as it was pretty hard on him. He is an older guy with a few health issues and felt sorry to do that to him, but time was running out.

Here's a bull I past earlier in the hunt. The 6x7 I passed that afternoon was a better bull than this one.

I now had 3 days left.

We ate very well that evening with Dion and Gary doing the cooking.

From: herdbulll
22-Sep-05
Thanks for the great story BB. I had been waiting for your return with great anticipation. As usual you have done well. Lee

From: BB
22-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Sorry about the picture post with Gary and Cody. Actually Cody is on the left and Gary is on the right. Anyway Gary is the guy in the leafy outfit and Cody is the kid with his Dad's camo's on!

Here's another bull I pass on in the early going.

22-Sep-05
I am assuming the San Juan area in UT is limited draw? What are the odds of being drawn? Can NR apply?

From: BB
22-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
It was now getting to crunch time. Only three days left to get the job done. I had accomplished most of which I looked forward to with the exception of taking a bull and getting some good bear pictures. I had not yet laid eyes on a bear. Last year they were penetiful, but this year there seemed to be none. That bear record would not remain for balance of the hunt however!

Cody, Gary and I talked things over after their first evening. We made the decesion to return to Pine Wallows early in the morning.

There were only two stands at Pine Wallow, so that meant we would have to carry in an extra stand and get it set up by daylight. It would be an all day ordeal, but I felt my chances were as good there as anywhere, and probably better for taking a bull.

I was very optimistic and we carried not only a stand down, but two freighter frames, game bags, and sheets to keep the meat clean. The time to quit passing up elk had finally come. It was time to fill my tag.

Just after first light we were all sitting in three stands. Cody and I were in the same tree and Gary was a handshake away in an adjacent tree.

By good shooting light the winds were blowing hard and changing directions. My hopes for that dwindled as I have come to know that shifty, windy days put the already good odds even better in the elk's favor.

We heard several bugles, but I knew with the winds no elk would be seen. My only hopes for that day would be for the winds to die down or at least be steady from one direction. That didn't happen.

I felt bad for Gary and Cody as I knew somewhere things were really hot and I was torn to get out and go someplace else, but we endured the day.

Finally in the late afternoon we heard a bugle and it sounded like the bull was coming. He in fact did pay the wallow-waterhole a visit, but water at it far reaches back in the thick stuff. He then ambled off to do this thing. At least the day was not a total bust!

Here's a bull watering back at the far reaches of the wallow, in about the same area where the bull described above watered. It is not the same bull, but a bull whose photo I took much earlier in the hunt.

From: BB
22-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Just at the last shooting light of my camera, the winds died and steady downhill breeze replaced the shifty wind that hampered us all day.

Again we heard a bugle and again a bull was coming.

When this one showed up he stood on the back about 30- yards away and bugled, it during his bugle I took this shot.

From: BB
22-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
He then turned around and started to water.

Cody whispered to me, "Dad he's 32 yards." "What do you think?, I ask.

Cody's reply was, "Dad we have enough points in Colorado to draw an area where you can take a bull like that."

That was all it took so again I let another bull walk.

Two days remaining.

More later.

From: sharpstick
22-Sep-05
I am thinking of sueing BB because I will probably loose my job soon if I keep checking on this story. Your killing me man....

As always an excellent depiction of the total elk hunting experience.

Keep up the good work BB!!!

Sharpstick

22-Sep-05
Keep it coming Bill! This is awesome! You have excercised more patience than I ever could have! That is truly the sign in my oppinion of a hunter who is at peace with himself and truly enjoys not only the hunt but the journey getting there! Someday I hope to develope that patience! Don't keep us on the edge to long! Have a great day!

Chad

From: Ron
22-Sep-05
Wanta know what I think? BB is taking coo. He doesn't intend to shoot one. I think he feels that as long as he has them on film he doesn't have to have them on the ground. Thanks for the fawn Picture BB, still using it for a screen saver.

From: tradorion
22-Sep-05
So as NOT to hijack this KICK BUTT THREAD- PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go check the "BB's Trip and Camera Thread" all of you who are loving this like I am...

Rhett

From: Goodbird
22-Sep-05
I think your right Ron! Bill has already had like 10 successful seasons wrapped into less than 3 weeks without letting an arrow fly. Thats what makes archery hunting elk so fun. All the up close and personal encounters without taking a shot! No matter how many years I go between shots I still feel like it was well worth my time and effort for all the encounters. Congrats on your success there Bill! You have done well!!!!!!

From: dreamingbig
22-Sep-05
In order to bowhunt you need a ton of patience. This is well known and understated fact by all of us who take part in this amazing sport. I tend to think BB is simply trying to reinforce this concept. :)

How else can you pass up all of those bulls if you are not patient?

That said I will continue to be patient and wait for the end to this amazing story/hunt! Hopefully next year (with bull tag in hand) I will be able to do the same.

Patience! I will always hate it, but know that I can't be a successful bowhunter without it!

From: NvaGvUp
22-Sep-05
Ron,

Ya' know, I was just wondering the same thing; "Maybe he's not going to take a bull at all. Maybe he's enjoying the total experience too much to actually drop the string."

22-Sep-05
Fantastic, Bill!

Some of us see these things, but you've captured them and related the story.

Thanks so much! I'm headed back to camp this afternoon to try for a good bull in the last three days of the hunt. After closing this thread, I'm going to be a mess until I get back into the elk.

From: snag
22-Sep-05
BB has seen, UP CLOSE, more "shooters" in a couple of weeks than I have over the past 10 yrs. I hope to get that experience someday. How cool to be able to share that with you son and friends!

From: GregE
22-Sep-05

GregE's Link
I'm finally able to log on again. THis is quite a read!!

There's something about the serial story presentation that makes it work. 8^) I've got one from CO last year at the link. Lets keep the comments here just about this great epic thread.

Greg

22-Sep-05
this is actually a very frustrating post because, the hunt is about shooting a trophy and I've seen pages of trophy animals in this post. Nature, it's good to appreciate, soaking red arrows, gotta appreciate those as well! he better have shot something!

sbh

From: Ron
22-Sep-05

Ron's embedded Photo
Ron's embedded Photo
Why? My late father-in-law gave me this tin piece of art before he died. It came from Germany right after the war. May be a little hard to see but it is an early hunter that comes upon a great stag in the forest with a cross between it's rack. The hunter is knelled down and the hunting dogs appear to be humbled. I don't know what it really means but to me it is simply saying that you don't have to kill every thing in the Forest, somethings just need to remain. BB, your welcome at my camp fire any day.

From: NvaGvUp
22-Sep-05
I think we should all show up at BB's house at 5:00 this evening and force the rest of the story out if him! LOL!

Awesome thread, Bill!

From: go-in-huntin
22-Sep-05
What a sight that would be, we would all probably get arrested!

From: OBH
22-Sep-05
Yeah, but it would serve him right...lol!

From: bullelkklr
22-Sep-05
With all those bulls in that limited district area I am sure that there are a plenty of bulls left to service the cows around there.

From: 'Ike' @Work
22-Sep-05
"this is actually a very frustrating post because, the hunt is about shooting a trophy and I've seen pages of trophy animals in this post. Nature, it's good to appreciate, soaking red arrows, gotta appreciate those as well! he better have shot something!

sbh"

You're kidding right??? If not, you should be!!!

From: bullelkklr
22-Sep-05
I am sure that in the last 2 days that BB was doing all he could to arra a good bull - he isn't one to let a tag like that go unpunched if possible.

From: Sully
22-Sep-05
I know , I know what happens !

Bobby wakes up to find his wife Pam in the shower ONLY to realize the whole past season has been a dream and Sue Ellen Really didn't shoot JR !

From: Blue Buck
22-Sep-05
Ron - that artwork is of Saint Hubert, the Patron Saint of Hunting. A google search on him will bring up plenty to read about him. FYI

From: Rob
22-Sep-05
Just markin my spot guys. I want to know where I left off.

Rob

From: BB
22-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
I was now down to my last two days and the pressure was being to build. I had little room for error or bad decisions. Cody and Gary both told me they were there to help and what ever I wanted to do, they would gladly support me.

It was time to put the camera away for the most part and start hunting to fill my tag. I mulled over and over what I should do and finally decided my best chance, this late in the game, would be sitting another day at Pine Wallow. If only the wind would just be normal (if there really is such a thing as a normal wind).

They supported me in my decision, so early the next morning found us back at Pine Wallows. The elk around camp were going nuts so I had a good feeling.

But it was different at Pine Wallows, not a single bugle could be heard. But I had hunted there enough times to know that many times the elk don't hit that area until after 8 AM. We all anxiously awaited their arrival.

By 10 AM there had been not an elk and not a bugle. I felt I didn't have the option to wait them out. I decided to take down the stands and pack them out so we would have one less thing to do as my hunt ended.

We all packed a stand and the climbers and our gear up the hill towards our bikes. The wind again was blowing hard. It was frustrating.

We headed back to camp and dropped the stand and gear and then road the bikes down to the low country. Gary's father in law road with us and took one bike back to camp while Cody, Gary and I hiked the low country. Our plan was to find and hunt elk wherever they were. We were up and down as the remaining time dictated we waist not a second. Hardly before we knew it we were below Aspen Wallows. As we approached that area I was amazed at how it had been trashed by the elk since I had removed my stands. What a big mistake! It was plain to see there had been many more elk at Aspen Wallows than at Pine Wallows.

In minutes we were back at camp. Dion seemed surprised we had covered so much country so fast. There was no time to stop and so we headed south to the area where I had my close encounter with the big bull in the dark. The balance of the evening was spent over there with the shifty winds.

Finally we heard a good bugle far below us. It seemed to becoming from the area of the aspen draw where the elk travel to the higher country from their bedding grounds. We all hustled down to try to intercept that bull.

By now the wind was more steady. There was a steady downhill draft. The only problem was the bull was below us. So we kept to the north and headed towards him. Louder and louder his bugle became and closer and closer we got.

Finally my son says, "There he is Dad". He was a very nice 5x6 bull. Much like the one Shane had taken last year. He had huge whale tails on both sides with a smaller sixth point on one side. I would be happy with him.

He had just come out of the south side of the aspen draw when Cody saw him. He was now heading pretty much west in the large Ponderosa pines. He was about 125 yards out in front of me and some 60 yards below me. Gary set up his video camera and Cody and I headed for the bull. He would walk s few paces, stop and bugle and then move on. When he did that, we would line ourselves up behind the big trucks of the Ponderosa's and move forward. We were now just 60 yards from the bull. I wanted to be 40 yards of less, so we moved forward as our paths were taking us on a collision course. At about 40 yards the bull stopped and bugled. I made another move towards the bull, hidden by a larger Ponderosa. I was going to get a shot. Cody stayed put at our last stopping spot. As I snuck up and as Gary bugled, the bull took off and my hopes for that evening slipped away.

Gary who had stayed back over 100 yards caught this all on video. When you view it, it looks like I was only 10 yards from the bull when he ran.

Darkness set in and we headed back to camp. I was now down to one final day of what had been a fantastic adventure.

From: BB
22-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
I ment to attach this photo to the last post. It's not the same bull, but one that I saw earlier in the same area and that looks quite a bit like the bull that evening.

The final chapter soon, as my daughter needs the computer. I really had hoped to get it done tonight. Who knows that may still happen.

From: snag
22-Sep-05
First the dog then the daughter....it sounds like you're a family man...lol...where's your priorities, man? I love the way you leave us hanging. It would be hard to do what you did. Having to pass on so many bulls to get the opportunity to shoot "the bull of a lifetime". Like the saying says, "if you shoot the small ones you don't get the chance to shoot the big ones".

22-Sep-05
Can't wait Bill, although you have already given us a lifetime of elk encounters to remember. What an experience!

From: idahoElk
22-Sep-05
Oh my Gosh, The suspense!!!!! I'll tune back again to be sure. I'm sure I'm not the only one that has logged onto this thread 15 times a day just in case there is more posted. Thanks for the memories Bill.

From: NvaGvUp
22-Sep-05
BB,

I'm going to be over-nighting in Park City a week from tonight. I swear, if you haven't finished this thriller by then, I'll camp out at your doorstep! LOL!

From: Deerman1
22-Sep-05
BB

Did I ever mention that I'm officially up for adoption????

Deerman1

From: tradorion
22-Sep-05
BB- did i mention my strong back and very weak mind that you could Jedi mind trick into camping with you and packing out for you??

From: Travis
22-Sep-05

Travis's Link
Been keeping an eye on this thread from day one...excellent!! It`s just killing me that I didn`t get to go this year. I will be chasing bulls next year no doubt! BB--thanks for taking us along on the hunt brutha....you know that KS whitetail hunt is still up for trade right????? :)...Great stuff. Drop me an e-mail after your season slows down.. ltravis2@cox.net or click on my link to my taxidermy website..

From: woodsman
22-Sep-05
Good God Man, say you took an elk...

From: inthewoods
22-Sep-05
I have read many of your past posts BB and always thought a lot of you and your class inthe way you look at things. I just sat down after a friend told me this was a must read. This is by far the longest thread I have ever read in one sitting, and I'm dying to know the end.

From: BowFire
22-Sep-05
shooot the biiig elllk!!

From: BB
22-Sep-05
The Final Chapter: The Last Day

Part I

Back at camp we ate and talked about the day. I now had less than 24 hours before my hunt would end. I needed to choose a good plan for the last day.

I was aware of all the elk around Aspen Wallows. I was also aware that the elk from Pine Wallows and other areas would come together after dark and rut. Dion told us of all the elk just below Aspen Wallow that he had seen while out riding his four wheeler. After much discussion, I decided we would start the morning hunt at the foothills below Aspen Wallows.

I wanted to be there early and make sure the elk were there. There would be no time to make a mistake and hunt an area without elk. That's okay on day one, but not on the last day when you have yet to fill your tag.

Shortly after 5 AM we parked the four wheelers, just off the main road and started hiking to our pre determined. destination. Bugles broke the silence from the moment we shut down the bikes. It was like nothing I had ever heard in all the 35 years I have hunted elk with a bow.

Soon we were surrounded by screaming bulls. We could hardly whisper to one another. I would not be exaggerating by saying that 5 seconds was a huge lapse between bugles. Most of the time it was non stop. One bugle after another. The rut had officially in begun!

It was still several days before the full moon and by this time the moon had set and it was pitch black. Using this curtain of darkness we moved to the middle of the action. It was electrifying to say the least.

Horns clashed as bulls fought and the noise and non stop commotion left one spell bound, while your ears were filled with the constant ringing of screaming bulls gone rut crazy!

Fifty or sixty different bulls, perhaps more, screamed their war calls and battled for cows. There were animals running all around us and it was actually spooky.

We had move to the center of the action and were standing by an old fence. It was still pitch black. Hoof sounds echoed around us and glunks, bugles, moans, and all sorts of rutting sounds could be heard. Things were nuts.

Then all of a sudden there was a loud clash of horns just a short distance away. Hooves grabbing dirt and a fierce scramble for the a winning push could be heard just yards away. Then the fence we were standing by sounded as if it was hit by a thousand cars at one time. I remember my son saying, We've got to get out of here or were going to get killed.

It was like nothing that had ever happened to me. It was scary, but totally awesome. It had shaken us all.

But as the eastern sky started to lighten the commotion lessened but the bulls still screamed. But they were leaving. Bugles began to distance and the elk were leaving this rendevous site. They dispersed in all directions. And soon the elk were on their way to their bedding areas. And for the first time in over a half hour we would actually hear each other whisper.

Which herd do I follow? The one with 20 bulls above us, or the one with 10 just under Aspen Wallows, or should I go for the easy country just to the north of Aspen Wallows where at least 15 or more bugling bulls were heading.

Part II of my final day to be continued soon.

From: BB
22-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Here's a picture quite near where all this action took place.

From: Mizzoukispot
22-Sep-05
I definately want to know what happens but the waiting is getting kind of corny.

From: NvaGvUp
22-Sep-05
BB,

YOU"RE DRIVING US ALL CRAZY!!!!!!!

;^)

From: BB
22-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
My daugher is waiting for the computer, so I am sorry about that. We only have one line to the internet and she needs it.

Here's a picture just as day is breaking. I can still hear the bulls screaming when I look at this picture.

I promise I will end this before my friend Rich get here tomorrow for his mule deer hunt.

From: AZBUGLER
22-Sep-05
AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! There. Now I feel better. How awesome!

From: SteveCo
22-Sep-05
NOT corny BB. Love the tale and your telling of it! Thanks for sharing so much with us.

From: 'Ike'
22-Sep-05
AAaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!! I knew it, I knew it!!! I rushed home for this and look!!!

From: gil_wy@home
22-Sep-05
BB, You're killin' me man!!! Got to finish the story....Pretty, pretty, pretty, please?????

22-Sep-05
Maybe, after BB drops the other shoe, you girls can all get together for some Dr Peppers and a pillow fight!!!! TEE HEE!!!

From: hunt forever
23-Sep-05
That last day of hunting for BB makes me wish that Utah would move the bow hunt a little later in the month. great story.

From: Rob
23-Sep-05
Fantastic story BB. Can't wait to read the ending but don't want the story to be over either. This is exciting stuff.

Rob

From: Mr Wapiti
23-Sep-05
MARKER :)

From: thundergut
23-Sep-05
I am now late for an appointment cuz I couldn't leave without reading eveything. Holy moly. What a rush that morning must have been!

From: BB
23-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Part II. The Final Day.

The elk had dispersed and were now heading, in their separate herds, to their bedding area. We now had to decide which way and which group to follow.

There were bulls bugling high on the hill just south of us and so we choose to head in that direction. It was a high hill with a roll of cliffs near its top.

The bugles were still ringing, but only a fraction of those we witnessed just one hour prior.

It was now light enough to shoot but the few elk that remained were high on the hill above us. We made our way towards them. I could hear a nice bull bugling in a high basin so I made my way towards him. Cody and Gary lagged behind to bugle and call. The bull was in a frenzy, pushing his cows and running off satellite bulls. Soon he disappeared over an eastern ridge.

Finally Cody and Gary joined me and I ask Gary to bugle. He had taken off his bugle when he shed some clothes and forgot to pick it up. He said he would drop back down and get it as Cody and I headed for the elk. He would rejoin us around the mountain.

The elk we were following had crossed into a major canyon south of us. This was going to be an all day ordeal, and a tough one at that.

We headed back for the bikes and left one where we thought we might come out. We then got in Gary's truck and drove it to the bottom of the canyon and began a hike towards the elk.

There was little sign in the lower elevations of the canyon but as we gained altitude we began to get into sign. Soon we could hear distant bugles, but the ugly wind was now strong and shifty. That is exactly what I hoped would not happen.

Cody spotted a nice bull on a nearby ridge but it had already seen us and disappeared down a south slope. We topped out on that ridge and could look to the south and see elk. Faint bugles could be heard, so playing the wind, as best we could, we headed in that direction.

By now it was late morning, perhaps noon. We were nearing the half way point of our climb from the bottom to the top. To our south, elk were bugling. We headed in that direction. Although I had only been through this country one time on Shane’s hunt, I knew were nearing Pine Wallows. I pulled out my GPS and checked and it was less than 1/2 mile to our south. That is exactly where the bugles were coming from. I began to wish I had not made the decision to take down the stands, just as I wished I had left the stand in at Aspen Wallows. Both were very poor decisions.

The bugles dictated where we headed and soon we were on the door step of Pine Wallows. As Cody neared the edge of the meadow opening that is adjacent to the wallows, he could hear and see a nice bull wallowing less than 30 yards from the tree that held our stands just days before. The bull finished and moved off.

Elk were bugling all around the trashed wallows. We moved in to inspect. I most certainly had removed the stands prematurely.

We knew the bulls were coming to the wallows and we knew more would be coming. There was no doubt of that fact. The question was what should we do?

Hurriedly we made a ground blind and began our wait.

The picture above is the ground blind we made. Gary had a whole for videoing and I had a good shooting whole. If only the wind would co-operate, we should have a chance.

Here Cody looks out my shooting hole while Gary sets up his camera.

From: BB
23-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Here's one more picture of the finished blind. Notice Gary to the right of Cody. His camo was exceptional!

We decided to do this and the winds were just to shifty. This area seems to have some protection from the wind.

I knew the fate of my hunt now laid in the hands of the wind more than in my own hands. And of that I had no control.

From: BB
23-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Here's Gary in wait of big bull with his camera ready!

From: BB
23-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
The winds increased and conditions got worst. But the bulls still were bugling all around us and a few headed for the wallow only to wind us.

After an hour or so the winds seems to die some and a nice sounding bull was coming to the wallow. One could trace his travel route by his endless bugle. Soon he was well within 100 yards and still coming. Then the wind switched and he went quite, and soon started to bark. As time past a few others tried to come in but went silent.

It was now late afternoon and my time had come to bid this special place a final farewell. But my experiences here will forever keep this place very close to my heart. It has to be the most elky place I have ever been! I hope to return some year again if only to take pictures.

Here's another picture of the last bull I happened to photo at Pine Wallows.

From: jorjen
23-Sep-05
darnit!!!!!

Great story and what an adventure BB!!!

:^D

From: BB
23-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
The last hours of my hunt would take place where ever the elk and the winds would dictate.

The elk were screaming as we hiked above pine wallow towards the top of the mountain.

Our plan was to line out 30 - 40 yards apart and just cow call as we headed up hill. It wasn't long before we had several bulls attention, and for the first time calling became really effective. Several bulls came rushing towards us to correl the cow they heard, only to be busted by the ever swirling wind. It was frustrating to say the least, but still very exciting not knowing the final outcome.

At long last the leaves were starting to change and the elk rut had begun!

23-Sep-05
Trip of a lifetime. Great story, Tim

From: thundergut
23-Sep-05
Fantastic BB. Sorry you didn't get a bull, but I get the feeling that doesn't matter. What an experience.

From: n2mywake
23-Sep-05
It ain't over yet boys...

From: NvaGvUp
23-Sep-05
thundergut,

Don't count ol' Bill out yet. He's still got some time left!

Go Bill!!

From: BB
23-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
One of my great disappointments on this hunt had been the fact that I had not laid eyes on a bear. I had hope to have some great bear pictures, as last year we had seen many bears on Shane's hunt.

But that quickly changed as we hiked towards the top of the mountain.

Gary and Cody were calling as we headed up the hill and I was too until a bull headed our way and then I went quite and slipped out in front of the guys. This tactic was working great. The only spoiler was the erratic wind.

Another bull answered and was heading our way and I moved out in front to face him. Suddenly the thick oak bush ahead of me sounded as if a bull dozer was headed my way. I took my stance and could tell from the brush were the bull would come. I was ready!

All of sudden an large black bear ran into the opening stopping just 15 yards away. It was beautiful and its coal black hide shined in the late afternoon sunshine.

I immediately went for my camera but the movement scared the bear and it was gone in a flash. At least I had finally seen a bear and for that I was grateful.

Now my camera was again hanging around my neck, a place it had occupied for most of this hunt, with the exception of the past two days.

We moved forward and up hill and again another bull tried to come in but winded us. I got a quick photo of him just before he departed. It's the picture with this post. Notice the limbs covering part of his vital's. I could get no shot before he smelled us an blew out.

From: MNBowMan
23-Sep-05
unreal...

From: thundergut
23-Sep-05
LOL. What is that phrase...something about a fat lady singing? LOL. GO GET EM BB!

From: gil_wy@home
23-Sep-05
This is the biggest tease ever....if you don't have a big finish to this, I'm going to have to start calling you........my wife.....

From: gil_wy@home
23-Sep-05
Metaphorically speaking, of course.....;)

23-Sep-05
News Flash!

Unemployment for the US has spiked up .2% due to the fact that a bunch of bowhunters have been fired, for reading about some guy's elk hunt while on company time!

From: jde512
23-Sep-05
SHHHHHH! Brian, my boss will hear you.

From: ELKiller
23-Sep-05
I leave in an hour for a last ditch effort at an elk, and don't want to until I hear what happened!

From: BB
23-Sep-05
I can only apologize for the last part of carrying out this thread.

My daughter, who goes to the University of Utah, was on the computer all night. I got up at 4 am to finish this but she was down here working.

At about 7 she signed off and I signed on to finish up. I posted my last post and then wrote the final part, which was quite long. I was just completing it when she came in and said she needed the computer. Long story short, in my hurries, I deleted all I had written.

Frustrated, I turned the computer over to her and took the dog for a walk.

Anyway that is what happened.

I have a good friend flying in today to go deer hunting here above the city, so I really don't have much time, but I promised to finish this today and so I will, hopefully.

From: BB
23-Sep-05

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Soon after the bear incident we had more bulls coming but again the winds failed us.

We were now passing the old road where we had been parking our bikes when we hunted Pine Wallows. We left behind several bugling bulls as we headed up hill, hoping for a more forgiving wind and bigger bulls. Soon we were at the top end of the aspen draw where just the evening before I had come close to getting a good shot at the huge 5 point bull.

We could hear distant bugles far in front of us and it sounded like a great bull. We were now in the Ponderosa-Oak mix. The going was much easier, and far less steep, so we could make good time. It wasn’t long before Cody saw some cows and then we saw the bull. He was a nice 350 class herd bull, tailing the herd and bugling every minute or so. As we closed the distance a cow spotted us and off they ran.

In less than 15 minutes we spotted another herd, below and to our west. The winds had indeed settled a bit and my hopes soared. Cody and Gary would stay put and would move forward and towards the elk. Once in position they would begin cow calling and hopefully a nice satellite bull would come over to check these hot cows.

I got in position and the started to call. By this time they both were really with the program. Their calls sounded real and very enticing. They were in tune with what was happening.

The herd bull had had enough, and started towards the beckoning cow calls. His path would take him directly in front of me. For the first time since early morning, I felt is was going to happen. He was a very nice 6x6, probably a 340-350 class bull. He was much bigger than anything I had ever taken and I had no time left to be fussy.

The bull left his cows and started to circle down wind of me. If the wind would just hold, I would get my shot. It didn’t and he was gone. Hurriedly we headed up hill and to the north. We could hear no bugles. Time was now of the issuance. There was only about 40 minutes of shooting light left when we crossed into a large opening. Cody stopped and glassed the area he could see from that opening. Dad he said, “There’s a big herd of elk below the canyons of Aspen Wallows.

It was a long ways, but it was our remaining hope. So off the hill we fled.

I’ll post this so I don’t take a chance of losing it.

From: oneshot1kill
23-Sep-05
man what a story, you really make it feel like we all were along for your hunt. thanks

From: BB
23-Sep-05
Luckily, we had parked one bike near the top of the mountain and just 5 minutes away with a quick pace. We ran off the mountain and to my bike. I handed Cody my bow and he and Gary jumped on the back and away we sped towards the elk.

On the ride Cody had noticed I had broken or bent every single pin on my bow. It was just not be that I would end up with a bull, I guess it just wasn’t in the cards.

But as I continued on, he got my main pin, the 30 yarder, back in service. That was all I had ever really intended to use anyway. I had also busted the peep tube as I ran off the hill, but that too was an easy fix and I was back in business by the time I parked the bike.

Several rifle hunters, whose hunt opened the next morning, had scared the elk and they were in the opening with their spotting scopes glasslng for the bull they hoped would fill their tags.

Elk were bugling just above them, so we said hi and hurried up the hill. There was only 10 good minutes of shooting light left, but the bulls were coming and it still wasn't over!

I ran and got set up in front of a small Christmas tree, in the middle of a good opening. Bulls bugled immediately above me. I was cutting it short, but there was still time.

Cody and Gary settled in 40 yards apart, just to my right, in a thick patch of oaks and they began to cow call and rake and make all kinds of commotion.

Instantly a cow appeared above me and ran into the opening, and following her was an anxious bull. She kept coming towards the cow calls and bull followed her. He stopped forty yard up hill and in front of me.

I watched this smaller Colorado type bull for several minutes. Then they both become aware something was not quite right and headed back into the trees. The bulls above screamed as darkness enveloped the area. My hunt had come and gone and I would not fill my tag.

My son walked over and said, "Sorry Dad., but you made the right decision .” Gary shook my hand and we headed for the bikes.

For those of you who I let down, I'm sorry. I made many mistakes and at points, in time, acted like I had never hunted elk. If I had told this story without pictures, people would have called me a lair. But it was real and the experience was very moving.

From an old hunter ( I will be 65 in February) who once had so much kill in him, I was really starting to sense the real essence of bowhuntng is in the experience and not just in the kill. Oh, sure the kill is important, but I had experienced the most important part of bowhunting, the closeness of all the animals and I witnessed their means and their ways at close hand. And I was blessed not with a huge rack, but a hunt that few will ever be fortunate to experience and for that I am most grateful.

I'll end this now, but I will make a few more posts, one telling about what happened the very next day with Gary and Cody. That too is well worth keeping your dial set right here.

I will post that as time permits, hopefully today or within the next few days.

I want to thank all of you who have shown so much interest and for all who were cheering for me. I truly appreciate it. I've had people look up my number and call me. I've had emails, and I've had PM's. I know my story has touch some, much like it touched me.

Long live the great endeavor of bowhunting. Is it any wonder why it's my number 1 passion?

Have a great bowhunt and may God bless each of you.. BB

From: Kevin
23-Sep-05
Congratulations on a terrific hunt. I know it was just as fulfilling for you as if you would have killed a bull. Thanks for sharing!

Kevin

From: jorjen
23-Sep-05
:and the audience stands and applauds long and loudly:

:^D

From: COHunter
23-Sep-05
You are an honorable hunter and I thank you for sharing this. God has already blessed you in this exciting hunt and thru you, many of us as well.

Long live the wonderful and majestic bull Elk !!

From: bmhuntin
23-Sep-05
That is one of the most successful hunts that I have ever "witnessed". I truely enjoyed the "experience". I can't wait for next year, as I was not able to get out west this year.

You should really compile this and get it published.

Bowriter, any help?

Brad

From: Rob
23-Sep-05
Fantastic adventure and story BB. The story and pics may not taste like elk but they will last longer than any freezer full of meat would. Thanks again for sharing and I will be waiting for your next post.

Rob

From: OHBowhntr
23-Sep-05
BB, As previously dubbed, this would have to be the "GREATEST ELK HUNT THREAD EVER!!!" Thanks so much for sharing/bringing each of us along on such a wonderful journey.

Doug

From: Sully
23-Sep-05
Well Crap , almost 300 post and no hero shot photo what a rip !

23-Sep-05
i retract what I first said. After 30 some years of bowhunting I will probably hunt alot more like you. But Im only 4 years into it so it's hard for me to understand right now. The kill is still very very important to me

sbh

From: nowheels
23-Sep-05
BB, I'll admit I was a little disappointed that you didn't kill a bull, but that hunt couldn't be any more of a success in my opinion!

Thanks for telling the story, showing the pictures, and sharing the lessons you learned. This story was not only exciting to read, but it was packed with dozens of little tips and tidbits of knowledge that a novice (planning) elk hunter like myself can glean.

I'll be keeping an eye out for your posts in the future!

David

From: DonV
23-Sep-05
Awesome BB and congrat's on a great elk hunt and thanks for sharing.

23-Sep-05
You haven't let me down. You have captured in pictures and words, what words alone cannot describe. Many bowhunters have had small glimpses of what you have experienced, yet without pictures, most of these stories are passed off as just stories, or the audience cannot relate to the experience. The pics and words have allowed many to live through your experiences. Everyone has eaten tags, and none taste better than the one you own, as seasoned with your own efforts.

Brian

From: No Bark
23-Sep-05
BB What a nice job of letting us all in on a hunt that many of us may never get to have. I've bowhunted elk all over the west in the last 20 years and never had that consistant day-in, day-out success. Incredible. Can you tell us roughly how many bulls you passed? very cool.

From: gil_wy@home
23-Sep-05
Thanks BB! That was great.

From: MF
23-Sep-05
Thanks!

From: Timbuck2
23-Sep-05
Thanks BB for everything. I can relate to your entire hunt and all the emotions that went with it as I went through many similar last year on my Utah LE archery hunt.

Congratulations on a very successful hunt. With such documentation, your posterity will be endeared to you for decades to come.

Thanks again for such a fine story and representation of what bowhunting is all about.

From: Southfork
23-Sep-05
Thank you very much for all the time you put into that story, I appreciate it very much!! Its refreshing to see something of that caliber on a hunting board...it was a masterpiece. Thanks again. Southfork.

From: sticksender
23-Sep-05
Thanks BB. The most important tip I have picked up from your posts is that I'm hunting elk in the wrong area. Its incredible that a region is that lousy with elk!

From: HoTm00n
23-Sep-05
I've learned a few very important lessons from this thread, and i will try not to make the same mistake BB made in his hunt.

1. the first few days of my hunt I will enjoy taking pics and the outdoor but after that I will get seroius about the hunt and focus more on taking an elk (any elk)unless I am after a trophy Elk !

2. I will use my bow more then my cam,, because after all, this is a hunting trip not a PICNIC nor a scout trip.

Sorry BB maybe we have alot to learn yet, and maybe the enjoyment come from being out there and not getting the bull.. I guess years of hunting will tell.

God bless

From: bullelkklr
23-Sep-05
BB has reached a point in his hunting career that many will never reach - it can't be totally understood until you get there! I am in maybe stage 2 or 3 of the 4 main stages that a hunter goes through. After getting multiple chances in close at elk this year but passing on only 1 bull and coming home with no elk I cannot truly say that I have no regret of not bringing home elk meat. BUT in 15 years or so I am certain that I will have absolutely no problem with coming home empty handed but full of satisfaction.

I did not see the quality nor quantity of bulls that BB did on my trip this year but I do share in an empty freezer and I had the best archery elk hunt that I have ever had on my solo 24 day horsepack trip. You don't have to put elk in the freezer to have had a totally great time that will never be forgotten.

From: NvaGvUp
23-Sep-05
Bill, You're simply the best! Thanks!

From: Elkslayer
23-Sep-05
BB, I admire and respect you more than any other Bowhunter that I know. You spend your own time to teach all of us on this site every day of our lives. I wish that I had the experience that you had on your hunt.....the Dutton kicked my butt and I was not in the amount of elk that you were seeing. When I think of Bowhunting ( almost daily ) your name always comes in my mind.....I ask my self " what would BB do here? ". Cody and the rest of your family are surely blessed to have you as their father and husband, we are blessed to have you as our friend and mentor. Thanks for taking your time to teach my how to sharpen snuffers and I would love to come and sit on one of your stands with you this year....just to learn. Your friend, Alan Pringle

23-Sep-05
Great hunt BB!!!

Thanks for sharing it. It was very inspiring.

TF

23-Sep-05
Bill, I commend you on your patience. Having waited as long as you have for that San Juan tag only to have to make tag soup of it is pretty hard to swallow.

I know that I had wanted to wait for enough points to draw that tag, but at 55 and with the changes on the horizon throughout the west as far as non resident tags is concerned, I opted for that Bookcliffs tag. I am not sorry I did.

Utah can be proud of its game management, albeit it is on the conservative side and the archery season should extend until the end of September. Can you imagine shooting those rutting bulls with a rifle, the day after your hunt ended? I told Shawn it would be like shooting fish in a barrel; he laughed and said yeah right, but Monday he called and said they had shot a 350 and a 380 on Anthro, and they got a 360 out of the area I hunted on Sunday. The only thing hard would have been the pack out.

Again, thanks for pointing me in Shawn's direction. Now I guess I'll have to put in for mule deer as I have a 5 year wait before I can put in for elk again.

BTW, are you planning on doing CO next year? I'll have 11 points (or 12) and am thinking about 61.

23-Sep-05
Wow! Thanks for sharing BB. I felt like we were all right there with you. Great friends, great exeriences, great story. Glad Cody could come along with you too. 2 thumbs up!

From: c3
23-Sep-05
I'll tell you guys a little story about BB.

He came by my shop about a week before he left for the San Juan unit. We exchanged all the pleasantries and such and then I asked him the hard question. What are holding out for?

Here was his answer. "I'm going to be there all by myself at first and simply take a lot of pictures. Even if a 400" bull comes in I'm just going to shoot it with my camera, then when my buddies Shane and Gary get there I'll take a bull even if it's only a 330 bull."

I don't know if he even remembers those words, but my wife was right here in my office with me when he said it.

He followed his plan to a T. He executed exactly what he intended all the way up until the killing didn't happen.

I can assure you he is thoroughly disappointed at not harvesting a nice bull.

I've seen, personally the disappointment on his face as he showed me the pics of that one monster bull in the wallow. The disappointment in his face at my expression of disbelief. The pain in recounting not being able see his pins on the biggest bull he'd ever seen at only 15 yards.

I can't speak for him, but I'm sure that there are two sides to the story here. One is of an incredible pictorial story for all of us and the other is of deep regret and I'm sure frustration at not getting his once in a lifetime bull on the San Juan.

Bill and I are on opposite sides of the spectrum. He's killed 34 elk in 30 something years. I've killed one cow in 25 years of bow hunting them.

While I don't have any of the stories or pics to go with it, I do know the feeling all too well of what it's like to go home empty handed after giving it everything you have. The pain of and the joy of the hunt go hand in hand when they turn out this way.

Bill, thanks for allowing me to see and listen to it all. My shoulder hurts right now and it probably will again on my LE hunt next year or the next. I might need a lefty to pull my bow back for me down there :)

Cheers, Pete

From: dj
23-Sep-05
A few days back there was a thread "What is a Trophy??"....the experience provided us here is the ultimate trophy...not the horns on the wall....not the meat in the pot, but memories, experiences shared with friends, adventures (ie. the pre-dawn morning of the bugling elk), and raw nature.

Wonderful post BB.

Thanks for sharing!

God Bless!

From: Yendor
23-Sep-05
BB as always WWWWWOOOOOOWWWWW, and thanks.

From: Grizshooter
23-Sep-05
Truly an amazing story and an awesome experience to read. The pictures made it all the better as well. Thanks for sharing it with us BB, Griz

From: Horn Seeker
23-Sep-05
I wish you'da come home with that big ******* from in the wallow when Shane was there!!

Other than that, that was an amazing hunt and I would consider taking time off in the fall just to come down and be in that area!!! WOW!

You are always welcome in my camp in Montana, dont ever forget that!

Thanks Bill!

From: deadhorse
23-Sep-05
FAR OUT

From: WW
23-Sep-05
Bill, that dang camera will get you in trouble every time. You should have been squeezing releases instead of shutters.

Looks like you had a memorable hunt to say the least and you do have the pictures to look back on. Congratulations on that.

From: jde512
23-Sep-05
Nothing to apologize for. Thanks for taking time to share your hunt with all of us. I felt like I was right there with you and commend you for sticking to your plan. You got the most out of your trip and have amazed and encouraged all of us who have read your story. Thanks BB.

From: Elksong
23-Sep-05
BB, Thanks for the Thread it was really exciting. I was hoping for your smiling face standing next to one of those big boys at the end. Only because I think you of all people deserve one. As far as elk hunting goes very few people can stand up and say they have the knowledge you have. You are a great guy and I miss "chatting" with you and would still enjoy a face to face meeting someday.

Jason

From: Travis
23-Sep-05
****Booner*****---Hey bud could you drop me an e-mail...I need to talk with ya... ltravis2@cox.net

BB--Man oh man...a guy could pass away and go to heaven after a hunt like that..That big guy you passed on in the wallow was an unbelievable bull..I don`t know how you didn`t pull back on that one..personally I think you were enjoying your hunt waaaay to much and just didn`t want it to end...tag soup isn`t all that bad...thanks again BB

From: 'Ike' @Work
23-Sep-05
Truly, truly a great hunt!!! Thanks for sharing Bill!!! All the best in your future hunts..........

From: JTV
23-Sep-05
I was suppose to be doing an inventory, and for the last hour and a half Ive been reading a fantastic story..BB your the MAN. What a way to spend an afternoon at work... reading a great story from a great guy...WOW. This has been one heck of a ride...THANK YOU !..Jeff

23-Sep-05
Thanks BB, that is the best thread on here in a long time. The amount of elk you were in to was incredible.

Thank you, OS

From: Tree Killer
23-Sep-05
BB...I just tuned in to this thread this afternoon before heading out for an evening hunt. Congratulations on great bowhunt, what a blast you had!!!

That "dog" critter you photo'd a couple weeks ago, was that by any chance a "Red Wolf" that is wandering the southwest?

Thanks for all the time it took to post the pics, much appreciated.

Tree Killer

From: BB
23-Sep-05
Many thanks to all of you for letting me string you along for so long only to find out I didn't get a bull.

Back at camp, the hunt over, Gary, Cody and I talked. They wanted to go back down to the rendevous area an hour or more before light and hear and watch that fiasco once again. They ask me to join them. I declined.

After what I had gone through and paid witness to, for the last 3 plus weeks, I could not bare to watch some rifle hunter down one of those magnificent bulls, as he laid his rifle over the hood of his truck.

Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against rifle hunting. I took more than my share of animals by that means while growing up in Wyoming. But as bad as I wanted to get more pictures, that was something I was not prepared to watch.

The other guys, including Cody, were sleeping in a trailer and I was sleeping under my truck shell. For years I have awakened long before daylight. Before 5 a.m. I noticed one head lamp and heard one bike start and drive away. I took for granted that Cody had decided to sleep in and that just Gary had gone down to watch and witness the elk.

I was up before daylight and got some hot water going and ate a small breakfast. I heated plenty of water so Cody and I could clean up before heading home, and then I began to break camp. There were very bugles and most of the ones I heard were very distant.

At about 8 I went over and knocked on Dion'[s door and ask him to tell Cody it was time to get ready to go. He said Cody had left to go watch the elk with Gary.

Ironically the morning was whisper quite. There was no wind for the first time in days. It was a most beautiful morning, and I was far enough away from the action that I could not hear one rifle shot.

Nine and then ten came and past. By then I had dropped the tent, and had things about ready to go, with the exception of Cody's personal gear for the trip home.

At about 15 past 10 I heard a cow call and looked up to see Cody and Gary come walking into camp on the trail I had used for my route to Aspen Wallows.

What they related was unbelievable to most, except to one who had witnessed about the same thing 24 hours earlier.

The difference on this day happened to be the elk had moved over and were under Aspen Wallows. The guys realized early on from the bugles and made their move to them in the dark.

They called in no less than 9 or 10 different bulls. Many as close as 20 yards, and few right up to them. Not one bull got their scent on that windless morning until after it would have been too late.

When they hit Aspen Wallows it was trashed and two bulls were there doing there thing. It was an another incredible morning for them. And as Gary put it, it was his finest hour in the wilds, he had never been witness to anything like that in his life, not even the morning before.

For years I have fought for better bowhunting seasons in Utah. It was not until the very last day that the bulls could be called. I vow to try hard to get at least 5 more days on the end of our elk bow season. That is something we all need to support.

On the way home Cody told me that I could have easily filled my tag that windless morning. How ironic that it waited until the rifle season opened.

Shortly afer pulling on the main road and very near camp, I pulled over to pass a truck with orange jackets. I rolled down the window and ask how the hunt was going. Unbelievably they had not seen an elk all morning.

In time I plan to do a bit of editorializing about what I think of the San Juan and the elk management there. Many will not like what I say.

Have a great bowhunt. BB

23-Sep-05
BB- be sure to let us know how the muley hunting goes!

OS

From: Elkhunter UT
23-Sep-05
Bill,

I think you already know how much my family and I respect you not only as a bowhunter, but more importantly as a person. You are one of the most genuine guys I have ever met and you truly are all about what is important in life.

I have even more respect for you now after this thread. I always enjoy hearing your stories and look forward to the next time I see you to hear more about this adventure. Thanks for the amazing photos and sharing your awesome hunt with us. A big bull would have been nice icing on the cake, but you had many experiences that most will never see and you got to share it with those who are most important in your life. Nothing is better than that!!

You are top notch man!!

Take care,

Cory

23-Sep-05
Holy schnat. We you in da bush or at a zoo?

I aint ner seen so many crites in all ma days!

From: Jim/VA
23-Sep-05
BB, what camera are you using? If I remember you had an Olympus C-720 but were talking about upgrading a year or two ago. Thanks for the story. Jim

From: Yendor
23-Sep-05
BB? How many years did it take you to draw that hunt? I understand that it is very limited entry. Or is this just outside the limited entry draw area?

From: SteveCo
23-Sep-05
Well done BB, thanks for taking us along!! :-D

From: Mizzoukispot
23-Sep-05
BB- you truly are special. This statement really touched me..."From an old hunter ( I will be 65 in February) who once had so much kill in him, I was really starting to sense the real essence of bowhuntng is in the experience and not just in the kill. Oh, sure the kill is important, but I had experienced the most important part of bowhunting, the closeness of all the animals and I witnessed their means and their ways at close hand. And I was blessed not with a huge rack, but a hunt that few will ever be fortunate to experience and for that I am most grateful." It really choked me up. Thanks for the story.

From: Mizzoukispot
23-Sep-05
BB- you truly are special. This statement really touched me..."From an old hunter ( I will be 65 in February) who once had so much kill in him, I was really starting to sense the real essence of bowhuntng is in the experience and not just in the kill. Oh, sure the kill is important, but I had experienced the most important part of bowhunting, the closeness of all the animals and I witnessed their means and their ways at close hand. And I was blessed not with a huge rack, but a hunt that few will ever be fortunate to experience and for that I am most grateful." It really choked me up. Thanks for the story.

From: seastrike
23-Sep-05
My Great Grandfather never hunted elk but did hunt many whitetails,turkey,grouse,pheasant etc in upstate NY. He too came to not need to kill to love the hunt. We all love the hunt or else we wouldn't do it but he didnt even like killing at the end. BB I've read your threads for 3 or 4 years and I've enjoyed them all. I'm glad you enjoyed the hunt and I really appreciate an old fart that can draw out the story and make it clear as day that you and others like you know more than I do. Like others have said I've never read a better thread. Get it published. Dave

From: AZBUGLER
23-Sep-05
BB, The others have summed up my feelings as I near the end of this wild ride. You were so fortunate and blessed to experience the hunt that you did. As has been said, it IS what archery elk hunting is all about. I have so many great emeories of elk hunts over the past 20 years. I am lucky enough to have started bowhunting elk at age 12 so I have lots of years to look forward to, God willing. Thank you so much for sharing this experience. I almost feel like I was there myself and feel truly blessed for being able to experience this. I am getting every hunting companion I know to read this so they will know for themselves what the true meaning of bowhunting is. Awesome.

From: NvaGvUp
23-Sep-05
BB is truly a special guy. Not only is he extremely knowledgable about all things bowhunting, but he has an amazing respect for nature, the challenge and the experience. That he loves to teach and educate makes him even more special.

Last year I drew a Muley tag in an area Bill had hunted for years before it went to a Limited Entry Draw. Bill could not have been more helpful. He and I talked on the phone several times. He drew up maps for me, marking his favorite spots in great detail, telling me exactly where I could find safe/fresh water, and much more.

My only regret is that there is nothing I can do to pay him back. My hunting expertise is fitness. With Bill's superior experience and skills, and his back problems, there's nothing I can do to help him even with that.

You're an A-#1 man, Bill. And everyone on Bowsite knows it!

From: HalfRack
23-Sep-05
BB: As I take my young son to the deer woods tomorrow for his first bowhunt I will be reminded of the lesson relearned today, for the umpteenth time, its the experience...Thanks.

-Mike

From: Meat Grinder
23-Sep-05
Awesome story and pics. Thanks for sharing them. I can only hope to one day have a hunt that's half that exciting.

But I have to say that if I ever buy a Utah Lottery ticket, I hope you're not the guy reading off the winning numbers. The stress of waiting for the last number would kill me!!

From: woodsman
23-Sep-05
the true brilliance of this whole thread has done nothing but bring about the utmost of pride and humbleness to everyone that has been priviledged to read it. As a relatively new bow hunter (5 years), the unity of bowhunters is certainly felt within your season on the San Juan. Funny, there wasn't any jabbering and poking fun at one another and I honestly feel that I was with you on your experience. You are a true storyteller and I'm proud to have read this thread, along with all of my other bowhunting brothers and sisters.-Woodsman

23-Sep-05
Wow, we need more like you.

I'm ordering my Kifaru pak and all the essentials TOMORROW. My Septembers will be with the elk from now on. Camera or Bow I dont care I'm there.

From: elkster
24-Sep-05
BB, thanks for taking the time to share your masterpiece. The tone of your posts, both the patience and humility of them, is what all bowhunters would do well to emulate.

From: idahoElk
24-Sep-05
I agree with most of the rest, You didn't hang your head and hide like some would have. you related the high points of a very successful hunt and in high form too,I might add. I Loved the telling of it and am left better because of it. Love for you to write a book in your style of what to look for in an Elk area what rules to adhere to to keep an area fresh and also a big section on treestanding for Elk. You are one of a select few BB and I always like reading your posts,cause I always learn something from them. Well Done!

From: stickbow
24-Sep-05
I was supossed to go with Bill, and after reading this, my wife was extremely dissappointed I wasn't able to go.(She got sick jus before I was to go) Bill is a class act as all of you know. But I would also like to thank his lovely wife for her patience and support. Bill always takes the time to answer questions and talk for a while, even after being away from his family for three weeks. Thank you to Bill, Kay and the rest of the family. I am truly humbled to be a freind to this great man. God Bless, and "have a good bowhunt"

From: Don K
24-Sep-05
All I can say is thanks for sharing such a awesome adventure.

From: dsheally
25-Sep-05
An awesome adventure indeed!!! Thanks for sharing it with us BB.

From: Reaper
25-Sep-05
BB, a very noble hunt. You reminded all of us that the hunt is much more than a filled tag. Its just being there, an expirence money cant buy. But if it was; you sure got your money's worth.

I consider your expirence a "catch and release" hunt. Many thanks.

From: GregE
25-Sep-05
"Long live the great endeavor of bowhunting. Is it any wonder why it's my number 1 passion? "

I have friends and family that don't understand why I love to spend- I'll be sharing your story. Thank you for your time, and dedication!

Greg

From: Gator
25-Sep-05
One of my favorite Story: Thanks for sharing the story.

From: fin little
25-Sep-05
Very nice. A man that truley gets it. Thanks

From: Zia man
25-Sep-05
BB you are my hero . Im speechless with tears in my eyes that was moving!

From: BB
25-Sep-05
Thanks for all the kind words. I have quite a few PM's emails to answer and I will, but right now I've been pretty busy.

I have a friend of mine from SE Ohio who came in Thursday evening to hunt mule deer and so we have been out hunt since his arrival.

For those interested, I will do a small thing like this on his mule deer hunt on the mule deer forum. It will be called "Short but Sweet". By it's name you will not be disappointed if your looking for a success picture. It didn't take him long to get the job done. It will be a short story about his abbreviated hunt.

Have a great bowhunt

From: Skeetsbo
26-Sep-05
BB excellent story and the outcome was just as you wanted. You controlled your hunt and your destiny. Congratulations on a wonderful experience and the success you shared with all of us. I enjoyed your story and pictures and looked forward to each chapter. You have demonstrated to us all the value and personal gratification that can be achieved by returning something to the land. Success can be measured in many forms not the least of which is the total experience involving the hunt not merely the harvest. Some how this hunt transcended the scale for you, and was more than a 10. In it's own special way I think it was more fulfilling than many hunts you have been on in your life and one you will always look on as one of your favorites. You took many trophies on the hunt BB and you shared the rich bounty with all of us and your family, as a gift to the sport that you love. Thanks for sharing with all of us and I earnestly hope you enjoy many more trips to the mountain.

From: Blue Buck
27-Sep-05
ttt

27-Sep-05
Fantastic, Bill. Thank you so much for sharing this. I can relate. My wife told someone the other day that she suspects I really don't want to shoot critters anymore as much as I want to hunt them. I know you are in the same place, my friend.

Be safe and hunt well,

Lou

From: FLINGER
27-Sep-05
BB, I have been following this thread since the beginning and I kept trying to think of the appropriate words to describe you and this awesome hunt. The only thing I can say that even comes close is "WOW!!!!!"

You are a wealth of information and positive influence and role model for any and all in the hunting community !!

Good luck in all your future hunts! Thanks for all your great posts.

From: Dwayne
27-Sep-05
Thanks so much BB for the great posts. I know as one ages many take a different perspective on hunting. A buddy once asked me why I bother to buy a license if I don't shoot something - my answer: "it is the fee I pay for the beauty and the opportunity." Dwayne

From: Ron G
28-Sep-05
BB, Thanks so much for reliving your hunt here. Just coming back from my first archery elk hunt here in AZ, it helped me to recall the many wonderful experiences and opportunities that I myself experienced. While my hunt was unsuccessful, I'd have to rank it as the best hunt I've ever been on. One of my biggest regrets is not taking as many pictures as I should have. I won't be making that mistake again...

Thanks, Ron

From: one_elk
28-Sep-05
BB, thanks so much for sharing you have a great talent for putting to what haapend in the field to paper (virtual in this case). Best to you!

dougo

From: nijimasu
28-Sep-05
Thank you

From: OutdoorsNole
29-Sep-05
My adrenaline is pumping right now. I was soo glad that I just spent this past hour or two reading this whole post from start to finish. I'm sending the link to everyone that I know to read this. If I could ever spend one hunt with BB, I'd do everything possible to do it, just to learn a fraction of what he knows. If anyone ever questions why you might hunt, this story explains just about all of it. It's left me pretty much speechless.

From: GW4BOW
30-Sep-05
I was lucky enough to accompany Bill and Cody on BB hunt in Utah.

I carried a new weapon, a Canon GL2 digital video camera with a tripod.

I wondered how it would be filming rather than hunting... and do I ever have the hunting bug bad! Yet, this experience with Bill Allard was priceless.

If someone can figure out how to download video on this thread.... You're all in for a treat. I could help fill the final chapter of his photo essay.

Bill I can vouch for you.... HUNTING with a camera or video is very rewarding and exciting. I wintessed several bull elk in the wild with experiences I would not have if the elk was shot with a bow. Rarely do you see a big bull elk at 20-40 yards without shooting it. Just watching the several bulls at close range was incredibly awesome. Thank you for incredible experience.

From talking about this very subject years ago as you started carrying a camera, photography is now hand in hand with my hunting. My memories are more easily shared and remembered. My photo book of full page color prints is wiping out my bank account with toner expenses, but worth every penny.

As I tell my friends, You are the "GodFather" of Bowhunting. You just can't sell 40 years of bowhunting in a package at Wal-mart.

Thank you for all you have taught me and I have benefitted greatly from your wisom and knowledge of Bowhunting.

Have a great bowhunt yourself.

GW4BOW

From: BB
30-Sep-05
Shane, Gary, and Cody, I want to thank you guys for the sacrfice you made to me and help you rendered on my hunt. I will always be indebted to each of you for all you gave in my behalf.

Now for everyone still reading this thread, I as you do me a favor. Please go to the mule deer forum and read my post called "A Boys First Buck". If that post doesn't move you, nothing will.

Again thanks to all for your support, kinds words and best wishes.

Long live bowhunting and may each of you have a great bowhunt. BB

30-Sep-05
BB You had me on the edge of my seat! Man I just came back from what I thought was a great elk hunt but not compared to this. Great story!!

From: jdh
01-Oct-05
Awesome job BB, Your hunt was the most successful hunt I have ever read about!!!!! I learned a great deal.

Thank you,

jdh

02-Oct-05
Great story and a great bowhunt, Bill! I have been waiting for weeks for it and was not disappointed. I'll see you in March!

08-Oct-05
Wow , I just caught up with all of the post's i have missed while out chasing elk myself.

Wow , I don't know what to say. I love the pictures and the story just blows me away.

Sometimes it pays to pass on the small boys to get a big boy!...

Congrats on a heart filled full of memories. I really felt like i was there !

Josh

From: Boots
08-Oct-05
Great thread, BB. Too bad you have to wait 15 years or so for your next San Juan tag....?

8^(

From: BB
08-Oct-05
Boots if I live to be 150 and maintained my health and could hunt at that age, I most likely would never be able to draw that tag again. It's taken 13 - 14 years to go through the archery maximun points. It's still tough to get the tag if your rifle hunting and have max points. There a way more people with less points than there were max points, so do the math and you can plainly see most people will never get a chance to hunt that unit.

In not too long I plan to make a post about what I feel about the San Juan. It will not set good with many people, but it will be my true and honest feelings. I think they are making a huge mistake down there and plan to say that.

Have a great bowhunt and again thanks to all of you who have been so kind to me on this thread. BB (Perhaps the next one you won't :-)

  • Sitka Gear