I used my ‘everyday is Saturday’ time to scout the unit I drew throughout the summer, planning trips between major monsoon storms. Since I’ve hunted this unit in the past I had a pretty good idea where the elk would be when they’re rutting. This trip would be a bit different, as it would be mostly solo, except for when my wife would drive over for a day or two to help.
Once opening day arrived, I found elk where my scouting indicated they’d be. A nice 285” P&Y class 5x5 Bull bulged a few times and I snuck into 43 yards of him…..just not opening day material so he lives another day. But my wife really enjoyed the close encounter.
After several close encounters with a few decent bulls, I hiked into a familiar area on day four after hearing several bugles in the early morning darkness. I eventually stalked into the herd of 20 or so cows and got hung up by a trailing cow. One little chuckle did the trick, as the herd bull came towards me to herd his trailing cow and fight off the intruder. When he came by me at 40 yards, I made a good shot…..he only went 50 yards.
With the unseasonably warm temperatures, I had to hurry and break down the meat and try and cool it in the shade. Eventually, I was able to get all the meat out and to a locker…..my wife picked a good day to go home and run some errands. :(
The bull has really nice sword points (20.5” each)….but the back end is indicative of a year with no spring moisture……just didn’t finish off really high. Still a decent bull, especially for a lower tier unit. Perfect timing, as we ate the latest elk steak two weeks ago!
One thing I’ve noticed is mature AZ bulls always seem to have exceptionally long swords. Yours is consistent with that observation. Good genes I guess.
Here’s one side done!
Yes sir….rib roll. Lots of good meat there!