Contributors to this thread:
This past Monday had a 340-350 bull who was bugling in his bed. I snuck into 36 yards with no shot opportunity do to brush.
1. I though about grunting to make hm stand but thought he might jump up and run off.
2. Wait him out, but the wind was changing directions quite often.
3. What I did is try and sneak in at a different angle wind got me.
I was on this bull two days in a row within 30 yes with no shot opportunity.
What should have I done different?
Stayed at home ;) JK hindsight is 20/20. IMO you should have asked the question giving us only the info you knew prior to the situation unfolding so that you could get an opinion of someone knowing what you knew. Too easy to say "should have done this or should have done that" when we know the results of the decision. Those spots are always tough to be in. I've never hunted mountains and am unfamiliar with their winds so I am curious to see what others say.
I like to rake a tree with an antler or stick in that situation. My goal is to make the bull come chase me away.
You said no shot due to brush, but what was the brush like?
Was it low scrub, such that he'd be in the clear if he stood up, or was it the kind of stuff where you just have to get closer than you ever imagined could be necessary? Because I wouldn't want to do anything AT ALL that might put him on edge unless I was in position to have a clear shot as soon as he stood up. So in that case, the only option is to sneak closer using the best line of approach available (assuming it gives you a shot angle).
FWIW, I'm thinking that I wouldn't make a sound like a bull, because being surprised by the sound of another bull at danger-close range would probably light him up on adrenaline and make it harder on everybody even if you did make a great shot. Besides, I have called very little because I've never been all that confident (believe it or not, there are times when I decide I'm better off keeping my mouth shut!).
Maybe toss a rock over the top so that it makes a bit of a ruckus and diverts his attention away from you? If you were lucky, he's stand up to get a better look. That way if he got a little nervous and moved off, there's a chance he'd come towards you.
All-in, sounds like you did exactly what I would most likely do and got too close, too soon. Maybe would've been better off keeping your distance in the first place so that you had more good options available, and then you could have set up an ambush based on where you figured he'd go when he did get up...
The brush was that low hanging little stuff from dead lower tree limbs everywhere and scrub trees. I was as close as I could possibly get. I'm not even sure if he stood I'd had an opening.
I'm with you and didn't want to make a peep, and letting him knowing I was around. It's one of those factors when hunting. It was exciting sneaking in that close being undetected.
Back out when the wind is squirrelly, unless it is the last day.
Bowboy; sad that you didn't get a shot...but, it was pretty darn exciting wasn't it?
I'd be weeping with caribou. You have to do what think is the best at the time. I personally like being somewhat aggressive but my kill percentage doesn't nessesarly say its best.
I would of waited him out....even if he catches a slight sent of you, he might of stood and moved into a shot. If he never gave me a shot he would of moved off and never have been the wiser I was there. No harm ….no foul.
It's hard to say without knowing the exact conditions, brush height, wind, etc. You were definitely in prime position for a shot if it presented itself. With that said I would have likely waited it out and hoped for the best. I would have used your position to your advantage. As you found out it can be super tough back-tracking and then getting back within bow range without the bull catching your wind or hearing you. Some situations it's a lot easier to back-track than others.
Sounds to me like you did everything right getting that close. That happens Archery hunting off the ground, you can get close and still not get a good shot.
You could have tried throwing a softball size rock wherever the wind would be at your advantage. Good for you for getting that close!
Backed out 60 yards and gave him a cow call and a challenge bugle if he answered the cow. Either way is have likely not gotten a shot like you.