Sitka Mountain Gear
New Mexico: Land of Huge Elk (True Fact)
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Fuzz 02-Oct-18
gunnar 02-Oct-18
Ucsdryder 02-Oct-18
WV Mountaineer 02-Oct-18
smarba 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
smarba 02-Oct-18
Brotsky 02-Oct-18
Treeline 02-Oct-18
smarba 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scrappy 02-Oct-18
Kodiak 02-Oct-18
GhostBird 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Z Barebow 02-Oct-18
Shiras42 02-Oct-18
smarba 02-Oct-18
smarba 02-Oct-18
smarba 02-Oct-18
Treeline 02-Oct-18
smarba 02-Oct-18
ElkNut1 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
smarba 02-Oct-18
gunnar 02-Oct-18
gunnar 02-Oct-18
GhostBird 02-Oct-18
Brotsky 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
smarba 02-Oct-18
Scoot 02-Oct-18
HUNT MAN 02-Oct-18
Treeline 02-Oct-18
smarba 02-Oct-18
WV Mountaineer 02-Oct-18
Bowboy 02-Oct-18
bigswivle 02-Oct-18
Marty 02-Oct-18
BULELK1 03-Oct-18
Beav 03-Oct-18
BOWNBIRDHNTR 03-Oct-18
Treeline 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
mrelite 03-Oct-18
Mule Power 03-Oct-18
LINK 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Brotsky 03-Oct-18
GotBowAz 03-Oct-18
Mule Power 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Treeline 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Inshart 03-Oct-18
otcWill 03-Oct-18
Treeline 03-Oct-18
bigswivle 03-Oct-18
Ucsdryder 03-Oct-18
WV Mountaineer 03-Oct-18
Scoot 03-Oct-18
Ucsdryder 03-Oct-18
WV Mountaineer 03-Oct-18
otcWill 03-Oct-18
Shug 03-Oct-18
Ucsdryder 03-Oct-18
Treeline 03-Oct-18
Ucsdryder 03-Oct-18
mrelite 03-Oct-18
Jethro 04-Oct-18
Inshart 04-Oct-18
GhostBird 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Treeline 04-Oct-18
midwest 04-Oct-18
Kodiak 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Brotsky 04-Oct-18
ElkNut1 04-Oct-18
GhostBird 04-Oct-18
elkmtngear 04-Oct-18
kota-man 04-Oct-18
HUNT MAN 04-Oct-18
WV Mountaineer 04-Oct-18
Beav 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
smarba 04-Oct-18
BigOk 04-Oct-18
Treeline 04-Oct-18
cnelk 04-Oct-18
buzz mc 04-Oct-18
IdyllwildArcher 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Surfbow 04-Oct-18
mn_archer 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
smarba 04-Oct-18
Scoot 04-Oct-18
smarba 04-Oct-18
gunnar 04-Oct-18
DonVathome 04-Oct-18
Bowboy 04-Oct-18
Treeline 04-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
gunnar 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
NoWiser 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Whip 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
smarba 05-Oct-18
4beards 05-Oct-18
BOWNBIRDHNTR 05-Oct-18
otcWill 05-Oct-18
Mule Power 05-Oct-18
Surfbow 05-Oct-18
Ucsdryder 05-Oct-18
yooper89 05-Oct-18
bohuntr 05-Oct-18
Bondo 05-Oct-18
Jaquomo 05-Oct-18
Brotsky 05-Oct-18
EmbryOklahoma 05-Oct-18
GhostBird 05-Oct-18
NoWiser 05-Oct-18
Beav 05-Oct-18
goelk 05-Oct-18
midwest 05-Oct-18
IdyllwildArcher 05-Oct-18
Bowboy 05-Oct-18
gunnar 05-Oct-18
Bowfreak 05-Oct-18
mrelite 05-Oct-18
Southern draw 05-Oct-18
smarba 05-Oct-18
trkyslr 05-Oct-18
Scoot 05-Oct-18
midwest 05-Oct-18
EmbryOklahoma 05-Oct-18
smarba 05-Oct-18
Brotsky 05-Oct-18
EmbryOklahoma 05-Oct-18
AT Halley 05-Oct-18
WV Mountaineer 05-Oct-18
weekender21 06-Oct-18
Treeline 06-Oct-18
Scoot 06-Oct-18
BULELK1 07-Oct-18
Beginner 07-Oct-18
KHunter 13-Oct-18
Marty 13-Oct-18
Dan Mallia 14-Oct-18
Alexis Desjardins 14-Oct-18
Dan Mallia 15-Oct-18
SteveB 15-Oct-18
From: Scoot
02-Oct-18
Twenty-four hours is a long time to spend in a confined space with one individual! On the drive to New Mexico Jon and I discussed many things, and here are few of the very “philosophically deep” topics we covered: 1) Is there such a thing as a “true fact”?, 2) If there is a true fact, is there such a thing as a false fact?, 3) If you’re removing the hide from an animal, why is it called “skinning” instead of “hiding”?, and finally 4) if every time you “poop” you also “pee”, why isn’t it called “shissing”? Yes, we had 24 hours to really cover the important stuff! Haha

We also discussed what we expected to see and hold out for this trip. We had a New Mexico tag in the Gila and most people associate the Gila with big ol’ bulls. I figured this would be the best tag I’d ever hold, so I was going to go home with a good bull or an unpunched tag. Jon felt similarly. One little disclosure before I start the story. We are DIY hunters (I don’t care to quibble about what DIY really means in this thread) and I’ve never hunted with a guide before. In fact, I don’t really care to. However, Jon and I decided to apply through the guided pool in NM to bump our odds of drawing significantly. We talked with a guide, and set up a minimally guided hunt through him that allowed us to be in the guided pool. I was totally honest with the guide and told him although we weren’t the most experienced elk hunters he’d ever met, we were also anything but greenhorns too. I told him we had out plans and techniques that we use and we really intended to use them. He assured me he would let us “do our thing” and would also help with scouting and finding good water sources. He seemed easy going and very experienced in the world of elk and elk hunting.

Additionally, we met Carl Abrams (Smarba) on this hunt. We hunted with Carl in WY for antelope last year. He was fun to team up with and our time with him in camp in WY was too short. Carl was kind enough to put up a couple trail cams for us and helped a bunch with scouting, which was wonderful given we were almost 1500 miles from our unit in our homes in northern MN.

So… DIY probably doesn’t describe this trip very well. I still consider myself a DIY guy, but we definitely got some help this trip.

Day -3 Left from home- Jon from Taylors Falls, me from Ada. Met in Sioux Falls and headed southwest.

Day -2 We reached the Gila late in the afternoon.

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18
Got to Plan A spot at 5:30 PM and quickly set up the tent. Ran out and looked and listened for elk in the final hour of the evening. Heard and saw nothing.

Day -1 We went to a different lookout in the Plan A spot and again saw and heard nothing. The sign was very sparse and very few elk were in there and it appeared very few had been there. Carl (AKA Smarba) came down there and checked a couple trail cams he had put out to help us out. We checked out another drainage and again struck out there- no sign, no elk.

Jon trying the fruit of a prickly pear cactus for the first time. It was quite good!

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18
Carl found little sign in the area he put the cams and we planned on meeting him 1.5 hours north of there after dark. However, Carl had a bear tag in his pocket and he found an area that had a lot of bear sign. Long story short, Carl shot a GREAT bear and packed it out that night. Jon and I didn’t find out Carl had shot the bear until we had made the drive 1.5 hours away from there, so we headed up to a new area to set up camp. It’s too bad- we’d have loved to help Carl pack that big ol’ boy off the mountain. After quick tent set up in the dark we crashed for the night and only managed a few short hours of sleep.

From: Fuzz
02-Oct-18
Now theres gonna be a dip in productivity.... bring it!

From: gunnar
02-Oct-18
Remove the spines before biting into a prickly pear!! Also, this was a new experience for us and after a couple days on the mountain with minimal fruit, these are awesome!

From: Ucsdryder
02-Oct-18
Goooooooo!!!!!

02-Oct-18
Been wondering how you did Scoot. Can't wait to read it.

From: smarba
02-Oct-18
Since Scoot broke the news perhaps I'll chime in and derail his adventure with my abbreviated bear story...

I had hunted the area in past years and with no elk tag for me this year I figured helping Scoot & Jon a little was a good excuse to tramp around with a bear tag in my pocket. Until this year I had never focused on getting a bear, but almost always had a tag "just in case" when hunting deer or elk. For a variety of reasons I've never even had a shot at a bear in past years.

Honestly I had not seriously expected to even see a bear, so my plan was to either "divide and conquer": me look for bears in one area and keep an eye out for elk for the boys while Scoot & Jon hunted elk elsewhere; or tag along with them to glass, call, or whatever else I could do to help in hopes of stumbling across a bear while we were together.

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18
I hope you don't mind me spilling the beans on the bear, Carl. That's one to brag about! Please feel free to brag here- it's definitely part of the story!

From: smarba
02-Oct-18
I had the pleasure of sharing camp with Scoot, son Ryan, & Jon in WY antelope hunting last fall, albeit it was brief (we all tagged out pretty quickly). So I was looking forward to hanging out with them a little more in my home state.

From: Brotsky
02-Oct-18
False Fact or Fake News? :-) Looking forward to the rest of the story Scoot!

From: Treeline
02-Oct-18
Dang these guys ain’t hunters! They’re fishermen! Sport fishermen no less! Setting the hook and then lettin’ the drag run just for fun:-)

From: smarba
02-Oct-18

smarba's embedded Photo
Lots of food
smarba's embedded Photo
Lots of food
Winter, spring and even into summer was fairly dry in NM. Our snowpack last winter was dismal. But we did get better than average monsoons so well before the hunt everything was lush and green.

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Guilty as charged, Tavis!

From: Scrappy
02-Oct-18
Love these bowsite stories, thanks for bringing us along.

From: Kodiak
02-Oct-18
Dang that's a big Muskie.

From: GhostBird
02-Oct-18
Hook, Line, & Sinker...................haha

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18
I'll let Carl finish his bear posts before I proceed with more tales of elk chasing.

From: Z Barebow
02-Oct-18
Scoot- Keep it flowing! I am wondering about you though. It is one thing to have those conversations in your head. Conversing about them definitely is the "next level". You might be getting into TBM territory! LOL!

From: Shiras42
02-Oct-18
Glad the monsoons got you wet over there. Our area in 15 was drier than a popcorn fart and I came home with tag soup. Rut was really delayed and the last night I was there on the 24th the bulls finally really came alive. Anyway, please continue...

From: smarba
02-Oct-18
I made one scouting trip/bear hunting foray to Scoot's area, although I hunted/looked for bears in other parts of the state too.

On that first trip I began gearing up for the day only to realize I had left my bow at home – doh! I had my backup pistol decided to make the most of it. Honestly I felt the odds of finding a bear were slim; however, a few hours later I panned my Vortex binos across the head of a valley and spotted a bear rambling down an open slope! I hastened to close the distance, but lost sight of him during my approach. I guessed him to be within 200-yards below my location, which felt like a “safe” direction to try and call him within range.

I found a place with a commanding view next to some bushes that provided camouflage cover, chambered a round and began wailing on a mouth-blown predator call (electronic calls are not legal to use for bears in New Mexico).

I alternated calling for 5-15 seconds and listening for 30-seconds to a minute for around 10 minutes, at which point the bear suddenly appeared to my right just 10-yards away! I immediately recognized it to be a juvenile: small head, big ears, lankly legs and skinny body. I evaluated my desire to shoot him. With my bow I would have been thrilled to take any bear, but I wasn’t fired up (no pun intended) to shoot this one with a firearm. As I debated whether I wanted to shoot the small bear my 30-second window of opportunity closed when he let out a loud “woof” and bounded back the way he had come. I had absolutely no regrets and was elated to have actually called one in! I didn’t see any more bears on that trip, but counted it a resounding success as it was my first time calling one in.

From: smarba
02-Oct-18

smarba's embedded Photo
Good blood trail gave me confidence the bear was dead
smarba's embedded Photo
Good blood trail gave me confidence the bear was dead
I returned to Scoot's area the day before elk season with plans to try to find some elk to compare notes with Scoot & Jon to help them have a gameplan for opening day.

I crossed paths with them midday as I Baja raced down the forest road toward the area I planned to scope out. Scoot & Jon were pulling up stakes and shifting locations because they hadn't seen much elk sign.

I continued on my way after making plans to meet up with them that evening.

I hiked a big loop through an area I'd hunted several years ago, but only found old elk sign. I curved my way back towards my truck with intentions of meeting Scoot & Jon before dark. I dropped some elevation to follow a drainage and look for bear/elk sign and was suprised to see acorns on the ground - a good sign for bears!

Soon I found a few fresh bear pies loaded witn acorn shells, so I selected a good spot and called for about 20 minutes with no results.

I continued hiking for another 30 minutes and heard a noise. I froze to scan the area and spotted a bear slinking into some brush! I immediately nocked an arrow and began squalling on my call.

After a minute or two the bear moved from behind the bushes and began to circle my position, trying to catch my scent and assess the sounds of a delectable dying animal.

I carefully angled toward his line of travel and our paths slowly converged. Whenever he appeared to lose interest I gave a soft squeal to regain his attention. We both traveled about fifty-yards with the bear partially obscured by trees and brush. Finally I spotted an opening that would allow a clear shot and ranged the distance to be 40-yards.

I drew my bow as the bruin stepped clear I gave a brief squeal with my mouth. He froze and stared intently toward me in a perfect broadside position. I settled my sight pin on his vitals and gently squeezed off my release. My arrow flew true and disappeared into his side! He let out a low huff, spun away and stumbled over a deadfall of logs deposited by past floods.

A copious amount of blood on the gray logs gave me confidence of a lethal hit; however, bowhunting a large predator made me think twice before taking up the blood trail!

I waited about fifteen minutes and ascended the side of the narrow canyon to scan from a safer location. I couldn’t see the bear but verified he wasn’t lying in wait behind the pile of logs to ambush me, so retraced my steps to the shot location and chambered a round in my pistol before following the blood trail.

From: smarba
02-Oct-18

smarba's embedded Photo
smarba's embedded Photo
smarba's embedded Photo
smarba's embedded Photo
smarba's embedded Photo
smarba's embedded Photo
I found my boar dead as a stone perhaps 50-60 yards down the blood trail.

He appeared to grow before my eyes as I approached. The bruin was a lot bigger than I had realized. His paws were huge and his head enormous. I obviously couldn’t weigh him, but I have a coworker that weighs 250-pounds and this beast was every bit as big and then some.

His teeth were worn and chipped: definitely an old bear. Often New Mexico bears have nearly bald summer hides, but the hide was thick and dark with reddish highlights. This huge boar was everything I could have hoped for in a trophy class bear – what a blessing!

I felt a little guilty knowing I'd be spending all night and most of the next day packing out the meat and hide, having planned to be helping Scoot & Jon, but I knew they'd be happy for my success.

No idea on the skull size yet, but I've since measured the hide to be 6'-6" nose to tail, so he's plenty big for me! I have NOTHING against other methods of bear hunting, but it was certainly satisfying to get one on my own without dogs or bait.

I have to thank our own Bowsiter Paul@thefort Navarre for inspiring me to call a bear with his "famous" bear calling story & photo that's been shared on Bowsite many times.

From: Treeline
02-Oct-18
Awesome bear hunt, Smarba! Still haven’t closed the deal in Colorado after about 30 tags!

From: smarba
02-Oct-18

smarba's Link
Sorry to sidetrack this thread Scoot!

I like to write hunting stories to share too, but have never posted one play by play on the Bowsite. For those who may be interesed you can read my longer-version at this link.

From: ElkNut1
02-Oct-18
Scott, go getem partner!

ElkNut/Paul

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18
Not a sidetrack at all Carl! It's part of our adventure. Ironically while Carl felt guilty for not joining us, we feel terrible for not helping him pack out the bear. In hindsight we definitely wish we would have gone down there and helped him but we had traveled a long ways north already and decided to go find somewhere to camp for the night. For reasons I can't understand in my head Carl hadn't gone that for from the truck so it would be a short pack out. Turns out that wasn't the case. We owe you one Carl!

From: smarba
02-Oct-18
I messaged Scoot & Jon - "I'll be fine, get after it opening morning and kill a bull!" I had about a 2 mile pack and decided to make 3 reasonable loads rather than 2 huge ones, so I packed one load of meat that night, reached my truck around midnight, and retrieved the other load of meat and hide in 2 more trips on opening day of Scoot & Jon's elk season.

From: gunnar
02-Oct-18
Still regret not catching up with you that night and helping with the pack out....I guess the only excuse I have is we were so caught up in chasing elk we lost our brains a bit!

From: gunnar
02-Oct-18
Still regret not catching up with you that night and helping with the pack out....I guess the only excuse I have is we were so caught up in chasing elk we lost our brains a bit!

From: GhostBird
02-Oct-18
Congratulations on a great bear.

From: Brotsky
02-Oct-18
Congrats on the bear Carl, he's a dandy!

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18
Day 1 of the season Jon and I chased a bugle right out of camp by foot that next morning. After giving chase for a while, we lost him and couldn’t get him to call and reveal his location, or even direction. After chasing elk (or maybe our tails) until about 10:00 that morning, we headed back to camp to relocate the tent and find a better spot to call home for a while (the spot we grabbed for the night wasn’t very good).

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Camp
Scoot's embedded Photo
Camp

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
We brought a freezer and generator on this trip in hopes of filling it and cooling meat quickly.

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18
Carl showed up early that afternoon. We heard the bear story and looked at his pics- we were pumped for him. To shoot a bear via spot and stalk is cool, but to do it by calling it in- pretty dang impressive! We congratulated Carl on the accomplishment and turned our thoughts to elk hunting. Carl suggested a new area we give a shot. We glassed it and found some elk, including a couple of decent six point bulls. It got too late to make a play on them, so we headed back in that night and made a plan to get on those bulls the next morning.

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18
Day 2 Carl, Jon, and I went back to “the bowl” to look for the elk we had seen the evening before. When we got on the ridge, we immediately heard, and soon saw, the same bulls.

Jon and I crashed in after them and before long we were close to a screaming bull. We pushed in on him and he stayed just out of reach of us. We wanted to get inside his comfort zone and challenge him, but we just couldn’t get in his kitchen. After chasing him for over a mile, he finally tipped over a ridge and we did the walk of shame back to Carl’s location.

One thing we discovered quickly is that the Gila is a beautiful place that is quite different than anyplace I’ve elk hunted in the past.

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: smarba
02-Oct-18
I thought one of the things you discovered is that there is less oxygen here ;o)

From: Scoot
02-Oct-18
Haha, ain't that the truth?!? Or... just that you're in much better shape than these two flatlanders...

From: HUNT MAN
02-Oct-18
This is just what I needed. Always love your stories. Can’t wait. Now carry on!! Hunt

From: Treeline
02-Oct-18
Pretty flowers. Would be prettier with an elk standing in them!

From: smarba
02-Oct-18
At least be prettier without 2 ugly mugs standing in them...

02-Oct-18
Scoot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bring it brother. I'm chopping on the bit.

From: Bowboy
02-Oct-18
Keep it coming!

From: bigswivle
02-Oct-18

bigswivle's embedded Photo
bigswivle's embedded Photo

From: Marty
02-Oct-18
So far, so good! Keep it coming. Awesome bear too! Kevin

From: BULELK1
03-Oct-18
Dang nice bear!!

Good reading right here Scoot--------->

Good luck, Robb

From: Beav
03-Oct-18
Scoot I have a break here at work lets get this going! lol

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
03-Oct-18
Another great story in the works. Keep it coming guys.

From: Treeline
03-Oct-18
Patients is a virtue! Still checking in on you guys. Love the bear at the table:-)

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18
Ask and ye shall receive...

That afternoon Jon and Carl sat a tank with a wallow by it and I headed back into the bowl to wait for some of the other elk to arrive. Unfortunately, after finally getting back to the far reaches of the bowl I couldn’t see much. I climbed my butt to the top of a large hillside and sat down to glass in a great looking spot. The wind was right, the sun (although still blazing hot) was good for me to see, and the hillside provided a great vantage point to see from. Just after I sat down I realized how dehydrated I was and took a big pull of water, only to discover my bladder was bone dry too. I waited for elk to show up for a while, but decided I didn’t want to spend the next 1 1/2 hours with no water and then head off after a bull with no water. I smartly (for a change) headed back towards the truck and got there just after dark. With no water and temps in the 80s, it was a long, miserable walk out for me. Jon and Carl, on the other hand had a fun evening. With about 45 minutes of light left they sat 40 yards from the tank. Suddenly they heard the sucking sound of hooves entering and pulling from mud, then splashing followed. A bull was in the wallow, about 150 yards way! Jon decided to make a sneak on the bull while he wallowed. He quickly got to 50 yards from the bull, but “knew” he could get closer. Jon is more than deadly accurate at 50 yards, but wanted to get into a more comfortable distance. He slinked up another 5 yards over a little berm, but while crossing the little bump in the landscape the bull’s 6th sense kicked in and Jon was immediately pinned down. The bull spun around and stared holes through him. The bull started nervous grunting at him and never provided a shot opportunity. He never really knew what Jon was, but knew something wasn’t right. He hung around for quite a while, but wouldn’t come within striking distance again. Dang, so close!

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Pics above aren't working. I'll try again...

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: mrelite
03-Oct-18
Great pics and stories!!

From: Mule Power
03-Oct-18
Um.... it’s lunchtime Scoot... ready for the next chapter!

From: LINK
03-Oct-18
Chapter... we are barely passed the second page. ;)

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18
Tough crowd here! A guy's gotta work a little... My place of work was bought out by a big outfit on July 1st and it's a lot tougher to post here as a result. I'll try get another update in this afternoon...

From: Brotsky
03-Oct-18
Scoot, I hope you understand how much this delay is impacting the productivity of the American worker. GDP has been down .5% since you started this thread! :)

From: GotBowAz
03-Oct-18
X2 Brosky. Come on man, im sneaking a peek at this thread every hour! LOL

From: Mule Power
03-Oct-18
Yep I ain’t doin’ $h1t until I hear.... The rest of the story.

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18
Day 3 We had heard some bulls to the north of us and decided to go chase them. After dogging a herd of elk for almost two miles, they finally settled into a little drainage. As we approached, Jon and I split up and Carl was going to try call in one of the bulls on the opposite side of the cut. Just as I inched forward I heard antlers working a tree over. I peered down the little cut and saw a small juniper getting the tar kicked out of it by a decent 6 point bull. I started sneaking on it and Carl started raking a tree. Slowly I made progress forward whenever the bull raked the tree. I was soon 25 yards from the bull and only needed two more steps to the right for an open shot. Just as I slinked to the right the bull busted me and tore off down the hill. As it turned out, Jon was also 25 yards from the bull and just about had a shot. The bull streaked past him and stopped 40 yards away, but didn’t offer a shot. Oh mamma, so close! Awesome interaction and it was fun! This is what elk hunting is all about! We were having a blast!!!

Although we were hearing and chasing bulls every day, the number of bulls wasn’t tremendous. But… it was enough to chase and get in elk every day, so we certainly weren’t complaining! The elk that were there were talking, which made it fun and allowed us to have hope every morning. Did I mention there was sign? Plenty of sign…

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18
That afternoon we decided to sit a wallow Carl had seen just before we made the play on the raking bull. Carl suggested a tree to build a blind around and we went to work. We started putting trees and sticks around a shady spot on an alligator juniper and pretty soon I thought we had a good blind ready to go. Carl suggested we add more, so we did. Then when I thought we were done, Carl got more. Jon and I kept adding in more following Carl’s lead and before long we had the Taj Mahal of all blinds built!

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Treeline
03-Oct-18
That’s the kind of stuff that has you giggling about all the fun you’re having back at camp at the end of the day!

Plenty of action and and plenty of sign:-)

Now go kill a couple!

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
This pic actually came from the other blind, where Jon had a close call with a bull in the wallow. I just didn't want anyone to think I was the only guy who stayed awake the whole trip! Rumor has it I was sawing logs pretty darn loud!
Scoot's embedded Photo
This pic actually came from the other blind, where Jon had a close call with a bull in the wallow. I just didn't want anyone to think I was the only guy who stayed awake the whole trip! Rumor has it I was sawing logs pretty darn loud!

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Carl also went to check on a tank he had on his radar for a while that afternoon. He came back and reported it looked very good. We had two good options in pretty close proximity to each other. Sweet! Here’s his view from a treestand that was already there.

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18
It was quiet at the wallow until about 45 minutes before sundown. Suddenly Carl clamped on my left leg and startled me. I looked to my left to see a pretty nice 5 point bull coming into the wallow. He got 30 yards from the wallow and stopped, lifted his nose in the air, and immediately got twitchy. After significant reservation, he decided to proceed to the wallow and just as he got to the mud, he again put his nose in the air and was clearly jumpy. He wheeled, and ran out of the area in a heartbeat. Very cool, but bummer he smelt us. He was so twitchy that neither of my “cameramen” got any pictures of him. The night ended quietly after that, and we headed in at dark.

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Day 4 Carl had to head home this morning, so we said our goodbyes and thank you’s to him and we headed back to the same area to chase bugles. Carl was awesome to have on this trip! He had great intel and was super fun to have along. Carl is also a stone cold killer who has achieved some extremely impressive hunting accomplishments: two NM ibex with a bow (this feat alone is absolutely unfathomable to me), barbary sheep, some big elk (at least a couple that are “poop your pants big” to Jon and me), and a whole bunch of other animals. He’s knowledgeable, in amazingly good shape (he whooped these two flatlanders butts on the mountain), and super optimistic, all of which makes him fun to be around and great to hunt with. Jon and I really enjoyed his company and were sad to see him leave.

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18
Soon Jon and I were chasing bugles again. A few bulls were talking and we were dogging them. After about a mile of chasing, they hung up in a little draw near the wallow we had found. I learned a new calling technique from a bowsiter (you know who you are and thank you again!) and I employed it- it seemed like the perfect scenario to give it a shot. The wind was cooperating and there were three bulls sounding off in the little cut. We set up as close as we dared to the closest bull and began calling. All three bulls were fired up and calling back. After almost ten minutes of calling, I heard the “thump, thump, thump” of a bull walking quickly towards us. I then saw the shape of an elk moving down the hill, immediately below me. He was obscured by trees, but looked like a pretty good bull. He disappeared at the bottom, and I waited. Jon called sporadically, and so did I, again using the “magic technique” I’d learned this year.

After a couple minutes, I turned my head to the right to look at Jon, who was 30 yards to my side. Before my eyes got to Jon’s location, I was shocked to see a bull elk 15 yards away from me and closing. He was on a path to go right in front of me. He passed behind a small juniper and I drew. As he cleared I looked at his antlers- I immediately decided he was big enough for me, particularly at this kind of chip shot range! He cleared the tree and turned towards me. Frontal shot? No- too much angle, but I also knew I couldn’t make a double lung shot at this angle by going behind the shoulder. Luckily for me, the bull turned to his right and I dropped the string at a distance of seven yards. He tore off and Jon cow called to try slow him down or stop him. After about 60 yards he almost stopped, but then seemed to casually walk out of sight. The shakes set in quickly.

From: Inshart
03-Oct-18
Damn good read, keep it come'n.

From: otcWill
03-Oct-18
Keep the"magic technique" to yourself my friend;). Good stuff! Thanks for posting

From: Treeline
03-Oct-18
Hard to believe Scoot got an arrow off!

Not sure but looks like they are spending an awful lot of time snoozing in the shade! How in the world you gonna kill an elk if your snoozing all day?

They must be using that top secret snoring elk call;-)

Things are looking up! Can’t wait for the follow up and retrieval...

From: bigswivle
03-Oct-18
This is ridiculous, tighten up dammit

From: Ucsdryder
03-Oct-18
Ok Will. Spill the beans

03-Oct-18
Last year, Will commented on someone helping him with the cow calls. I almost pm'ed him for inside info. I didn't because I've never talked to him privately. I didn't know if it was appropriate to do so. Now, I'm kicking myself for not. :^)

Scoot, pics needed man!

From: Scoot
03-Oct-18
Pics in the AM!

Will I did my part to maintain your anonymity! I didn't want you getting hammered with PMs. Let the records show I didn't blab!!!

From: Ucsdryder
03-Oct-18
Will, don’t share your secret with anybody from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and especially WV! Feel free to PM a fellow northern Coloradan though! =D

03-Oct-18
No, No, No!!!!!!!! Ucsdryder. Especially Minnesota and Wisconsin. I dang near saw as many of their plates in Colorado this year as I did residents.

From: otcWill
03-Oct-18
All good Scott. Glad I could help. Now get on with the story!

From: Shug
03-Oct-18
Great post

From: Ucsdryder
03-Oct-18
Wv, no joke. I see more Texas, MN, and Wi plates (combined) than I do colorado. I’m not sure why so many hunters come from those 3 states but it’s pretty amazing.

From: Treeline
03-Oct-18
Someone is having too much fun!

At our expense!

I’m tellin’ you guys, ‘ol Scoot already let the cat out of the bag with his previous pictures showing off the “magic technique”! Heck, looks like those boys had it down to a science;-). Probably gonna market it with a book “Snoozing Your Way To Elk”!

Honestly, the world’s greatest naps are definitely when out hunting elk. I sleep better on the rocks, sticks and pine cones than I ever do in a bed.

Can’t wait till the next installment...

From: Ucsdryder
03-Oct-18
Treeline, don’t forget the effing flies and black ants. I swear they wait for me to fall asleep and then buzz my face and crawl all over me. After 3 hours of falling asleep a couple hundred times for 1 second, I get so angry I spend an hour or 2 with the mission of killing every bug I can. I’m getting mad sitting here thinking about them. Flies were terrible this year!

From: mrelite
03-Oct-18
I keep waiting for Scoot to mention the chiggers after his nap, the Gila is starting to get a pretty strong population of them!!

From: Jethro
04-Oct-18
Stopping a hunt recap story with "dropped the string at 7 yards" has to be in violation of the story telling rules.

From: Inshart
04-Oct-18
Just morally wrong to leave us hanging.

From: GhostBird
04-Oct-18
He must have shot a spike..............

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18
Jon came over and high fived me. We were excited, to say the least! We checked the time and sat and replayed the whole thing. After a short wait we began looking for my arrow- no luck. It had zipped neatly through the bull and into oblivion behind it. Soon Jon followed the blood trail (I’m colorblind and worthless in this department). The trail was tough- really tough! I was just sure I had made a good shot, but the nearly complete lack of blood had me very nervous. There wasn’t a drop of blood for the first 40 yards, and only a small speck of blood here and there for another 100 yards. Jon is an amazing tracker, and I’m very thankful for that! Soon I looked ahead and asked Jon to confirm what I was seeing- a dead bull. “Yep, I see blood on his side.” Yes! All of a sudden I was tagged out in New Mexico!!!

Here’s the picture of my giant New Mexico bull! Haha GhostBird isn't too far off!

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18
I talked tough about holding out for a good bull this trip, but I had a split second decision as this little (mostly) one horned bull walked in on me and once I got drawn without him knowing anything and once he turned broadside, my decision was made. I wasn't positive I made a good choice a the time, but my tag was punched and I was happy. New Mexico is a looooong way to go for an dink bull coming from northern Minnesota, but the situation was perfect. As we sat there on the hill I had an "it just doesn't get better than this" moment. I was there with my best friend and hunting buddy, we had three bulls screaming back at us, the situation just felt perfect and subsequently I dropped the string. I had some reservations about my decision, but really I mostly just felt the relief and excitement of filling an elk tag. I was happy and I knew Jon was happy for me.

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Tradition! I always carry a little celebratory libation along on a trip like this, just in case we punch a tag. I pick the specific drink o’ the day based on who/what I feel like making a tribute to for that trip. Once again I chose to honor my dad, who has been, is, and will be for as long as I live an enormous and positive influence in my life. I don’t know how he ever drank this crap (sorry to all the whisky drinkers out there- I know that is a sacrilegious statement to most of you), but we choked down the Crown. Then I took a minute to silently thank a number of people who made my bowhunting/outdoor life, this trip, and this punched tag possible, and then we went to work.

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18
My goal immediately became to get Jon sitting the wallow or a nearby tank that evening. We went to work and had to make two very heavy trips back to the truck, which was 2.6 miles away as the crow flies. Long story short, we couldn’t get it done in time. Plus, we were out of water and had to get back to camp. We were shot that evening and happy as two pigs in mud. Life was good.

From: Treeline
04-Oct-18
Great shot! Gonna be yummy! Congratulations on getting a trophy freezer filler!

Now y’all need one more! Go get em!

From: midwest
04-Oct-18
Congrats, Scoot!

From: Kodiak
04-Oct-18
Good deal scoot. The Minnesota contingent is a Bowsite force to be reckoned with! lol

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18
Thanks Tavis. I usually clean up the entry/exit wound and remove all blood before pics. However, this one wasn't too bloody and I thought "dang, that's right where it's supposed to be, I think I'll leave it!"

Amazing how little blood there was considering where the arrow entered and exited. Without a truly superior tracker, this would have become a grid search pretty quickly. I honestly think a lot of guys would have never found blood, but Jon got a master's degree in trackology, fortunately for me. I think we would have found him since he was less than 100 yards from where I last saw him, but it's still better to follow a trail. Man I wish I could see color!

From: Brotsky
04-Oct-18
Crown and backstraps....fit for a king! Well done Scoot!

P.S. Kia says it's not the size of the bull that matters it's the size of the hunt!

From: ElkNut1
04-Oct-18
Good deal, congrats on your bull sir!

ElkNut/Paul

From: GhostBird
04-Oct-18
Congratulations. Kia is right and this is turning out to be a "king size" hunt for sure.

From: elkmtngear
04-Oct-18
Nice unicorn, Scoot! Congrats, any elk is a Trophy in my book, and I love the freaks!

From: kota-man
04-Oct-18
Congrats Scoot. Great story...

From: HUNT MAN
04-Oct-18
Must be something to this magic call and one horn bulls:) . Nice work and he will eat so good enjoy. Come on Jon!! Hunt

04-Oct-18
Good job brother.

From: Beav
04-Oct-18
Hunt it must be a unicorn call! Love this story keep it coming!

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18
Haha he is a unicorn! Well, kind of... he's got one broken off antler that just has the 1st point on it. Looks like it was damaged when it was in velvet because it's now a new thing at all. Honestly, if he had both full antlers, I'd like have passed on him. I shot a 1 horned MT bull, my first whitetail had one normal horn and a goofy club, and now this guy.

Yep, the magic call clearly only works for one horned bulls! I wonder if anyone else shot a one horned bull using it this year? Who knows...

From: smarba
04-Oct-18
Scoot called me to report that he'd killed a small bull. He sounded a little "apologetic" on the phone and I quickly steered him back to reality. The internet, even this forum, is filled with guys thumping their chests about killing big bulls. We all read things like "the bull 'only' scored 300" and stuff like that. It's easy to get sucked into comparing antler size.

Success rates for archery generally bounce around 10%. That's for ANY elk, cow, bull, spike, raghorn (I cringe at that term - it's a freakin' legal bull!) and monsters. That means 90% of us eat tag soup. Getting anywhere in that 10% means you're elite.

I firmly believe the circumstances and hunt conditions help determine the quality of the trophy. A P&Y bull on day 1 five minutes into the hunt may only be so-so. A spike bull after 14 days of hard hunting is a real memory. IMO a clean kill on a unicorn bull at single-digit yards is infinitely more of a trophy than a 340 bull wounded at 100 yards, lost, and the only antlers recovered days later with the meat gone to the coyotes and ravens.

I'm DANG PROUD of Scoot! And I can't fault him in the least. You get the drop on an elk at spitting distance it's tough to justify passing on the shot. When I choose to drop the string on any animal, it's a trophy to me. None of us should care one bit if it's a trophy to anybody else.

Congrats Scoot! I wish you would have gotten the drop on one a couple days earlier so I could have helped you pack it out. I might have passed on the whiskey though...yuck! LOL

From: BigOk
04-Oct-18
Congrats!!

From: Treeline
04-Oct-18
Still a pack job and one tag to fill boys!

Come on, guys! I have faith in you Minnesota boys beating those odds twice in one hunt! Come on Jon!

That “magic technique” has potential - give ‘er hell boys!

From: cnelk
04-Oct-18
Sounds like a fun hunt! Congrats!

But that has to be most MINIMAL 'guided' hunt ever. I thought NM required at least 2 days of guiding to eligible for the 'Guide Pool'?

From: buzz mc
04-Oct-18
Congrats on the bull!!! Great hunt and trip report. I enjoy all these stories regardless of the outcome. Thanks for taking the time to post.

04-Oct-18
Very true smarba. Grats Scoot.

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18
Thanks guys! Thanks Carl- I am/was very happy to beat those odds, no doubt! I definitely had my sights set on a bigger bull, but I understood the consequences of pulling the trigger when I did and I was happy to get a chance I was confident I'd make good on. I'm glad I did!

I wish you would have been there for the pack out too, Carl! Jon and I handled the packing work just fine, but there's something pretty great about the shared misery and pain that comes with the packing out of an elk. I know you know what I mean! I think it builds character in an individual, but more importantly it builds connections between individuals. That's part of why Jon and I were so mad at ourselves for not coming back down to help pack out your bear.

Cnelk, the guide had another obligation with two clients in a unit in the north end of the state for the first few days. We arranged a meeting place/time (camp) in advance and he did everything he agreed to and was obligated to do. I understand what you're saying, given that I shot the bull when I did, but it played out exactly as we had agreed to in advance. He fulfilled every aspect of his obligation and was a great guy to boot, so there certainly was no problem from our perspective.

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18
Speaking of our guide... We were joined by the guide after dark this evening. He showed up that morning and had been out scouting for the day. He found several areas that didn’t look good, but also was given a tip about a tank he scouted too. When he got there a bull was already in the water. The bull left and he slinked in and sat in a stand that was already there. Below are some pictures and video that he took that evening. Ironically, this stand was the exact same one that Carl had checked out and the one Jon or I would have been sitting that evening, had I not shot the little bull earlier in the day. Haha, that stung a little bit, but hindsight is 20-20.

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18

Scoot's Link
He got some really cool video. I stink with video, so hopefully I did this right.

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18

Scoot's Link

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18

Scoot's Link

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18

Scoot's Link

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18

Scoot's Link

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18

Scoot's Link

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
We also had a trailcam at the nearby wallow and this guy showed up in the final few minutes of legal shooting light. So the two spots we were going to sit that evening had two dang nice bulls show up in legal shooting light! Figures!!! Haha, we were back at camp smiling, sipping on a beer, yucking it up, and absolutely loving life! I was and am pleased with the outcome, so just as Carl said very eloquently above, anyone else's standards or expectations don't really matter. Most everyone here reading this gets this, as witnessed by your responses (which I appreciate, BTW).

Enough about me and my little dink of a bull, it now was "Jon time"! All efforts became focused on getting Jon a crack at an elk. I really, really wanted to make good on this effort because I felt like I really owed Jon- for the reasons I'll mention later that have shown me Jon is a great friend, but on top of that Jon called in my biggest bull and I have never managed to call in a bull that Jon ultimately shot. My aim was to fix that and I had about four days of hunting to succeed (or fail) in that effort.

From: Surfbow
04-Oct-18
Looks like you killed a great big pile of meat, congrats!!

That last video is great, that's a heck of a mule buck, cool to see the elk chase him off!

From: mn_archer
04-Oct-18
Congrats Scoot. Cool bull

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18
Day 5 We headed for the general location of the tank, knowing there was a good bull in the area. Soon we were chasing bugles and getting close to some bulls. In short, we just couldn’t get in a bull’s comfort zone and make it happen, once again. Our guide hung back and watched us operate. He had some great info for us, but numerous times he said “You guys don’t need a guide- keep doing what you’re doing.” He stayed within striking distance of us all the time, and added some light calling to supplement our calling. As it turned out, his general approach was very similar to ours- he loved to get in close and challenge a bull. I liked his aggressive style and it fit nicely with ours.

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Some random pics

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
For some reason it won't let me rotate this picture. This is a pose we call "the Gabe".
Scoot's embedded Photo
For some reason it won't let me rotate this picture. This is a pose we call "the Gabe".
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: smarba
04-Oct-18
I assume the photo of Jon was taken BEFORE he sacrificed his removable quiver full of arrows to the Gila? Or were you not going to mention that mishap?

From: Scoot
04-Oct-18
Bwahaha what quiver? What rangefinder? What bowhanger?

In some cultures they sacrifice gifts to the gods in hopes of a good outcome. It's clear that Jon was definitely hoping for a really good bull with all that he donated to the Gila!

From: smarba
04-Oct-18
Rangefinder? Bowhanger? Do tell...

From: gunnar
04-Oct-18
That photo was well after I donated my quiver! I sto...rrowed Scott's quiver after he tagged out. But funny he wouldn't let me carry his rangefinder for very long......

From: DonVathome
04-Oct-18
smarba (Carl) is one of the best med I have ever met in my life. He is also one heck of a hunter. He makes me fell like a retarted drunk monkey compared to him when hunting.

I hunted 15 ML years ago. Never saw huge bulls BUT the antlers I saw in several trucks were UNREAL.

Nice pics!

From: Bowboy
04-Oct-18
Congrats and thanks for posting.

From: Treeline
04-Oct-18
Dang, Gunnar it sounds like we are still missing something here... come on, spill the beans!

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18
Gunnar is there something you'd like to share with the group???

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18
That evening we sat the water tank. It was a beautiful evening and we heard several bugles around us. I was just sure a good bull would come back to the tank that evening. I happened to check the InReach, which Jim (AKA NoWiser) very generously loaned to us. Jim sent us a text warning us that nasty weather was moving in on us quickly. We appreciated the heads up and soon we were hearing thunder and seeing lightning. Before long the rain set in and it went from light sprinkles to heavier rain to a complete deluge. The water was flooding down the mountainside in many places and we finally decided to bail before we had to worry about flash flooding and washed out roads.

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Day 6

The morning was cool and damp, with a little continued rain. We chased bugles for the morning and our pattern of not quite getting close enough continued. Our guide had to leave mid-morning, so we said our goodbyes and he took off for parts unknown. He was a great guy and fun to have in camp! He was both a great story teller and excellent listener- not a combination that I’ve found in many people. He also were very experienced and informed with regard to elk and elk behavior.

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Jon and I continued to chase bulls until about 2:00. It was much cooler and they were on their feet more than the past several days. However, we wanted to get to the tank that evening, so we headed that direction after yet another failure to get inside of 100 yards and piss off a bull. On the walk back I called into every likely looking area and about half-way back I got a response. He was up in this bowl, towards the middle-left side.

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
The bull responded aggressively and clearly didn’t want another bull near him. I thought “Great, this guy is willing to play ball.” Jon, however, had about had enough to us banging our heads against a wall and wanted to try a different technique. We closed the distance to about 300 yards and although I hated the idea, I suggested we try a call and stalk approach. I’d sit back at 300 yards from the bull and keep him talking and Jon would try to slink in for a shot. I really wanted to be there with him when he shot a good bull, but I also understood our lack of success called for a change in tactics. Soon Jon was 60 yards from the bull and closing. He got a good look at him and he was a stud- a 320 6x6 with great mass. Oh baby, game on! He lost sight of him and I happened to bugle a minute later. The bull responded, but was now 150 yards from Jon. He closed the distance to 60 yards. This repeated two more times, but Jon managed to get closer eventually. He soon managed to get to 25 yards from the bull, but his view was obscure by brush and he had no shot. He tried to sneak to his left, but he suddenly spotted a cow above the bull, browsing and paying no attention to either him or the bull. The bull turned to the cow and suddenly snapped his head in Jon’s direction and locked on him. The two minute stare down that we all have experienced with wild animals ensued and ended with the bull screaming a bugle directly at Jon, from close range. Jon was almost knocked over by the blast from the bull, but didn’t so much as blink. The bull finally moved up the hill a bit and Jon tried to move to an opening that would have given him a shot while the bull passed a shooting lane, but he couldn’t get there in time- just two seconds late. The bull wheeled out of there in a hurry. The bull stopped at 76 yards, but Jon was too smart to even consider a shot. Dang, so close! Jon began the “walk of shame” back to me, and we sat together and he told the whole story. He was excited, disappointed, and frustrated with how it all played out. It was a thrilling interaction, but just didn’t come together. That’s elk hunting…

We sat the tank that evening and in spite of Jon’s “thumbs up attitude” we didn’t see a thing.

From: gunnar
05-Oct-18
So the story on the quiver, etc....The day I sat the wallow with Carl we had about 2.5 miles to go after dark so I loaded my bow on my pack. I must have caught the arrows on a limb cause when I got back to camp I no longer owned an alpine soft lock quiver or arrows....it was a scramble the next morning to get my next group of arrows set up. Scoot graciously allowed me 2 spots in his quiver for the next couple days.

Then a couple days later while we were chasing elk I looked down to realize that somewhere in the chase my rangefinder had come unclipped from it's harness and was laying on the mountain....somewhere.. (S4 evo) I was never happy with that system of attaching my rangefinder. Searched for it for awhile but no luck.

The bow hanger, now that one really made me mad. I borrowed my $3 dollar screw in bow hanger to Scoot and he lost it, no idea where....and he didn't even buy me a new one.

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18
Haha get over it, Nancy!

Some more random pictures from the trip.

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Lots of these little guys around.
Scoot's embedded Photo
Lots of these little guys around.
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Am I a good lookin' dude or what?!? LOL
Scoot's embedded Photo
Am I a good lookin' dude or what?!? LOL
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
The site won't let me rotate (or delete) any pic but the first one in the thread, so I'll repost.

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Here's Jon with an old beer can. Remarkable amount of garbage in the backcountry there. We packed a lot of old cans off the mountain and happily left it better than we found it!
Scoot's embedded Photo
Here's Jon with an old beer can. Remarkable amount of garbage in the backcountry there. We packed a lot of old cans off the mountain and happily left it better than we found it!
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Stinkiest tree in all of New Mexico!
Scoot's embedded Photo
Stinkiest tree in all of New Mexico!

From: NoWiser
05-Oct-18
Sorry to hear about your bow hanger, Gunnar. That's unfortunate. You just can't trust some friends with your nice things. Amazing he returned with the InReach :)

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18
After he lost his quiver, a handful of arrows, five broadheads, and a rangefinder you are surprised that I got you your InReach back to you??? LOL tough crowd!

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18
Day 7

We continued with the plan and headed off to chase bugles. Jim had very nicely sent us a weather report and the cooler weather would end today and it would get sunny and warm. We both figured the tank or the wallow would be good that evening. We got on the heels of a group of elk and followed… and followed… and followed. Finally, they tipped over an edge and seemed to settle in on a north facing slope. Jon and I crested the hill and decided to shed some clothes- we were overheated and soaking wet with sweat. Just as we started tucking stuff in our packs a bull sounded off directly below us- he was only about 150 yards away.

We sneaked down the hill about 75 yards and didn’t dare go any closer. Jon found a spot with a shooting lane down the hill and one to the side. Instead of cow calling to get the bull to bugle (which seemed to push the bulls off), we (im)patiently waited for the bull to sound off on his own. After a couple minutes the bull let out a bugle and I ripped the loudest, meanest, nastiest bugle I could muster right over the top of him. “Thump, thump… tick tick”, we heard the bull stand up out of his bed and his antlers hit branches as he came towards us. “He’s coming”, I said. After a minute the bull bugled again- he was close, and once again I cut him off as aggressively as I could. Again we heard his antlers hit on branches as he came towards us. I peered through a juniper tree and caught movement to our right. “There he is, don’t move”, I whispered. Jon responded “A spike.” Huh? I could clearly see several points as the bull stood behind the juniper and assessed the situation. The bull walked to the right and Jon, who had been watching a spike 40 yards behind the bull I saw (I never actually even saw the spike), caught his movement and locked on him. The bull was headed for a nice shooting lane, and walked behind a small juniper as he walked up the hill. Jon drew at the opportunity and unfortunately, the bull stopped right behind the juniper. Jon whispered, “I’m screwed”, and I silently completely agreed with him. Miraculously, after a 30 second stare down, the bull began walking into the opening, broadside and just 23 yards away. Jon sent the arrow towards the bull and we watched it enter his chest, a little high and back. At contact Jon almost immediately said, “$#!&*#”. Again, I silently agreed. The bull spun and ran directly away from us. We were both thrilled to see his right side completely covered in blood as he turned to the right. Then, his back legs wobbled a bit and I’ll never forget the sight of seeing him lean left and his antlers swing from upright to sideways in a great big flop. He was down and out!

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18
The pic below is where it shook out. I spotted the bull behind the tree on the left side of the pic (Spotted bull), he stopped behind the juniper in the middle (Stopped) and Jon shot when he was around the bulls eye at a distance of just over 20 yards (top pin range!).

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18
The second the bull hit the ground amateur hour began for me. I freaked out and tackled Jon completely to the ground. I gave him a big ol’ hug and we were to the moon excited. It was an awesome set and we punched our 2nd New Mexico tag exactly how we love to do it- get in their comfort zone and challenge them aggressively. Jon obviously felt relieved and the shakes, emotions, and a huge sense of relief set in. What an awesome moment for him and for me, and it was a huge deal for me to be there with him for it. Those of you who have great friends and hunting buddies understand what I mean when I say that. Jon is not only my go-to-hunting buddy, he’s also a great friend who has been there for me when I needed a friend the most. He called in my biggest bull, he was there at my mom’s funeral and through the “lost year” that followed, he treats my kids as well as his own, and on and on… To call in that bull for him meant a ton to me and to watch him make good on the opportunity was simply wonderful.

Pics below are as real as it gets- nothing staged at all, just Jon’s honest reaction of relief, excitement, and pure emotion.

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
This guy was a fighter! Arrow entry wound at the bottom, but two very fresh open wounds above that from fighting.
Scoot's embedded Photo
This guy was a fighter! Arrow entry wound at the bottom, but two very fresh open wounds above that from fighting.

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Tagged out!!!
Scoot's embedded Photo
Tagged out!!!
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Giddyup!!!
Scoot's embedded Photo
Giddyup!!!

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18
All smiles on this short pack out! We had chased the bulls so far north we ended up close to a trail we didn’t even know was there. Nice! Weird the pack out pics don't show here, even though they are in the post when I click on "edit". Regardless, rest assured we were two happy and smilin' dudes!

From: Whip
05-Oct-18
Really enjoying every moment of this one. Thanks for taking the time and congratulations on being one of the fortunate few to pack elk meat! Looking forward to the rest of the story.

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Tradition!

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
With that, we loaded up and headed out of the Gila. What a great place to spend my favorite week of the year!

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
We went to New Mexico to shoot two huge bulls. We left with an experience that was second to none and two little dink bulls. We made a 24 hour drive home with huge grins on our faces the whole way. No regrets from either of us on this trip- we had a blast and things couldn’t have gone much better. Thanks for following along- I hope it was entertaining for you. Next time we go we’ll bring home two whopper bulls. Or… we won’t! Either way, we’ll go and have a trip of a lifetime, once again.

From: smarba
05-Oct-18
Great job guys! Thx for putting together such a great story for us.

From: 4beards
05-Oct-18
Congrats Gents! Yawl can get it done out west. I will toast to your success w/ a smooth Rye Whiskey, but unlike you, will thoroughly enjoy it.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
05-Oct-18
Congratulations guys, way to get it done! Great write up and thanks for sharing!!

From: otcWill
05-Oct-18
Really enjoyed it boys! Well done

From: Mule Power
05-Oct-18
Thanks Scoot. I feel like I’ve hunted New Mexico now! Great write up.

From: Surfbow
05-Oct-18
Great job fellas, looked like an awesome hunt, thanks for sharing!

From: Ucsdryder
05-Oct-18
Well done! Love the title now that the story is complete. Lol!

From: yooper89
05-Oct-18
Doin' the bull dance, feelin the flow... workin it.. workin it..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F55olo6F94

Congrats fellas!

From: bohuntr
05-Oct-18
WOW, what a great story!!! Congratulations to both of you and to Carl!

From: Bondo
05-Oct-18
Excellent story guys! I read a lot of the stories on this site and you guys have it nailed down...it is NOT about the size of the bull. It is ALWAYS about the hunt itself and the things that you get to experience with your buddies. GOD is awesome and allows us opportunities like this!!

From: Jaquomo
05-Oct-18
What a great adventure and story, guys! This proves once again that the size of the hunt isn't measured by the size of the antlers. Thanks so much for sharing!

From: Brotsky
05-Oct-18
Well done fellas! Enjoyed the pictures immensely! Next year it's going to be my turn to finally pull a NM tag! Enjoy those backstraps!

05-Oct-18
Great job, Jon and Scott! Congratulations!

Carl, congrats on your bear too!

From: GhostBird
05-Oct-18
Congratulations guys... super trip. Thanks for taking us along.

From: NoWiser
05-Oct-18
Thanks for taking the time to write this! I love to see the pictures to go along with the story. Congrats again on a great hunt! I bet Ryan isn't complaining about a freezer full of elk burgers.

From: Beav
05-Oct-18
Excellent recap of a great hunt! Congrats to both of you not only on the elk but what matters even more, and that is the whole experience!

From: goelk
05-Oct-18
Great story. Thanks for sharing

From: midwest
05-Oct-18
Loved it! WTG guys!

05-Oct-18
Grats guys!

From: Bowboy
05-Oct-18
Congrats!

From: gunnar
05-Oct-18
Hey 4beards don't let Scoot completely fool you.....I do enjoy a nice smooth whiskey, however a double shot of hot Crown when it is 85 degrees out and you are dehydrated is not my idea of a nice smooth whiskey!! This post has made me thirsty, might be time to head home for the day for some moonshine.......

From: Bowfreak
05-Oct-18
Awesome story! Congrats to both gunnar and Scoot on a great trip and great elk!

From: mrelite
05-Oct-18
Congrats to the both of you, I am glad you guys had a great hunt in NM, you all couldn't have had a better host than Carl!!

05-Oct-18
Congrats guys!!

From: smarba
05-Oct-18
Hey Scoot I just realized you left out the final chapter of the story. I received cryptic text messages that after they finally got rid of me they both killed bulls.

Scoot eventually reached cell service as they began the long haul home. He filled me in with the majority of the story he posted here. It was well after dark and they had a LOOONNNGGGG drive ahead of them. I asked what their plans were for stopping for the night and Scoot replied that they hadn't really thought it through.

I told them at their rate of travel the'd probably hit ABQ sometime before midnight and we'd have a spare bedroom that was bigger than their tent and a hot shower waiting for them. "Um honey, these you know those bowhunters I was with earlier this week? Well they could use a shower and a place to crash so they're coming by the house late tonight after being in the woods for 10 days..." LOL

They arrived ahead of schedule and it was my pleasure to put them up, feed them breakfast burritos the next morning, admire their well-earned trophies and wish them safe travels. These two are top-notch guys and fun to be around.

Hopefully they'll get another chance at a NM bull soon.

From: trkyslr
05-Oct-18
Nice work! Congrats!

From: Scoot
05-Oct-18
I left it out because I didn't want you to have a bunch of bowsiters expecting free room and board, Carl! Haha Carl took amazing care of us from start to finish- we've never been so spoiled on a hunting trip!

From: midwest
05-Oct-18
Bowsiters are the best!

05-Oct-18
Hey, Carl... umm, I'll be going through Albuquerque soon.... can I bum some of those breakfast burritos? :)

From: smarba
05-Oct-18
Red or green?! LOL

From: Brotsky
05-Oct-18
I gotta warn you Carl, Embry is like a stray dog. If you feed him the next thing you know he'll be going through your garbage cans! :-)

05-Oct-18

EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
EmbryOklahoma's embedded Photo
I resemble that Brotsky.

From: AT Halley
05-Oct-18
Great story guys. Jon, next time when you're doing "the gabe" keep your dang eyes open!

05-Oct-18
Congrats to you as well gunnar!

Scoot said, "I silently completely agreed with him." That's priceless brother.

Smarba seems like my kind of people.

This was a great story guys. It illustrates why we do it and, the friendships we make along the way, while we are doing it. Just great stuff men.

From: weekender21
06-Oct-18
Congrats, looks like one awesome trip!

From: Treeline
06-Oct-18
Now that was an elk hunt! Great job guys! All the way around!

From: Scoot
06-Oct-18
Thanks folks- sure was fun! Nothing better than chasing elk. Even better with a great friend.

From: BULELK1
07-Oct-18
I finally got a chance to finish viewing/reading you hunt re cap Scott.

Thanks for sharing

Congrats

Good luck, Robb

From: Beginner
07-Oct-18
Enjoyed your post very much. The photos and comments were very entertaining.

From: KHunter
13-Oct-18
great job guys! thanks for sharing.

From: Marty
13-Oct-18
Awesome story! Great job!

From: Dan Mallia
14-Oct-18
Awesome story and thanks for sharing.

14-Oct-18
Good memories and some good eats, congrats guys and thanks for sharing.

From: Dan Mallia
15-Oct-18
Awesome story and thanks for sharing.

From: SteveB
15-Oct-18
Congratulations! What a great adventure!!

  • Sitka Gear