Sitka Mountain Gear
The Highs, the Lows, The Highs
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
wyobullshooter 08-Dec-18
wyobullshooter 08-Dec-18
wyobullshooter 09-Dec-18
wyobullshooter 09-Dec-18
Stoneman 09-Dec-18
wyobullshooter 09-Dec-18
wyobullshooter 09-Dec-18
wyobullshooter 09-Dec-18
wyobullshooter 09-Dec-18
wyobullshooter 09-Dec-18
wyobullshooter 09-Dec-18
wyobullshooter 09-Dec-18
wyobullshooter 09-Dec-18
Stoneman 09-Dec-18
Grunter 09-Dec-18
YZF-88 09-Dec-18
Huntcell 09-Dec-18
cnelk 09-Dec-18
Nick Muche 09-Dec-18
WV Mountaineer 09-Dec-18
pav 09-Dec-18
BULELK1 09-Dec-18
ELKMAN 09-Dec-18
wyobullshooter 09-Dec-18
Butternut40 09-Dec-18
ELKMAN 09-Dec-18
HUNT MAN 09-Dec-18
Bowboy 09-Dec-18
JLBSparks 09-Dec-18
Beav 09-Dec-18
Medicinemann 09-Dec-18
Treeline 09-Dec-18
Paul@thefort 09-Dec-18
Jaquomo 09-Dec-18
Whocares 09-Dec-18
wyobullshooter 09-Dec-18
Arrowflinger 09-Dec-18
T Mac 09-Dec-18
Kodiak 09-Dec-18
midwest 09-Dec-18
t-roy 09-Dec-18
Inshart 09-Dec-18
Ucsdryder 09-Dec-18
Scoot 09-Dec-18
deerslayer 09-Dec-18
elkmtngear 09-Dec-18
Native Okie 09-Dec-18
ElkNut1 09-Dec-18
BigOk 09-Dec-18
Z Barebow 09-Dec-18
drycreek 09-Dec-18
IdyllwildArcher 09-Dec-18
otcWill 10-Dec-18
Wayniac 10-Dec-18
OFFHNTN 10-Dec-18
Grunt-N-Gobble 11-Dec-18
orionsbrother 11-Dec-18
Bou'bound 11-Dec-18
Owl 11-Dec-18
Cazador 11-Dec-18
12yards 11-Dec-18
Ron Niziolek 11-Dec-18
Cheesehead Mike 11-Dec-18
buckfevered 11-Dec-18
adogg437 11-Dec-18
Charlie Rehor 11-Dec-18
08-Dec-18
This is the story of my 2018 elk hunt. I'm proud of some of it, some of it I'm not so proud.

My son didn't draw an elk licence in Wyoming this year, so this was a first for him (us) in CO. We busted our behinds for 9 days, but left with nothing to show for it. He has the same drive I had 35 yrs ago, so needless to say, by the time we headed home I was a whooped pup. Once I got home, I'd originaly planned to head up to my hunting area the Tuesday morning after Labor Day. Didn't happen. Honestly, if someone had said I had to pass up this year, they wouldn't have gotten an argument. For the first time ever, I'd lost the edge. It bothered me, but at the same time, I was ok with it. Hard to explain.

Wednesday morning, the 5th of Sep, I honestly had to force myself to get my ass in gear and head up to camp. I had my camper set up by 1:00. Any other year, I'd have taken a shower and headed up to my treestand for the evening hunt. Instead, I decided to just enjoy being in God's Country, have a couple (or 3) beers, and go out in the morning.

08-Dec-18
There was a thread this past summer asking what everyone's plan was for opening day. I posted that I'd do what I'd done for the past 33 yrs. I'd go to a place I call Elk Heaven, give a few mews, wait a bit, then give a couple locator bugles. If nothing happened, I'd head for The Saddle and then make The Loop. If I got a response, I'd play it by ear. More tradition than anything else, but like every other year, that's exactly what I did.

As luck, (or a Higher Power) would have it, I gave a couple mews and I got a bugle from on top of the ridge towards the saddle. This isn't where they normally are that early, so I gave a couple more mews, hoping for a response so I'd have an idea where to head them off. That's the last I heard from that bull, but another one sounded off from nearly a half mile away. I knew exactly where he was, but they NEVER stay there for long. No doubt they'd be heading off long before I got over there. Doesn't matter, you cannot NOT go!

09-Dec-18

wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
I hurried down the ridge, across the fire break, through the clearcut, then headed up the far ridge. As I was going, I'd hit a bugle once in a while just hoping to keep tabs on the bull. He sounded like he was getting further off, heading for their bedding area miles away, just like they always have. When I hit the top of the ridge, I slowed down. I just KNEW he was gone. I slowly worked my way 20 yard into the timber when I just about pissed my pants. I spotted a cow, broadside, 45 yds away. The only thing that was covered was her head! I thanked God that I hadn't taken one more step! There's no way she shouldn't have seen my movement, but she didn't. I was in lodgepole pine, so I looked around for something to break up my outline. The only thing was a Charlie Brown pine one step to my left. She started to feed, so I took the opportunity to take that one step to my left

09-Dec-18
At this point, I still hadn't seen the bull. I expected to hear him moving out, just like they had every time before. There are times mews work best, there are times bugles work best. The past couple years, a challenge bugle has been golden, but I just didn't feel this was the best time for that. I gave a couple mews and waited to see what would happen.

From: Stoneman
09-Dec-18
So far other then a few day's taking your bow for a hike in Colorado with your son, which doesn't even sound that bad. I have a feeling this going to end real "high".

09-Dec-18

wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
I didn't have a CO licence, so my son was the only one taking his bow for a hike. ;-) The hunting pretty much sucked, but as always, the time time spent with my son was truly treasured! Although the elk hunting left much to be desired, I got pics of some pretty impressive moose!

09-Dec-18

wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
There's a burnt tree that's leaning in the middle of the photo. The bull was standing in front of that tree when I shot.
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
There's a burnt tree that's leaning in the middle of the photo. The bull was standing in front of that tree when I shot.
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
Here's a close up of that tree
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
Here's a close up of that tree
Back to the elk hunt. I finally saw the bull through the timber approx 80yds away. For the first time ever in this spot, the mews had worked and he was actually headed back in my direction! I saw him bugle, so I hit a couple more mews and waited to see what would develop. I was searching ahead of where he was heading, hoping I could find a shooting lane through all the lodgepole. I saw one spot that would give me a couple foot window down through the timber. There was absolutely no other shooting lanes, so it was that or nothing. As his head hit the window, I gave a soft mew as his near leg was starting forward. As they always have, he hit the brakes with his goodies exposed. I never had a chance to range him, so I guessed him at 40yds and started pulling through my shot. As it turned out, my guess was pretty close. It was actually 42yds. Problem was, he took a step just as I released.

09-Dec-18
As soon as the arrow hit, I knew I had a problem. The height was perfect, but it was WAY too far back. This is where I think it paid off shooting a perfectly tuned bow and extremely sharp broadhead, not to mention a quiet bow. Neither the bull or the cow ever ran. They simply walked away. I watched the bull make it maybe 40yds and stop. It was obvious he was sick, but I didn't see much red on his side, and he didn't go down. He continued following the cow as they slowly walked out of sight approx 100 yds away. I only prayed he wasn't out of my life forever.

09-Dec-18
As much as I wanted to go down to where he was when I shot, I knew better. I forced myself to head back to camp and give him time. I shot him at 7:20 a.m. I'd come back and head over to where I saw him disappear at 1:30 p.m. I just prayed that I hadn't seen him for the last time. As many can attest, that was a LONG time before I headed back up to see what i could find. I was optimistic, but knew the odds weren't great.

09-Dec-18

wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
When I got back to where I had shot him, I found he was actually following a game trail, so I followed it up in the direction he had headed. I hadn't went far when I saw a large pool of blood where he had stood. This gave me hope. I started following the blood and was amazed how good it was considering I hit him quite a bit further back than I'd intended. By now it had been just over 6 hrs since I'd shot him, so I knew he'd be dead. I just had to find him.

09-Dec-18

wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
Straight ahead is The Greens. In the middle of the photo is a trail marker I tied on a tree after the fact.
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
Straight ahead is The Greens. In the middle of the photo is a trail marker I tied on a tree after the fact.
I followed the easy to follow blood trail through the downfall, then I started heading into an area I call The Greens. It's only about 20yds wide, but it's one of the old creek beds that has thick grass. I was worried about losing the bloodtrail. About that time, I heard some noise up ahead. I passed it off as a squirrel and slowly pressed on. Hard to tell from the photo, but the downfall is roughly 3' high.

09-Dec-18

wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
This is what I saw standing next to the tree in the above pic.
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
This is what I saw standing next to the tree in the above pic.
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
The gut pile is where the bull was looking at me when I took one more step.
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
The gut pile is where the bull was looking at me when I took one more step.
When I worked up beside the tree in the above pic, I looked off to my left and just about crapped my pants! Less that 10yds away was my bull...bedded, but completely alive and alert! Thank God I'd waited as long as I did. The noise I'd heard was him trying to get up. Thank God he didn't have the strength to do so. One more arrow and I was able to finish what I'd intended to do over 7hrs before.

09-Dec-18

wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
Unfortunately, regardless of how hard we try to make everything go according to plan, sometimes that plan goes south. I thank God every day for leading me to that bull!

From: Stoneman
09-Dec-18
Very nice show and tell and great bull!

Colorado does have some pretty good bull moose.

Thanks for sharing.

From: Grunter
09-Dec-18
Way to get it done! Heck of a dandy bull! Glad you found him, thanks for sharing!

From: YZF-88
09-Dec-18
That’s awesome! Congrats on a sweet bull. Good call backing out for sure! Did you catch liver?

From: Huntcell
09-Dec-18
Impressive! And a good read.

From: cnelk
09-Dec-18
Nice job Rob!

What BH were you using?

From: Nick Muche
09-Dec-18
Nice work, and what a bull! Thanks for sharing!

09-Dec-18
Heck Yeah!!!!!!! Another certified elk killer doing what they do. Awesome stuff and great discipline to make yourself do the right thing.

From: pav
09-Dec-18
Nice bull Rob...congrats! Sounds like YOU did everything right!

From: BULELK1
09-Dec-18
Good for you Rob

Congrats man

Good luck, Robb

From: ELKMAN
09-Dec-18
Good job finishing what you started. Some of those correct decisions you made are some of the hardest things to do in hunting. Congratulations. Beautiful animal.

09-Dec-18
Thanks guys. I certainly had help from the Man Upstairs!

Jason, I did catch liver. Brad, I’ve been using Slick Trick Vipertricks for the last 2yrs. Very impressed with them!

From: Butternut40
09-Dec-18
Congrats and thanks for sharing your story.

From: ELKMAN
09-Dec-18
Yes you did. We all have at one time or another...

From: HUNT MAN
09-Dec-18
Very nice bulland even better story. Thanks for posting!! Hunt

From: Bowboy
09-Dec-18
An awesome story and pictures. Congrats on a great bull!

From: JLBSparks
09-Dec-18
A fine bull and a great story.

-Joe

From: Beav
09-Dec-18
Giant! Thanks for sharing the story!

From: Medicinemann
09-Dec-18
Great story. Outstanding discipline after the shot.....

From: Treeline
09-Dec-18
Congratulations!

Sounds like you had a great season and got to spend quality time with your son even though the elk didn’t cooperate in CO.

The good lord was certainly involved and you made the right decisions to close the deal! Even though you weren’t all that fired up for that Wyoming hunt, you certainly did well! Great bull!

Elk certainly do what elk do and don’t always do what we expect;-)

From: Paul@thefort
09-Dec-18
Rob, you are a smart guy, hunter, and story teller. Nicely done. my best, Paul

From: Jaquomo
09-Dec-18
Great job, Rob! Thanks for sharing the story. Hopefully some less experienced hunters will learn from what you shared and make good decisions in the future when bad things happen, instead of jumping up and down whooping and high-fiving when they should be sneaking out to let the bull lie down.

Congratulations, buddy!

From: Whocares
09-Dec-18
Congrats and thanks for sharing on a cold winter day and no ice fishing planned today. These stories help!

09-Dec-18
Thanks again for the kind words. I certainly appreciate it. I really debated whether to share all the details, but as Lou points out, hopefully it will help someone else down the line. Sometimes the best thing to do isn’t the easiest.

From: Arrowflinger
09-Dec-18
That is a beautiful bull! you did a great job tracking and making the right decisions

From: T Mac
09-Dec-18
Excellent bull and great decision to wait. That is hands down always the best decision whenever you hit back.

From: Kodiak
09-Dec-18
What a great bull.

From: midwest
09-Dec-18
Congrats again, Rob! Great to hear the whole story. Good decisions made by a veteran elk killer.

From: t-roy
09-Dec-18
Congrats on a great bull, Rob!

From: Inshart
09-Dec-18
Great looking elk. Always enjoy hearing veterans sharing details of what it takes to bloody a knife.

From: Ucsdryder
09-Dec-18
What a toad bull! Nice work! It’s always hard to keep looking ahead when you’re looking for blood!

From: Scoot
09-Dec-18
Beautiful and great work! Many congrats!

From: deerslayer
09-Dec-18
Great, great bull Rob. I enjoyed the full write up. Had a similar story myself this year. Sure feels amazing when you finally wrap your hands around it! Love me some Viper Tricks as well. Thanks for the story and congrats on a beauty bull.

From: elkmtngear
09-Dec-18
Beautiful Trophy Bull, Rob!

You did everything right (in the presence of a less than perfect shot). Big Congrats!

From: Native Okie
09-Dec-18
Great job, Rob!

From: ElkNut1
09-Dec-18
Awesome job & story! Rod I really enjoyed it, I appreciate the photos too, well done! Hopefully your Son will be able to draw that WY tag this year!

ElkNut/Paul

From: BigOk
09-Dec-18
Congrats!!! Thanks for sharing the sory.

From: Z Barebow
09-Dec-18
Congrats Rob! Great lesson. When it comes to tracking, erring on the side of patience is generally rewarded.

From: drycreek
09-Dec-18
Congrats on being wise enough and patient enough to find your bull !

09-Dec-18
Grats Rob. Nice bull.

From: otcWill
10-Dec-18
Well done! Great bull

From: Wayniac
10-Dec-18
Congrats on a good outcome!

From: OFFHNTN
10-Dec-18
Awesome stuff!!! Congrats!

11-Dec-18
Congrats!

11-Dec-18
Beautiful bull!! Congratulations!!

From: Bou'bound
11-Dec-18
great job

From: Owl
11-Dec-18
Don't know if I possess the self-discipline to tackle that follow-up time. Great work and fantastic bull.

From: Cazador
11-Dec-18
Way to follow up. Just like deer, 6 -8 hours just isn't enough many times on a true gut shot. I too went through this, and just like your elk, I had to finish what I started. At least I didn't have all that blow down to deal with!

From: 12yards
11-Dec-18
Nice job! Nice Bull!

From: Ron Niziolek
11-Dec-18
Good decisions Rob, and persistence. Hopefully others take away a good lesson from your story. Great bull too!

11-Dec-18
Congrats Rob!

From: buckfevered
11-Dec-18
Great job, and, as others have said, thank you for the story (well told) and the details. A man can learn a lot by just listening (or reading in this instance).

From: adogg437
11-Dec-18
Congrats! Dandy bull, good on you for being self aware enough to make the right moves during crunch time

11-Dec-18
You are a Pro. Overnight success usually takes 30 years! Well done!

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