Contributors to this thread:
Is this bull 300-follow up
Alright, now who here would pass up the elk that cnelk posted and why? I would not pass on him obviously since I've never shot a bull. I might pass out if he came close, but I would not intentionally pass this animal.
Nobody should pass that bull unless they want to pass a 335" bull. He's within a few inches of that. That's a mistake in any CO unit and most units period.
What people will pass looking at a picture and what they’ll pass when it’s right in front of them offering a shot is often quite different. I can see a few experienced bowhunters, especially ones that have killed big elk and with a long-awaited LE tag passing that bull, but I’d kill that elk in most units without a second thought. Maybe not if I had, say, a tag in a state’s top 1-3 units.
Guys need to look at BB’s second photo of the bull that’s from the front before saying they’d pass.
Depends where I was hunting and how long I had been at it. Early in the hunt where larger bulls were common, I would let him walk and have let larger ones walk. Late in a hunt or just a tough year, I would take the shot. Killed a smaller bull in Montana last fall.
I would pass him. I'm very fortunate to live in great elk country. I have shot a few bulls over that already. Two things go into me deciding to harvest an animal; 1) Is he bigger than what I have, if yes then shoot, if no proceed to question two. 2) Has this hunt been so memorable that score doesn't matter? If yes, shoot, if no then pass.
The other thing is, why shoot an animal that isn't bigger or going to stand out in my memory. By me passing on him, he may wander in front of another hunter and that could be their dream bull. To add to that, if he makes it through the season, then he will just be bigger next year.
I wouldn't pass, I almost shot a rag horn last year in 76 on the second day...but I'm a pushover and my wife likes elk meat...sooooo
I would pass him on the Jicarilla and a few other private ranches that I’ll never hunt. Any public land and that bull is taking my arrow.
Two days left to hunt...
Two days left to hunt...
I passed on a bull very similar on my CO hunt in ‘17. Saw the bull coming down a hill in the cedars and ran about 1/2 mile down to cut him off. Walked by for very similar shot distance, angle and cover. He was just under what I was wanting out of that hunt after waiting 22 years.
That was about 6 days before the end of the season.
I was sick afterwards.
I have passed on much bigger bulls on hunts in Arizona and Utah and either ate tag soup or killed smaller bulls the last day. Thinking back on those experiences made me really queasy.
After passing that bull, I told myself that I would not pass another opportunity at a bull in that class. Luckily, it turned out to be the right decision.
There are a lot of "it depends" in the answer to that question.
It depends on what the expectations are for the unit I'm hunting, how long I've waited to draw the tag, what my odds are of hunting there again and how many days I have left on that hunt.
I've got one bull bigger than that one and one close but I don't expect to ever shoot a bull bigger than my current biggest. Therefore if I set my goal at "it has to bigger than my biggest" I'd probably never shoot another bull the rest of my life. I don't like the thought of that...
I'm guessing that I'd shoot that bull at least 90% of the time. Then if I was disappointed in the score I would just exaggerate and hope Dave doesn't see it, LOL!
I guess one possible scenario for passing would be if another bull you knew was bigger was right behind it and moving toward an opening for a shot. But even then it would be hard for me to pass. A bird in the hand is worth........
We should all be so lucky to say I would "pass"... however, KyleSS makes some good points. #1 not so much but #2 yes. Still if this bull stepped out in the first 5 minutes of the first day my arrow is on the way.
99% of the time 99% of us are sending an arrow.
Lots of guys look at pictures of 3 year old white tails and say that they'd pass them, but then kill them when given the opportunity. Some guys look at pictures of 4 year old white tails and say they'd pass them, but the guy who lets 4 year old white tail walk in the field when given a good shot, is a small minority.
I agree with Will that this bull is 335. This size bull in person at under 50 yards looks enormous. There's also a huge difference between glassing a bull for an hour and knowing what you're dealing with and calling a bull in the woods and having him pop out in front of you. You often times don't have the time to look at the fronts, look at the 3rd, look at the 4ths/5ths, look at the mass, look at the beam length to really know what you're dealing with.
I have never met a true Elk hunter who would pass up that bull.
I’ve killed a couple bulls that are bigger than that bull. I’m not really an elk hunter and since I’ve got a couple nice bulls I only apply for units I feel I can kill bulls like I’ve already got. So I would pass him on any elk tag I draw.
On the other hand if I don’t have a deer hunt lined up and have time off I will go hunt elk otc. And in that case I kill whatever is legal since I like the meat.
Even if you've killed bulls bigger, a 335" is still something to write home about.
Maybe the hunt itself was spectacular. Maybe its your last hunt. Maybe you've named this bull...
So many reasons to kill this bull. More than not
cnelk, I agree totally. Same thing with whitetails. I've killed a 180+ inch whitetail and some guys say they wouldn't shoot anything smaller than what they already have shot. Well every buck can be so different, even if it scores way less, it might still be a unique trophy or something about the hunt makes it unique. Many other reasons to shoot an animal for sure.
I am in the hunt for the adventure and it makes me a kid again for a few hours or days once or twice each autumn. I set my expectations with the critters in the unit and recent harvest success. As with golf, is really me competing with my goals rather than someone else or even a prior round I played. Heck, each day while waiting for hunt application results to be posted is like waiting to open presents on Christmas morning.
I think it is great there are meat hunters and trophy-only seekers and public land hunters and private lease types and solo hunters and group hunters and guided hunters. How you ethically hunt has about as much impact on me as what golf ball you hit. Good luck on your upcoming hunts.
I would drain him in a heartbeat !! Thats a dang nice bull !
If i needed it to be bigger than the biggest bull i have ever killed then i might as well just give up elk hunting ;)
I'll shoot one half his size if given the opportunity this fall. :)
I'm being as honest as I can. I like killing stuff. And, I hope I never get to the point where I'd feel like passing that bull. I'd miss out on the satisfaction you get when you kill something fair and square.
I get to look at a 336" 6 by 7 every time I go to my granddads house. The day I no longer want to shoot that or, have killed too many bigger bulls to shoot that one, means I no longer harness the desire to be the hunter that I am. I like Public land DIY adventures where friends and family plan the hunt, execute those plans, and bring home the bounty of meat and memories.
So many great comments here. If you're going to pass on this bull then you're probably going to miss out on why we hunt with stick and bow. I'm probably wrong as there are great elk hunters here that I will probably never match. I've hunted some of the best units here in AZ, 10, 9, 3A-3C and that bull is done.
Ah c'mon, Willieboat- everybody sees public land 400" bulls like yours in the woods. Just a matter of time and you'll kill a couple more! ;-)
I would definitely kill that bull anytime hunting my OTC area. Usually any decent 6x is going down. However I'm getting close to cashing in my 22 points and he's not quite what I'm looking for when that time comes. I know that there's a good chance I'll eat tag soup but after waiting this long for a hunt I want to either kill a GIANT or have fun looking for one for 30 days.
To be more specific on the top 10 reasons I would shoot that bull:
1- I practiced for months to make the shot given to me.
2- I get to use my new broadheads
3- I get to use my knife I spent sharpening to a hair shaving edge
4- I get to be in the 10% club
5- I get to use my game bags that were to be determined to be the best on the internet
6- I get to use my pack that was determined to be the best on the internet
7- I get my pic taken wearing Sitka FL or Kuiu.
8- I get to use the strength I got training for this hunt.
9- I’ll have a large taxidermy bill
I’ll get to share the story on Bowsite. :)
In the draw for top units in Wyoming and Arizona myself this year.
Believe me, I would not hesitate to drop string on that bull this year if I am lucky enough to draw either of those hunts and lucky enough to find a bull in that class, 1st day or the last!
One huge advantage I had in ‘17 was that I had a lot of time, even though I kind of took it to the wire before finally getting it done, I was having a lot of fun every day in the elk woods with no pressure to have to kill something, get back to work, get back home, or get to another hunt.
Time is worth more than gold!
Lots of interesting answers here. I have never had the opportunity to hunt a unit where I would even consider passing that bull. This year, however, I may draw a unit where I would at least think about not shooting. I think it would depend on how much time I had to hunt and whether I was seeing better bulls. I would only consider passing if I was really enjoying the hunt and didn't want it to end. In the final analysis, I would be happy to have that bull in any unit.
I like the way Kyle thinks.
It’s all still pretty hypothetical for me; I’m too cheap to have had anything mounted yet, and one big bull on the wall would be enough for me. So if I had already put one up, it would have to be a really special bull (or just a really special trip) to get me to kill another, especially real early on in a hunt. No sense taking a nicer bull than most guys will ever set eyes on... and then let the rack collect dust in the garage. Better to count coup and take a cow, calf or barely legal bull, no?
The biggest luxury of an archery tag is that they’re usually either-sex. You don’t have to kill a bull to take home the steaks, and even a calf is a mighty big deer.
Treeline, those are two tremendous bulls taken with traditional gear. Well done.
SBH - that’s the same bull, just a side and front pic.
Cnelk - damnit Brad! You got your numbers upside down again! #1 has to be “I’ll get to share my story on Bowsite”!
Brun - I hope you pull the tag and get to have all the time in the world to enjoy it! Oh, and make sure you see cnelk’s # 10!
I wouldn't pass him. I elk hunt like I pheasant hunt: Rooster? BOOM
Only difference is that hen elk are legal (maybe not for long in CO) so they don't get a pass either. :^)
I'd probably think it's a 370" bull since I've never been in front of a bull over 270". He'd be leaking blood! :)
It would take more self control than I have to pass that bull. Tavis’s ‘17 tag would warrant a pass for sure but I get itchy when they’re nice bulls and close. Itchy even when they’re not so big and close.
I'd arrow that bull in a heartbeat.
I can't remember the time I ever turned down a kill shot opportunity because of Size Envy.
Good luck, Robb
Everyone’s goals and reasons are different. Me? Unless I was on an amazing LE hunt it would be time for me to shoot. Years ago I arrowed a 280 6x6 bull and since have passed quite a few that were low 300s while looking for a dandy. No regrets. I still don’t have one over 300 and that’s ok. I just love the whole experience and don’t need to kill to be successful. My day will come as long as I stay healthy.
Cnelk, #6? I guess you stepped up to a Kifaru. ;)
I also am fortunate to hunt in a place where it's easier to pass on him. In addition, $1000 penalty if you shoot under 300 so would not shoot when that close!
If I was in an top AZ I would probably pass him. All other places I would no let him walk by. A 300 or better bull is hard to pass up.
I'd pass that bull..... if a 380 was a few steps behind him....... I'm greedy, what can I say..... and it's gotten the best of me a time or three.... that's a heck of a bull. Can go all season and never even see one like that on public land, OTC. OTOH...... current world record is public land essentially OTC..... it can happen....
What interesting is there are guys here with 400s or near it that would tip him over in a heartbeat. Gotta love that.....
I have only been on one unsuccessful elk hunt so I am trying to compare this to my whitetail experiences. On those, i base it more on age class than rack size. If a big bodied, thick necked, mature 130 inch 8 pointer walks by he is getting shot. He is just as mature and difficult to kill as that same age deer that just happens to have 180 inches on his head. On the other hand, I would want to pass a 130 inch deer that seemed young. Surprised age class hasn't been brought up by anybody that says they would pass a 300 plus bull.