Mathews Inc.
The quest is the best
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Bowboy 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Inshart 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
GF 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Huntcell 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Norseman 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
GF 06-Oct-19
Fields 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
Brun 06-Oct-19
GF 06-Oct-19
Grasshopper 07-Oct-19
Ucsdryder 07-Oct-19
bigswivle 07-Oct-19
standswittaknife 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Grey Ghost 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
yooper89 07-Oct-19
Mule Power 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
EmbryOklahoma 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
altitude sick 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
bohuntr 07-Oct-19
Grey Ghost 07-Oct-19
cnelk 07-Oct-19
Treeline 07-Oct-19
RogBow 07-Oct-19
GF 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
wyobullshooter 07-Oct-19
Brun 07-Oct-19
Twinetickler 07-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Charlie Rehor 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Pig Doc 08-Oct-19
BOWNBIRDHNTR 08-Oct-19
Horn Donkey 08-Oct-19
stringgunner 08-Oct-19
bigswivle 08-Oct-19
altitude sick 08-Oct-19
stick n string 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Scoot 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Grey Ghost 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
JB 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Twinetickler 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
SBH 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
stick n string 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
JB 08-Oct-19
stringgunner 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
TREESTANDWOLF 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Bowboy 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Twinetickler 08-Oct-19
GF 08-Oct-19
nmwapiti 08-Oct-19
Bowboy 08-Oct-19
Grey Ghost 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Quinn @work 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
Brun 08-Oct-19
T Mac 08-Oct-19
JB 08-Oct-19
HUNT MAN 08-Oct-19
timberline53 08-Oct-19
standswittaknife 08-Oct-19
timberline53 08-Oct-19
GF 08-Oct-19
YZF-88 08-Oct-19
Grasshopper 09-Oct-19
Paul@thefort 09-Oct-19
altitude sick 09-Oct-19
BULELK1 09-Oct-19
bigswivle 09-Oct-19
cnelk 09-Oct-19
Charlie Rehor 09-Oct-19
Tgun46 09-Oct-19
Southern draw 09-Oct-19
elkmtngear 09-Oct-19
PoudreCanyon 09-Oct-19
bwhntr 09-Oct-19
RogBow 09-Oct-19
Treeline 09-Oct-19
njbuck 09-Oct-19
Scoot 09-Oct-19
BOWNBIRDHNTR 09-Oct-19
stick n string 09-Oct-19
Chasewild 09-Oct-19
Duke 09-Oct-19
EmbryOklahoma 09-Oct-19
otcWill 09-Oct-19
shiloh 09-Oct-19
Brun 09-Oct-19
elkman52 09-Oct-19
starbux 09-Oct-19
IdyllwildArcher 09-Oct-19
bigeasygator 09-Oct-19
cnelk 09-Oct-19
bohuntr 09-Oct-19
Ucsdryder 09-Oct-19
Grubby 09-Oct-19
JCarrowthem 09-Oct-19
grossklw 09-Oct-19
Jeff Holchin 09-Oct-19
ryanrc 09-Oct-19
JEG 09-Oct-19
bowhunter24 10-Oct-19
Fuzz 10-Oct-19
zabwelch 10-Oct-19
Grey Ghost 10-Oct-19
6x6 bull 10-Oct-19
Inshart 10-Oct-19
Brun 10-Oct-19
never2sharp 10-Oct-19
sdkhunter 10-Oct-19
ki-ke 10-Oct-19
Ron Niziolek 10-Oct-19
Grey Ghost 10-Oct-19
OTC_Bowhunter 11-Oct-19
THP 11-Oct-19
Brotsky 11-Oct-19
APauls 11-Oct-19
From: Brun
06-Oct-19
There once was a hunter named Brun

Who felt elk with a bow was most fun

It became a multi year quest

Mind and body put to the test

Follow along now the hunt is all done

From: Brun
06-Oct-19
This is the story of my northwest Colorado elk hunt. It was a long buildup and a long hunt so this is going to be a long story. I will attempt to keep it interesting and add a lot of photos, but first I'd like to thank all the Bowsite members who offered help, insight and encouragement along the way. I'm sure this list will be incomplete, but many thanks to Jaquomo, Grasshopper, Cnelk, Treeline, Blade, P&Y 400, Grey Ghost, Coelker, Timberline53, and CoMuzzy.

From: Brun
06-Oct-19
Like a lot of us I started putting in for points many years ago, but I really didn't think about it much at first. I was guiding full time and didn't have much time for personal hunting. I knew I wanted to hunt 2, 10, or 201, and after much research and discussion I came to the conclusion that any of the three would be great. It seemed like everyone fell in love with the area they knew best and that's what they recommended. After much soul searching I decided to definitely, maybe, sort of, probably go with 10.

From: Bowboy
06-Oct-19
This is going to be good keep it coming!

From: Brun
06-Oct-19
I had enough points to draw for the last few years, so the question became when. As I looked at the 2015-2019 5 year structure I was leaning towards 2019 as it was the latest possible start date[it's a moot point now with the new season dates] and I felt like I would be in a position to hunt the whole season. I also had some deer points built up and thought a good way to learn the unit would be to actually do a hunt. I knew I wouldn't be able to devote much time for an archery hunt, so I decided to apply for a rifle tag. I did this in 2017 and killed a nice buck on the first morning, completely ruining my plan of learning a lot of the unit. I guess I forgot how easy rifle hunting can be during the rut. In retrospect I wish I had of saved my points and eventually devoted a whole season to a quality archery hunt. I'm hesitant to post a picture of a rifle kill on here, so let me know what you guys think about that.

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
This was taken on May 31. I was pretty excited about the growth by this date.
Brun's embedded Photo
This was taken on May 31. I was pretty excited about the growth by this date.
I started scouting in earnest in 2018 and was very impressed with the numbers of elk, the bull to cow ratio and I was seeing some good bulls. Here are a few pics from 2018

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo

From: Inshart
06-Oct-19
Heck yeah, post up the pic. Gun, bow ... always nice to see the success of a fellow Bowsiter.

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Elk do exist in the Sahara Desert, but it's a tough draw.
Brun's embedded Photo
Elk do exist in the Sahara Desert, but it's a tough draw.

From: GF
06-Oct-19
So far, so good!

From: Brun
06-Oct-19
I had put in about a dozen days in the unit by the end of 2018 and was beginning to get a pretty good feel for it. After reading all the speculation about possible shorter seasons, and thinking about the great moisture we got over the winter I decided 2019 was going to be the year. I had well above the previous minimum from the last year and felt really confident I would draw, but it's still a long couple of months...... I knew I would remember other Bowsiters I wanted to thank, and Big Al is at the top of that list. He was very gracious and gave me lots of good intel from his experience in the unit.

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
After reading every story and watching every video pertaining to the northwest units for the 10th time I decided I needed to actually do something. I remembered Jaquomo writing about making and using a decoy hat. I reached out to him and with some advice and instruction I set about creating an elk hat. I eventually took a 3-D decoy, cut it up, repositioned the ears, cut up the body and fitted it back together on a ball cap. It took a couple of days and this is the result. I had some excellent results with this decoy while guiding, but I was planning on hunting mostly solo and felt this would be far superior to lugging around a big decoy. I couldn't wait to use it.

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo

From: Huntcell
06-Oct-19
Very Attractive!

Need watch your six.

From: Brun
06-Oct-19
I did a quick scouting/shed hunting trip in early May. Found a few sheds and put out two cameras, one at a waterhole I was expecting a lot out of and the other I placed in an area where I'd seen a lot of elk, but I just put it on a random trail and didn't know what to expect. Saw a lot of elk, but they still looked pretty haggard from winter and antlers just starting to grow.

From: Norseman
06-Oct-19
LOL!

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
I was able to get back to the unit about 3 weeks later to see some new areas and check my cameras. The elk I saw looked much better and antlers were growing fast. The two cameras I put out did not produce as I expected. The waterhole cam turned out to be very windy and it burned through shots and battery at a crazy rate. The answer my friend, was not blowing in the wind, but the branches sure were. Couple of elk, but mostly a bust at this spot. The other camera, not at water or a major convergence of trails, turned into a gold mine. I got lots of shots, mainly bulls. This first one is not the best bull, but it's the best shot in my opinion. I love the light and the detail of his face.

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
This is the one that really got me excited. This shot was taken on June 3. I could only imagine what he would look like after another 6 weeks of growth.

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Another look at the same bull
Brun's embedded Photo
Another look at the same bull

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
Are these two even the same species?

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
Here is another shot I took on that trip that I like.

From: Brun
06-Oct-19
At this point in time my quest is becoming an obsession. I'm pretty much driving my wife and friends crazy, because it's clear I'm not interested in much besides this hunt. I've still got two and a half months to go. What can I do to actually enhance my hunt. I know.... I'm going to look into an E bike. I know this is a sensitive subject to some on here, but I don't really see why. I don't own an ATV, I've always been a boot leather hunter and I plan on walking my butt off on this hunt. Besides I'm 67 years old and have 2 artificial knees. There are a lot of roads in this unit that go through open country and I'm hoping to be able to access some places without spooking everything like I would on an ATV. I'm also hoping to save some wear and tear on my truck, but don't know if It'll end up being practical on the hunt. Well, I buy one and it's fun to ride..... The only problem is my wife loves it and uses it on her 4 mile work commute almost every day. Not sure if she'll even let me take it, but she's happy and that's worth a lot.

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
I find a couple of days in early July to get another scouting trip in. This time I bring my friend Ryan who has a lot of points and is trying to decide what to do with them. We have great time and figure we see around 60 different bulls in 2 days. We see a few we figure will end up 350ish, but it's the first couple days of July and they still have some growing to do. We look hard for the long tined bull I got on my trail cam, but can't find him. Here's a shot of one group of bulls. Not the biggest ones we saw, but they let us get a picture.

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
Earlier in the summer I received a communication from a guy named Steve who has an archery deer tag. He seems like a great guy and we agree it's in both of our interests to scout for each other and share info. True to his word he sends me some shots of a great bull in mid July. After looking at the bull about a hundred times I become convinced he's the same long tined guy I got on trail cam. It's six weeks later, but he's only about 3/4 of a mile from my camera set up and he's got the same dogleg on his right G-1. He's also got the same exaggerated upward curve on all the G-1s and 2s. The final clincher is the little devil points you can see on the G-1s on the trail cam shot. Steve has a short video and can clearly see the same points. I've never had much luck targeting a specific bull, but I loved the look and size of this guy, so I vowed to try and find him. We started calling him long tine, but it was soon shortened to LT.

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
The front view
Brun's embedded Photo
The front view

From: Brun
06-Oct-19
I didn't have to wait long to get some intel for Steve. I had time for one last scouting trip before the hunt. This was the last couple days of July and I returned with Ryan, his dad and another good friend Andy. We were looking hard for LT, and while we didn't see him on this trip we found elk everywhere. We also saw a buck that got us all very excited. He was extremely impressive and we all guessed he was 190-200 inches as a typical. He was on private, but near public and I was excited to pass this along to Steve. I wish I had a picture, but it was pretty dark and we only got a brief look when he skylined himself. We tried to count the bulls we saw without repeat sightings and came up with the unbelievable number of 104! How was I going to make it another month?

From: GF
06-Oct-19
That is one GREAT bull!

God help me, but I just love something cock-eyed like that. Inch-counters can have their symmetry.

From: Fields
06-Oct-19
post a pic. all part of the story.

From: Brun
06-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
Thanks to Inshart and Fields for pointing out that the rifle buck is all part of the story. I felt the same way, but wanted to make sure it wouldn't ruffle any feathers. As I pointed out earlier I wish now I had saved the points for a really quality bow hunt, but at the time I was more interested in learning the unit for elk. In any case here is the rifle buck.

From: Brun
06-Oct-19
So I've got a month to go, I'm driving everyone crazy. I throw myself into more workouts and more shooting. I'm dialed in, I'm fit[for an old fart] and I'm ready. As this point I start asking myself what is it I'm actually longing for. What is this quest really about? do I want to kill the biggest bull in the unit? Sure, who doesn't, but that's not not really what I want to define my experience. I want to give it a total effort. I want to be flexible and go where the hunt leads me. I want to find LT. I want to hunt by myself most of the time. I love guiding, but I'm really looking forward to making decisions based on what's right for me. I've decided I really don't want to shoot the first week or so unless it's LT or something equally special. I know I may end up shooting a smaller bull or nothing at all if I pass shots, but I tell myself I'm ok with that. I want to wait for a good bull and make a perfect shot. I want a lot and I hope I can live up to my own expectations. The time actually passed pretty quickly and before I knew it I was packing the truck. I was going to leave three days before the opener. I intended to look for LT and I wondered how my body would hold up to the rigors of the hunt. I had the whole season set aside and was prepared to make the most of it.

From: GF
06-Oct-19
And now you’ve packed it in for the night...

Just GREAT!!!

;)

From: Grasshopper
07-Oct-19
Been waiting for this story, unit 10 is awesome! I remember one year I was in 10 and they had a epic mormon cricket migration event. I was squooshing crickets for miles, hydroplaning on them they were so thick.

Coolest elk hunt I ever went on. OIL.

From: Ucsdryder
07-Oct-19
That bull on the horizon. Good googly moogly. It doesn’t even look real.

From: bigswivle
07-Oct-19
Why don’t you quest your way back to the damn computer man. Killing me

07-Oct-19
We hunted (my dad drew) unit 201 in 2010. Just happy to say that I got to trounce around there looking for elk for a couple weeks. Love this thread... back to it...

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
August 28... I finally leave home and everything takes much longer than anticipated. When I get to the unit I go straight to the waterhole where my only remaining camera is. I drive most of the way in, start walking and after about 3 minutes I see motion. There are elk at the water. Then I hear my first bugle of the year. The good news is there are about 20 cows and a low 300s type bull at the water hole. The bad news is there is no water. I walk down, the elk leave, I retrieve the camera and head back to make camp. I'm shocked that the waterhole is dry. Last year, a drought year, Timberline 53 killed his bull right here in mid Sept. This year, an extremely wet year, it's bone dry on August 28. It has been really dry during August, but I never imagined this spot would dry up completely.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
I hadn't checked this camera in almost 2 months. It had lots of pics of bulls, but you could see that the water disappeared about 1 week earlier. This is a pic from early July of a bull I'd like to see now, but without water my plans for this spot were shot.

From: Grey Ghost
07-Oct-19
Someone pass the popcorn.....please.

Matt

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
August 29..I head to the area where we had seen LT earlier in the summer. There are bulls everywhere, but no sign of him. I head back to finish setting up camp. I hadn't done much the night before. It was dark, clear and warm so I just set up my cot and slept under the stars.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
This is my camp after it was more or less set up. Still needed to put the rainfly on the tent and organize all the stuff around the table, but this was going to be my home and base camp for possibly a whole month. That evening I checked out an area I wasn't very familiar with. Saw 6 bucks I wanted to tell Steve about and about 5 or 6 bulls, but nothing I was excited about.

From: yooper89
07-Oct-19
The only feathers that pic will ruffle are the guys that think they're Fred Bear. Great buck. Awesome story.. looking forward to the rest of it.

From: Mule Power
07-Oct-19
I love these campfire stories. Carry on......

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
August 30.. I want to check out an area that borders the Monument so I leave early. I run into another guy in a SxS just as I'm turning off the county road. We speak for a moment and find out we're both going to the same spot. Not what either of us wanted to hear, but he seemed like a good guy and we headed off. He would be a lot faster in the Razor than I would be in my truck so he went first. Eventually I started walking and soon spotted 6 bulls, all small. I had heard numerous times that most of the really big bulls in this unit stay in or near the Monument most of the time until the rut gets going, so those little guys were not what I was looking for. Eventually I found a good overlook and took a break. After a couple of minutes a string of elk appear just below me. Its 5 bulls and they are all big. They slowly make their way up and out of sight into the Monument. What a sight! I figure the smallest to be at least 320 and the biggest to be pushing 350. Several minutes later 2 more bulls appear from the same hole. A big 5x5 and another 6 point I reckon to be about 340. Wow, what a spectacle, and I'll be walking this unit, bow in hand, starting the next day. I head back to the truck to try and find the other hunter to see what his plans are.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
This is where the big bulls passed by me. The border of the Monument is about half way between where I am and the saddle part way up. There is a spring between the saddle and Pinyon and Juniper covered hillside in the background, Off limits, but they were on legal ground when they passed me.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
The Razor and truck were gone by the time I reached the county road, so I decided to check a few camps to see if I could find the other hunter. The first place I stopped turned out to be Steve's camp, the deer tag holder with whom I'd been communicating all summer. We talked for a long time about what we'd been seeing and agreed to continue to scout for each other. He had not seen LT since he took the great skyline pics 5 weeks earlier. While we were talking a white trimmed Razor pulled into the camp below us and I recognized it as the one I had seen at dawn.

I went down and introduced myself to the other hunter. His name was Tracy and like me had set aside the whole month for this hunt. His son was helping him on the hunt and they had been watching those bulls for a couple of days. They planned on going there for opening morning so I agreed to go search for LT. No one I knew of had seen him in over a month, but there were many other elk in his area and I had to try and find him. I spent the rest of the day in camp, I shot my bow, checked out a nearby road on the E Bike and pondered what the coming days might bring.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
This is sunset from my camp on the eve of the hunt. I looked at the rainbow and wondered if I would find my pot of gold or maybe tag soup at it's end. I had no idea what the next days would bring, but I couldn't wait to find out and I knew sleep would be elusive that night.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
Day 1... When I woke up I was ready to go quickly and started the half hour drive to the area I was going to hunt. After all the scouting[I had spent more than 25 days in the unit the last 3 years] I was actually going to be hunting! I parked the truck just as it started to get light and headed up the hill. Almost immediately I saw 2 bulls about 400 yards out, but they were both small. I changed my approach to skirt around them and continued up. A few minutes after the sun came up I came to a small bench and startled two bulls about 70 yards away. They definitely heard me, but I took cover and thought this is the perfect time to try the elk hat. I put it on and moved to where they could see my head. I tried to look like I was feeding and they went from the verge of bolting to a very confused look. They ended up staying put for about 10 minutes. They knew something was wrong, but couldn't figure out what they were looking at. It was a pretty successful first trial for the hat.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
Here's the two young and confused bulls.

07-Oct-19
I'm liking this...

From: Brun
07-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
After the two bulls moved on I kept moving up. I ran into a few more small bulls and continued moving up. I wanted to get high enough to glass a larger area. LT had to be somewhere. I eventually reached a high point and sat down for a glassing session. I could see a large area, some public, some private and there were bulls everywhere, including a few good ones, but no sign of LT. Here's a picture of a few of the smaller bulls.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
It's now mid morning and shaping up to be a hot day. The elk are starting to bed and the smart course of action would probably be to back off and take a break. Yeah right, I've waited years for this, I'm not about to go back to camp. I continue the long climb to the top of the ridge. Now what? I could sit all afternoon, but I've got next ridgeitis. There is a spring about 2.5 more miles. It's on public, but a landowner who owns adjacent land quoted me $3,000 to use his land. I had looked at his land and didn't see much special except easier access to this spring. I had to see what was there, so off I went. I got there about 1:00 and it did look great. I bumped a small bull about 50 yards from the spring and there was fresh sign everywhere. I found a great little shady hole to sit in and settled down for some food and a sit. I was about 5.5 miles in, it was hot as hell and I was solo. I had pretty much already decided I wouldn't shoot one here in these circumstances unless it was a true giant, but I wanted to see what happened and I needed a break. I ate, napped a little and before I knew it some shadows were creeping into the canyon. Before long I heard rocks falling.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
This is the cause of the rockfall. Four bulls were moving across the hill about 50 yards from me and this guy was the best. A nice looking young bull, but nothing to really consider the first day in this unit. I waited for them to leave and got ready for the long walk back. I wanted to get another look into the big basin before dark to see if I could find LT or something else really big. There was another bull bugling sporadically below me and I also wanted to put eyes on him before I left. He turned out to be a pretty nice 6x6, but again, not a shooter here. The trip back was uneventful other than exhaustion and watching mostly the same bulls from the morning. When I got back to the truck it was dark and my not so youthful enthusiasm had propelled me 13 miles and who knows how much vertical. I figured I'd sleep better this night. I estimated I had seen over 30 bulls and not a single cow on my first hunt.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
Here's another pic of the same bull with one of his buddies.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
Day 2...As predicted I slept much better that night, but was still plenty tired the next morning. I decided to hunt close to camp. I wanted to try the E Bike and this was the perfect chance. There is a really nasty rutted road below camp. I figured I could basically coast down the road, stash the bike and save my self 3/4 mile of uphill after the hunt. I strapped my bow to my pack in the dark and started down the hill. Wow, this was fun, I was totally silent and prepared to coast right to where I could start hunting. Just when I'm feeling pretty proud of my self for thinking of this I see a limb sticking out into the road about head high. I veer to miss it and the tire slides into the rut. I'm on my face about a second later . Ouch! Luckily I break most of the fall with my hands with only minor damage and I'm soon back on my way. The rest of the morning hunt is pretty slow, I see one bull, but find a couple of really fresh wallows I was unaware of. I decided to sit them for the evening hunt. The bike worked great for the uphill back to camp

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
Day 2...As predicted I slept much better that night, but was still plenty tired the next morning. I decided to hunt close to camp. I wanted to try the E Bike and this was the perfect chance. There is a really nasty rutted road below camp. I figured I could basically coast down the road, stash the bike and save my self 3/4 mile of uphill after the hunt. I strapped my bow to my pack in the dark and started down the hill. Wow, this was fun, I was totally silent and prepared to coast right to where I could start hunting. Just when I'm feeling pretty proud of my self for thinking of this I see a limb sticking out into the road about head high. I veer to miss it and the tire slides into the rut. I'm on my face about a second later . Ouch! Luckily I break most of the fall with my hands with only minor damage and I'm soon back on my way. The rest of the morning hunt is pretty slow, I see one bull, but find a couple of really fresh wallows I was unaware of. I decided to sit them for the evening hunt. The bike worked great for the uphill back to camp

07-Oct-19
1st day and it’s looking like a great hunt already.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
Sorry about the double post. This is one of the wallows I sat that evening. Very quiet until I got up to leave at the end of shooting light. A decent 6 point was coming in just as I started walking back to the bike. On the walk and ride to camp I came up with a plan for the following day.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
Day 3... I decided to go back to the area near the Monument where I had seen all the big bulls the day before the season opened. I started hiking early in the hopes of intercepting some bulls as they worked their way back towards the Monument. As it turned out I was too early. I have never been a proponent of walking through country holding elk in the dark. It seems like I always spook something before I ever get started, and today was no exception. The problem this day was that it was the biggest bull I'd seen so far. He was out in the open sage where I could have seen him if I had waited a few minutes. As it was I unknowingly moved across a gully above him and the cool morning air flowed down to meet him. I knew I had no chance, but I contoured above him and was able to watch him disappear along the same path the bulls had used the other day. He was huge, I guessed around 370, but I have little experience judging bulls above 350. He could have been a little bigger or smaller than I estimated, but he was certainly well over 350. Oh well, I was a little mad at myself, but he did go out the way I was anticipating, I was just a bit early. I continued to hunt, but it was another warm and sunny day and things ended pretty quickly. I saw a total of 8 bulls and they were all still alone or in bachelor groups. The only bugling I was hearing was from smaller bulls. The bigger ones were content to bide their time. I had now seen approx. 40 bulls in 2.5 days of hunting and I had yet to see a single cow. I didn't feel the big boy would come back out where I could hunt him until dark, so I went back to camp to formulate a plan for the evening

From: Brun
07-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
This is a view into the Monument from near the ex-waterhole.
Brun's embedded Photo
This is a view into the Monument from near the ex-waterhole.
It was very hot and I was a little disgusted with my decision making in the morning, but you can't get down, especially in an area like this where there are so many bulls. I decided to sit the ex-waterhole for the evening. Even though it was dry this little canyon is a natural funnel from the Monument to a big feeding area. I also needed an easier hunt after a big morning walk in the heat. This is a perfect place for the E Bike as it's pretty flat, but there are roads everywhere without much cover so it's really easy to spook them in a truck or ATV..... IT was an ok idea, but turned out to be dead. I saw one yearling cow[the first cow of the hunt] and headed back to the bike. While riding back I saw a herd of about 20 with a 300ish bull doing a lot of talking. The cows were ignoring him, but he was felling pretty important. I didn't think that would last much longer as there were countless bigger bulls waiting in the wings. I did use the opportunity to test their reaction to the E Bike. It was right about the end of shooting light, but you could still see pretty well. I rode the bike within a couple hundred yards of the herd in plain sight and they basically just ignored me. A few did look up and stare, but with out the sound or typical human outline, they just went about their business. Pretty cool experiment and I also made it back to the truck quickly and easily

From: bohuntr
07-Oct-19
Great thread, looking forward to more....

From: Grey Ghost
07-Oct-19
Can’t you type any faster, Jim?

:-)

Matt

From: cnelk
07-Oct-19
Two things will increase after this thread....

1 - Unit 10 Point Creep

2 - the sale of e-bikes

:>)

From: Treeline
07-Oct-19
Yep!

Excellent story, though! And great pictures!

From: RogBow
07-Oct-19
That's a familiar looking overlook haha. My wife drew that unit last year.

This is a story I shall follow.

From: GF
07-Oct-19
Are you sure you’re not just makin’ stuff up???

Unbelievable!

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
Day 4... I decided to go to an area I had scouted pretty heavily, but hadn't hunted yet. I had been trying to avoid the more popular areas since I was in no hurry and I was hoping a few guys would fill out early. In any case I think this spot had been getting hit pretty hard as there wasn't much doing. Saw one nice looking low 300s bull and he was talking a lot. He was right on the edge of private and public and not one I was interested in this early anyway, so I kept walking. It was turning into the hottest day yet and what little action there was quit early. I headed down and since this area was just above Steve's camp I decided to check in with him. He had been seeing some good bucks, but the one promising stalk he had going was ruined by a bunch of shotgun blasts from grouse hunters. As usual he had something for me though.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
This is a picture of a bull he had seen that morning taken with his phone. He was a good bull and in a spot really close to a road, which is always tempting, but not quite what I had promised myself I would hold out for early in the hunt. I thanked Steve and headed back to camp. It was really a scorcher and I decided to go into town, take a shower at the city park , get a bite to eat and pick up some ice. When I left town it was 98 degrees. I had decided to try a spot that I didn't think hardly ever got hunted. It was on the way back up the mountain and I figured it was a good time to give it a try. I knew it would be scorching, but this spot had water and I had seen elk there while scouting. Its a long way in and I parked the truck closer to the water than I normally would have because it was so hot I didn't want to walk much. While I'm getting out of the truck I hear something up in the rocks and here comes[I should say there goes] a cow. Unbelievable, I've never hunted big game in temperatures anything like this and obviously wasn't really believing anything would happen.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
This is the spot I was hunting. I posted this picture once before and several of you figured correctly that this is an old wild horse trap. It's also where there's a bit of water. I walked about a half mile up to another spot in the arroyo, but the water had dried up there. I waited a while and tried bugling a few times with no response. I eventually started walking back towards the water bugling every few minutes. I was a couple hundred yards above the spot where the cow came down earlier when I saw a bull looking my way. Luckily I was in a little cover and he didn't see me because he was clearly coming to the call. I bugled again and he practically started sprinting towards me. As has happened to me many times early season he never said a word. He was now under a hundred yards and I got a good look . He was a decent 6x6, but I wasn't going to try for him. I called again and he kept coming inside of 50 yards when he whiffed me and took off. It was hard to believe that elk stayed in this scorching desert, but I had seen two and called in my first bull of the season.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
Day 5... This morning I wanted to try a ridge that gets hunted a lot, but everyone I spoke with said it was full of elk and a good hunt. When I got there a truck was already there so I pulled the plug and went to a spot a couple miles away that I had looked at this summer. It was completely dead, the first hunt I'd been on where I didn't see a single animal. On the way back to camp I ran into Tracy and we talked about our hunts so far. He seemed a little discouraged as he had been running into more guys than me. I hadn't seen a person and reminded him that we were only on the 5th day, it was wicked hot and the good bulls were still all in bachelor groups. He said his son was leaving for a couple of days and asked me if I wanted to team up for a couple of days. I thought it sounded fun and we made a plan for the following morning.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
Day 5 PM... This would be my last solo hunt for a couple of days so I decided to go back to the area I thought of as LT land, even though I hadn't seen him since July. This spot seemed to always have elk and tonight was no exception. I started hearing bugles within 5 minutes of leaving the truck. I worked my way to an overlook and I saw elk everywhere. It's a big bowl with a little spring in the bottom. I started glassing and saw several good bulls[Low 300s] right away, but kept looking for somebody bigger. It was almost non stop bugling, but no other rutting behavior. They were just egging each other on. It reminded me of a bunch of young guys in a bar. It was all F**k You, no F**k You. no F**k You. Lots of posturing and yelling, but nothing else. I finally saw a bigger bull, I figured about 330, but he just slowly walked away from the commotion without making a sound. I watched the next best bull, about 310-320 and he slowly came into the bottom. I decided I wouldn't shoot him, but I wanted to see if I could bring him in. I had not been following up on close encounters with bulls I wasn't going after, but decided I needed to actually go through the motions. I needed to get in killing mode, I'd just been elk watching so far. I let out a bugle and immediately got his attention. Who was the new guy? He clearly wanted to know and started slowly coming towards me. I had a little gully in front of me so I put on the elk hat and slipped closer with the cover of the gully. He popped into view less than 20 yards away and I drew. He hesitated long enough for a shot and then wheeled out to about 50 yards. I had one bush at the lip of the gully so I stepped up so only the hat was showing above the bush. If an elk could speak I'm pretty sure it would have been WTF. He had definitely seen me at 20 yards, but now he was really confused. He would take two steps, look back, two more, look back, All the other bulls stayed right where they were. He finally wandered down the road talking to his lunchbox. WTF, WTF, WTF. It was amazing as I had never passed a bull like that. I felt I had finally seen a taste of what was to come.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
Day 6... I hunted with Tracy and it was fun to have a companion and ride around with someone else. We went back to the spot where we had met and had seen a lot of big bulls, but nada, zilch, zero. We didn't know what happened, but the elk weren't there. That evening I decided to show him LT land and it was full of elk again, but almost no bugling even though I'm sure some of the elk we saw were the same ones from the night before. Saw the 330ish bull again, but couldn't get close. Slow day all around.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
Day 7... Tracy agreed to show me the ridge I had tried to get to a couple days earlier. Turned out it was his truck I saw there that morning. I was excited to hunt this area for the first time. I had scouted it once, but hadn't hunted it yet. We got there early and were getting our gear together when another truck pulled up. A guy got out, said it was his first day and this was the only place in the entire unit he had ever been to. Really, it's over half a million acres and you had 20 years to learn it. He suggested we go to opposite ends of this piece, It's not really big and Tracy[who had hunted it several times] said that would put the other guy on the wrong side of the wind and blow it for all of us. We were disgusted, but we let the new guy have it and we went down to the place where I had seen nothing a couple of days earlier.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
More day 7... Things can change a lot in two days and this time we found elk. We walked a bunch of miles through heavy sign without seeing anything, but finally found a bunch of bulls with one group of 4 good ones. It was too late to make a morning move, but they were in a favorable position for afternoon winds and we made a plan to go back in the PM.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
These are a couple of the small bulls we were watching all evening
Brun's embedded Photo
These are a couple of the small bulls we were watching all evening
Day 7 PM... We were pretty excited for the afternoon as we had left these bulls in a spot where we had a decent chance to get close. It was very windy, but in our favor and constant. We got above them to a glassing spot and found bulls immediately, small ones. We kept glassing and more bulls appeared, including one really pretty 6x6 in the low 300s, but we couldn't find the fab 4. We watched until dark and probably saw 15 bulls, but we never found our group nor did we figure out how they evaded us. I guess because they were elk and they do that sort of thing. It had been a fun two days, but Tracy's son was coming back and I would be solo again starting in the morning. On my way to camp I stopped above a deep valley, shut off the truck for about 10 seconds and let a bugle rip. Two different bulls answered immediately.... I had a plan for the morning.

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
Day 8... I hadn't hunted with the approach I was going to use on this morning, but it was basically the same area we were in the day before and I was hoping the bugles I had heard were our missing 4 big bulls. I heard a bugle almost immediately and managed to get below him on the good side of the morning air. I was in a good position and I started calling. He answered right off and seemed pretty worked up. I got a good look and he was a decent 6, but I still wasn't going there yet. He came pretty hard and I would have had a good chance at a shot, but I moved on towards the other bull. I saw a few more bulls that morning, but nothing of real interest. I sensed a change though. The bulls were still on their own, but this was the first morning I observed the bachelor bulls bugling with no encouragement. I felt the good bulls were going to start finding the cows any day. I decided to go home for a couple of days rest up, clean up and hopefully come back to a different scene. They were also finally predicting a weather change.

07-Oct-19
Terrific recount of your quest! Looking forward to the hard-earned success pics!

From: Brun
07-Oct-19
So far my hunt was living up to my expectations. It had been hot and dry with almost no rutting action, yet I had seen over 100 different branch antlered bulls. I had passed a legitimate slam dunk shot on a 310+ bull and probably could have had more shooting opportunities if I had of pursued them. I had walked over 50 miles. I had made quite a few good decisions and a few dumb ones. I had made a couple of good friends and although I needed a rest I was feeling strong. I was going to be home 3 nights, then leave early on the 10th. I had a 3 hour dental appointment in Grand Junction[ an implant and a root canal] then planned on heading up to the unit for a hunt that night if I felt good enough. I was expecting to see the rut starting and the bigger bulls joining the cows. I was still very excited, but I needed a rest. I also need a rest now as I have been working on this most of the day. I will try to finish it tomorrow, but it was a long season... Stay tuned.

From: Twinetickler
07-Oct-19
Fun read! I went to school in Rangely and spent some time in 10. Neat country! Thanks for posting.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
Sept. 10. Hunt day 9... The woman at the dental office said "so I guess you"ll just go home and rest for a day or two? I mumbled something like "yeah" back to her and headed out the door. I don't think she was an elk hunter. I headed north with hopes of getting to the unit on time and feeling ok to hunt. I got to camp and still hadn't made up my mind. It was rainy and cold and I felt like crap, but I had a little time so decided to do an easy, close by hunt. I headed to the area of the ex-waterhole and parked. I saw Tracy's truck and told myself I would follow his tracks until they turned off and I would go in the opposite direction so I wouldn't mess up his hunt. After about half a mile his tracks went right, so I went left. I hadn't gone another quarter mile when I heard bugles. I was on the good side of the wind so I started after them. Seconds later I saw movement on my other side. I could see several bulls and some cows and they were cross wind of me. I stopped hoping they would slip by without winding me and join the others. It seemed like that's where they wanted to go. The wind was swirling a bit and they got nervous and slid back the way they had come from a few minutes later. I still had at least two bulls up wind of me so I continued that way. I followed and eventually tried to call the herd bull away from his cows, but he flipped me off and continued with the cows. As I had suspected, things had changed in the 3 days I was gone. Rutting behavior had increased and it seemed like better bulls had moved in with the herds. I had no chance at the herd I was working so I decided to head to the small canyon where the waterhole used to be. It was close. As I walked towards it I saw elk in the rocks above the canyon. There was about 10 cows and what looked like a really good bull. AS I eased a little closer another good bull and 3 cows came into view. The two groups looked at each other and the smaller group broke off and started walking directly towards me. This was a good bull and they were covering ground pretty quickly. Like the first group they were kind of sideways to the wind. There was a small ridge and if they continued behind it they might get up wind of me and I would have a chance to close using the small ridge as cover. As they got closer I could see the bull was better than I thought and I would try to shoot him if I got a chance. Instead of staying behind the little ridge they crossed to my side and although they were coming right towards me a knew I was going to get busted. Sure enough at about 100 yards they smelled me and took off. It was starting to get late so I started back to the truck. On the way there I heard another bugle. I had good wind so I called and he started coming fast. Within seconds I heard him just behind a little knoll. I drew and he popped up 25 yards broadside. Perfect shot opportunity, but a small 6 so I let off. What an evening, things had definitely changed during my absence and I just wanted to get to camp, get some sleep and get after it in the AM. When I got to the truck I saw light coming and knew it had to be Tracy. I almost left because my mouth was killing me, but I really wanted to get the report from the last couple of days. When he arrived I asked "What news" He just took his glove off and showed me his hand. It was covered with blood... YES!

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Tracy's bull
Brun's embedded Photo
Tracy's bull
How big?, Where? Is it a tough pack out? I had a million questions.... "I don't know how big," he said, "but he's big and I had no doubt when I saw him"

It turned out that he and his son didn't know what to do that evening. It had been raining a lot and they had no real good plan. They ran into a guy who wasn't hunting, but said he saw a big herd in this area so decided to give it a shot. As soon as they started walking it started raining hard with a lot of lightning. It's a pretty flat and open area so they went back to the truck and almost packed it in for the evening. It finally let up so they figured they might as well give it a shot. When I saw their tracks I thought they were a long ways off, but it turns out they were only about a half mile away. I probably would have done a 180 if I knew they were that close, but we think it ended up helping them. It seems like I split the herd and those first ones that winded me headed towards Tracy and his son. I didn't see a good bull in that group, but there were so many elk around we don't really know what happened. In any case this bull walked right by him at 25 yards and he double lunged him. I told them I would help them retrieve the bull and we went to work. Luckily he had fallen just uphill from a road and we were able to drag him to it. From there we used the Razor to drag him a little further to where he could get the truck and we winched him in whole. The odds of getting a big bull like this out whole were tiny, but everything fell into place that night. He's a great bull, better than he looks in the picture and I was happy for Tracy. And to think that both he and I considered not coming out at all that evening. As many on here have said, never give up, and you can't kill them from camp. I left as soon as we got the bull in the truck. I was cold, exhausted, happy for Tracy and my mouth ached. I just wanted to get to bed. I got to my camp around 10:30 and collapsed with no food. Hopefully I would feel stronger in the morning.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
Sept. 11 Hunt day 10... I wake up, good news in and of itself. It;s windy, cloudy and cold. I don't want to get out of my bag, but I do. I decide to try the area I attempted to hunt two times earlier. It's a short drive. No one is there, good. I start hiking in the dark as it's a pretty long hike and not through an area that usually holds elk. I time it perfectly and get to the top of the ridge just at shooting light. I can hear bugles in several directions, but distant. I start working into the wind and soon hear elk below me. It;s a good set up and a herd moves towards me with a good, not great bull. He's a tweener for this area. I'm not sure if I want him or not. I don't have to decide as they slip past me with no real opportunity.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
More Day 10....I had scouted here, but it's my first hunt. I follow the direction the elk went and can also hear other bulls in the distance. It's raining now and cold. After 3/4 of a mile I'm getting close to more bugles. Wind is good, ground is wet and quiet. I'm moving slowly and starting to see some elk in the aspens. One bull has a big raspy voice so I try to get a look at him. I finally see him and I want him. It's a good set up. Wind is strong but steady in my favor. He's running around chasing cows about 125 yards away. There is a hollow between us and I think I can get really close and either challenge him or wait on the fringe for him to come close. He's very worked up and moving all around his cows. Just as I start the stalk I see movement between us. It's a 300ish 6 point and he's feeding in the hollow. Ok, I'll have to wait a bit longer. He's not nervous at all so I'm still in good shape. In fact he's so calm that he beds down right in front of me about 65 yds. ##&***. This sucks, I have no choice but to wait him out. I slowly sit and watch him. After about 10 minutes I know I won't last. It's too cold to sit all day. I make it another 20 minutes or so, it's raining hard and little foggy too. Maybe I can slip out without him noticing me. Yeah right.... I knew it wouldn't work, but I was too cold. He saw me move and trotted away, but no barking and there was so much commotion it didn't seem to change things much.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
More Day 10.....I wait a couple of minutes and resume my stalk. I go around the hollow and now it's so foggy I can't see more than about 75 yards. I start challenging him and he doesn't like it. He's fired up and he seems to be coming to run me off, but I can't see squat. After a stalemate of a couple minutes the fog starts to lift. All of a sudden I'm looking right at some cows and they are looking right at me. Encounter over. I wait a bit and slowly move on. I'm spent from the adrenaline of the hour long encounter. It's starting to clear a little now and I put in a half mile or so and decide to take a break. I'm sitting on a rock ledge having a bite when a bugle rips about a quarter mile below me. I keep eating, then he screams again, this time definitely closer. I start scrambling to get in some better cover. He's a traveler, the loner with the boner, looking for love. These satellites can be the easiest bulls to bring in, and around here they can be really good bulls that got pushed around by an even better one. I make it to some cover, he's coming right towards me on his own, I haven't made a peep. Wind is iffy, but ok if it holds. He screams again and he's close. I see him for the first time, he's big, he's at 50 yards and going to walk right by me broadside at about 20. I draw, he's still coming slowly and I figure I can stop him with a chirp and have a perfect shot. I feel a breeze on my neck. He whirls and moves out to about 50. I could probably make the shot, but he's alert now and slightly quartering. I let off. Wow! What a morning. I'm excited, disappointed, happy, exhausted, hopeful and amazed all at the same time. I need a break. I start the 3 miles back to the truck.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Here's a poor picture of one of the only two elk I saw that night
Brun's embedded Photo
Here's a poor picture of one of the only two elk I saw that night
Day 10 PM... I don't know what to do. I decide to head back to the same general area Tracy killed his bull the night before. There were elk everywhere, it's physically pretty easy and I'm still whipped from the last two hunts. I take the bike and ride a little further to get the wind right and see some different stuff. Not much doing all evening. I see two small bulls and get this crappy picture of one. Right before dark I'm actually near the truck, but have about 1.5 miles back to the bike. It starts pouring and lightning is really close. I've got not cover or choice but to walk out in the open. Some of the strikes are followed by thunder less than 2 seconds after. Less than half a mile. This is bad. I'm wet, cold, and scared. I make it to the bike and have a miserable and sloppy ride back. This is time I really wish I hadn't brought the bike, but I'm safe in the truck with the heater on. I stumble into the tent, eat some cold food and crash.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
Sept 12 Hunt day 11... I decided to hunt near camp and had uneventful morning. I didn't see or hear a single elk. Two straight hunts with no action. I guess this really is elk hunting after all. The season was still less than half over and this lull gave me a chance to think about what to do. I spoke with Rob, a hunter from Oregon with whom I'd been sharing info for a while. He had been hunting an area I had avoided because it had a reputation as having the most hunters. As it turned out several guys had already filled and Rob had been on the tail of a couple of really good bulls. He had to leave early and shot a nice 320 style bull on his last day. He told me he had no competition on the ground and I decided to bivy hunt that night and check out the area he had been hunting.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
I went as spartan as possible as it was for only one night.
Brun's embedded Photo
I went as spartan as possible as it was for only one night.
Day 11 PM... I load my pack and head out for an overnight. I did nothing but backpack hunts for many years and was excited to do one on this hunt. It was about 3 miles to where I planned on going and I made it in good time. Cold air had moved in after the storm, and I knew I was in for a chilly night, but it was totally clear and pretty calm. I started glassing from the mountaintop and soon found a drainage full of elk. I watched for a while and could faintly hear bugles floating on the wind. I was too far to get a good look so I started working my way down the backside of the mountain. I worked my way to an overlook about a half mile out and glassed again. There was at least one definite 350 class bull down there. I dropped my camping stuff and started down. It was pretty open, but I found a couple small depressions and then a thin grove of aspens.There is a very small stream at the bottom of this valley and I was able to make it down there without being detected. I soon see a very pretty 310ish bull. He's only 70 yards out and the wind is good, the ground is soft and I think I could close much of the distance, but I want to find the big boy so I back out. As soon as I turn around there is a small 6 at 43 yards. I ignore him and he slips away. Soon after that some cows, spikes and 2 year old bulls come down to the water. They are down wind of me and it's getting late so I back out and escape without getting busted. I hump back up to where I left my stuff and settle in. It was really cold so that involved getting in my bag, sitting against a tree and having a bite. It was a beautiful evening with an almost full moon and I lay there and watched it get dark while listening to multiple bulls bugle. Man was I loving this!

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
Sept. 13 Hunt day 12.... I awoke to very cold temps and didn't want to get out of that bag. In retrospect I probably shouldn't have as it turned into a day of poor moves on my part. I headed back where I left off the night before and immediately saw a good[not the one from the night before] bull working some cows on a bench. I worked the wind and got pretty close when I realized I had left myself on the wrong side of a gully that was much too far for me to shoot across. I could have gotten on the other side just as easily, still had the wind, and created a good opportunity. What a dummy! I couldn't believe what a stupid move that was and there was no way I time to go around. I was disgusted with myself, but I really liked this new area.

08-Oct-19
Doing your hunt recap like this will allow your grandchildren to read and experience it forever going forward. Good luck.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
More Day 12.... I went back and picked up my camping gear and started hiking back. Somewhere along the way I remembered another spot I had scouted, but hadn't hunted yet. It was a seep where BIG AL had shot his bull a few years ago. It was kind of on the way so I decided to go there and sit for the afternoon. Well it was further than I thought and then I couldn't find it. I walked about 3 extra miles and finally found it. I was not doing well today. I don't get upset when I don't get into elk, but I hate it when I screw things up. I was pretty exhausted and about out of water, but decided I better sit for awhile. It is a good spot, it's secluded and seems to the only water in a pretty big area. I started thinking how ironic it would be if my blundering led me to a successful ending.... No such luck. As the shadows moved over the canyon I saw 3 or 4 bulls, two year olds who were probably hiding from the mayhem in the herds. Oh well, I had put on about 13 miles on my overnight and was ready to get back to my basecamp. I knew I would return to the drainage where I had all the action though.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
Sept 14 Hunt day 13... I had two ideas about the morning hunt and didn't decide until I got to the first option turn off and it just happened, I guess I was going back to the area near the Monument where I had seen all the big bulls early on. I was hoping some of the big bulls had led cows back in this area and I knew hardly ever got hunted. I hadn't walked far when I saw a group of small bulls. I glassed for a while I just felt like the big boys were gone.... I pulled the plug fast and headed to my other morning option, LT land.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
More day 13.... I was nearing LT land when I stopped to glass a ridge I had seen elk on before. It was a ridge that was about half public and half private. It was crawling with elk and they were screaming. I looked on the ridgeline and saw the biggest bull of the hunt, maybe ever for me. Ridgelined animals always look big, but this guy was massive and ridiculously wide. 100 yards from him was another bull I was sure was also well over 350. I hadn't been to the other side of the ridge, but I knew they were near the property line. As I watched them disappear over the ridge I knew where I was going that evening.

From: Pig Doc
08-Oct-19
Outstanding write up Brun! Thanks for sharing your experience. Waiting for happy ending.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
08-Oct-19
AWESOME job so far Brun!!

From: Horn Donkey
08-Oct-19
I'm all in. Brun--Thank you.

From: stringgunner
08-Oct-19
Good stuff here!

From: bigswivle
08-Oct-19
“Doing your hunt recap like this will allow your grandchildren to read and experience it forever going forward. Good luck.“

My grandkids will probably get to finish this story before I will!!!!!! You are killing me!!!!(absolutely great story)

08-Oct-19
Very good writing. Great reading. Great drama.

How do you remember all the details?

08-Oct-19
Loving. Every. Post.

Sitting at a waterhole waiting on a whitie to hopefully show up. If i get big bull fever on a whitetailed doe, im holding you accountable....;^)

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
This is one of the big bulls in the meadow. There were probably 6 bulls this big that I could see, not counting the 8x6.
Brun's embedded Photo
This is one of the big bulls in the meadow. There were probably 6 bulls this big that I could see, not counting the 8x6.
Day 13 PM... I headed towards the area where I had seen the elk cross the ridge. Its connected to the area I've been calling LT land. It's a fairly narrow strip of public, which I had been trying to avoid, but I had to try and get another look at these bulls. I made my way in the public area that overlooked the valley where I thought the elk had gone in the morning. There were elk everywhere, including big bulls standing in the open on the valley floor in mid afternoon. Everywhere I looked I saw elk! I had already seen some amazing stuff on this hunt, but this was over the top. I felt like I was in Yellowstone Park, but they were all on private and just as unhuntable. The one in the picture was bugling constantly and another one was roaring back at him from a rocky hillside just over the ridge from where the giant has disappeared that morning. There didn't appear to be much cover, but I couldn't catch a glimpse of this bull. He had a growl and roar that was barely recognizable as a bugle. There was a 100 yard meadow between my position and this bull and I knew I had very little chance of pulling him across, but I really wanted to see if it was the bull from the morning, so I started challenging him. I got him really riled up and he finally came near the bottom of the hill and exposed himself. It was the bull from the morning and he was a huge 8x6. One of his 4ths was broken, but he was the still the biggest bull I had ever seen outside a park. He was actually on public, but only by a tiny margin and I had no chance of getting closer. He soon bored with me when I didn't show myself and he went back up the hill. I sat and enjoyed the scene and listened to a couple of bulls that were behind me on public ground. I moved that direction and had one close encounter with a smallish 6x6. I headed for the truck and knew I had to come back in the morning

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
Altitude, I kept a journal which I refreshed every other day or so. I knew I wanted to write this up also knew I'd never remember it all without help. The pictures help a lot also.

From: Scoot
08-Oct-19
This is great! Thanks for taking us along for the ride, Brun!

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
Sept. 15 Hunt day 14..... As I headed back to fantasy land the next morning I was greeted with this view. The light on the rocks is from the rising sun and the setting moon is just over the ridgeline. I think this is my favorite picture of the trip....I saw a really good 340 style bull on the bench below the ridge in the picture. That's public land so I made an attempt on him and when I put the pressure on he left with the girls.....wimp. After that I moved to the valley overlook and was greeted with absolute mayhem. There were screaming elk everywhere, but I didn't see the giant. I moved as close to the property line as I dared and watched and listened to the spectacle. There were plenty of elk on my side of the boundary too and I was watching a good bull coming when some of his cows almost stepped on me and that ended that little episode....A few minutes later I heard the deep growl and looked over to see the 8x6 coming off the rocky hillside into the meadow. He had gathered a dozen or so cows overnight.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
More day 14...This is a picture of the 8x6 at one of the waterholes. I wish it was a better picture, but he was 4 or 5 hundred yards out and it's the best my camera could do. You can't see much detail, but you can get some idea of the mass and width.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
I watched him leave the water and head up valley with his herd in tow. Every other bull I saw was fighting to control his cows, frantically running in every direction in an attempt keep track of them all. This guy just walked and they followed him in a perfect little group. I watched them cover over 1/4 mile in this fashion and none of the cows strayed a bit. I started thinking of him as the Pied Piper after that. It was fascinating to watch this many elk and see the interaction between the bulls. I didn't see any full on fights, just positioning and posturing. I saw several bulls lose their group without a fight to an obviously superior bull. I saw several 350+ bulls scramble to keep their cows away from the Pied Piper....I sat in awe for an hour or more, but slowly came to realize this wasn't where I wanted to hunt. I'm sure I could have gotten a shot at a good bull eventually on public ground, but unless I made a perfect shot and dropped him almost immediately it was almost certain he would head for the sanctuary and then I'd be in for a real hassle. This ranch is not known for cooperating with public land hunters. I had already had an amazing hunt, I had seen several bulls in the upper 300s, but was it really fun to sit and watch what you couldn't pursue? It reminded me of my very limited experience in a strip club. Pretty exciting for a while, but ultimately unsatisfying. I walked away from this fantasy with no intent of returning. I was going to hunt the puny 350 inch bulls on large tracts of public land.

From: Grey Ghost
08-Oct-19
Jim obviously types only with his thumbs. ;-)

Damn I'm enjoying it, though. Kinda like a slow-baked brisket...the wait is half the fun.

Matt

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
Day 14 PM... I'm going back to hunt the area I found on my bivy. Am I crazy for leaving Jurassic Park? Will I regret this ? These are the thoughts running through my head as I make the hike in to where I found so many elk the other day. It's 3.6 miles in so I've got a lot of time to think, but it's a pretty easy walk. I'm planning on setting up on the water near where I watched the elk previously. I can see and hear elk as I get close, but I manage to get close without spooking anything. I have an area in mind, but still have to figure out a good place to sit.

From: JB
08-Oct-19
Brun - I am enjoying a beer and the last beautiful evening in Bismarck before the snowstorm tomorrow night. Most of all I am enjoying your write up. Fricken awesome!! And your line about your limited time in a strip club almost made me spit beer on the people next to me. Thank you for taking us along!!!

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
This is a pretty drab picture, but there is one remarkable thing about it.....There isn't a single elk, that's a rarity at this place. I pick a spot overlooking the view in the pic, just further away. I am pretty well protected from the wind by a huge boulder, but there isn't a lot of cover. I'm not sure of this spot, but I see a cow and calf bearing down on me about a minute after I arrive, so this will have to be it. They come in about 25 yards, but get nervous after a couple minutes and leave. Not sure about the wind, but within 5 minutes here comes a cow and decent 6x6 to the far end. The cow plows right in, but the bull stops at about 50 and doesn't like something. They leave. I also see a better bull cross the hill and come to water out of my sight. This is a tiny creek, so it's not just one spot for them to water. Another few minutes later and a bunch of cows and spikes pile in. Is this place for real?

From: Twinetickler
08-Oct-19
How about "he was a loner with a boner" haha I have a feeling I'll be using that phrase down the road. Is there a copyright on that Brun? Great stuff!

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
I risked a picture as this group took their turn. I had seen a really great bull with a bunch of cows about 500 yards up the hill as I snuck in, and I was hoping this was his group. I was starting to hear some bugles a little way up the hill now so I figured he would follow them down. After a couple of minutes at 30 yards a couple of the cows got nervous and started to bolt. Maybe the wind was worse from this spot than I thought. Some of them stayed put and some went out 60 or 70 yards and stopped. If they spooked now I knew I wouldn't see the big boy. I froze and waited. Nothing moved a muscle for about 5 minutes and then they all relaxed and started to come back. I was expecting the bull any second. The cows and spikes seemed completely relaxed now and some were within 10 yards of me. I was on my side without much cover and I assumed they would bolt at any second.

From: SBH
08-Oct-19
INCREDIBLE

Thanks for the story. Loving every minute of it.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
A couple of them are now staring right at me from 10 yards. I can feel their eyes but don't move. They spread out along the creek bottom and are drinking and feeding. A spike is now 6 yards from me and I have no cover between he and I. I can't believe they don't spook. I can hear the bull screaming less than 100 yards away, but he's blocked by a small knoll. More time passes. I can't believe I'm getting away with this. There is now a cow about 6 yards and she is boring a hole in me with her eyes. This is insane!. My leg is asleep but I can't move. It's like they are in the living room with me. 10 minutes go by, then 15, I am in shock. I have been close to many animals, but never this close to so many for so long. They are as happy as clams. A full 20 minutes go by and some of them start to feed up the hill. Am I really going to get away with this? I can still hear the bull, cows keep leaving, but they're not spooked. I risk a look towards the bull and at one point I see the tips of his antlers. The cows are all gone from the water. I see some on the hill, but I risk shifting position. They keep moving and I'm able to stand behind the one tiny tree I've got. I'm moving my foot and getting ready to crawl over the knoll towards the bull when I hear a different bugle close by. A standard issue Colorado 5x5 comes right in and plops in the water 25 yards away. I can't believe it. He moves a little further and starts to wallow. I'm hoping the big bull will come and run him off, but he just screams and stays where he is.

08-Oct-19
Oh my. Its about to happen....

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
Finally the 5 point leaves and I start to look for the big boy. He's left the creek, but is still close by and chasing cows all over. I get a look and he's huge. I'm guessing 360 range. I range him at 64 yards, too far for me. I decide to challenge him and see if he'll come closer. He answers immediately and moves a little closer, but he's still across the creek. He comes to 53 yards. I draw and settle, I practice this distance a lot, but I've made a promise to myself not to shoot over 50. It's also getting dark. I let off. I'm in shock. Did all this really just happen? I can't describe how I'm feeling. That might be my only chance at a real giant, but I'm glad I didn't take the shot. That was the most amazing experience of my hunting life. I ease out and head for the truck. I don't think my feet touched the ground all the way back to the truck.

From: JB
08-Oct-19
Agree!!! WAITING.... WAITING... this is an amazing right up!!!!!!!!!

From: stringgunner
08-Oct-19
Wow

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
Sept. 16 Hunt day 15.... On the way back to camp last night I had decided I was going to kill my bull right where I was. This was my spot. I'm going to hunt my way in this morning and If I don't kill I'm going to build a brush blind in a slightly different spot. It's where the big bull watered and it seems slightly better located. I take my time and get to the spot about 9:00. It's bright and sunny and most of the morning activity is over. I pick a spot, clear some branches for shooting and pile up some brush. This looks really good, the water is a little below me and it should be easier to stay hidden if [when] something comes right to me. I am sitting contemplating the time I have left. I still have 13 days of season and I decide I need to go home for a day or two, let this place rest[no one else is hunting near here as far as I can tell] regroup, rest and come back and get it done. Right about then I hear footfalls and a cow and calf come charging in with no hesitation. They are just below me at the water with no cares. This place is perfect. Then all of a sudden they startle and move up the hill a bit. What happened? The wind didn't change. They are looking in my direction when I realize they are looking beyond me. I turn and there is a 290-300 bull 10 yards away. I lie down. I'm not going to shoot him, but I wonder if I can draw my bow lying down... I can't, my legs flop all over and he's gone. I like this place. I hike out and drive home. I''l be back in 2 days for the rest of the hunt.

08-Oct-19
8x6.... my lord.

This is an epic write up.

That encounter with all those elk so close must have been crazy.

Looking forward to more!

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
Sept.18 Hunt day 16... I'm late leaving home. It takes longer than expected to drive and get food, but I'm determined to get an evening hunt in. I don't get to the trailhead until about 4:00. I want to get to my blind but I'm worried the elk will already be there and I won't be able to get in position. I practically run the 3+ miles. I'm right, elk are everywhere, not a bad problem to have, but I can't get to my spot. I'm able to get near where I was when the cows got so close. I can see this bull in the picture and he's is fired up. I see another smaller looking 6 point challenge him and they start to fight. This is real, even the other elk are watching. I figure the one in the picture will win easily, but the other guy is holding his own. Sometimes I see them, sometimes I just see dust flying. I realize the smaller racked bull has a bigger body and this is a fair fight. This goes on for about 15 minutes and then they just break it off. It quiet for a few minutes and suddenly the bigger racked bull is coming. He strolls in about 35 yards and starts to drink. He facing me head down. I'm not sure I want him, but he won't give me a shot anyway. Suddenly he whirls and practically runs 10 more yards away and flops in the wallow.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
More day 16.... That's him in the wallow. It looks like an easy shot, but now he's between 45 and 50 yards and won't stay still. He flops all over the place for a couple of minutes and then suddenly jumps up and walks away. I never really had a clear shot. There are still multiple bulls around so I stay put. His rival, the large bodied smaller antlered one now comes to drink and stops broadside at 20 yards. I let him walk. a couple minutes later another bull follows exactly in his path. This one is a 1x 7. He's a typical 7 on one side and about a 40" spear on the other. Not broken off, just a broken pedicle I guess. I've got a slam dunk on him too, but I pass. I ease out without spooking anything and vow to get to my blind tomorrow and sit all day.

From: Bowboy
08-Oct-19
I feel very soon an arrow is going to be flying to a stud bull!

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
Sept. 19 Hunt day 17... I know I can't get to my blind in the dark without spooking elk so I decide to hunt my way there, slip in mid morning and sit until dark. I had seen several good bulls water mid day, and I was determined to sit in my blind. I went in a slightly different way and saw one excellent bull, but wind was wrong. Made a stalk on another, but spooked him on final approach. It was now about 9:30 and I decided to work my way down to my spot. It's an open sage hillside most of the way so I picked my way slowly. When I got within 1/2 mile I glassed and there were about 20 cows and a really good bull on the hill just opposite the blind. I continued on slowly waiting for them to feed off. After I had cut the distance in half they hadn't gone far so I had to start stalking carefully. This involved crouching from bush to bush in some places and crawling in others. I was determined to make it to my blind. I kept getting closer and they kept moving, but really slowly. I was now about 200 yards from my spot and they were almost in cover. The sage here was very short, so I had no choice but to crawl. This really sucks as I have two artificial knees and kneeling on them is the worst. I was inching towards my goal most of the herd had disappeared, but a couple of cows were being really careful and wouldn't leave. I had seen a couple of good bulls way up the hill opposite me and now I was worried they would come down for a late morning drink before I could get there. Progress was slow when I looked up and here comes a really good bull coming down and across the hill towards my spot. I looked again and he was now coming fast. He had to go through a little cover so I said screw the others and started racing for my spot. I got there in a couple of minutes, but I hear him bugle and he was already past me. I was pissed because I wanted this bull, but I was finally in my spot and I told myself I wasn't budging all day. I knew others would eventually come. I could hear the new bull and the one with the big herd yelling at each other and I figured the newcomer would go challenge him. He was bigger than the one with all the cows after all. After another couple bugles I realized the new bull was not moving towards the other one and he was at the wallow. Less than 5 minutes after I vowed to sit all day I decided to go after him. The wind was perfect and I had watched so many elk at that wallow I knew right where he was.I covered the first 80 yards really quickly as the wind was perfect and strong enough to cover any sound. I also knew the trail that would lead right to the wallow. I could now hear him splashing around and I crept a little closer. I couldn't see the bull, but I could see the dirt bank behind him. I ranged the dirt at 45 yards. he was closer than that. I crept another couple yards to the crest of the knoll and slowly stood up. He didn't see the movement and he was perfectly broadside. In what now seems like a blur I drew and released. The glare was really bad and I couldn't see the flight well, but I knew I had either a pass through or at least full penetration as I couldn't see any arrow or fletching. He ran a few steps back down to the water and disappeared behind some willows. A couple seconds later he appeared right across from me and stopped. He was still no more than 35 yards and I could see blood. I knew it was a good hit and he just stood there looking at me even though I was standing completely in the open. I had been pretty calm, but now I was shaking as I tried to nock another arrow. After what seems like a minute, but was probably 1 or 2 seconds I got another arrow on the string drew and released another arrow. The glare wasn't as bad at this angle and I saw this one go into the boiler room. He tried to run, but I knew he was done and after a few steps he began to wobble and after a few more he tipped over right in plain sight and never twitched again. No waiting, no tracking, no angst, just as I had hoped. He wasn't the biggest bull in the unit, but he was a really good bull and the perfect end to the perfect hunt. But I was still over 3.5 miles from the truck and by myself.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Brun's embedded Photo
The next day. I know it's been long, but the retrieval is pretty interesting too I think.

From: Twinetickler
08-Oct-19
I don't want it to end! What a hoss, great bull! Yes sir man!

From: GF
08-Oct-19
I just think it’s awesome that he had the bull of a lifetime 10 feet farther than he wanted to shoot... So he didn’t.

I don’t know what % of hunters are that disciplined, but chances are good that the number is lower than the success rate in CT ML season for public land....

And just think... if he’d plunked that bull, the story would be over by now......

From: nmwapiti
08-Oct-19
What a dandy. Your story has kept me hooked for days!

From: Bowboy
08-Oct-19
Very nice bull congrats!

From: Grey Ghost
08-Oct-19
I’m so exhausted.....

Matt

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
So he's down, but I'm not exactly out of the woods, literally or figuratively. I'm alone, tired and 3.5 miles from the truck. I had a number of offers to help with the pack out, but there is no way to contact anyone until I get to the truck. I'm on my own for the day. After a few pictures I get to work. I've killed quite a few bull alone before, but they were all much smaller. With great effort I get him in a reasonable position and get to work. Luckily it's a pretty cool day and he's only about 60 yards above the stream where there is shade and steady cool air moving through the gully. I decide to go gutless and the first two quarters and backstrap go pretty well. I get all that in bags and down to the creek. That's when it got tough.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
After I got one side finished I couldn't get him rolled over to work on the other side. I had nothing to tie off on and It took me forever, but I finally managed to get the other hind quarter off. I wasn't entirely sure there wouldn't be two deaths on the hill. I was pretty spent, but I managed to get the rest done and down to the creek. My plan was to get the backstraps and tenders out with the rest of my stuff and send out the SOS. I knew the meat would be ok as I got to it so fast and as I said the temperatures at the creek were nice and cool and this was mid day.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
As I made the trudge out I had a lot of time to think of options. My good friend Ryan has a bunch of goats he uses to pack with and he had promised to come at any time. He is hoping to draw this tag next year and if you can remember way back to scouting he was with me several times. In any case he was going to be my first call. When I got to the truck I was hurting but set a text to Ryan immediately. He answered pretty quickly and said he would come with the goats in the morning. I was relieved, but still decided to go back for another load. I had about an hour and a half of light. It had taken about six hours to get it quartered and get the first load out.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
I managed to get Ryan on the phone before I left for the next load. He said he was on a hunt, would call me after dark and come with the goats the next morning. I still had 7 miles to do that night so I took off. Not much to say about that trip that misery won't describe. When I got back to the truck[well after dark] I still hadn't heard from Ryan. Now I was getting worried. The only thing that could wreck this plan was if he or his partner killed a bull that night. It was getting late and I wasn't sure what else I could do at that hour. I had at least 3 trips the next day, 22 miles and I wasn't sure if I could do it alone. Well sure enough I get the call and Ryan had shot a bull. I was happy for him, but wow, where to turn.

From: Quinn @work
08-Oct-19
Congrats what a great bull. Thank you for taking the time to share the story and pics. One of the best bowsite elk hunts I've read!

From: Brun
08-Oct-19
I had been in communication with Grey Ghost all season and I knew he was hunting about an hour away. He had sent me a text earlier in the day so I didn't feel too bad about texting him at 9:00. I told him my situation and it took him about 30 seconds to respond and ask where and when I wanted him. What a star! He also said he would try to bring another guy. About this time I got a call from my good friend Andy. Ryan had called him and he said he would leave at 5:00 the next morning, He was about three hours away. Incredible! Then Grey Ghost gets back to me and says he has another guy. Wow! 4 guys for 4 loads. I was filled with an incredible satisfaction for my hunt and for real friends. The quest was almost over.

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Matt, Gus and I
Brun's embedded Photo
Matt, Gus and I

From: Brun
08-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
Andy and I
Brun's embedded Photo
Andy and I

From: T Mac
08-Oct-19
Outstanding story and bull congrats Brun!

From: JB
08-Oct-19
Super huge congrats! And I too am in awe that you passed on a big bull that was beyond your comfort range. I went beyond mine one time on a doe and it ended badly. Kudos to you for staying strong.

From: HUNT MAN
08-Oct-19
I loved every word of this. Amazing hunt and recap. Thank you so much for posting !!! Hunt

From: timberline53
08-Oct-19
Brun this is so much fun following your hunt! Gotta say you have done a great writeup so far--I feel I am right there with you---seriously on the edge just waiting for the next day! So many of your experiences have memories flooding back.......thanks for sharing --i need another post tonight please!

08-Oct-19
Best thread of the year.... this was awesome and ended with amazing help...

From: timberline53
08-Oct-19
Great hunt, great bull, great friends to help with the packet! Could it get any better?Congrats my friend!

From: GF
08-Oct-19
Awesome.

Word gets over-used, but that’s what this is. Congrats to you and all of your helpers

From: YZF-88
08-Oct-19
Man, thanks for that write-up! What a hunt. Every bow hunter needs to read this.

From: Grasshopper
09-Oct-19
Wow. great write up, I enjoyed the adventure! What a hunt, nicely done.! Your wanting to make me spend money I don't have on a voucher!

The only downside, you are now ruined and OTC Colorado with 4 point raghorns will never be the same.

From: Paul@thefort
09-Oct-19
It is now 11:15 pm and I was heading to bed until I found this post an hour ago. Nicely done all around. my best, Paul

09-Oct-19
Thanks for all of the entertainment. I have changed my long ago formed opinion.

Maybe Colorado does have a unit worth 28 points.

It sounds like you were not surrounded by scouters, spotters and outfitters.

It apparent, You must be one tough disciplined Hombre.

From: BULELK1
09-Oct-19
Thanks for taking us along man!

Congrats across the board

Good luck, Robb

From: bigswivle
09-Oct-19
Incredible

From: cnelk
09-Oct-19
Truly amazing story.

09-Oct-19
Thx, Well done, enjoy your success every day. Congrats. C

From: Tgun46
09-Oct-19
GREAT write up. One of the best I’ve read. Congrats on a great bull. I will never have the points to hunt any of the NW units but through your detailed story it was like we all got to experience it. Thank you

09-Oct-19
Congrats! Great story telling.

From: elkmtngear
09-Oct-19
Fantastic journal, Brun...I don't think there's any Universe, where I would have your patience, if I was surrounded by that many great bulls!

I was hanging on every word, thanks for sharing this!

From: PoudreCanyon
09-Oct-19
Great recap Brun. I too was impressed with your grit, perseverance, and determination. Congrats on a well deserved bull!

From: bwhntr
09-Oct-19
Outstanding! Thank you!

From: RogBow
09-Oct-19
True bowhunter and terrific write up. Thanks for sharing, great bull.

From: Treeline
09-Oct-19
Excellent hunt, excellent results, FABULOUS RECAP!

Thank you!

Tavis

From: njbuck
09-Oct-19
Amazing bull and an even better write up! Congrats!

From: Scoot
09-Oct-19
Wonderful story and outcome! Very cool you got all the help you did, as quickly as you did! Hunters are the best group of people out there! It may be hard to remember that sometimes when everyone is bitching at each other online, but it's true. Many congrats to you and kudos to the folks who helped you.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
09-Oct-19
Tremendous hunt and write up. Your time spent on both are very much appreciated. Congratulations all the way around.

09-Oct-19
Friggin awesome.

So i generally dont care about scores of elk cuz im a deerhunter, i have no idea what a 300 or a 400 looks like. But i am curious of what this one scores due to your assessments throughout the hunt on whether to go after a bull or not. Obviously, when you saw this bull you didnt think twice so it was THE perfect bull and the hunt was a success from every angle. But im curious where he scores verses others you saw throughout the hunt.

From: Chasewild
09-Oct-19
Great recap. Brought me right back to Unit 10 almost a decade ago.

Hell of a bull too.

Cheers.

From: Duke
09-Oct-19
Congrats on a GREAT hunt and animal! Thank you for sharing the details with us! Incredibull!

Luke

09-Oct-19
Congratulations on your bull, Jim! The amount of elk you saw and described on your outings was astounding! Heck, I'd just like to tag along with someone that pulls a tag like that, just to see that many elk. I'd bet you saw more elk than all 6 of my trips to the mountains. Thanks for the write up, enjoyed it!

From: otcWill
09-Oct-19
This is one of my favorite elk stories. Thank you sir for taking the time. Huge congrats on a bull to match your efforts! Well done

From: shiloh
09-Oct-19
Awesome story!! Thanks for taking the time to write it up

From: Brun
09-Oct-19
Stick, I measured this bull myself and came up with 338' gross. I'm not an official measurer, but I have done it several times under the supervision of an OM, so I'm sure that number is pretty accurate. That's pretty close to what I was thinking at the time. I probably would have guessed about 5 or 6 inches larger. His right side was facing me and it's a little longer in the main beam and the third than the left side. If they had matched my estimate would have right on. I'm not really that obsessed with score as I hope I conveyed in the story, especially when I left a couple of giants near the private to have a better hunting experience. I was always trying to judge score on the hoof so I would know what I was looking at. I really didn't want to shoot a smaller bull earlier in the hunt, and believe me a 300" inch bull looks really big when you are 30 yards from him.I was having too much fun to have it end early. Elk, like any animal are hard to judge on the hoof unless you have a lot of time to examine them. Just for your own reference if you look at a couple of bulls from the write up, the one on the first day that's walking from left to right broadside is probably 280-290. The one near the end of the story with the sun on his antlers and later in the wallow I guessed to be mid 320's. He's a really nice bull, but the top end is a little weak with short 5ths and the main beams are a little shorter than on my bull. The bottom end and width are about the same, but I think the mass on mine is a little better...... It's fun to throw numbers around, but it's really all about the experience and waiting for a good shot in my opinion. Thanks for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

From: elkman52
09-Oct-19
" I was having to much fun to have it end early" nothing better than getting a full hunt in and then filling your tag! great story,great hunt,can't thank you enough!!

From: starbux
09-Oct-19
Thanks for sharing and congrats on an amazing hunt!

09-Oct-19
Great story, thanks for taking the time to write it up. Grats on the hunt and the bull!

From: bigeasygator
09-Oct-19
In a year that I FINALLY got to post a thread of my own successful elk hunt, it's my opinion that this is the...Best. Elk. Thread. Ever. No magazine article or TV show can more comprehensively convey all that went into that bull, and these are the threads, and of course people, that make bowsite what it is. Congrats on your elk, Brun. And thank you for taking us with you every step of the way.

From: cnelk
09-Oct-19
" It's fun to throw numbers around, but it's really all about the experience and waiting for a good shot in my opinion. "

One of the best pieces of advice for everyone to read about elk hunting. And then it read again.

From: bohuntr
09-Oct-19
What an incredible hunt and story! That is definitely a hunt of a lifetime. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your adventure!

From: Ucsdryder
09-Oct-19
Really, really great story! Truly once in a lifetime.

From: Grubby
09-Oct-19
I’m changing my user name to “the loner with the boner”

Thanks for sharing! This was a truly epic hunt and it was nice of you to take us along!

From: JCarrowthem
09-Oct-19
Great story!! nothing like my Colo. elk hunt this year.

From: grossklw
09-Oct-19
I'm with you, it really is about the experience. Everyone wants to shoot the biggest bull, but my biggest bull is nowhere near my funnest. Congrats again, and thanks for writing it up.

09-Oct-19
Good stuff, I thought that was THE bull for you... Congrats- well done!

From: ryanrc
09-Oct-19
I just ignored my family for an hour and a half!.. great write up.

Congratulations

From: JEG
09-Oct-19
Congrats on a great bull and thanks for sharing, great story!!

From: bowhunter24
10-Oct-19
I don't always smile at work Jim. Thanks for the great write up and pictures!

From: Fuzz
10-Oct-19
Thank you Brun for taking us along on your hunt!! Congratulations on a great experience!

From: zabwelch
10-Oct-19
Awesome bull, awesome story! Congrats, and thanks for taking the time to share!

From: Grey Ghost
10-Oct-19
Hey Jim,

Are you going to finish the story, or just leave it here? I know you have more pics to show.

Matt

From: 6x6 bull
10-Oct-19
Thanks Brun ! Great story and bull!!!

From: Inshart
10-Oct-19
Brun, thank you for posting the pic of the mule deer (gun kill) I appreciated it.

As has been said MANY times, what a wonderfully epic adventure - thanks for taking us along.

NOW, since Grey Ghost was there - hell yeah, more pics PLEASE!

From: Brun
10-Oct-19

Brun's embedded Photo
The last load
Brun's embedded Photo
The last load
I wanted to make one last post to try and sum up my feelings after finishing this story. Firstly I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read this story. I'm truly humbled by the responses I've gotten, both here and privately. It's very gratifying to know that I was able to convey some of the overwhelming excitement, effort, angst, exhaustion, hope, disappointment, and occasional elation that is archery elk hunting. It's an amazing collection of individuals here on Bowsite and I wish all of you the best of luck in your ongoing adventures, and while results are always rewarding........it is truly all about the QUEST.

From: never2sharp
10-Oct-19
Thanks Brun for a "Classic". This thread will be re-posted for many years to come.

From: sdkhunter
10-Oct-19
Amazing story from start to finish! Thanks for taking the time to write everything up! All the pics helped drive home everything even more...

From: ki-ke
10-Oct-19
Holy crap....I’m exhausted....

What a story! Thanks for sharing and endless congrats!!

Yes, “Loner with a Boner” is the new classic....

From: Ron Niziolek
10-Oct-19
Excellent write-up. Kudos to you and to those who answered the call for assistance.

From: Grey Ghost
10-Oct-19
There's the money shot I was hoping for, Jim. I don't think some guys truly appreciate how big the head and antlers are on a bull of this caliber. Seeing it hanging on your pack puts it into perspective well. He was an absolute beast of a bull, and it was truly my pleasure and privilege to help you pack him out.

Although I only got to spend a short half day with Jim and Andy, I feel like I met 2 friends for life. One of the most memorable parts for me was watching two 66 year old men (Jim and Andy) getting it done like a couple of spry 20 year olds. I'm a few years behind them, and I'm starting to feel my age at times. Jim and Andy reminded me that I still have some quality years ahead of me, and that you are as old as you feel.

Jim, it was an experience I will never forget, my friend. And with any luck we can do a repeat next year.

Matt

11-Oct-19
Jim, U-DA_MAN! One more pic please. I need to see him on your wall. Thanks for all the advice you gave me. You my friend are a true string bender! Shawn

From: THP
11-Oct-19
Congrats on a great bull! Thanks for taking the time to share your hunt. It really got me excited to burn my points soon and experience it for myself.

From: Brotsky
11-Oct-19
Really not much to say that hasn't already been said! Congratulations Brun! Simply outstanding!

From: APauls
11-Oct-19
It's funny, I started reading this thread a few days ago, and quickly realized I didn't have the fortitude to be left hanging and left it for a few days on purpose in hopes that when I did read it I could get to the end. I was no dissapointed! What an incredible hunt. It's hard to imagine that elk hunts of this caliber exist. Great job on the write-up and even better on the hunt. Talk about a guy that doesn't waver from his convictions. Just stellar in every regard.

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