Moultrie Products
Slippery Mountain Bulls, Round 3...
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
Scoot 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
Jaquomo 13-Nov-19
Jaquomo 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
BOWNBIRDHNTR 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
BOWNBIRDHNTR 13-Nov-19
grossklw 13-Nov-19
Beav 13-Nov-19
elkmtngear 13-Nov-19
Scoot 13-Nov-19
Old School 13-Nov-19
hdaman 13-Nov-19
ND String Puller 13-Nov-19
APauls 14-Nov-19
grossklw 14-Nov-19
grossklw 19-Nov-19
grossklw 19-Nov-19
grossklw 19-Nov-19
Ron Niziolek 19-Nov-19
From: grossklw
13-Nov-19

grossklw's Link
With all the help I've had over the years, I always said for every western trip I would do a write-up. This is number 3. I was lucky and tagged out on my first two trips out west. Killing a bull in 2016, and 2017, but had other obligations in 2018 with a newborn promptly entering my world and changing things forever. I'll try and get this done today with a slow day at work, but it may take another day or two. 2016 story is at the link below.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19

grossklw's Link
Trip from 2017 at the link.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
As I said, we welcomed my son in September of 2018 to this world, so I was in WI for good reason. He came in as a brute at 9 lbs 8 oz, he should be a hell of a packer for his old man in a few years. Shortly after he was born, my wife asked if we were having his birthday party before I left or after I got back in 2019, I've got a good one!

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
I have a bunch of pictures, but no matter how I try and upload them I get a message that the web site you are accessing has experienced an unexpected error. I've tried converting them to .jpeg's without success. Anyone knows something I don't let me know and I'll upload them as I go.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Fall/Winter came and went, I killed 36 public land roosters with my golden in SD and WI. I have a buddy whom I'm a business partner that had wanted to go on an elk hunt and he wanted to go with me so we split his points and we had four of us headed west. Nate (pharmacist buddy who lives in CO), Jake (buddy in KY), and my uncle Doug in SD who I would pick up on the way. I was able to get plenty of shooting in the summer and felt great as the summer went on.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
I got a text in early July from jake, buddy I'm devastated. I broke my f*&king leg. I thought he was kidding, but he was not. It wasn't a bad fracture, he was going to have 6 weeks in a cast/boot and the ortho would release him. There was a lot of texts back and forth deciding if he could still make the trip. I'm a physical therapist by trade so I pretty much said it's going to hurt like hell but you'll be fine. And I was right.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
I was amazed when he was texting me he was handling 3-4 miles everyday with weight and he was going to go. I was stoked for him, really. I was really worried he wasn't going to be able to go based on the timeline but he made it work.

Nate would be meeting us at my cousin's house who lives within a couple hour drive of the hunt area. Jake drove up from KY and we picked Doug up in SD on our way west.

We had a few beers and game-planned for the next 11 days in the backcountry. I could. not. wait.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
We made the hike in, base camp was about a 3 mile hike in from the trailhead and there were enough drainages based off of that to keep everyone busy. I upgraded my pack to a Stone Glacier this year and boy was I glad, turns out there is a difference.

Jake's Exo was nice, but he was way too tall for the frame and I couldn't figure out how to make it work for him.

When we got to camp and started setting up Nate gave me a puzzled look and said he thinks he may have forgot his diaphragm calls. I started laughing and told him they will probably be worthless to him anyway since he's never called. Over the summer he sent me a video and asked if he was doing it right. He had it in backwards haha. I gave him a couple of my extras and camp was set and into the mountain we went. I would hunt with Nate for the first few days since he's never been, and Jake and Doug would team up for the first few days.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Day 1 Afternoon- Nate and I hiked up north of camp near where I had been into elk previously. First location bugle was immediately answered 200 yards away, I smiled as Nate had heard his first bull bugle.

The bull was on a bench, and the wind was consistent enough where I felt we could get up to the edge of it and I could call him off for a shot. We snuck over there and I bugled back and forth with him for 10 minutes or so and Nate and I lost track of each other. I slowly crept in and all of a sudden a bull came shooting past me at about 40 yards. Nate had been close, but couldn't quite pinpoint the bull and we were 0/1.

Bulls were still screaming and we still had 3 hours of daylight left. We popped up in elevation and had another good bull going. We got to about 150 yards of this bull, had a good set up and I began my calling sequence. I cut him off and could tell he was splitting the distance. Within about 10 minutes I could tell he was close, but he was circling way above us to get our wind. I wasn't expecting him to get that high.

Nate was relatively inexperienced and didn't adjust to get higher than the bull as he was closing the distance and I wasn't in a position where I could move him. The bull got above us and blew out of there.

That was it for afternoon one, but man what a first afternoon. Doug and Jake had gotten into elk as well but no dice. Still 10 more days....

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Day 2 AM- We headed straight east of camp where we had heard bulls previously. We got a response on the edge of a meadow and it was a good calling set-up, he would have to crest this small ridge to see where the calling was coming from in the timber. We set up and I could see Nate trying to move around for a shot. I could hear the bull screaming and thought he was going to run Nate over.

The bull circled, he never got our wind, but got pre-occupied with some cows going up the side of the mountain. We dogged him for a few hundred yards before we lost track of him. As we sat down for a snack another bull popped off below us and further down the ravine. We knew we needed to drop in on him, the thermals were good.

From: Scoot
13-Nov-19
Sweet- I was ready for another elk story! Looking forward to this!

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
As we dropped down to get to his level, he let out another bugle and it sounded like the whimpiest, whiniest bugle I had ever heard. I thought for sure he was a raghorn, which I don't care, I'm killing him. Nate wanted to take a turn calling, so I let him have at it. The next bugle Nate interrupted him with the most beautiful bugle I had ever heard (or maybe it sounded closer to a chicken being raped, it was all kind of fuzzy).

The bull wasn't moving so I belly-crawled to the top of the crest and watched as the whimpy sounding 330 bull took his cows up the side of the next ravine and pop out of my life. I had a great view of him as he went up the side of the mountain and tipped my cap to him.

That afternoon we glassed 6 or 7 elk across the canyon and Nate wanted to go chase them. I didn't mention it but around now some wet heavy snow started dropping and it turned into a muddy mess. We got up to a nice clearing that split, I had Nate go above me in elevation and I dropped down to sit the meadow.

All of a sudden a bull fired off below me, I tried to maneuver myself to get the wind right but I wasn't going to be able to make it. It was too thick to see him, but I figured he was within 70 yards or so.

Nate was able to get to 70 yards of a 5X5 a couple different times that afternoon, but he had too many cows to make it realistic. I had hunted this spot before, but it looked a lot better than it had previously.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
ONCE AGAIN, IF ANYONE KNOWS IF THERE'S ANOTHER FORMAT TO CONVERT PICTURES TO SO IT WORKS LET ME KNOW!!!! I can't upload any of them, I keep getting an internal service error.

Day 3 AM- Hunted east of camp again, we glassed the night before a really nice bull pushing cows at much higher elevation. Plan was to get way up high early and make a play. We went up an avalanche chute and tried sitting for a while. A bull was screaming 200 yards away and I couldn't take it any longer, I needed to chase him...

I went and got Nate and he was in a good spot to try and kill him. Nate was set up as caller and I belly crawled to a nice area with solid shooting lanes. After 5 minutes of calling back and forth I could see the elk wasn't moving. I slowly snuck forward, the thermals had been consistent all morning.

I needed 10 more yards and I would have an opening at 50 yards, he was a solid, not huge 6 point bull. All of a sudden I felt the wind shift and the gig was up. Another bull was screaming below us so I dropped on top of him which I also managed to blow out of the canyon.

I'm generally of the same attitude as HUNT, I want to kill em or blow em out of the canyon. I chose the later on these 2 particular bulls :)

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Day 3-middle of the day. We set up over a wallow and meadow just to kill time, would rather take a nap in a spot where I could kill something than somewhere I can't. After about 2 hours Nate started frantically call calling. I could see him on the edge of the meadow making a ruckus.

I slowly moved up and asked what was going on. He pointed at his quiver and an arrow was missing. He said he missed a cow that was standing above him. He pointed where it was at and I laughed and said it's only 25 yards how'd you miss? He said he thought it was 40 and shot right over her back (Nate has never killed anything with a bow so there's a learning curve haha).

Day 3 afternoon was pretty uneventful, we chased a bull across a canyon and am thinking now it may have been Doug Flutie. 3 days in and we had an amazing hunt thus far. No bulls killed but lots of interactions which makes me happy :)

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Day 4- AM was actually pretty docile, not really much of anything going on. I sent Jake a message on the inreach to see what was going on and they had been in on them all day.

Unfortunately Jake had missed a gimme 20 yard shot on a nice bull at 20 yards. I felt really bad for him, he had worked his ass off in rehab to get ready for this hunt and then his brain turns off at the most critical time. Jake kills a giant whitetail in KY every year, he can't think of what happened, he just knows something did.

That PM however I can only describe as the most amazing 3 hours of elk hunting I had every experienced in my life...

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Nate and I went back up the mountain where we had seen the bulls previously out in the meadow. It was middle of the day 1-2pm and there were 4-5 bulls screaming their brains out all within 300 yards of us. Nate wanted to move in, but the thermals were too shifty where we were at, I needed to move higher to try and get above a couple of them.

Nate and I split up (he met up with Jake) and I attempted to get on the east side of the mountain where thermals were blowing down consistently (it's now 3ish pm). A bull was firing off above me 300 yards every 2-3 minutes. I had blown some calling sessions, so my plan was to try and sneak in and kill him in his bed without making a peep.

I crept forward and when I got to around 100 yards, I dropped my pack (marked it with OnX, which I'll get to in a bit). I started belly crawling my way up to his position. It was open enough to maneuver quietly, but thick enough to do it unnoticed. I got to 50 yards and stopped and glassed, the next bugle I could see tips of antler's behind a downed tree. I thought I could crawl up to that downed tree and get an arrow ready. I belly crawled 17 more yards. I had the perfect set-up I could see him from his 3rds up clear as a bell, when he stood up I would have a wide open 33 yard shot. I could hear cows mewing nearby but didn't actually see any of them.

He was a monarch, a legitimate 350" bull, I had over 10 minutes to sit and analyze him and had gotten to the point where I was comfortable and no longer shaking for a shot. He was still bugling constantly, but then it happened. A bull fired off about 90 yards away, he immediately got up and ran over there. I didn't even get pressure on my string it happened so quick. Immediately the entire herd got up and started wrapping around the south side of the mountain heading west.

I was still unseen, so I took off chasing the herd. The thermals switched when we got on the south facing slope and started going uphill but I had actually got to their elevation so it worked. I could tell the herd bull was 60-80 yards away, but I saw a nice satellite at 60 yards raking a tree. I sprinted up to get into position to shoot him. I got to full draw and attempted to sneak out to get an angle at the shot. The bull turned his head and had me pinned down. WTH!@!, you mother f*&(er, you were raking. You're not supposed to see me when you're raking.

I needed a solid 2 steps to kill him and he was staring at me. Around this time the herd bull bugled and came sprinting across the face of the mountain to run off this challenger. The bull snapped his head and went sprinting down the hill to avoid the herd bull.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Mind you I didn't have my bugle tube (stupid I know, but I did have a diaphragm in). I could see the entire herd, but they were facing away from me. I sprinted up to the next opening and there were 13 cows, ranging from 33 yards out to 60. The herd bull was chasing a different satellite above me and further to the west about 90 yards (both satellite's were 300" bulls and the herd bull was the monarch). I thought I had a great set-up, the entire herd is facing away from me, and after he runs that satellite away he will come scent check a cow and I'll be ready for my trophy shot.

He went sprinting down the hill at another satellite and the cows couldn't have cared less. I drew on him but he was sprinting, he wasn't stopping. Mind you this entire time all 3 bulls are bugling non-stop and the wind is blowing dust up the hill, it was absolutely mind-blowing. A once-in-a-lifetime elk hunting experience.

When the cows got to the next ridge I sprinted again to get to the last cow, I was set up with a similar situation again. I was at between 30-65 yards of all the cows. The herd bull came and walked with the front cow and I drew back. I attempted to stop him and knew he was at 65 yards, but he was just quartering too far. I couldn't ethically make the shot, too steep of an angle and too far for my comfort levels.

I let down and watched as he bugled and chased another satellite down the canyon. I played this cat and mouse game for well over an hour. It didn't end up in an arrow flung, but I didn't feel I didn't anything silly and I couldn't have done much different. I maybe could've called him in his bed to get him to stand up, but I felt what I was doing was going to work. It made the trip, I couldn't even really say I was disappointed, I had been within 70 yards of a giant bull multiple times, it just didnt work out. I smiled as towards dark I headed back to my camp, I hadn't drank anything in 4 hours and I was beyond thirst.

I stumbled around looking for my backpack for close to an hour before I finally got a decent read on it when my phone's bluetooth connected to my inreach. I quickly guzzled down a liter of water and met up with Nate and walked back to camp.

He had an awesome experience as well having a tall 6X6 within 60 yards of Jake's calling, it didn't work out but everyone was happy.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Day 5- AM- We headed for the south side of the mountain thinking we could maybe chase that large herd back up again. We glassed a decent 5 point bull on the south side of the mountain with 5-6 cows. We also watched as a large herd crested the east side of the mountain in the same spot where they had came out the night before.

We attempted to call the 5 point bull without success, he just wasn't fired up enough and the country was too open to really get him pissed off. We hiked up the mountain and the plan was to split off. I was going to sit with a favorable wind where the herd had came out the night before.

Day 5- PM- After sitting there for about 3-4 hours (may have gotten a small nap in), I could glass a bull and a few cows in the meadow below me. After about 10 seconds of thought I said to hell with sitting and off I went to go blow a few more elk out of the ravine. I dropped down to where I thought they were and could hear 2-3 bulls screaming as I made my descent. I walked across this large meadow and essentially dogged the backside of the herd, never getting closer than 200 yards or so. The wind was just too dodgy to make a decent play so I was hoping thermals would settle as we got closer to dark.

I eventually got to a spot where we were more north facing and the thermals were consistent. Only problem was there was a stream very nearby, which was really loud. I started going back and forth with 2 different bulls, he'd bugle, I'd bugle. This went on for about 20 minutes, eventually I knew he wasn't going to cross that creek, too open, and too steep, he won't have the high ground.

I only had about 40 mins of daylight left. I sprinted across the steep ravine (an awful 200 yard hike, steep, nasty, slippery). I got to the other side and bugled, no answer. I pushed in a little further, I bugled, no answer. 3rd time's a charm, a bull fires up 100 yards away from me. I get to the bottom of a small ridge, he bugles, I cut him off, then proceed to sprint up to the top of the ridge in hopes he will come to see what all the fuss is about.

I set up for a south facing shot, thinking he would want to try and get my wind at least as he was lower in the ravine than I was. All of a sudden he lit up 20 yards away and chuckled away. I was well hidden, but didn't have an immediate shot opening, I didn't really know what was going to happen. He walked down the ridge right at me and raked a tree at 10 yards. When he was raking I was able to re-adjust and would have an opening at 8 yards if he came either right or left, or it was going to be a frontal at 4 yards.

He came off the tree and bugled and chuckled right in my face, I slowly got to full draw and he was taking the left route, which would give me an 8 yard quartering too shot. As he met my opening I thought it'd be better to sneak behind the shoulder instead of in front of it. I slowly squeezed the release and watched my arrow sail towards its target...

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
The arrow hit a bit back, but I thought it looked good. He bolted and as he bolted I could see blood pouring out of each side of him. He stopped at 45 yards and I had one small opening to his neck, he was hunched up and looked sick, it was calm enough I could actually hear the blood hitting the ground. I'm a firm believer in shooting em until they're dead. I launched another arrow and it found it's mark in the middle of his spine and he dropped like a brick.

I snuck up to the first spot he was standing and found my original arrow, it looked good. Second arrow was still lodged in his spine but was broken.

I smiled, was he the 350+ bull I almost got? Nope, couldn't care less. Western hunts are expensive and I'm expected to come home with something for the freezer. It is about the journey, but the journey is better when you kill something (I don't harvest, I KILL).

He was a pretty cool looking 5X4, with a little funky on the one side. I sent out some "meat rocket sent" inreach's to my wife and an anonymous bowsiter that may or may not be named later. I don't have an idea what I'm going to shoot when I head west, if it was a cool set-up and the animal got me excited, I'm going to try and kill it, simple as that.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Ah, now the task at hand. This is the 3rd time I've done this, but this will be my first solo foray into it. I got everything set out. Another thing I forgot to mention, the clip on my bear spray had fell off so I left it in camp, I didn't want it going off and ruin my new 700$ backpack.

I started the process, my plan was to get him broken down and meat away from the kill site and come back with the group tomorrow. I sent out an inreach to Jake and Nate wanted to come help. I told him not to bother as he wasn't going to fine me. If Nate would've used the inreach to locate me he likely would've, but he wanted to use OnX. Long story short, he got to within 300 yards of me but couldn't fine me.

I put music loud on my phone as I had zero bear protection (we aren't in grizzly territory, but there could be a straggler). I shot him with about 20 minutes of daylight left and had him broken down by about 12:30, which took me about 4ish hours. It was honestly kind of relaxing, no talking, just methodically breaking down my bull just how I wanted to.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Getting the legs off solo is no joke, I can't say I had everything meticulously clean, but I got all the meat off I wanted to. I left bone-in quarters, as I wasn't interested in trying to get a giant boned out leg inside of a game bag. The spine broadhead had broken off right in the middle of the spine, I could barely touch it with my knife as I was getting neck roasts off. Excellent penetration.

side-note always bring extra batteries in your daypack, I ran out about 1/2 way through the breakdown process and have no idea what I would've done without a fresh set.

I started the trek back with a front quarter in my pack and bow strapped to it. I had to traverse the extremely steep, and now slippery drainage, as well as about 3/4 miles of deadfall before I would be back on the trail and headed back to camp. I also ran out of water as I was chasing this bull, and the idiot in me didn't get some when he crossed. I hadn't had any for about 7ish hours and I needed some. I drank a full 2L right after I filled up.

Once I can get pictures figured out I'll show what I looked like, it was a sight. I get bloody noses really easy, especially at elevation. I had blood all over my face, but that water never tasted so good.

On the walk back as I was going through a group of willows I heard something get up and start running. I actually sat down and just thought, this is it, this is how it ends, what a stupid way to die on the side of the mountain with meat and no bear spray. Expecting to see a bear around the corner ready to maul me I see a cow moose shoot out of the ravine. It was a new moon, absolutely no moonlight.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
I dropped my quarter where the trail splits and would get it in the morning, I just wanted to get back to camp and hop in my bag. I rolled in around 2:00 AM and everyone wanted to see pics and hear the story.

Come to find out Nate was out of arrows. He had missed badly on 3 different cows at range's he probably shouldn't have been shooting at. He was actually only about 300 yards from me, but neither one of us knew where the other was at, he was hunting a different herd.

I told the boys that they should hunt the next AM, I was sleeping in, after the AM hunt we could go get my bull. My body was ready for a morning off, even if it was for a couple hours. Next AM they wanted to go get the bull so that we did.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Day 6- Jake's ankle was bothering him, he was also sick as a dog, he was a trooper but kind of stupid like the rest of us as well. Nate on the other hand lives in CO and climbs 14kers on the weekends, he is a damn billy goat. He took a hind-quarter and actually picked up my front quarter on the walk back to the truck.

There was one point when crossing the ravine when Jake actually got stuck, the mud was slick, but I was able to pull him up with a trekking pole. I'll attach pictures once whatever issues with the website get figured out but it really was a beautiful site hiking out.

We got my bull packed out to the truck and in coolers (forecast was cold and our ice jugs were still solid). We had everything in the truck by around 1:30 and were ready to head back to camp and hunt the PM. Nate could only stay for the first week and he would likely be leaving the next day.

From: Jaquomo
13-Nov-19
Great stuff, Luke! Can't help with the pics because I often get that error message too. But we all sure wish we could see them!

Can anybody help with this??!!

From: Jaquomo
13-Nov-19
Great stuff, Luke! Can't help with the pics because I often get that error message too. But we all sure wish we could see them!

Can anybody help with this??!!

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Day 6 PM- Nate had arrows, but he only had two broadheads. We shoot the same broadheads, so I told him to take at least one of mine. He reluctantly took one and I told him he should take two based on how he had been shooting.

We head to the north where we had ran into bulls the very first day. First location bugle and a bull pops off right above us only about 100 yards away. I tell Nate to head towards the bull and I'm going to call literally right on the trail.

The bull gives a soft bugle again and I popped off and interrupted him, I started raking trees and doing the normal loud mouth things. After about 10 minutes I see Nate sneaking towards me. I mosey over and he is pointing to his ribs and saying "the shot looked good!". I hadn't heard anything for 10 minutes, I looked up and he said the bull is still alive. The bull is standing 20 yards from him I quickly tell him quit looking at me and put another arrow in him!

you'll remember I had to loan him a broadhead, arrow #2 promptly hits a tree square, and arrow #3 finds it's mark and the bull drops down. We go up to the bull and he's still gasping for air, the arrow is a bit forward. I tell Nate to shoot him again and end it and his only arrow he has left has a small game head. We walk a short distance away and let him expire.

It wasn't a big bull, but boy did he look delicious.

Nate had never processed an animal before so it was a really good learning experience for him so he could see it first hand. He enjoyed the process I think and learned a lot in the meantime.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
This was Nate's first big game animal with a bow, it took a few more arrows than it should've but he never got discouraged and did finally settle down for the moment of truth. He worked this bull perfectly and said he could tell by the bugle he was trying to loop a different route so Nate got above him and put himself in a perfect position to make an easy 15 yard shot as he came in to my calling.

I gave him a big high 5 and we were only about 3/4 mile from camp and only 60 yards from the trail! We broke down the bull in quick work and Jake had came down the hill to help. There was another bull screaming it's brains out and Jake was going to come towards us to kill him.

There was some miscommunication between Jake and Doug and Jake went too quickly down the hill. There was some tense moments between them I've been told by both parties, and it was probably a good thing Nate had killed his so they wouldn't be hunting together anymore.

Nate and I packed his bull back to camp and took half of it halfway back to the truck. We had 4 days of wet weather in a row and everything we owned was soaked. It was a difficult decision, but we needed to think about going into town to get dried out for a night.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Day 7-We packed Nate's elk out and did it early enough to catch the Badgers destroy Michigan. It was hard to leave screaming elk, but there is no way I could tolerate another 5 days with wet-cold stuff, we had mornings in the 20's. Putting frozen boots on every morning was wearing on me.

To be brutally honest, I was starting to get a bit homesick. This was my first real trip away from little man and I was thinking about him constantly, and once I was tagged out it got worse. But I didn't let it affect me, I wanted to get the boys another bull or two so I would be working hard to keep home...home. I was jealous of Nate leaving to go home, it's funny how I long for the mountains all year, but once I'm out there for north of 7/8 days I want to get back to where I am 90% of the time. Just one of those things I guess.

Bulls were screaming packing Nate's elk out but everyone needed a day mentally. My next trip I'll invest in a nice backpacking tent with stove. I'll sacrifice the extra pounds to be comfortable.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
13-Nov-19
Enjoying the heck out of this. Can't wait to see the pictures. Congrats and thanks for sharing!!

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Day 8- We leave the local town early and head back in. We're lucky enough to see a covey of sage grouse as well as nice shiras moose, pretty cool.

We split up that afternoon as I wasn't interested in having Jake and Doug hunt together anymore. This entire time I've been sending inreach messages with AB (anonymous bowsiter), he tagged out and headed to a different state but wasn't having much luck. He wanted to come back just to call and get back in the game. Which worked out great, he could take Jake and I could take Doug.

We got to camp and a bull was screaming mid-day right west of camp, another miscommunication costed us. doug and I thought Jake was moving in on this bull, he was unfortunately moving in on a different bull. We never even made an attempt at a bull that was screaming his brains out from 10-12, in a killable stable winded spot. Oh well. That afternoon was a bust, we made a huge hike through some of the areas I had seen the giant and not a bugle to be heard after noon.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Day 9- AB and Jake head east of camp chasing elk, doug and I head northwest of camp. We hear a couple distant bugles, but we were unable to get a really good encounter. We do a 13 mile loop without an experience. We hike all the way down to where I killed my elk and Nate had experiences, two distant bugles.

AB and Jake on the other hand had great experiences. There was some miscommunication with Jake being on the wrong side of a wallow when AB was calling in a mid-day bull. AB caught the mistake too late and when he attempted to get him to switch the bull was already in the open at 80 yards.

Later they have a great experience with a really nice bull at 8 yards but Jake is unable to get an arrow in the bull. Oh well, great day with great experiences, I just didn't get any of the m ;)

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Day 10- I hadn't gotten the chance to hunt with AB yet, and I wanted to. We decided let's all 4 go together and we can have 2 callers and do 2 person shooter set-ups. The morning we don't really hear anything at all, a couple distant bugles but nothing we can move in on. AB was originally going to come back and call for me, but we obviously didn't need that once I was tagged out and I appreciated the help. He drove from a different state and ate the elk tag in that state so he could try and call a bull in for 2 guys he had never met nor killed. If he wants to chime in and say who he is I will let him, but it's not my place. If ya'll can figure him out from a pic more power to ya :)

Anyways, during mid-day nap a bull pops off 150 yards below us, thermals are great. AB and I start calling, silence for 15 minutes. Bull pops off again further to the north, we look at eachother and decide let's go chase em.

For the next 45 minutes bulls are firing off, one consistently and one not as consistently. AB and myself are both bugling and cutting each other off. The bull is screaming back at us and we moved perfectly in sync about 60 yards apart and sounded like 2 different herds coming together, it was a thing of beauty.

Eventually we get to a point and AB looks at me and gives me the thumbs up and said we got a good shot I think! I see Doug there and he's giving me the thumbs up, I motion to him to quit moving as there was another bull bugling. He wasn't exactly doing jumping jacks, but another smaller bull was coming in towards Jake and did see something he didn't like and moved off.

Unfortunately he was moving off in the same direction doug's bull had been shot. Talking to doug he said he was happy with the shot and hit right where he was after. I asked him if it was big and he just said he's beautiful.

You could tell Jake was frustrated with the situation. We couldn't go immediately chase that bull since Doug's may be laying there wounded. We waited an hour and AB found the blood-trail after a bit of looking (Doug and myself are colorblind). We follow the blood-trail about a hundred yards and AB says I see an antler!

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
We walk up to Doug's bull and is a beautiful 6X5, he busted his main-beam after his 4th on his one side otherwise he would've been a pope and young bull. None of us care. I scored him at 270ish when we get home, and he's missing about 30 inches of antler. If he would've been perfectly symmetrical he would've scored right around 300.

Doug gave me a big hug and may have shed a tear or two. Last fall his dad, and my grandpa died and I just mentioned how excited he would be for something like this to happen. He was the primary reason I got into the outdoors and he was smiling down I'm sure.

Jake comes through after we find the bull and says congratulations, but I'm dropping down on the bull. I looked at AB and told him to get Jake back in and go kill that bull, Doug and I can handle processing his elk. Long story shorty, AB got Jake back in but he missed a difficult 45 yard shot, one he normally makes.

We got doug's elk taken care of and made the 1000' descent into camp and the plan was for the next day for Jake and AB to go hunt while Doug and I packed out his elk. I wanted Jake to kill one in the worst way, especially after everything he'd gone through.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Day 11- Doug and I packed out his bull, I'll post the pic when I can but I made an absolutely miserable trip down the mountain. We packed what we had brought back to camp the previous night to the truck. We then headed back to the north to get the rest of his bull off the mountain.

Doug looked at me and said you're an idiot, there's no way you can handle all that weight. I just said I know I'm an idiot, but I'm not coming back up here again. I'll split it at camp and make two trips to the truck at that point. On the last hike down the mountain I managed to slip over a creek, fall squarely on my back, and kick like a turtle as I attempted to roll my way out of the river with who god knows how much weight on my back. It was all very humerus if you weren't me. I had a solid 3-4 seconds of concern as I rolled over and attempted to get back up to my feet and didn't know if I could get up. I looked up at Doug and just said, go around, this is no good.

We got Doug's bull back to the truck which took pretty much the entire day. According to my phone I had 14 miles on my boots and my feet felt worse on that day than they did after either of the marathons I had ran the summer before.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
Day 11- Unfortunately AB and Jake didn't run into much elk. we ended the hunt with some delicious inner loin over a camp-fire with a couple of unfortunate grouse with some idaho instant potatoes. I was just missing some blackberry brandy and the hunt would've been complete.

I gave Jake the option of hunting the next morning and then packing out. He was burnt out and ready to head home. We got up at first light and packed out and headed east. We ended up at Doug's around 1 AM. As a last parting gift I hid his elk around the backside of his house. He texted me about 3 hours later thanking me for the hunt and telling me he found it.

I rolled home at about 6:00AM, before my son was awake and was able to get him out of his crib. He did Dad a solid and took a 3 hour nap with me at about 8:30 so I got caught up a bit. I processed meat that night and the rest is history.

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
So there you have my little story, my 3 o'clock patient didn't show up which let me finish up here :) Since getting home, I've honestly only been bowhunting whitetails once this fall and I used to live in a tree-stand. I've sort of traded elk hunting for whitetail hunting since it takes so much time from home and I'm ok with that. I've still been getting out pheasant hunting, but that's just as much for the dog as it is for me, 19 public roosters so far in the bag.

If you're a guy on the fence about heading west, do it. There are enough guys on here that will help you get started, but you need to participate in the community, tell them how you did after the trip etc. If you have no reputation on this site, saying you're not looking for anyone's honey hole is a bad way to start.

I'm not gloating, but I've killed 3 bulls on 3 trips, I'm guessing not too many non-residents can say that, and I am very proud of that accomplishment; but a lot of that success I can point to this website with the connections I've made.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
13-Nov-19
Great write up. Hope you get a chance to post the pictures. Congrats again!

From: grossklw
13-Nov-19
For you gear-heads here are some things I liked and didn't like. I upgraded my clothing system to sitka from top to bottom. I was very happy with it, I would maybe add in a medium weight layer of pants, the ascent were a bit chilly some mornings. I think the apex pants would be perfect. Apex hoody was my favorite piece, just enough each day. I'll be buying a Kifaru or SeekOutside tent with stove for my next trip, I'm not wasting a day getting stuff dry again in town. Still shooting my old Hoyt Faktor 30, still kills em. I do have a small splinter on there that I'll need serviced. If I can ever get the damn photos working here I'll post them all, as I have a lot of them. Any questions feel free to ask, I'm on here more than I should be.

I also learned on this trip that I prefer only going with maybe one other guy. I like not having to worry about personalities in camp, and there was a bit of clashing with this trip between guys. I like hunting with other people, but all 3 elk that I've killed I've been alone, that may be dumb luck; but I like the though process of being solo. I'm not worried what my buddy is doing or if he's dropping at the right time. I can just get in, and kill em.

From: Beav
13-Nov-19
Hell of a recap! Thanks for sharing and congrats to all of you!

From: elkmtngear
13-Nov-19
You guys did great...Congrats to all of you!

From: Scoot
13-Nov-19
That was great! Post up some pics when it works. Many congrats.

From: Old School
13-Nov-19
Sounds like a great time in the mountains. Congrats on your success and thanks for posting your adventure.

-Mitch

From: hdaman
13-Nov-19
Nicely done! Thanks for the story.

13-Nov-19
For the love of god, someone fix the damm website so we can see these pics!

From: APauls
14-Nov-19
Great, great story Luke. Loved every word of it and congratulations!!!

From: grossklw
14-Nov-19
Almost forgot one tid-bit from the last night. Everyone was just about asleep when we heard Jake yell "what the f*&k!!!". I thought for sure there was a bear in camp and was immediately alerted. However what ensued for the next 10 minutes was a classic battle of life and death between Jake and a mouse that had climbed on the side of his face as we were falling asleep. I was pretty much dying laughing as he attempted to tear apart his tent to get a hold of the mouse, eventually he got the little guy and let him out and off he went. That will teach him to keep his zipper open with food in his tent I suppose.

Also- I attempted several versions of changing formats to get the photos uploaded, no dice. Don't really know if I'll get them on here, I've never had that problem before.

From: grossklw
19-Nov-19
Just seeing if this works or not.

From: grossklw
19-Nov-19
Well- I got some advice from another bowsiter (thanks Z-Barebow) It's going to take me a while to convert all of the photos, but I'm going to go through and delete my entire story and add photos, might be a bit before I get to it but now I know how to do it anyway :)

From: grossklw
19-Nov-19
Try this

From: Ron Niziolek
19-Nov-19
Great write-up Luke! Congrats to all.

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