Summit Treestands
Through Someone Else’s Eyes
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
longspeak74 28-Jan-20
buzz mc 28-Jan-20
Mule Power 28-Jan-20
Meat Grinder 28-Jan-20
Meat Grinder 28-Jan-20
Treeline 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
keepemsharp 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-20
Scar Finga 28-Jan-20
Treeline 28-Jan-20
elkmtngear 28-Jan-20
t-roy 28-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
bowhunter24 29-Jan-20
BULELK1 29-Jan-20
Treeline 29-Jan-20
Scrappy 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Shiras42 29-Jan-20
Inshart 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Jaquomo 29-Jan-20
Ambush 29-Jan-20
Scoot 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
joehunter 29-Jan-20
Inshart 29-Jan-20
Treeline 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
drycreek 29-Jan-20
HUNT MAN 29-Jan-20
Mark Watkins 29-Jan-20
Jack Whitmrie jr 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Treeline 29-Jan-20
WV Mountaineer 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
WV Mountaineer 29-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 29-Jan-20
Oryx35 29-Jan-20
Treeline 29-Jan-20
Marty 29-Jan-20
Jaquomo 30-Jan-20
Quinn @work 30-Jan-20
Jaquomo 30-Jan-20
Bowbender 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Jaquomo 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Treeline 30-Jan-20
Treeline 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Treeline 30-Jan-20
Inshart 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
longspeak74 30-Jan-20
Supernaut 30-Jan-20
Treeline 30-Jan-20
EmbryOklahoma 30-Jan-20
Ambush 30-Jan-20
Jaquomo 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Treeline 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
Treeline 30-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 30-Jan-20
nmwapiti 30-Jan-20
Jaquomo 30-Jan-20
Fdales Finest 31-Jan-20
Hank_S 31-Jan-20
Fdales Finest 31-Jan-20
Inshart 31-Jan-20
Treeline 31-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 31-Jan-20
Treeline 31-Jan-20
JB 31-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 31-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 31-Jan-20
JB 31-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 31-Jan-20
APauls 31-Jan-20
Shiras42 31-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 31-Jan-20
HUNT MAN 31-Jan-20
JB 31-Jan-20
Treeline 31-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 31-Jan-20
bohuntr 31-Jan-20
Scoot 31-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 31-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 31-Jan-20
JB 31-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 31-Jan-20
Shiras42 31-Jan-20
Ambush 31-Jan-20
Treeline 31-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 31-Jan-20
shooter 31-Jan-20
JB 31-Jan-20
Treeline 31-Jan-20
Wv hillbilly 31-Jan-20
Scrappy 31-Jan-20
hdaman 31-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 31-Jan-20
fishin coyote 31-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 31-Jan-20
Ucsdryder 31-Jan-20
fubar racin 31-Jan-20
Fdales Finest 01-Feb-20
Ambush 01-Feb-20
Hank_S 01-Feb-20
Treeline 01-Feb-20
Inshart 01-Feb-20
Ucsdryder 01-Feb-20
WV Mountaineer 01-Feb-20
Ucsdryder 01-Feb-20
Treeline 01-Feb-20
BigStriper 01-Feb-20
Ucsdryder 01-Feb-20
Ambush 01-Feb-20
Ucsdryder 01-Feb-20
Ucsdryder 01-Feb-20
Ucsdryder 01-Feb-20
Ucsdryder 01-Feb-20
Inshart 01-Feb-20
JB 01-Feb-20
t-roy 01-Feb-20
stick n string 01-Feb-20
JohnMC 01-Feb-20
Ucsdryder 01-Feb-20
Jaquomo 01-Feb-20
Scrappy 01-Feb-20
Ucsdryder 01-Feb-20
JohnMC 01-Feb-20
Ucsdryder 01-Feb-20
Ucsdryder 01-Feb-20
Ambush 01-Feb-20
LKH 01-Feb-20
Hank_S 01-Feb-20
Treeline 01-Feb-20
elkmtngear 01-Feb-20
Beav 01-Feb-20
JB 02-Feb-20
badbull 02-Feb-20
Marty 02-Feb-20
Bowboy 02-Feb-20
BigSkyHntr 02-Feb-20
Scoot 02-Feb-20
otcWill 02-Feb-20
GLP 02-Feb-20
BigStriper 02-Feb-20
From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20
Having met quite a few people on this forum over the last few years, it’s obvious most of us are cut from the same cloth. We can’t remember a time when we didn’t have a bow or gun in our hands or were dreaming about leaving school early to go chase critters! My Dad has pictures of me propped on top of a horse in the high desert chasing mule deer bundled up like Randy in his snow suit in the Christmas Story. Many of these pictures are prior to my earliest memories of hunting. I chased every tweetie bird on the ranch with my red ryder BB gun and my Radio Flyer Wagon. I’d haul those poor little birds around like trophies. I passed my hunter’s safety at 8 years old and bugged my Dad incessantly to go hunting. Fast forward 3 decades or so and the fire still burns bright, possibly too bright!

The last few years I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time in the elk woods and have written up a few successful hunts that I had. Having killed bulls each of the last 3 years and posted a recap, I considered skipping this year, but decided to try something a little different. This year’s recap will hopefully be through someone else’s eyes. This quick recap is going to be through the eyes of someone who shot her first gun last year, shot her first bow 5 months before the season, and prior to 2018 had never done more than hiked your typical Denver hot spot hiking trails or camped more than 10 yards off the road.

My girlfriend tagged along in 2018 for a couple of scouting trips to the high county and then accompanied me for two trips in September. On the second trip I shot a solid 6x6 bull that she helped track, cut up, and haul out. It was decided then that next year she was going to give it a go with the bow.

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
2018
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
2018

From: longspeak74
28-Jan-20
Looking forward to the story!

From: buzz mc
28-Jan-20
This should be good

From: Mule Power
28-Jan-20
That’s really cool! My girlfriend has hiked to my high camp in Wyoming the past two years. She’s a hiking biking machine so has no problem... waiting up for me. Haha. In my defense I pack all of the water and snacks as well as a chainsaw and gallon of fuel. I absolutely love taking her into “my” mountains. She loves wild game and walleye too. My goal is to get her hunting. She’s a nurse though so I’m not so sure I’ll be able to get her to shift gears from saving lives to taking one. We’ll see.

Best of luck brother I’ll be looking for your recap!

From: Meat Grinder
28-Jan-20
Ralphie, not Randy ;-) Also looking forward to the story.

From: Meat Grinder
28-Jan-20
I may be wrong...it might have been Randy. Now I'll have to look it up.

From: Treeline
28-Jan-20
This should be a great one!

Bring it man!

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20
“Daddy’s going to kill Ralphie!”

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20
Step 1, hunter’s safety. Everything was new to her… “what’s a gauge?” “which choke is which? “WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A RIFLE AND A SHOTGUN?!?” My question… what the hell did I get myself into?!?! We made it through the online course, painfully, and attended a class at the CPW office in Denver. The class and staff were top notch. I can’t say enough good things about the volunteers or the facility. They each got to shoot 22’s and take their targets home. (She hid her target after seen the groups that were being flaunted by the little boys and girls 20 years her juniors! Haha) She passed her test, along with twenty or so 10-year-old kids and she was officially a huntress!

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
CPW shooting range!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
CPW shooting range!

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20
We played around with some bows and she didn’t like the weight of most of them, so we settled on a bowtech carbon rose in 40-50lbs. She got the bow, but the draw weight was too heavy, even cranked down to the minimum I felt comfortable setting it! We worked on strengthening her back and arms and she got to the point where she could draw it back, but it wasn’t pretty. We decided new limbs were going to be our best option. We turned the 40lb limbs down to 36lbs and she was off and running. She used a 3 pin fixed sight, 20-25-30 yards. She built up her strength to 41lbs and she was lobbing, literally, arrows out to 30 yards with decent accuracy.

By August, we decided, 25 yards was about her max and 15-20 yards would be much preferred. Last summer we spent a lot of times in the woods, hunting mushrooms, checking cameras, and exploring new areas. There was only 1 time we almost broke up after MY “shortcut” turned into shale cliffs, a rushing gorge and deadfall over your head. Looking back, I should have never brought her there, and I was an A-hole. I can admit it! ??

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Kill shot!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Kill shot!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
The grip was a work in progress all summer!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
The grip was a work in progress all summer!

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Some 3d action!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Some 3d action!

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20
The summer scouting trips were fruitful. We found the bulls, but not a ton of cows. I had her sneak on the big 6 point in the meadow. I think I’ve seen National Geographic videos of elephants being more stealthy. She made it about 10 feet before she was picked off and the bull headed for timber. A good lesson to learn in July!

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Mushroom hunting was awesome!!!

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20
The mushroom my little one is holding is an Aspen bolete. We didn’t end up keeping any as we found Kings a little farther up the mountain!

From: keepemsharp
28-Jan-20
Maybe some trad equipment might have been easier to break her into.

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20
I’ll end the pre-hunt with a couple more pictures. First one is of me dying on the incline. There’s a reason she was taking my picture. It’s not often that Someone is waiting on me, but apparently I was a little out of shape going into summer. The second picture is a scouting trip. The snow in the high country was deep this year. If my memory is correct those pictures are in June.

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
That wasn’t a smile.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
That wasn’t a smile.

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
A little farther up the mountain. We didn’t make it to the lake we were trying to access.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
A little farther up the mountain. We didn’t make it to the lake we were trying to access.

From: Scar Finga
28-Jan-20
You are a blessed man!!!

Absolutely awesome!

From: Treeline
28-Jan-20
Off to a fantastic start! Looks like a lot of good times!

From: elkmtngear
28-Jan-20
I like where this is going...

From: t-roy
28-Jan-20
Great story so far. Keep it coming!

BTW..... Ralphie’s little brother’s name in “A Christmas Story” was, indeed, Randy.

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20
September here we come! For anybody that’s curious here was what she ended up carrying into the woods. Bowtech Carbon Rose 30-40lb limbs, maxed at 41lbs. Gold Tip Ted Nugent 500 spine arrows (pink to match her bow), with a 50 grain insert and 125 grain magnus 2 blade. She had 1 arrow tipped with a 125gr solid iron will with instructions not to lose that arrow! Her arrows weighed in at a pretty heavy 425 grains. Penetration was going to be an issue with her draw length and weight and we went as heavy as we could. The broadheads were stropped to hair popping sharp and I felt confident she could get the penetration she needed to get 2 lungs.

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: bowhunter24
29-Jan-20
Agree with your set up, looks lethal to me! Looking forward to the rest of this hunt!

From: BULELK1
29-Jan-20
Good reading!!

Thanks for sharing

Good luck, Robb

From: Treeline
29-Jan-20
That 41 pound modern compound and a well tuned 425 grain arrow with a good sharp broadhead is more than enough for elk!

Although still in the camp that 425 grains is a light side arrow, it is over 10 grains per pound of draw weight and with 175 grains up front, would work for even bigger critters!

From: Scrappy
29-Jan-20
I was picturing bigfin at Christmas.

Thanks for taking us along.

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20
Tavis, my initial goal was 450gr but the arrow drop was so significant that her top pin and bottom pin, 3 total, spanned the entire length of the sight. There was no more adjustment, and that was with only 3 pins!

From: Shiras42
29-Jan-20
This is taking the shape of a bowsite classic

From: Inshart
29-Jan-20
Oh this is great as I look out at well over 3 feet of snow and a balmy -1 below this morning. Keep this coming

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
A few more summer scouting pictures.

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
So much water!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
So much water!

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Special mushrooms?
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Special mushrooms?

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Bugling in June? Yep!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Bugling in June? Yep!

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
On the hunt...for mushrooms!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
On the hunt...for mushrooms!

From: Jaquomo
29-Jan-20
This is great stuff, John!

From: Ambush
29-Jan-20
Great stuff and this is going to be a real fun ride no matter how it ends!

One question. Why is every pic you take from behind, and every pic she takes is from the lead??

From: Scoot
29-Jan-20
Excellent- I'm digging this!

Ambush asks an interesting question/makes a good point! The answer may be layered and complicated!

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20
Ambush

Yoga pants!

And possibly oxygen deprivation!!!!

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20
September rolled around, it seems like it comes faster every year! We had the SUV packed and after work we were making the 4 hour drive south to the mountains.

There is always a ton of anxiety come opening morning. How many people would be at our turn out? Would we have competition? My solution is to beat everyone. My buddy and girlfriend looked at me like I was crazy when I told them we were going to be up at 3am and at the turnout 2.5 hours before shoot time. With an hour hike to the elk, we’d have an hour plus to sit and listen...and wait! All of it came together and we were the first truck at the turnout and heading up the mountain in the dark. Perfect!

Nobody was catching us on foot, and luckily Lou and Gray Ghost couldn’t get their bikes where we were hunting. The three of us snaked our way up to the spot we were going to start our day, 300 yards from where my bull died last year.

Let me rewind this for a second. Throughout the summer, I thought a lot about how our early season encounters were going to go. “Should I leave my bow at home?” “Should I play backup to my buddy and girlfriend?” “Should I try to kill the first legal bull and spend the rest of the season helping them?” I ended up carrying a bow with the idea of playing backup. I was the official elk caller and my mission was “simple”. Get them their first elk! Little did I know that opening day would be a long day!!

From: joehunter
29-Jan-20
Cliff Hanger number 1

From: Inshart
29-Jan-20
Oh man, keep it com'n.

From: Treeline
29-Jan-20
And....!!!!

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20
I’ll work on this tomorrow when I get to the office. It’s too hard to type on my iPhone. Arrows were sent in this episode though! Haha

From: drycreek
29-Jan-20
Scar X 2, you are a blessed man ! Beautiful family that shares your passion, and beautiful country to practice it in......Carry on, I’m in !

From: HUNT MAN
29-Jan-20
Following. Thanks for posting.

From: Mark Watkins
29-Jan-20
yep....good so far...

Mark

29-Jan-20
Waiting impatiently :)

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20
Ok I’m sitting in a dealership, so let’s do this the long way.

With lots of time to listen for bugled in the moonlight we waited, the anticipation through the roof. If you guys are like me, you expect every bugle to be answered by an elk. The last 2 years I’ve heard bugles early and I expected the same. Of course that bugle never came. We slowly worked our way through a bog, me in the lead, the girlfriend got on my heels, and my buddy a few steps behind.

The woods were silent as the first rays of the morning sun lightened the dark skies. I’m a bugler, some would say an over bugler. I kept at it though, willing a bull to respond. We got to a sliver of trees that split 2 meadows. My buddy went to one meadow, and I stayed in the other.

We called back and forth for close to an hour, silence. “Well this sucks!” I’m an impatient person and was ready to move on. Finally, painfully, my buddy showed up. Well?!

He had 2 elk come in. A cow and a calf came into our cow calling party. He said when they were a couple feet away they bolted. A couple feet?! Well at least someone was getting some excitement!

We pushed on, and got to the top of the hill with seeing or hearing anything else. Well this isn’t what I expected! I had played out opening morning 100s of times and it never involved us getting to the top of the mountain without getting into elk!!!

We checked a wallow from last year and it was dirty already! At least there was an elk somewhere on the side of this mountain!

It was only 9am, but the hunt was pretty much over unless we wanted to tromp around in their bedding areas opening day. The girlfriend knew what was coming. It was her least favorite part about last year. It’s time to sit down and wait for the evening hunt! I sleep like a rock, and pretty soon we were in her double hammock and I was sawing logs. Wake me up in 7 hours!

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
There’s an art to getting in a hammock. I haven’t mastered it.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
There’s an art to getting in a hammock. I haven’t mastered it.

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Opening morning wallow! And proof we were all there via our shadows!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Opening morning wallow! And proof we were all there via our shadows!

From: Treeline
29-Jan-20
Where’s the picture of you falling out of that hammock!

Surely the girlfriend captured that moment of pride:-)

29-Jan-20
Looking forward to this. Keep it coming.

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20
After a few hours of sleep, and a couple of undeserved elbows to the ribs I started tossing and turning. I don’t go back to the truck during the day, instead finding a spot to watch and wait for the evening hunt. I’ve killed 3 bulls in the last 3 years, all in the evening. The only problem is, it’s boooooooring! With a couple hours left before the golden hour I was ready to poke my eyeballs out. It was time to do something.

We moved down to a spot that overlooked a big meadow. I left them and made the mile hike down a knife ridge that overlooked a huge canyon. The knife ridge was absolutely stuffed with fresh tracks and rubs!!!!!!

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20
I got to the end of the knife ridge where I had a 270 degree view of the timber below. I’m a self admitted terrible glasser, but as soon as I threw up my binos, ELK! Finally!!! Two bulls in a huge meadow below. They both appeared legal, but not mature. I watched them enter the timber, following the same trail we went up in the dark that morning. I hoofed it back to my two partners, double speed!

29-Jan-20
Come on John-boy. I need, I need, I need......

From: Ucsdryder
29-Jan-20
Wv, check your Pm.

We hustled back to the point where I spotted the elk. We had a little over an hour of shoot time left, but the wind wasn’t favorable. We needed the sun to drop below the ridge to get the thermals headed down hill.

We immediately spotted elk, but none had horns. We sat for a good while hoping the two bulls would pop out into the meadow we saw the cow and calf earlier in the morning.

Unfortunately they never popped out and with light fading we made a play. We headed toward the closest meadow along their path where they entered the timber. The idea was to SNEAK into the area, put the 2 shooter 30 yards in front of me, 20-30 yards apart, and call the bull right down the middle! As I led our motley crew, SNAP! I look back as my girlfriend gives me the shut up look and steps over the stick she just stomped. She makes a better elk than an Indian. New plan. We go fast and noisy, like a herd of Clydesdales, or elk. This worked much better and we were on our way!

We made it to the meadow and I set them up in front of me. Cow call, cow call, grunt. The silence of the day was beginning to frustrate me. I could see across the canyon, now about 700 yards, where the cows were earlier. A cow popped up and mewed to my bugle. A little excitement!!!

Ten minutes later, another mew! This one was straight down the hill from me. I gathered my flock of hunters and with 20 minutes left of legal light and our wind blowing directly to the cow below us we decided to make a move.

I’m going to attempt to tell the next part of the story through my girlfriend’s account. It’s not exactly how she saw it, but it’s how she described it to me.

“He’s obsessed with the wind. It’s all he talks about when we’re hunting. We go 10 feet and he’s letting out his little home made wind floaters. A cow called to us a few times and he came running up to us like a little kid going to the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. He wanted to move down to where the cow was calling, hoping she had a bull with her. Of course we couldn’t go right to her. We had to make a giant loop around her, remember the wind obsession? When he‘s after an elk, he goes into a different gear and off he went, somehow walking at a runners pace. Every 100 yard he covered, we made it 50. Every 50 yards he covered, he would turn back and look at how far back we were, flail his arms in disgust, and take off again! We struggled to keep up and soon he was in and out of the trees, and I was sure we’d lose him. As I ran to keep up I sunk my foot to my ankle in a bog. I cursed him just a little as the mud went into my boot.

We made it to the creek below with more of his encouraging arm flailing. ‘We only have a couple minutes, and there’s a bull on the hillside where those cows were!’ He reported back. Now we were all excited. He ran up to the edge of the creek and ranged a tree at the top of the bank. He came back and told our friend it was 30 yards. He told him to go to that spot at the edge of the water and we would drop back and call. Don’t make a peep he told him as he headed for the spot.

Pretty soon he was cow calling and bugling. It was too far for me to shoot so he had me hang out, hoping to get a curious bull to come by our friend. By now, it was pretty dark down in the bottom of the creek, but we still had 10 minutes left of shoot time.

His ADD was in full throttle. He would cow call, then bugle, rake a tree, cow call again. The cow we heard earlier was now above us and he kept watching up the hill. As soon as I had decided nothing was coming in, I looked up on the bank. ELK! ‘There’s an elk right there’, I whisper, yelled. My boyfriend grabbed his bow, nocked an arrow and ranged the bull. He was standing on the edge of the bank, what seemed like 40 or so yards above us. He looked huge! He was looking down into the black hole we were in and I could tell he knew something wasn’t right, but it was dark down along the creek and he couldn’t tell what we were.

I was pretty sure my boyfriend wasn’t going to shoot. All he talked about was how he wanted to wait for a big bull. How he was going to try to get us our elk early. And what happened to our buddy? That bull must have walked right by him! All of a sudden my boyfriend was at full draw. Can he even see it still?”

That’s about as close as I can come to her account. Mine was similar, annoyed at how slow they were coming down the mountain, amazed that elk appeared out of no where. I ranged him at 43 yards with the angle adjustment. He looked plenty big enough standing broadside, skylined on top of the creek bank. I could tell he was a 5x5 and my desire to hold out melted into a puddle. I came to full draw, my single pin slider set at 30 yards, put my pin for a 45 yard shot at the top of his back. “Pull through the shot. Don’t you dare punch that trigger!”

From: Oryx35
29-Jan-20
And we have cliff hanger #2. Awesome story telling!

From: Treeline
29-Jan-20
Lovin’ it! Great work so far!

From: Marty
29-Jan-20
You're killing me smalls! Great job so far!

From: Jaquomo
30-Jan-20
Gaaaaaaaaaa!

From: Quinn @work
30-Jan-20
Great story. As others have mentioned...............more photos from behind and less from the front. Looking forward to the conclusion.

PS- how'd the double hammock work out?

From: Jaquomo
30-Jan-20
I'm still trying to figure out how a double hammock works, since I can't work a single shot.... And if I tried that thong thing with my girlie we'd be upside down on the ground in seconds..

From: Bowbender
30-Jan-20
Lovin' it!! Great write up so far. And we're only on day one!

"And if I tried that thong thing with my girlie we'd be upside down on the ground in seconds.."

Lou, you say it like that's a bad thing.

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20
A double hammock works like a fart in church. We use it because it’s less weight than carrying 2 and it was a gift. On the other hand, a double sleeping bag, give me one of those all day long!

From: Jaquomo
30-Jan-20
I'd only try sleeping in one of those things if my girlfriend was a chiropractor..

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Not sure which is better. The ground with the damn ants, or the hammock, folded up like a taco.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Not sure which is better. The ground with the damn ants, or the hammock, folded up like a taco.

From: Treeline
30-Jan-20
Heck Lou, your current gal could probably straighten you out!

Just roll you out on the ground and jump up and down on your back a few times!

Good to go:-)

From: Treeline
30-Jan-20
Ants and spiders for me...

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20
Of course, I punched the trigger. If the thumb button wasn’t made of steel I might have bent the little guy! I have lots of excuses. 1. The angle of the shot. 2. I was struggling to see my pin in that dark hole. 3. I wasn’t ready for an stinking elk to be standing 40 some yards away looking at me. 5. It wasn’t my fault!

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20
The arrow was on its way, but I lost track of it half way to the elk. It looked left, which would have put it toward his neck and head. I heard it hit elk and the bull bolted, running to my left. “Did you get it,” she asked excitedly. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what happened. I looked at my gps and I still had more than 5 minutes left of “shooting light”. My buddy came over and my first question of course was, WTF happened? We wrote a script, and the elk read it, twice, followed it, exactly and somehow he didn’t get a shot. Apparently, the bull spooked as it went by him, I assume it was when he started to draw, but he wasn’t sure. Opportunity #1 for my buddy or girlfriend to get their first elk was missed, but we had a hit elk! I marked the spot where the elk was standing and after giving it 15-20 minutes to settle down, I headed for the spot with my headlight on. I left my buddy and girlfriend at the spot I shot and went to where I thought the bull was standing. I ranged them at 43 yards. I was close! Looking left, right, in front, nothing. Behind me, blood!

A couple of feet past the blood, an arrow! I was shooting an Easton axis 260 with a 25 grain iron will insert, 25 grain iron will collar, and 125 grain german kinetic silverflame XL. Finding the arrow intact and undamaged was great, having it covered in blood was even better! The grass and brush were tall and following blood was tough. Luckily there was quite a bit of it! At times I could walk in the dark at a normal pace following the blood splatter. It’s amazing how much blood is in an elk! The good news was the elk was getting closer to the truck with every step. The bad news was we weren’t finding an elk, it was dark as could be, the brush was waist high and I had zero idea which way the elk went and as the blood started to fade, the chance of finding him would be next to nothing. We had a pretty solid tracking plan. The girlfriend would stay at last blood and my buddy and I would go out in front. When we found blood, she would move up to the next blood spot and we would continue out in front.

We made it about 200 yards from the first blood when I saw him piled up just down the hill from us. What a relief! Eleven months of thinking about elk, 5 scouting trips, hours of scouring google earth and on x maps, and more squats than I care to think about and my season was over 12 hours into opening day. I didn’t have punched tag remorse, I was on cloud nine, but maybe later in the season I might have little remorse! ??

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20
I found this photo and it made me chuckle. My buddy pulled out his kill kit and he had this glove that went to his armpit. I asked him if he was planning on checking the bull’s prostate.

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
So we took a picture! :)
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
So we took a picture! :)

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20
That was the exit hole of my 12 ring shot. Lucky!

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20
The shot was garbage. I pulled it left, like I thought, and managed to get his esophagus. There were pools of blood along the way that looked like a milk jug was poured onto the ground and when we started butchering him it didn’t appear there was an ounce of blood left in him! We got to work with our headlamps and a couple hours later we had what we couldn’t pack out hung in a tree. There’s nothing better than processing elk at night, especially in the early season when the daytime temps are in the 70’s and the bees and flies will fight you for your elk.

We made it back to camp, 21 hours after we left. What a freaking day. We were beat! We hit the sack and set our alarms for 30 minutes before sun up. I didn’t want the sun beating down on the elk hanging in the tree and I dragged myself, and them, out of the tent and to our turn out. We got the second load of meat without any issues, minus the deadfall, and we were on our way north, headed for Denver, by noon!

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
The wild flowers last year were amazing.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
The wild flowers last year were amazing.

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Even the dog had a hard time!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Even the dog had a hard time!

From: Treeline
30-Jan-20
One down...

Two to go!

And we only got through opening weekend!

Got a good feeling that there will be more arrows flying:-)

From: Inshart
30-Jan-20
After 10 minutes in a hammock my entire body stiffens up and takes a bunch of gyrations just to be able to walk again - those are only meant for people under 40 years old.

Although I will say I've never thought about 2 people in one - that might be interesting.

Great read, keep it com'n

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20
I’ll work on chapter two this afternoon. I came up with two titles for the chapter

1. Bull Fever

2. The Single Most Amazing Day Ever in the Elk Woods

I’ll even try to include a couple YouTube videos.

From: longspeak74
30-Jan-20
Fantastic story!

From: Supernaut
30-Jan-20
Man, this is an awesome thread! Great pics, story and recap. I'm looking forward to the following installments. Congrats on a great bull and thanks for sharing!

From: Treeline
30-Jan-20
If this doesn’t get yer blood boiling for elk season, nothing will!

Anxiously awaiting installment 2!

30-Jan-20
I'm hooked! By the way, my wife shoots the exact bow in the 40-50lb version and she loves it! Hopefully we see a pic coming up with your gal and the bow, next to an elk! :)

From: Ambush
30-Jan-20
Congrats and great blend of pics and words!! Awaiting parts two and maybe three! WAY better than Pat's upcoming Blood Trail Challenge where he just makes stuff up :)

Do Buddy and GF have names, or you just don't want to share the limelight :)

From: Jaquomo
30-Jan-20
Great job! Really looking forward to more!

Oh, and yet another awesome hunt recap from a member of the NoCo Bowsite get-together gang..

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20
Ambush, they do have names, but I decided to leave them out. It’s actually much harder to refer to them as gf and buddy. Haha

From: Treeline
30-Jan-20
Lou, you are just prejudiced and partial! HA!

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20
I’m at the airport. Let me see if I can knock out chapter 2.

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20
Saturday September 14, 2019 will be a day I’ll tell my grandkids about. The next week was family time and we let the elk have a break. My dad was coming out again from California, horse in tow, for round 2 of the elk woods the following weekend. He had a cow muzzle loader tag, but the reality was, he wanted to come spend a few days chasing elk, not kill a cow. We met at camp the night before, anticipation high.

The next morning we added 1 more to our crew, well 2 if you count the horse, and we snaked our way up the mountain. Once again, we had the woods to ourselves, and after a mile or so, we stopped so I could bugle into a big meadow. I was still waiting on my first bugle of the year and I rang out a PERFECT locator bugle. My bugle was rewarded with a response!!!! Then another!!!! Oh baby! Here we go!

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20
We waited for shooting light to come, the wind was absolutely perfect. It’s time to go! I threw out one more locator bugle and a 3rd bull chimed in, this one was closer. New plan! The 3rd bull was the closest, straight up hill, into the wind. We snuck into 150 yards or so, the bull was now fired up and bugling on his own. He wouldn’t stop. The 2 stick shooters were in front of me 50 yards, one to the left and one to the right. My dad was to my right with his smoke pole, about 50 yards. I told everyone, watch for the satellite bulls coming in silent. Keep your head on a swivel!

I couldn’t get half a bulge out without him coming over the top. He got angry, quickly. He had a herd of cows with them and satellites running around the outside. He was working his way to us, slowly, painfully little by little. We took turns cutting eachother off, we took turns abusing aspen trees, it was almost like we had our own little dance going. I knew he was there, he couldn’t have been more than 50-60 yards away. My heart was beating out of my chest and I was out of breath from calling. All of a sudden a thunder of hooves to my right. A satellite bull walked right into my buddy. So much for the head on a swivel! ?? Dang, that was chance number 2 to get one of them their first elk with a bow!

The bull retreated back to the spot where we started our dance. I knew the tango was over, but I kept at it. His enthusiasm had waned and now he was bugling every few minutes. A small spork made his way toward us, feeding as he went. He was a goofy looking little guy and I got some video of him with big daddy still bugling in the background. I heard a snap of a twig in front of me and two satellites were feeding our way! We’re back in the game! The two bulls kept coming, now 50 yards away. Another 10 yards and we’d be in action. I don’t know what ended up happening, but they vanished. I can only assume they saw something as the wind was still perfect. I ran over to my dad, he had a cow come in, but didn’t shoot. I went up to my buddy, and asked him about the satellite bull that came in. He never saw him until it was too late. It would have been a 20 yard shot. Damn! The big bull had now move further up the mountain and was no longer interested in me or my bugles.

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's Link
Goofy little spikes love to get in the way. Sometimes I think the big bull sends them down there as a decoy. This was after the big bull retreated up the hill. Turn up the volume. :)

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20
The girlfriend was down next to a tree shivering. Her finger was having issues and was blue. It started that morning and is still an issue today. We think it’s raynods. I told her and my dad to hold tight and told my buddy we have one shot. We can charge up the hill to the bull and challenge him. He was obviously the big guy on campus and I was confident he wouldn’t back down from a challenge. The hill was steep, and we worked our way in the cover as far as possible. Pretty soon we were at a big, open meadow. The bull still bugled sporadically from above us. He appeared to be in a small grove of aspens. The aspens were thick, with the outer edges being 4-5 feet tall, and the bigger trees being in the middle. I wasn’t sure we could cover the meadow without being picked off by him or his cows, but he wasn’t coming back down so we had nothing to lose. I told my buddy we had to go fast, low and keep moving until we got to the cover of the baby aspens. Ready, set, CHARGE!!!!!

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20
The meadow was a good 150 yards, and straight up hill. I made it about 60 yards before my lungs gave me the middle finger. My buddy was 20 yards behind me sucking air. I gave myself 10 seconds to catch my breath then gave him an arm flail and we were off again! 50 yards later I was holding my knees ready to puke. A bugle from above gave me the adrenaline rush to push on. My buddy was now 50 yards behind me and pushing hard. We got to the baby aspens and I gave him the thumbs up and told him to get ready! I was breathing so hard I struggled to work the diaphragm in my mouth! I made a call that appeared to sound like an elk and the bull let out a bugle. There was a WALL of baby aspens in front of me and I searched around for a trail he might take. I guess when you weigh 600 pounds and another bull just came to crash your cow party, you don’t need a freaking trail. I could hear his foot steps getting closer. I remember the one and only thought I had. I hope he doesn’t step on me. I laid down on the ground and turned on my video camera. I’ll let the video show the rest.

From: Treeline
30-Jan-20
Go get him!

From: Ucsdryder
30-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's Link
Oh and this was an accidental cliff hanger. Not really. Hope you like the video! Oh and turn up the volume. Otherwise it’s pretty boring. Haha

From: nmwapiti
30-Jan-20
That was sweet! Looking forward to the result...

From: Jaquomo
30-Jan-20
I can sympathize. I have Reynauds in my right fingertips sometimes, and it once cost me a monster muley when I tried to draw a recurve and my numb fingers slipped off the string at half draw.

31-Jan-20
Great story! I can't wait to hear the rest!

From: Hank_S
31-Jan-20
Really fabulous season...can't wait for the rest of it!

31-Jan-20
Great story! I can't wait to hear the rest!

From: Inshart
31-Jan-20
This is getting "tense", keep it coming. Looks like he must be right on top of you!

From: Treeline
31-Jan-20
Thinking you need to work on your video skills...

At least you got a piece of him there at the end:-)

From: Ucsdryder
31-Jan-20
Treeline, I have a much longer version but I’m trying to keep the pictures of the mountains and background to a minimum.

From: Treeline
31-Jan-20
Totally understand!

Looking forward to a continuation of the adventure!

Extremely well told to date!

From: JB
31-Jan-20
Just because it's hard to judge video, how far away was he?? Very cool encounter that I am hoping ends up with a bloodtrail.

From: Ucsdryder
31-Jan-20
I cut off the video because I don’t want to advertise the skyline of the area, but in the rush to get set up and start calling, I didn’t realize my buddy actually went behind me and up the hill. He said he was looking for a game trail or something to sit on, assuming the bull would make his way to us on a trail. Hindsight is 20/20, but I wish I would have paid more attention to where he was setting up because I would have had him in my lap. The bull came out of the brush and finished his bugle. At this point he was about 3 feet away from me and looked at me ( I was in the fetal position). He spooked, but only about 5 feet. He then continued walking to my left, stiffed legged. Dead elk walking. He stopped broadside, probably 8 yards from me. I waited for the sound of the bow to go off for what sounded like an eternity. Finally… THWACK!!!! I jumped up and watched as the bull ran off, the arrow hanging from the opposite side of his neck…his neck?!?! He ran around the edge of the timber, the way he came and disappeared.

That was the first time I saw where my buddy was. He was up the hill and behind me about 15 yards. There was a small shelf that he was on, the blocked part of the bull’s body. Basically, the entire bull’s body. The only shot he had was the top of the neck and head. I guess the success I had the previous hunt with the neck shot made him think he might be able to replicate that success. We followed the bull around the corner and back to the edge of the timber. He stood there with his cows bugling! We had split the herd and half of his cows were still in the timber behind us, while the other half now joined him out in the open meadow. He looked very much alive and very reluctant to leave.

I left my bugle at my pack where the elk first came out of the timber and now I was trying to bugle at him using cupped hands over my mouth. It sounded like crap, but he didn’t care. He worked his way back toward us, and his cows. He disappeared behind some small aspens, now only 70 yards away. My buddy was to my right and we were trying to figure out what to do when a satellite bull came storming in. He was a small 4x4 and he had one thing on his mind. Finding that hot cow that the herd bull just abandoned. At 15 yards he hit the brakes, facing me head on. My buddy was at full draw. It was obvious that the bull he hit was still alive and most likely going to stay that way, but was he really going to stick this bull? The bull turned and nervously walked to our right, now broadside at 12 yards. At that moment I was pretty sure he wanted to commit suicide. Elk hunting is hard, but those bulls were making it seem very easy. Finally, the bull had enough and trotted off toward the bull and cows.

My buddy and I looked at eachother. Un-freaking-belieavable. Back to the wounded bull. Where did he go? I called for the first time in a couple minutes and BOOM, a response. It was now back where my buddy shot the bull, and it appeared the hit bull went back to his other cows and was standing his ground. I cut him off with my best, nastiest bugle. A cracked branch, the sounds of a hoof hitting dirt and there was an elk. He was closer to 5 yards than he was 10, his head low, swaying back and forth. It was amazing how intimidating the bull was coming through the baby aspens. Both of us were still on our knees, facing up hill. My buddy’s bow was in his hands, on his lap, when the bull stopped, head down, inches from the dirt. He stared holes into me. I didn’t move, or flinch, or blink. He was close enough that I could hear him breathe.

From: Ucsdryder
31-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Jb, he was close enough to touch. =O
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Jb, he was close enough to touch. =O

From: JB
31-Jan-20
Holy shi.... That's intense!!!

From: Ucsdryder
31-Jan-20
These elk must have had golden horse shoes stuck yo their asses! It was time for one to die!

From: APauls
31-Jan-20
This is awesome - keep it going!

From: Shiras42
31-Jan-20
Haven't had one of these stories in a while where I leave BS open on one thread and hit the refresh button. Keep it rolling.

From: Ucsdryder
31-Jan-20
I promise this is coming to an end.

I don’t have a ton of pictures going forward unfortunately. I need to do a better job of stopping and taking pictures.

From: HUNT MAN
31-Jan-20
Wow.. loving this story !!

From: JB
31-Jan-20
Shiras42 - I keep doing the same Thing! That and scrolling back to the picture of the bull looking down at John. WOW!!

From: Treeline
31-Jan-20
So close you got elk slobber on your boots!

Nice:-)

From: Ucsdryder
31-Jan-20
Give me a couple hours and I’ll update the rest of the day.

From: bohuntr
31-Jan-20
Awesome story, looking forward to more!

From: Scoot
31-Jan-20
Awesome!

From: Ucsdryder
31-Jan-20
The bull decided something wasn’t right. He turned to his left to go back the way he came. My buddy turned and drew, but of course he had no chance. The bull busted through the aspens and out of our lives…possibly…

As the bull left I realized he wasn’t the herd bull that got shot in the neck. I can only assume there was a very hot cow in the herd and all of these bulls were trying to crash the party.

We went back to where the shot was fired and followed the bulls tracks. We found some blood within a couple feet of the hit and the blood trail last about 100 yards. I never found another drop of blood after searching for 3 hours. We had no blood or no tracks to follow and we gave up. We spent 3 more weeks in the area and never saw any birds, smelled any dead animals, or found anything that made us think he died from the shot. I’m confident the bull survived the flesh wound.

What a day! My dad and GF had already gone back to the truck and we decided to join them. We still had an evening hunt after all! By that point I had lost count of how many opportunities we had to get my buddy and girlfriend their first elk. I believe that the count was up to 5.

Back at the truck we had lunch, took a nap, and decided that we would go back to the same spot for the evening hunt. After all, we didn’t even touch the elk that were bugling first thing in the morning! We made the hike back up an hour before the end of shoot time and when the sun started to drop below the ridge and the wind started to shift downhill, I let out a bugle. Another response. By now, I felt like Cory Jacobson. I couldn’t blow my bugle without a bull responding. The bull was a long way away and we didn’t have a ton of time with the setting sun. Off we went!

From: Ucsdryder
31-Jan-20
Looking back at that morning one of my regrets from this year was leaving the gf to chase the bull. When we made the decision to run after him I assumed that it wouldn’t work and I would save her the effort of running up the hill for nothing.

If she had come, there’s no doubt she would have been sitting next to me when the herd bull came out of the trees and she would have had a 4 foot shot.

Then again, that evening probably wouldn’t have happened if she had shot her bull that morning!

From: JB
31-Jan-20
Refresh... Refresh...

From: Ucsdryder
31-Jan-20
The bugle came from a hillside only a couple hundred from where we had our close encounter a few hours earlier. I shut up and we got as close as we dared, not knowing exactly where the bugle came from. I let out a locator squeal. No response. I got a little more aggressive with a bugle and a grunt. He grunted back at me. He was a couple hundred yards further up the hill. My dad stayed with me, him on his horse and the GF and buddy pushed ahead of us. When we went 50 more yards, I told them to go up 30-40 yards and split up about 20 yards and I’d call him right between them. I turned to talk to my dad. I had him take the horse back down the hill about 50 yards to stay out of sight, and hopefully enjoy the show.

I set up next to a big aspen tree. I cow called a coupe times and the bull responded with another, barely audible grunt. I cut him off with a bugle. Again, I coaxed him with a cow call while I raked the big aspen in front of me. He let out a slightly more agitated grunt and I cut him off again, elevating my intensity. We played this game over and over, the only difference was that each time he got more aggressive and so did I. After a good 10 minutes, he was screaming back at me. It was playing out just like elknut would describe it. I could tell he was pacing back and forth, each of his bugles coming from the same elevation, but from different sides of the hill above us. Finally, he broke! I raked a tree, he screamed at me, and I lip bawled back over the top of him. He bugled again, this time closer. I, slowly, peaked around the tree. HOOOOOO LEEEEEEEYYYYYY EFFFFFF….here he comes. He was on an absolute string. Head low, swaying back and forth. I didn’t dare screw this up with my cell phone camera. He was a dead elk walking. I couldn’t see my GF or buddy, but I was confident they were about 40 yards ahead of me. The bull was only 80 yards from me at this point, so he was about to enter the redzone. He was laser focused on me and his eyes and ears never left the spot he heard me.

At 70 yards, I waited for the arrow to go off. I wanted more than anything for my GF to get the shot. My buddy had his chance already and the reality was, she needed a sub 15 yard shot. The bull kept coming though and I decided I would stop him. It crossed my mind that I hoped they didn’t shoot each other because from my calculations, the bull was going to be about 10 yards from each of them when he finally got to them. The bull never changed pace, 60 yards, 55 yards, 50 yards. I tightened the diaphragm against the roof of my mouth. 45 yards, 40 yards. I barked. He stopped, bewildered. THWACK! I knew the sound of a bow going off would come any second... I waited. It didn’t come. I peered to the left. Where is she?! Why isn’t she shooting?! I looked right. No sign of my buddy. WTF?!! Someone shoot this freaking bull!!!!!!

From: Shiras42
31-Jan-20
That's 4 refreshes without an update...tick-tock! :)

From: Ambush
31-Jan-20
Com’ mon, you pole dancing tease!!!!!!

I'm yelling at GF and Buddy to shoot!!!!

From: Treeline
31-Jan-20
Arrrrgggg! Somebody kill that damn bull!

From: Ucsdryder
31-Jan-20
The bull started walking toward me again. Now what? It was the first time the whole trip I got frustrated. I was actually fairly pissed. Chances like this don’t happen often. If you’re lucky, 1 time a year, but for some, maybe 1 time every 5 years. At this point I was stuck. It did me no good to call him closer. He was now 20 yards away. He grunted at me. Wow, that was really cool! I let him walk past me and down hill. When he was out of sight, I ran ahead to see my GF down the hill to the right and my buddy down the hill farther to the right. WHAT?! Why did they drop down the hill? I guess there was some confusion about where the bull was bugling from and my buddy thought he was going to come from down the hill. I look at my GF and she was missing an arrow from her quiver. Weird. I got next to her and told her to get ready. I screamed, my biggest, nasty bugle and the bull responded immediately. “Here he comes. Get ready. I’ll tell you the range, remember your pins,” I whispered to her.

Like clockwork, he came straight back to us. I threw a cow call over my shoulder and ranged him. He was 35 yards and quartering toward us. “DRAW!” I whispered. She came to full draw as he ducked behind a tree. He stood behind the tree and slowly walked past it. She was shaking, and I knew I had her draw too early. As he got to the next tree, “let down” I hissed. She let down, but at this point she was obviously a mess. He was at 30 yards now, still working closer. “Get ready to draw!” She started to put tension on the string as his head disappeared behind another aspen. “DRAW!!!!” She came to full draw and now the bull’s vitals were behind the tree, with his head on one side and butt on the other. Two more steps. I told her to use her 30 yard pin and aim low. He was 27 yards at that point. He came out, perfectly broadside. “SHOOT!”

From: shooter
31-Jan-20
Does anyone else feel like they're really hunting elk?? This is really cool, but every time we get some action and it really looks like it's going to happen, he disappears to somewhere unknown to all of us. Then, just when we think it's never going to be complete....we get teased into thinking that it's really going to happen. He starts writing, I mean bugling, and just when an arrow should be released.....silence FOR HOURS. I didn't get to go elk hunting last year, but now I feel like I did.

I enjoy the heck out of the story (and photo's), but stop teasing!

From: JB
31-Jan-20
GREAT story telling!!!

From: Treeline
31-Jan-20
^^^what he said!

31-Jan-20
Great story but at this pace you’ll be able to tell is about your 2020 season as well. Thanks for sharing. It’s great!

From: Scrappy
31-Jan-20
Oh my goodness, stop this madness.

From: hdaman
31-Jan-20
This is incredible! Bring it on!

From: Ucsdryder
31-Jan-20
Rough crowd! My little fingers can’t type fast enough! ;)

31-Jan-20
I don’t even elk hunt and you’ve got me hooked on this tale

From: Ucsdryder
31-Jan-20
She took my command literally and shot on command. I had been standing directly behind her the whole time and when she shot the arrow hit the tree 3 feet to the left of the bull’s butt. She barely missed the vitals by about 6 feet. I remember being amused and half wanting to laugh at how much she missed him by!

He spun and trotted back down the hill. “You have to aim! You didn’t even look through the peep!” She responded with “well you told me to shoot!” She had me there. I told her to stay there and I ran away from her, putting her directly between me and the bull. I started calling again, with her 25 yards in front of me, and the bull still at the edge of the timber, bugling at us. Pretty soon I could see him picking his way back through the aspens, closing the distance once again. I dropped down the hill, cow calling and bugling as I went. I wanted him to focus on me, and I knew at that point, her only chance of killing an elk was for it to be super close.

By now, it was getting dark. It’s not often you have a bull in shooting range and when they are it usually doesn’t last long. This bull stayed in range for a good 15 minutes!!!! I stopped counting the amount of times I had him broadside less than 20 yards! Legally we were in great shape, but it was getting hard to see the sight in the dark timber. It was now or never. I was now a good 50 yards past her and I had no idea where the bull was. “THWACK”! She just dropped the bow string!! My heart skipped a beat!

From: Ucsdryder
31-Jan-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Nailed it!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Nailed it!
This was the first arrow fired when I was standing behind her. It was a clean miss, by a good elk and a half body length. Haha

From: fubar racin
31-Jan-20
Ohhhhhh man!!!!

01-Feb-20
You're killing me Small's! You're killing me!

From: Ambush
01-Feb-20
Looks like penetration shouldn't be an issue. You gotta be happy with that!

And just like the outfitters reviews, I certainly hope you're going to have GF and Buddy tell their side of the story, in their own words, here on Bowsite.

From: Hank_S
01-Feb-20
Ha...fabulous, just fabulous!

From: Treeline
01-Feb-20
Booner!

Or maybe Bunyaner...

Can’t tell from the picture but would be very cool if that arrow is covered in blood!

Gotta luv it when you’re neck deep in elk!

Agree with Ambush, we need to hear it from the GF and Buddy now!

I am sure they will have a lot of great insights from another point of view!

From: Inshart
01-Feb-20
OMG, I almost started to cry --- that is EXACTLY where I killed my tree couple years ago. Outstanding!!!!!!

From: Ucsdryder
01-Feb-20
I sprinted up the hill, full of excitement. “DID YOU GET HIM?!?!?!” She said she wasn’t sure. I asked how far he was when she shot. She wasn’t sure of that either. I asked her what pin she used. Nope, not sure. I started laughing. Even a city girl that has never hunted in her life, can get so excited she blacks out. My dad and buddy said they heard the arrow hit sticks and after a long while of looking for blood or the arrow it didn’t look like any elk were harmed.

She had 1 arrow left. I asked what happened to the first one. She responded “I shot it into the ground”. WHAT? I started laughing again. Why did you shoot it into the ground? She was at full draw when I barked at the bull when he first came in, but with her being down hill, the only thing she could see was his head and horns. She got tired of holding at full draw and when she went to let down she fired off an arrow into the dirt. Of course, it was the iron will! We searched around and finally found it, about 3 feet from where she was kneeling, buried in some grass.

We went over and tried to get her arrow out of the tree, but that broadhead became a souvenir. I was able to unscrew the arrow. The last arrow was a donation to the elk gods. We headed back for the truck in the pitch black. WOW! The bull never actually took off. We finally gave up when darkness fell. I’m not sure how long the encounter lasted but it was around 15 minutes. My dad has been sitting on his horse the entire time watching the show. It was the first bugle he had ever heard up close. I think he ended up hearing 40-50 of them. It’s still hard to believe we didn’t kill an elk that day, but if we had killed the first bull at 4 feet that morning, we wouldn’t have experienced that evening’s hunt. I guess glass half full it was a good thing the deadly duo couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat.

Luckily, we had 1 more weekend.

01-Feb-20
I'm lovin' the story John. But, I've wanted to scream at the computer screen a time or two, telling the other two to get their head in the game!

From: Ucsdryder
01-Feb-20
Justin, you have no idea. I gave the GF a pass for the most part but I got cranky a few times. When my buddy set up behind me and up the hill on the bull that tried to trample me and when he set up the gf and him 20 yards down the hill. Like I said, if they actually would have killed something during one of the encounters then it wouldn’t have been the Single Most Amazing Day in the Elk Woods!

From: Treeline
01-Feb-20
Awesome.

And well told...

Chapter 3???

Still waiting to hear how the GF put up with you going nuts with all that action and no one killing an elk:-)

From: BigStriper
01-Feb-20
Bring it on, this is Good stuff. Yea it will be good to hear their side of the story to,LOL.

Kurt

From: Ucsdryder
01-Feb-20
I was going to bring her to hooters for the no co get together but brad and jaq told me it was going to be a big sausage party so she declined!

From: Ambush
01-Feb-20
“... a big sausage party”

That could be taken a couple ways depending the inflection.

As in “ boy, help your Uncle (j) Jack off that stallion”

From: Ucsdryder
01-Feb-20
The next day we went right back to the same spot. We heard the same bull bugle with his soft grunt. We moved in, but he shut up. We heard another bugle down the hill to the right and headed that way. His next bugle was 300 yards farther away. Then again 500 yards away. It was the bull from last night. He wanted nothing to do with us. I glasses him a mile away, he was moving out and bugling as he went.

We made it to the top without seeing anything else. I spotted a solid 4x4 buck. I had been packing my bow the entire trip with a mule deer tag in my pocket.

I made my way to where he was feeding, covering about 500 yards. I peaked over the hill, nothing. There was a little swale and another big opening. I wasn’t sure where he went, but I thought there was a good chance he was over that swale. I slowly walked down a game trail. I had to cross a small drainage ditch then over a jump to get to the big meadow. When I dropped into the ditch I looked left and there was the buck. We saw eachother at the same time and he bounded out of there. Son of a gun! He was less than 15 yards. If I would have slowed down and peaked to the left, I would have had a 12 yard shot.

We finished the day without any more excitement.

The next morning we tried a different spot, but only found some grouse. I claimed a grouse and lost and arrow. I guess it was a good trade.

Chapter 3

The Wind

The last weekend of the season arrived with high hopes and expectations. We snuck out of work early and made it in time for an evening hunt. The clouds moved in and we made it back to the same spot we got into them 2 weeks earlier. The cattle were thick and the elk tracks were a week old.

We kept moving and as the sun dropped below the ridge we heard a bugle. It was far off and we didn’t have time to get there before the end of shoot time. The bull was coming our way and we backed out quickly and quietly.

That night the wind came up. It was absolutely howling. The next morning we woke up to more wind. Our high spirits weren’t quite as high. We snaked our way up the mountain, heading for the bugle from the night before.

Half way up the mountain and a few hundred yards from where we heard the last bugle from the night before I sounded off with a locator. Boom, an immediate response. Back in business!

The wind was a nightmare. It would blow 20-30mph one way for a while, then come back the other way. We waited for 15 minutes trying to figure out how to approach the bull. Our best bet was to come in from the side and hope the wind would continue to blow left to right, then right to left.

When we got within 100 yards I bugled over him. The bull had been bugling nonstop on his own. After I cut him off he shut up. I worked for 10 minutes trying to get a bugle. He was gone. We stopped and talked about our plan.

Then he bugled again, a half mile up the hill. I bugled and he bugled. Ok, let’s try again. We silently made our way up to him again. We closed the distance to 100 yards again and ran out of cover. We were in a strip of tree, 100 yards long and about 12 yards deep. I put my buddy on the left side of the strip, about 20 yards from the end and the gf on the right, a couple yards back from the end of the strip. If the bull went left he would run right into my buddy. If he went right, the gf would have a 5 yard shot. I backed behind them 30 yards and waited for him to bugle.

He bugled and a let out a soft cow call. Silence. Another cow call. Silence. Hmmmm. I squealed. Silence. Wtf?! After 5 minutes I bugled loud, followed with a grunt. He responded, 400 yards away. What a scaredy cat. He was a runner.

Frustrated. I made my way up to the gf. I told her he was gone. She got up, and we talked for a few seconds. I told her I wanted to peak around the corner then we’d go get our buddy and come up with a plan.

I walked around the corner and here comes a bull. A solid 5x5 coming in silent to the calls. He hadn’t seen me and was coming our way, still about 50 yards away. This elk was in trouble. If my buddy didn’t shoot him, he was going to come right to my gf.

I turned and ran, “here he comes, get ready!!!!” I didn’t even slow down. She dove back into the corner to grab her bow and get ready!

As I ran by her I cow called like a cow heading out. He was going to come around the corner where she was tucked into the trees. When he cleared the edge she’d have a 5 yard, broadside shot!

From: Ucsdryder
01-Feb-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
We watched a grouse fly into this tree. I looked for 20 minutes and never saw it. I’m still confused what happened!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
We watched a grouse fly into this tree. I looked for 20 minutes and never saw it. I’m still confused what happened!

From: Ucsdryder
01-Feb-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Waiting for the scared bull to bugle
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Waiting for the scared bull to bugle

From: Ucsdryder
01-Feb-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Dinner!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Dinner!

From: Inshart
01-Feb-20
Whaaaaaaaaaaatttttt - "When he cleared the edge she’d have a 5 yard, broadside shot!"

OK so now GF, pick a hair, let the oxygen out of this bad boy!

From: JB
01-Feb-20
Sorry for a dumb question, but are they Ruffed Grouse in that area?

From: t-roy
01-Feb-20
You go from having a bull getting ready to come around the corner, to, grouse....it what’s for dinner??!!!

That cold!

01-Feb-20

From: JohnMC
01-Feb-20
JB that is a dusky/blue grouse.

By the way great thread! Let hear the conclusion...

From: Ucsdryder
01-Feb-20
You’d think so inshart.

I ran back 20 yards and turned around and reached down and grabbed my bugle. I looked up and there was the bull, staring at me. He turned and bolted. WTF!!!!

I hung my head and walked back to her. She was ready, arrow on the string, release on the loop. She said she could see his legs under the tree branches. He needed to go 3 more steps. I felt terrible. She would have killed that bull and I messed it up. Regret number 2 for the GFs Hunt. Why did I stand out in the open? And how did that bull get there so quickly?!

We went and found my buddy. He had buried himself in a little hole. The bull walked within 30 Yards of him but he was buried so far in the trees he didn’t have a shot. His spot choosing left a lot to be desired!

He said that when I cow called as I was running back to my hiding spot the bull started running after me. That made a lot of sense because he shouldn’t have gotten there that quickly.

The next day the wind continues to howl. We got on 2 different bugles and worked a bull that never finished.

That ended our 2019 elk season. 2 elk were harmed, I elk was killed, and lots of chances were missed.

We signed up for the TAC in glenwood and the hike to hunt in winter park.

Next year...

Thanks for following along! It was a fun year and writing this out brings back a lot of fun memories.

From: Jaquomo
01-Feb-20
Gaaaaaa! Killing us, John!

Edit - looks like I was typing my post just as you were entering your final post. Great job!

From: Scrappy
01-Feb-20
I turned and ran, “here he comes, get ready!!!!” I didn’t even slow down. She dove back into the corner to grab her bow and get ready!

Ok I was just laughing out loud by the image of a grown man running by his gf screaming like a cow elk. My wife is looking at me like I'm nuts.

From: Ucsdryder
01-Feb-20
Scrappy it happened exactly how you pictured it. I wouldn’t have been more surprised if Bigfoot himself was walking toward me. I couldn’t believe that elk was there.

From: JohnMC
01-Feb-20
I think most of us screwed up a few times before we put it all together. But they should be hooked for next season!

From: Ucsdryder
01-Feb-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Shooting my dads 70 year old 257 roberts.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Shooting my dads 70 year old 257 roberts.
We ended up chasing elk all winter as well. We never sealed the deal, mostly due to poor shooting from yours truly, but she was an absolute trooper all year.

From: Ucsdryder
01-Feb-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
And now I’m realizing I was in the back quite often. Thanks whoever pointed that out. Check out all those elk tracks tho!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
And now I’m realizing I was in the back quite often. Thanks whoever pointed that out. Check out all those elk tracks tho!

From: Ambush
01-Feb-20
Good deal, thanks for the ride! Just like a roller coaster that plunges like hell itself is about to swallow you up then coasts up to nearly a stop on another crest. Then "holy crap, hang on!!" again. But seriously to go from ".... I HEARD THE STRING DROP!!!" "... to "hey nice grouse ,eh..?" should be an indictable offence!

From: LKH
01-Feb-20
Great story. Get gf a couple old trad bows. Great way for her to build up her strength. Be sure she pulls them both right and left handed to keep her muscles balanced.

Spend some time with the buddy on site selection. Get the "hiding" out of his system and have him work on gettin a good backdrop.

Take notes so we get just as good a story next year.

From: Hank_S
01-Feb-20
Really fabulous tale...can't wait til next year's story!

From: Treeline
01-Feb-20
Spectacular elk hunt! Glad you got at least some elk meat in the freezer!

Hopefully your buddy and GF stick around for round 2:-)

What a fun season you all had! Congratulations!

From: elkmtngear
01-Feb-20
Great story, some really good encounters! Great learning experience for the gf...she'll think about those encounters all Year !

From: Beav
01-Feb-20
Great story and thanks for sharing it with us!

From: JB
02-Feb-20
Great story and super story telling!! Thank you for teasing us along... I mean taking us along.

From: badbull
02-Feb-20
Excellent story telling. You made me think back to the 1980's and 90's when I began taking my teenage boys elk bowhunting. I know the feelings that you seem to be having. I had similar experiences where I did not know whether to laugh or cry. What I learned was be patient with them and count close encounters as success. On future hunts after the initial foulups, I got them to follow my directions exactly after schooling them quite a bit. All was fine and I was proud of them and they appreciated my ability to put them on elk. Your situation may be different but I think that you are too hard on yourself as you are doing a whole lot of things right to get the action you got in your story. That kind of action reminds me of the old days before they got bugle shy. Keep up the great work and congrats for the bull and great story. I'm hoping for maybe another next year..........Bob

From: Marty
02-Feb-20
Well done! Reminds me of hunting with my two boys when they were young, great memories for sure. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

From: Bowboy
02-Feb-20
Great story and you had a blast helping other folks trying to fill they're tag. 2020 you'll make it happen. Thanks for sharing!

It's frustrating being the caller sometimes because you'll have the shot opportunity and the shooter doesn't. It's still fun!

From: BigSkyHntr
02-Feb-20
Thanks for sharing! Great story, congrats on your bull! And I hope this is the year to make it happen for the GF and buddy!! :)

From: Scoot
02-Feb-20
That was fun- thank you!

From: otcWill
02-Feb-20
Thanks for the story buddy! Enjoyed it

From: GLP
02-Feb-20
Truly enjoyed your story, nice write up.

From: BigStriper
02-Feb-20
What a great story, sounds like everybody that was on the hunt's had a good time. A lot of lessens learned and hopefully it will be better next year. Congrat's on you getting an Elk and the GF and Buddy will have something to think about thru the summer that didn't work out for them. Good Luck.

Kurt

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