Contributors to this thread:
Seeing that other thread come up about 380" bulls it made me wonder.....How many of those are killed on special tags vs general? Let's see what we come up with here. If you have killed a 350" or better bull was he on general tag/otc or in a special draw/unit?
Good idea Matt, and why there at it go ahead and post those unit numbers ...??
Don’t post the unit numbers just pm me.
My hunting partner killed a 365 gross in a CO OTC unit, and I shot one low in the brisket that was bigger. Our others have been in LE units.
But in the 0-1 point unit I used to hunt before beetle kill made it impossible to navigate, I saw a couple 350+ bulls every year. Had close calls every season but wasn't able to seal the deal in recurve range.
Hunting over 15 Years in the Flattops, I've only seen 3 bulls that I can remember, that would top 350. We came close on all of them, but couldn't get a shot opportunity.
My buddy took a 350 bull on our first morning out, when we drew New Mexico in 2016. That being said, it was considered a "non-trophy" unit at the time.
Here's my WY General tag bull.
We had clients take a 375 and 342 in the last two years and saw a couple as big and bigger. I stopped a dandy 7x7 12 yards in front of two clients last Fall that simply, I don't know, choked. No arrows fired ! Yet they hit knuckles and smiled when it was over. Good guys. These all in a heavily hunted OTC units, but were on private land. Northern Colorado.
I've killed a couple bulls over 350". Both on draw tags in Washington. One of the biggest bulls I've ever seen was last year on one of NM easiest to draw tags. Night before the opener. Never could turn it up again.
Mine was in a draw unit NM. I've seen a few 350+ and blown opportunities in CO OTC units and 2 other draw units in NM and last September in a CO draw unit. It was painful at first to only hunt 2 weekends in that unit. But when you have a Gila tag, what's a guy to do?
I was within 30 yards with a shot at a bull in Colorado otc that would have been pushing it. I had just dropped the string on a 5x5 raghorn. That is the only bull I’ve seen in 4 years of hunting in Colorado that size but I’m a pretty pathetic elk hunter I just work hard enough to get lucky sometimes
Have seen quite a few over 350” in OTC units in CO. Usually on private land or public adjacent to protected areas.
Have helped guys get four 350+ bulls in OTC units with rifles.
One of the biggest bulls I’ve seen in CO was in an OTC unit. Easily 380”+. Shot him at about 3 yards and didn’t kill him.
Tavis I'm sure that shot haunts you! :)
Found this one in 2013 in a 0-1 pt type unit on public land. Not 380 but still pretty good. Had one set-up spoiled by a wind shift, and another one blown up by a couple hunters that were passing through. In any case, ultimately I failed to get him killed. He was killed that year in muzz season. Had the same tag once again in '18 but found no bulls even remotely close to that size.
Killed a 360" gross in a Colorado draw unit that takes about the same number of points to draw as a Wyoming general tag.
I was within 40 yards of a 350" class bull for several minutes in a CO otc unit but didn't get a shot...
As I have only seen one 350ish bull in a general unit, I feel extremely lucky to have taken one with my bow , (Montana general area, 362" bull). After the shot, I had to watch him for the longest time (it seemed like hours) for his head to go down after he fell within sight. I think luck has a lot to do with just seeing a 350 bull in a general unit in any state.
Public vs private is probably as much if not more of a factor than OTC/genreal vs. LE. 380 is big number, but I have seen and hunted bulls the last few years in a CO OTC unit that would score 350+, however it was on private land. Same thing in Montana, general tag but private land.
Just an added thought. I have been hunting OTC units since 1992 in Colorado and have never seen a 350 bull, much one over 300. That also applies to the three times I have hunted limited draw licenses. my best, Paul
I've killed 17 bulls with my bow, 3 were over 350. Of those 3, 2 were on public land in Arizona and one on public land in Wyoming. And everyone was delicious.
Great statement Paul. Lots of guys claim to have “seen” 350” bulls....not many on the ground that the tape agrees with. Killing them and verifying that much bone is a whole different world. Such a rare animal to encounter in the wild especially on a general tag. RipLip- you’re probably right about that.
Another factor that is very real (at least in Colorado) is migration. I know of many large private properties in Colorado that can't manage for big bulls because they can't keep the animals on their ground all year. These elk head for lower territory and get pummeled by rifle hunters out in the open. Public or private, limited or OTC doesn't matter if they all leave.... If you can keep elk on your property then you can manage for big bulls, even in an OTC unit. This picture is of a bull from two years ago on private in an OTC unit. Scored 360.
I got my bull on a general tag in Montana. Public land, net scored 354 PY
Nice bull FatBass! Looks familiar:)
My buddy killed this 360+ Colorado bull in an otc unit.
In regard to the comments about actual measurements on the ground, here's my 360" gross bull.
Off subject but I have a friend that killed a 348" during 2nd rifle in a CO otc unit in 14'. The very first elk he had EVER seen!
Wrote the story up about that big one I hit and lost on a PM. Thought you guys might enjoy it here.
The evening before the last day of the season, that bull was in a basin above treeline screaming hard and there were several other bulls trying to get to his cows.
It was getting late in the evening so I was just hustling to get to the action. He saw me move at about 100 yards right at treeline, bugled and came on a trot.
I nocked an arrow to the string of my longbow, dropped to one knee by a stunted pine and got ready.
He came fast! He let out another bugle at under 10 yards and kept coming.
I had no shot! All I could think was that he had to get past me to get a shot.
He kept coming right to the tree I was hiding behind and I had to lean back as he went past me to keep him from knocking my arrow off the bow.
He was bugling again as he passed me but saw me move, stopped mid bugle and jumped away a bit.
I drew and released as he was jumping away and hit him on a hard quartering away angle. The arrow hit mid ribs and sunk to the fletching.
He ran back to his cows and stopped to look back from about 100 yards. Then he bugled again and started rounding up his cows. I could hear him bugling as they dropped down and across a big canyon.
I went and looked for blood with a flashlight and found a couple of drops where I had hit him and a few more on his trail back to the cows.
It started snowing and I got out of there to come back and look again the next day.
Next morning there was 6” of new snow up there. I looked in the direction that the elk had gone the night before and spent the day looking to no avail.
That bull was a very distinctive 7x8. I would guess him on the hoof at 385-390” gross. (I guided and hunted in NM and AZ a bit and usually pretty close on big bulls).
I kept looking after work for the next week. On the Saturday after I had shot him, I found him again. He was alive, with 6 cows and the fletching were on his ribs right behind his shoulder. Only thing I can figure is that the broadhead slid down the ribs and behind his shoulder or tight to the inside of the ribs with no damage to the lungs or major arteries.
I kept tabs on him for the next couple of weeks before rifle season. The bull stayed up above treeline the whole time and didn’t move much.
I had a guy with a tag that I told I would help to shoot that bull. I had put that bull to bed in a small hanging basin the night before first rifle. Long story short, my hunter got excited about a mile from where we would be able to see the big bull and shot a rag 5x5.
I saw that big bull a couple more times through second season up in those high basins but no one went up and bothered him.
This bull was living just north of where Mike got his big bull. I put a tape on him and came up with 353”. Last winter was tough on critters...
Wow, Treeline. Tough luck all around. Did you help the guy with his raghorn? I would have been pretty disgusted.
Killed my biggest bull, 350, in a Colorado OTC unit. Took a lot of work and doubt I could do it now.
Yea, Brun, I helped him get it packed out. It was an easy pack out from where he was. I think we were back to town by 9:00 am.
OTC bull on private...I had multiple close/under 20 yd encounters with last fall. Spent all his time in and around the thickest oak brush you can imagine. Couldn’t hunt the last week and my fingers are crossed he survived rifle and this long ass winter.
Oh and that pic was taken about 3 miles from treelines house haha
That is a stud for this country Bill!
Hope he made it and you get him this year!
There’s a few hiding out in some pockets here and there for sure.
That one looks an awful lot like a bull I called out of the oak brush for my son in law a couple of years ago. He managed to miss at 20 and 40...
2006 Wyoming bull
2006 Wyoming bull
Four 350+ bulls. 3 in Wyoming in a couple different draw units and one in a Montana draw unit. All public land. A few general tag bulls in WY but nothing close to 350.
Treeline, thanks for sharing your stories. I can imagine those still haunt you. We all seem to have some bad luck but your stories top any of mine. Hope that you have good hunting luck in the future.........Bob
Hell of a bull, Ron! Thanks for sharing the story, Treeline. Not the best ending.
Hope you get a chance to hunt that guy again this year Billy. Great bull.
Saw 1 360 bull in CO in LE unit. Saw him 1 time. Never saw him again
Didn’t kill him, but had several encounters with this guy last season in a 0/1 point unit in Colorado. My partner had him and his cows at 60 yards the 3rd day of the season. I’m no expert, but I’d put him at 360” +.
That’s a great looking bull Poudre!
Some great bulls on this thread.
How many elk in this photo taken in an otc public Colorado unit a few years back? Not saying which one.
He's definitely + Poudre!
I / we hunt over the counter elk and the group has killed bulls over 350; 330 is my biggest. I have seen bulls 380 plus in the area, but never close enough.