Summit Treestands
Redemption Train?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Ucsdryder 24-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 24-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 24-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 24-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 24-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 24-Sep-20
Jeff Holchin 24-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 24-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 24-Sep-20
Jeff Holchin 24-Sep-20
ki-ke 24-Sep-20
Huntcell 24-Sep-20
Wv hillbilly 25-Sep-20
Scoot 25-Sep-20
huntdoc 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
jordanathome 25-Sep-20
Supernaut 25-Sep-20
Boone 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
GF 25-Sep-20
Inshart 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
Hank_S 25-Sep-20
GF 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-20
BigSkyHntr 25-Sep-20
Jeff Holchin 26-Sep-20
tobywon 26-Sep-20
t-roy 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
altitude sick 26-Sep-20
Bowfreak 26-Sep-20
GF 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Paul@thefort 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
ahawkeye 26-Sep-20
Inshart 26-Sep-20
badbull 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
WV Mountaineer 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Hank_S 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 26-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
t-roy 27-Sep-20
deerslayer 27-Sep-20
Jeff Holchin 27-Sep-20
Hank_S 27-Sep-20
altitude sick 27-Sep-20
DroptineDC18 27-Sep-20
Z Barebow 27-Sep-20
yooper89 27-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
yooper89 27-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
Scoot 27-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
dakotaduner 27-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
David Kretschmar 27-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
altitude sick 27-Sep-20
elkmtngear 27-Sep-20
Bowbender 27-Sep-20
GLP 27-Sep-20
BigStriper 27-Sep-20
lewis 27-Sep-20
Glunt@work 27-Sep-20
Quinn @work 27-Sep-20
jordanathome 27-Sep-20
NoWiser 27-Sep-20
RT 27-Sep-20
Paul@thefort 27-Sep-20
Inshart 27-Sep-20
Jeff Holchin 27-Sep-20
ki-ke 27-Sep-20
Hank_S 27-Sep-20
tobywon 27-Sep-20
buckfevered 27-Sep-20
JohnMC 27-Sep-20
lewis 27-Sep-20
mrelite 27-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 27-Sep-20
BigSkyHntr 28-Sep-20
WV Mountaineer 28-Sep-20
Shiras42 28-Sep-20
Hancock West 28-Sep-20
huntdoc 28-Sep-20
Southern draw 28-Sep-20
Supernaut 28-Sep-20
Wv hillbilly 28-Sep-20
KHNC 28-Sep-20
lewis 28-Sep-20
Charlie Rehor 28-Sep-20
Z Barebow 28-Sep-20
Finey 28-Sep-20
badbull 28-Sep-20
t-roy 28-Sep-20
Gonzo 28-Sep-20
Bowsiteguy 29-Sep-20
Brun 29-Sep-20
Beav 29-Sep-20
Grubby 29-Sep-20
From: Ucsdryder
24-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
12 ringer from 2019! “Juuuust a bit outside!”
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
12 ringer from 2019! “Juuuust a bit outside!”
Since my elk season is officially over and I won’t be getting back up the mountain I figured I would do a quick recap. If you remember last year, my girlfriend came along with her first ever elk tag after taking her hunters safety class earlier that spring. She had some close calls, fired off a couple arrows, killed a defenseless aspen tree, but came home empty handed.

This year we were at it again and she was feeling a little more confident, after all, she had 1 whole elk season under her belt. I believe that qualifies her as a “seasoned hunter” ...errr huntress.

So let’s call this elk recap the Redemption Train. Oh and I have a tag too, so let’s not make it all about the girl!

From: Ucsdryder
24-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Show off!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Show off!
Oh and we’ll give her a name this year. The GF is “Steph”.

The plan was to shoot lots of arrows, go to a bunch of 3D shoots and build up that muscle memory. Of course, life kicked in and between kids doing school from home, work, etc we struggled to get in as many shoots as we planned. We did make it to Glenwood springs for the TAC. What a blast! She lost 3 arrows, and by some miracle I made it home with a quiver full of arrows.

From: Ucsdryder
24-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
My buddy pretending my arrow was his! His was stuck in the antler!!!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
My buddy pretending my arrow was his! His was stuck in the antler!!!
I won’t be missing another TAC event in Colorado. My favorite was the moose. If I remember it was 104 yards? It was definitely a poke!

From: Ucsdryder
24-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Proof of a moose.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Proof of a moose.
We hung cameras and made a summer scouting/mushroom hunting trip. The mushrooms were a complete no show this year, as well as the elk! I didn’t see a single elk prior to the season which definitely worried me a little. Luckily the trail cameras told a different story! Lots of cows, raghorns, a few bucks, and a moose!! I’ve never seen a moose out that way, but I guess it’s inevitable as they increase their footprint!

From: Ucsdryder
24-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Lots of small 4 and 5 point bulls. Pretty typical for that area. Rarely does a bull make it over 3.5 years old.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Lots of small 4 and 5 point bulls. Pretty typical for that area. Rarely does a bull make it over 3.5 years old.

From: Ucsdryder
24-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Wallows getting lots of attention in August with the drought conditions.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Wallows getting lots of attention in August with the drought conditions.

From: Jeff Holchin
24-Sep-20
Good start to this tale....

From: Ucsdryder
24-Sep-20
I had a video game camera on a wallow. It was on a spindly little aspen, which was the only tree around. Every elk that came to the wallow licked that thing, rubbed on that thing, or fogged you the lens on that thing! It was amazing. 5 days later they had it knocked off and I got a few hundred video clips of the grass. The good news was we were in elk!

A few more shooting sessions and somehow the slow summer turned into a lightening fast month and it was the night before the opener!

From: Ucsdryder
24-Sep-20
With the moon full, we decided to get up early and work our way up the trail using the moonlight. The wallow was at the top of a small drainage and we knew the thermals would be in our favor. We arrived an hour early to wait and listen. 20 minutes before shoot time, something came in below us and blew out. 10 minutes later a crack of a branch to our left. Man, the anticipation of opening morning was getting worse and worse! Finally, shoot time. I edged over wall of the little creek and stepped up right in view of an elk. We saw eachother at the same instance and I froze. Luckily he was a dumb spike and after a few minutes of me standing still, he lost interest and wandered away.

What do you do 5 minutes after shoot time on opening morning?!! You blow your bugle and wait for the answer to come! 11 months I’ve waited to rip off that first bugle in the pre-dawn darkness! Here goes nothing!

An IMMEDIATE answer. Ha! It never works the first time. 150-200 yards up the hill. It was go time and we were only 5 minutes into opening morning! Hell, I could barely see my pins!

From: Jeff Holchin
24-Sep-20
Good start to this tale....

From: ki-ke
24-Sep-20
Sucked me in.....please keep it moving......!

From: Huntcell
24-Sep-20

25-Sep-20
Keep it coming. Can’t wait for the rest.

From: Scoot
25-Sep-20
Excellent! Bring it on!

From: huntdoc
25-Sep-20
Awesome start...

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20
My buddy that hunted last year was with us. The plan was for him to help Steph setup, ranges, etc and I would call from behind. We pushed forward 75 yards to the lip of a small rise and I set them up. I backed down into the aspens 40 yards and bugled. He ripped back immediately. A few moments later I see the top of his antlers. I had set them up on a little rise that the bull would have to come over before seeing me. I was in huge aspens with not much undergrowth and no where to hide. Just on the other side with a little knife edge that ran from the bull to me. There was a chance if the bull stayed below that knife edge Steph wouldn’t have a shot. It was 45 yards from where he would pop out to me, so I had that covered.

None of that seemed necessary as the antler tips made their way to the top of the hill. One tip became 2, then 3, then 4. It quickly became obvious this wasn’t one of the raghorns I had on my trail camera 100 yards down the hill sitting on the wallow. Finally, ears and a head emerge as the big 6x6 got to the top of the rise. I could see Steph, bow drawn 12 yards away on her knees. She almost looked like she was cowering under him.

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
The only picture I have of the shy fellow on trail camera the day before the opener.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
The only picture I have of the shy fellow on trail camera the day before the opener.

From: jordanathome
25-Sep-20
Nice!

From: Supernaut
25-Sep-20
Good stuff, keep it coming!

From: Boone
25-Sep-20
Good read so far. Can't wait to read the rest

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20
Ok, back to the story.

The bull stared down the hill toward me, I ranged him at 47 yards. He was frontal with no shot. I had an arrow nocked but I had the bow dangling from my fingers by the string. The bull whipped his head to the left, staring at Steph and my buddy. Uh oh...

I called and he looked back down the hill, then back to Steph. 2 more times of this and he bolted. He ran 60 yards and stopped broadside to them. He was now standing staring, 70 yards from Steph and 100 from me. A couple barks and he finally took off.

That was weird. Did he see them? Seemed unlikely. I trudged up to them, just a little disheartened. It was 20 minutes into the season, but we just don’t see bulls like that.

From their perspective the bull needed to take 2 more steps to clear the rise and expose his vitals. He was somewhere between 10-12 yards and they got quite the show as he screamed above them. I guess my buddy didn’t see him come over the rise and dropped his cell phone which is what alerted the bull to their presence. Damn! We almost had a bull down, and a good one at that!!!

We worked our way up the canyon, nothing playing at the moment. As we went through a meadow, a stick breaking, or maybe it was a wood pecker caught our attention. As we strained to decipher the noise, my buddy called it first. Antler on antler! They were within 100 yards and we snuck up the hill with the wind in our face.

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20
We got to 40 yards and I spotted tan. We set up this time with my buddy in the back. He started tossing out cow calls. 1 bull turned into 3 little 4 point rag horns and a spike. They paid zero attention to the cow calls minus a look here and there. They obviously weren’t feeling it yet. They spared, raked trees, and ate grass. They wandered within 30 yards but we were in thick baby aspens and they never presented a shot.

Steph said she was shaking the whole time with excitement. I bet a lot of us on here wish we could bottle that and drink it. I remember my first bull elk kill with my bow. My back leg was shaking uncontrollably to the point I was scared I wouldn’t be able to shoot.

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Not the best picture but here they are on camera.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Not the best picture but here they are on camera.

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Laser focused!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Laser focused!

From: GF
25-Sep-20
And now you’re just going to leave it hanging there like that, eh?

Guess Imma go shoot a bit....

From: Inshart
25-Sep-20
Nice, keep bringing it.

What is that black in the last pic? or is it just a shadow?

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20
Inshart, I believe that’s her backpack you're referring to. It’s brown but appears black. It’s a mystery ranch for the record, and she’s a huge fan!

We played cat and mouse with the bulls for 45 minutes and the wind started to get squirrely. We made the decision to back out slowly to play another day. It’s not easy to back out when you’re 50 yards away but getting winded and blowing them out of the drainage was a real possibility.

We headed for camp and an afternoon nap. What a morning!

Opening day....evening hunt!

It was a bust. We heard one bugle way up on top. At least we knew where we’d go tomorrow morning!

Day 2!

We headed for the bugle we heard the evening before, but stopped at a little meadow that sometimes holds a bull. We were an hour before shoot time, but the moon made it feel like it was almost go time!

I let out a bugle, and bam a bull! Then another! Now I know how Cory Jacobson feels. We backed out slowly and made sure they couldn’t get down wind before shooting light.

We laid there listening to absolute silence (minus a bugle from our new friend every few minutes), gazing straight up threw the aspen trees at the stars and the full moon. Elk season is truly special!

Finally, it was time to go. We hadn’t heard the first bull bugle in since his initial bugle so I threw out a locator to see if he was still on the hillside above us. He didn’t respond, but our other friend gladly gave us a response.

He was close, maybe 200-300 yards. I shut up and we made a plan to close the distance. Once we got to 100 I’d hit him again and we’d get setup. We came to a big open meadow, 100 yards across. I paused for a minute just as he bugled. Uh oh...here he comes!

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20
Antler tips appeared across the meadow and he was staring our way. We all hit the ground. Unfortunately I couldn’t get back behind Steph to call him in. He had us pinned. He started to slowly make a big circle around us, heading down wind. I had an arrow nocked, and my rangefinder our. 50, 47, 44, 45, 41, 45, 44, he kept circling. He had 10 yards to go before catching a thermal. I drew and anchored, waiting for him to stop.

He was still walking and I had to do something. I hit him with a hard cow call. He immediately stopped, but as he stopped he took a step toward me. Now he was quartering to me, 42 yards. I had dialed my slider to 40 yards. I held at full draw, needing him to take one more step.

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20
He caught our wind and was gone! Wow, that was exciting. I probably could have forced an arrow in there, but it just didn’t feel right.

We turned our attention to a bugle across the canyon back toward where we were earlier in the morning. Long story short, we played cat and mouse with a bull for the next couple hours in some deadfall. It was too thick for him to get to us and for us to get to him. He lost interest and headed out.

We decided to call it a day and head home, knowing we were coming back in 2 days for the weekend. What an opener! Lots of bugles and full draw 2 times in 2 days!

From: Hank_S
25-Sep-20
The suspense builds!!!

From: GF
25-Sep-20
Now, that’s mo’ like it!

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
It’s pretty comfortable! The problem is when you have to sleep from 9am to 6pm you quickly run out of things to do!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
It’s pretty comfortable! The problem is when you have to sleep from 9am to 6pm you quickly run out of things to do!
We headed up Friday evening and got in a quick hunt. Nothing going on, very quiet and WARM.

Saturday morning.

Back into the first little honey hole with HIGH expectations. Complete bust. No elk seen or heard. We made the death march to another spot trying to get there before the sun started beating down on us. Nothing again. One more spot, but it was getting warm and I was sweating like a little pig. Steph was about done with me running up the mountain trying to get to the elk before it got hot. At 9am we called it a day. It was time for some pbj sandwiches and a nap in the hammock.

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Downloading videos and watching movies is a must. Thanks Randy for the good hunting shows!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Downloading videos and watching movies is a must. Thanks Randy for the good hunting shows!

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
I know. I’m pretty good looking...
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
I know. I’m pretty good looking...

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20
Ok ok...moving on.

Evening hunt...

About 5Pm we both had it with the damn hammock. We got on a knife ridge that run about 1/3 of a mile. Steph stayed 300 yards up the ridge and I went to the point. The plan was she would come get me if she heard a bugle. “Blow your hoochie mama and I’ll come running!”

About 5Pm, I hear “meow” “meow” “meow”. Everyone knows the sound of the hoochie! I grabbed my crap and headed up to her. She “thought” it was a bugle. She heard it 3 times but it stopped when I got there. It was almost go time, as the sun was dropping below the ridge. 15 more minutes and we’d have a consistent thermal.

I ran back down to the knife edge and told Steph I would work my way back up bugling. She stayed there listening. As I bugled my way back to her I saw an elk down in a meadow below us. Steph saw it too and we met up to come up with a plan. The elk was heading out way, it was a cow. She was ready to kill it. If it’s brown, it’s down. The elk was heading right for us and we got set up. By now the elk was on a dead run! She really liked my bugle!!!! I’ll let the video tell the story!

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's Link
Here she comes!!!

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20
The cow ended up running right at me. Steph was looking the other way waiting for her to follow the trail up the hill. She didn’t see her until it was too late and she got winded. I couldn’t help but laugh.

She came over and as I laughed about how I could have speared the elk and she needed to pay better attention the bull she heard earlier bugled! Oh man!!!! Let’s go!

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-20
With the wind perfect, we headed for the bugle. The plan was to put Steph in front, then back up 50 yards and call him in. Simple right?

We closed the distance to what we thought was 100 yards and we heard a stick snap right in front of us. I ran back and started calling. After a couple minutes the bull bugled again about 200 yards away. I rounded up Steph and we headed for him. As we snuck through the baby aspens I spotted his cow in a meadow 102 yards away. Steph dropped back and gave the “meow”.

The bull bugled and came into view. 92 yards. She meowed again and he bugled back. Here he comes. I was kneeling at this point, arrow nocked, thumb release dangling from the d loop. I decided it was time to stand up and when he disappeared behind a tree, I stood and drew my bow. We were on the same trail and he was on a collision course with me. The “meowing” was incessant and I gave her a wave to stop.

Here he comes, up the hill with one tree between us. He cleared the tree, 10 yards and still coming. He stared through me at the patch of trees that hid Steph. 9 yards, not sure what to do now. At some point he’s going to stomp me or see me. 8 yards without a worry in the world. There was no “sneak” in him. No cautious approach. He came plodding along. 7 yards...

From: BigSkyHntr
25-Sep-20
Keep ‘er movin!! ;) great story so far!

From: Jeff Holchin
26-Sep-20
And........?

From: tobywon
26-Sep-20
Come on now, I want the express train!!!! Train gotta keep on coming all night long...lol Great story!!

From: t-roy
26-Sep-20
Excellent stuff so far!

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20
There was no way to stop the bull without scaring the daylights out of him and most likely having him spin and run. He was walking almost directly at me, just barely to my left. At 6-7 yards I put it on the left side of his chest and shot.

It sounded like I hit a 2x4 and he spun. I immediately called and he stopped 15 yards away. I could see my arrow sticking out of him when he spun and my heart sank. It looked like I got about 50% penetration. As I stood there thinking about the worst case scenario, I heard him crash. Wow! He’s down.

We went down and saw the aftermath. It looked like a horror scene. Blood was everywhere. I had a sevr 2.0 in my quiver to go with my german kinetic xl’s. I pulled the sevr thinking it was going to be a longer shot. It ended up going through the shoulder but missing the ribs.

When someone asks why I shoot 84lbs and a 565gr arrow, here’s a pretty good reason. I think with my german kinetic the arrow would have been sticking in the dirt, but either way, a dead elk is a dead elk!

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Lots of blood... also, those reflective wraps GLOW when hit with a flash or headlamp.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Lots of blood... also, those reflective wraps GLOW when hit with a flash or headlamp.

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20
We got him cut up and the first load back to the trailhead by 1am. That first load always sucks with a heavy day pack already! Steph did awesome, hiking out 50ish pounds for 3.5 miles!

We got a good nights rest and made it back for the second load the next morning.

We need to figure out how to kill them closer to the truck.

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
2” left and I would have missed the shoulder! I didn’t lead him enough when he was walking.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
2” left and I would have missed the shoulder! I didn’t lead him enough when he was walking.

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Full 2” cut on the hide.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Full 2” cut on the hide.

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Steph was walking ahead of me and I looked down, wtf? When I skull capped him I guess I cut it perfectly to expose the brain. It fell out and landed perfectly upright. Pretty funny.

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
The next day was the early winter storm and I was able to hang him for 3 days in the garage. It never got above about 43 degrees and with the lows closer to 30, he stayed super cool.

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
For the drought conditions we faced I’ve never seen so much fat on an elk.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
For the drought conditions we faced I’ve never seen so much fat on an elk.

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Butchering always goes so much faster with extra help!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Butchering always goes so much faster with extra help!

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20
Well there’s part 1. I’ll work on part 2 later!

26-Sep-20
Nice recap, It’s great you get to hunt with your girlfriend.

It’s a nice luxury to shoot a setup that pretty much eliminates the worry of angles and hitting shoulder bones.

From: Bowfreak
26-Sep-20
Great write up! Congrats a nice bull.

From: GF
26-Sep-20
I’m a little confused… You hit him well forward in the shoulder, and yet you say you didn’t leave him enough… So was this a hard quartering-on angle?

I gather you didn’t figure you’d have a shot if you gave him a few more steps, then?

Not suggesting you did anything wrong, but I am trying to figure out exactly how it all went down.

That’s some great looking help you got there on the butchering detail!

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20
Gf, he was coming right at me. I needed to hit him 2” to his right, my left and I would have missed the shoulder. He was walking slightly to my left but almost straight at me so when I released it was perfect but he took a step that put the shot into his shoulder. That sounded confusing, haha.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Sep-20
Nicely done John. OH, by the way, your girl friend is welcome in our camp any day. She is a keeper. Looking forward to the rest of the story. my best, Paul

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20
Thanks Paul! She keeps threatening to go to one of brads get togethers. I told her she couldn’t come unless she killed an elk. So we might have a while!

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20
Redemption train.... Choo choo!

We headed back up Friday afternoon with the plan to hunt Friday evening, then Saturday and Sunday.

We headed up into our little “honey hole” to find it covered in cattle. Mother effers!!!!!

I let out a bugle and got a response across the small canyon. I glassed it hard and I didn’t see the bull. It appeared that he was up on top, perfect. We dropped down and across. I told her, “climb up the hill, when you get 20 yards from the top, stop and get ready. I’ll call him to the edge and when he looks over to see an elk you’ll have a chip shot! Go slow, take your time, don’t make any noise, and make sure he doesnt see you!”

She takes off, louder than a herd of buffalos. 30 seconds later she’s climbed what should have taken 5 minutes and she turns to me and throws her arms up in the air. Apparently, while she was looking at her feet, the bull was looking at her. He busted her at 20 yards.

“I told you to go quietly. That wasn’t quiet! I told you to go slow. That wasn’t slow! I told you to stop 20 yards from the top. You’re 10 yards from the top!”

She reminded me in a very curt tone that she has never done this and she’s trying her best. Ok fair enough. Let’s go find another one.

We stumbled upon a couple spikes and a lone cow. A bull bugled but we never caught up to him. I think it was the same one that busted her.

I could tell for the first time this season she was discouraged. That bull was in a perfect spot and he should have died. We headed back to camp with the plan to go all day the next day way up on top.

Day 2....chugga chugga...

We made it up the trail and bugled into a spot that usually gets a response. Nothing. Lots of people in the area, more than I’ve ever seen. Awesome....

We keep pushing up the hill, the wind is crap and inconsistent with a storm rolling through. We work our way up top and get a bugle from a dark timber, north facing slope. It’s a bedding area and I do my best to stay out of it, especially with shifty winds. We set up for a long afternoon siesta and hope for more luck in the evening.

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
The Colors were beautiful.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
The Colors were beautiful.

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
I’ve seen a lot of rubs. This might be the prettiest one yet.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
I’ve seen a lot of rubs. This might be the prettiest one yet.

From: ahawkeye
26-Sep-20
That's pretty cool looking forward to part 2. Thanks for taking us along.

From: Inshart
26-Sep-20
John, sounds like you for sure have a keeper there. Great story,,,,,,, so far.

From: badbull
26-Sep-20
I feel your anguish but this might be a good time to dig deep for some gentleness in this situation. Having elk hunted with two young sons and a granddaughter in the past, I know frustration is hard to overcome but I hope you can kind of laugh it off as you did earlier and realize how lucky you are to have such a lady. Really great story and hoping for a rewarding ending... Badbull

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20
That evening we tried and tried to get the wind right. The thermals never took over as the storm pushed through. We got on a bugling bull but he was heading out and everytime he bugled he was farther away. At least he was headed toward camp! Finally we decided to just charge after him with light fading. We bumped him but a quick cow call and bugle settled him down and we started the dance. He would bugle, I would cut him off. Steph was 20 yards in front of me in the thick cover. The bull sounded close and I could hear him pacing back and forth. According to the watch we had shoot time still but it was getting dark. Finally it was just too dark and I went up to Steph. As soon as I started to speak the bull exploded 20 yards ahead of me. It scared the crap out of me! Apparently Steph could see him the whole time but it was so dark she couldn’t make out anything more than a blob. Another close call! We headed back to camp in the dark.

That night we had to come up with a hunt for tomorrow. I wasn’t too excited about going back to the “honey hole” since we had just hit it the day before, and the other areas were getting a lot of pressure. I guess the honey hole it is.

We finished our dinner as it started to rain and we climbed into our sleeping bags, exhausted.

“John, John! I hear an elk bugling outside.”

Puuuuuurfect. I know where we’re hunting tomorrow morning.

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20
Bad bull, you’re absolutely right. Sometimes she asks questions that seem so obvious. It’s a good reminder how much she has to learn and how much knowledge we have gained from decades of hunting and being in the woods. She only cries once in a while. Like when she falls for the 4th time going down a steep grade with 50 pounds on her back. Oops!

26-Sep-20
Good stuff John boy.

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20
Ok let’s get this finished up.

We actually got to sleep in. We drove down a mile below camp so we could work into the wind and uphill. I bugled in the predawn darkness, it’s amazing how dark it is without a moon! A response! We got setup and he bugled again. I raked and called. He shut up. Is he sneaking in...or moving out? We cold called for 10 minutes. He was gone.

Another half mile down the trail and a bull grunted from the bottom of the canyon. Urgh... that’s a LONG way down. He didn’t respond again and I wasn’t about to drive 1500 feet for a bull that wasn’t excited to talk to me.

We kept working into the wind, bugling every 100 yards. Finally, a bugle. A good one, 200 yards ahead of us. We shut up and moved in. After 125 yards I cow called, he bugled...200 yards ahead of us. We moved up again. 100 yards later I cow called. Again, he was 200 yards ahead of us. We were busting our asses trying to keep up with an elk moving uphill. One more time! We charged ahead! I bugled and he responded 100 yards above us. Now we’re talking!!!!

We moved up 50 yards and I dropped back. I cow called and he bugled. I cut him off. I raked and he bugled, I cut him off again. This time a little more intense. He was quiet. A cow call got a deep bellowing bugle, followed by a series of chuckles. I gave him my best lipball and grunt, then beat the hell out of a baby aspen. He was close. He couldn’t have been more than 30 yards in front of Steph. The wind was perfect and would stay that way. He was fired up, but he wasn’t pissed. He answered every cow call, but ignored my bugles. After we went back and forth 15 or so times he bugled farther away. Urgh!!!!!

I went and grabbed Steph. “Let’s go!” She responded, “are we going to chase this elk all over the mountain?” I told her we were 75 yards away from a bugling bull...did she want to give up? Off we went up the hill.

Based on his attitude toward the cow call and bugle I decided to switch it up. I mimicked a cow elk that left her bull to go see the new bull up the hill. I called my way into him. He responded every time I cow called, with a grunt or bugle, calling us right into him.

His last bugle was close, too close to continue. He couldn’t hav been more than 35 yards above us. One more cow call. “GET READY!” I hissed.

Here he comes...I could see his legs coming through the underbrush. He wasn’t more than 30 yards. Right before he hit an opening “draw! Draw! Draw!” It was possible I was more excited than she was.

The opening didn’t provide a shot, but it provided a view of a big bull with long beams, big fronts that curled at the ends, and at least 6 points on one side. I remember saying to myself “oh shit!”

He stopped behind a fir tree. He would either come right at us and be straight on in the wide open, or keep going from left to right and stay in the junk. He kept going. Steph was still at full draw. Was she shaking from excitement or tiredness? When he got to a semi-Open spot I hit him with an aggressive mew. He stopped on a dime. She started to lean left and I knew she was about to let an arrow fly!!!!

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's Link
It’s hard to hear but if you turn up the volume you can hear me trying to coach her.

The sound of a bull bugling is so amazing. I’ll never get tired of hearing that sound.

From: Hank_S
26-Sep-20
Nice!

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20
That crack...that was tree number 2 in 2 years. It’s like that golf shot, where you stare at the tree to not hit the tree and what happens? Of course...you hit the damn tree!

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
See! Told you she got the tree!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
See! Told you she got the tree!

From: Ucsdryder
26-Sep-20
What’s hard to hear in the video is Steph start to have a meltdown. Her bow was about to get the ground tune, but I shushed her. The bull didn’t move! He heard it but had no idea what happened. I guess a heavy arrow out of a 38lb bow is pretty damn quiet!

“Don’t move!” I whispered. She waited until the bull looked up the hill and loaded another arrow. Are we going to get another shot at this?! It sure seemed like it!

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's Link
Was she lucky the bull didn’t take off running when her arrow? Absolutely! But I like to think that we were able to mess with that bull over 30 minutes on 2 different encounters that made him wholly believe we were elk and there was nothing to worry about.

Her pins go green, green, red, green, green. It might help explain the video.

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20
At the shot, the bull exploded out of there. I didn’t see the arrow hit, but it made a sound. The sound of an arrow hitting something soft. We waited a few minutes and walked up to the spot where the bull was standing. If we could find the arrow we might have our answers. As hard as we looked we couldn’t find the arrow. Maybe it was still in the bull?

From: t-roy
27-Sep-20
You’re sure dragging this thing out, John!....Loving every bit of it!

Also agree with trying to be cognizant to the many things that we assume they should know, but haven’t experienced yet. I almost ruined my wife’s desire to turkey hunt with me, by chewing her out for not doing something during a hunt, that seemed obvious to me. I’m thankful that she forgave me and accepted my apologies. I would have missed out on getting to share a bunch of fun hunting experiences with her, had she not.

Bring on the “rest of the story”!

From: deerslayer
27-Sep-20
Excellent write up! Great job so far!

From: Jeff Holchin
27-Sep-20
Good stuff!

From: Hank_S
27-Sep-20
Nice!

27-Sep-20
Looks like she picked the wrong red pin. Man, at the first shot I said out loud Oooo! That is hard for a beginner to get past. and get it together for a follow up shot. Looks like you definitely have the elk figured out.

At first I thought it was too high hitting an aspen limb. But it definitely sounded lick a hit. Fingers crossed

From: DroptineDC18
27-Sep-20
On the edge of my seat! Great recap!

From: Z Barebow
27-Sep-20
Wake up and start typing!

From: yooper89
27-Sep-20
Just catching up on this. Love that you got some video of the hunt. Really adds to it! Now let’s wrap it up eh!

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20
About 3-4 minutes after the shot, I heard something walking above us. Another elk! Then a bugle below is 100 yards. Obviously we got some attention from our bugling!

From the walking elk above us a crack as it stepped on a stick then a thud. That was weird.

“I see blood!!!!” Well she hit it. There was blood at the point of impact. We followed it down the hill for 10 yards, it was easy to follow, just spots but they were every couple feet. It was time to wait. I had zero confidence in where the shot hit and was worried that she caught liver/guts.

Antsy pants was ready to go. We settled on an hour wait time. 45 minutes into the wait I felt like I was sitting with a 5 year old waiting to eat a candy bar. Finally, an hour.

“Steph, lets go see what that thud was above us. That sounded really weird. Almost like something falling on the soft ground.”

Off we went. I made it 10 yards and put up the binoculars. I decided Steph should go first. Ya know....just in case he was up there and needed to be shot again! ;)

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's Link

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20
When I made it 10 yards I saw a tan rump 50 yards up the hill. I still don’t understand how he made it up there. The only thing I can think is that he didn’t realize he was shot. He took off and made almost a half circle, going uphill to get above us. Then he just bled out and fell over dead.

He either had cows up there or was still convinced we were elk and was trying to come back to us.

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's Link
Want to see excitement?

From: yooper89
27-Sep-20
Congrats!!

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
First blood, spotted by Eagle Eye!
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
First blood, spotted by Eagle Eye!

From: Scoot
27-Sep-20
Ucsd, are you familiar with the expression "out kicked his coverage"? You definitely should be! :)

Great story I've enjoyed it thoroughly.

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
“How do I do this?”
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
“How do I do this?”

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: dakotaduner
27-Sep-20
Congratulations Steph. yep she is hooked, great story sharing

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
My favorite pic.
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
My favorite pic.

27-Sep-20
What a great hunt! Congrats to both of you!

David

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20
The best part of the whole deal, maybe not the best part, but pretty dang good was that the elk died .52 miles from camp!!! One small rise to climb then flat all the way to camp. We made 3 trips and had it completely out in 3 hours! 1 hour round trip!! Can’t beat that!!!!

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20
Well that’s it! Thanks for following along.

27-Sep-20
Wow great hunt recap. And so cool you stuck with it, and she got her bull. And a nice one at that. So now we Know where all the elk were this year :^}

From: elkmtngear
27-Sep-20
That last video made me grin...awesome!

What a great Season for you and Steph, way to go !!

From: Bowbender
27-Sep-20
Outstanding!!! Thanks for sharing, great story!!

From: GLP
27-Sep-20
Enjoyed it very much! Can you get her to add thoughts?

From: BigStriper
27-Sep-20
Great Recap, and a Wonderful Ending. I think you got her Hooked. Congratulations to both of you, it just don't get any better.

Kurt

From: lewis
27-Sep-20
Great story thanks for sharing made my morning Lewis

From: Glunt@work
27-Sep-20
Thats....awesome! Great story and a big accomplishment

From: Quinn @work
27-Sep-20
Congrats Steph!!! That is awesome! Thanks for sharing the hunt

From: jordanathome
27-Sep-20
Super awesome!!!

From: NoWiser
27-Sep-20
Awesome!!! Thank you for taking the time to share!

From: RT
27-Sep-20
Congrats Steph!

From: Paul@thefort
27-Sep-20
"well that's it"! Well, probably not as I am sure there will be more to come in the future. Steph, you can come to Brad's hunting fest. my best, Paul

Oh, PS, bring John along also.

From: Inshart
27-Sep-20
WOW, that is just about as EPIC as it gets. I agree, can you get Steph to the key board to "Paul Harvey" the rest of the story from her perspective?

Be cool to hear what she was thinking before, during and after --- from the first shot till seeing it on the ground.

Or maybe even better yet - her thoughts all along? Like Paul does "Redemption train" part 2

From: Jeff Holchin
27-Sep-20
Well done, with both the hunts and the story telling!

From: ki-ke
27-Sep-20
Great share!! Congrats to you and your partner!! Well done

From: Hank_S
27-Sep-20
Great hunt and a nice write up...congratulations to both of you!!!

From: tobywon
27-Sep-20
Awesome!!! Congrats to you both. Thanks for sharing your story!!!

From: buckfevered
27-Sep-20
Congrats to both of you! Excellent write up. Enjoyed it a lot. Great to see your extra help with the butchering. I still remember my daughter wanting to help with our deer when she was very young (put in the high chair with a butter knife young). Always wanted to help cut “deer butt”. Your making great memories!

From: JohnMC
27-Sep-20
Congrats and great read!

From: lewis
27-Sep-20
Another shoutout as my wife is My favorite hunting buddy curious about Stephs bow set up gotta grandson coming up Lewis

From: mrelite
27-Sep-20
Congrats, good stuff thanks for posting!

From: Ucsdryder
27-Sep-20
Lewis, we played around with a lot of bows and she settled on a carbon rose...because it was purple. No just kidding. The carbon now was lighter and easier for her to hold than the aluminum bows we looked at. I “thought” she could work her way up from 40-50lbs but it was just too tough so we bought 30-40lb limbs and she was much more comfortable.

She’s shooting gold tip kinetic 500’s with 75 brass up front and 125gr Magnus stinger 2 blades.

Whisker biscuit and wise guy release.

From: BigSkyHntr
28-Sep-20
Sweet!! Congrats!!!

28-Sep-20
Awesome stuff John boy!!!!

From: Shiras42
28-Sep-20
This is what I needed to start my week off on a good note! Congrats Steph & John!

From: Hancock West
28-Sep-20
A story for the "Bowsite HOF" for sure. Congratulations to the both of you!

From: huntdoc
28-Sep-20
Fantastic hunt and recap. For me being inexperienced and still learning I gain a lot from stories like this one. Really helps when the simple steps that often get overlooked are brought out for someone like me. Thanks for taking time to post and congrats!

28-Sep-20
Great story Congrats!

From: Supernaut
28-Sep-20
Outstanding all the way around! Great recap and photos, thanks for sharing. Congrats to you both!

28-Sep-20
Thanks for taking the time for the recap. Really enjoyed it. Congratulations on both the elk and finding a good hunting partner.

From: KHNC
28-Sep-20
Yeah great job on a nice bull! Congrats!

Now maybe the trees will get a break! LOL

From: lewis
28-Sep-20
Thanks for the info damn sure works congrats well done Lewis

28-Sep-20
So neat to woman enjoying the archery gig these days. Congrats and many more.

From: Z Barebow
28-Sep-20
UCS- Where did she end up hitting it? (Once she limited out on trees!) Did you find the arrow?

A great story! Her excitement is priceless. Thanks for taking the time to write it up and share.

From: Finey
28-Sep-20
Great story man. Tell her congrats. There’s a lot a lot of guys out there this year that couldn’t do what she did.

From: badbull
28-Sep-20
UCS, unforgettable moments that you shared along with quite a woman. A lot of hard work resulting in success ! Congratulations to you both and thanks for a wonderful story..... Badbull

From: t-roy
28-Sep-20
One of the best threads on here, this year! Congrats to Steph and you as well!

From: Gonzo
28-Sep-20
Great thread & congrats to you both!

From: Bowsiteguy
29-Sep-20
How come there’s no side by side photo of her bull with yours? Hmm?

From: Brun
29-Sep-20
Congrats to you both and thanks for sharing!

From: Beav
29-Sep-20
What an excellent write up. Congrats to both of you!!

From: Grubby
29-Sep-20
Awesome! You both did great! Now if you want a real challenge I’ll come out next year!

Thanks for sharing

  • Sitka Gear