Moultrie Products
Semi Live 2021 Elk Season
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
bowhunt 01-Sep-21
bowhunt 01-Sep-21
bowhunt 01-Sep-21
BULELK1 01-Sep-21
WV Mountaineer 01-Sep-21
midwest 01-Sep-21
Bowboy 01-Sep-21
Scoot 01-Sep-21
Jordanathome 01-Sep-21
Old School 01-Sep-21
Jaquomo 01-Sep-21
bowhunt 01-Sep-21
bowhunt 01-Sep-21
hdaman 01-Sep-21
Oryx35 01-Sep-21
bowhunt 01-Sep-21
bowhunt 01-Sep-21
Guardian hunter 02-Sep-21
AZBUGLER 02-Sep-21
bowhunt 02-Sep-21
bowhunt 02-Sep-21
WapitiBob 02-Sep-21
lewis 02-Sep-21
APauls 02-Sep-21
bowhunt 03-Sep-21
bowhunt 03-Sep-21
bowhunt 03-Sep-21
Scoot 03-Sep-21
bowhunt 03-Sep-21
Hackbow 03-Sep-21
t-roy 03-Sep-21
bowhunt 07-Sep-21
bowhunt 07-Sep-21
bowhunt 08-Sep-21
bowhunt 08-Sep-21
bowhunt 08-Sep-21
Bowfinatic 08-Sep-21
ki-ke 08-Sep-21
bowhunt 11-Sep-21
bowhunt 11-Sep-21
bowhunt 11-Sep-21
bowhunt 11-Sep-21
bowhunt 22-Sep-21
bowhunt 22-Sep-21
bowhunt 23-Sep-21
bowhunt 29-Sep-21
bowhunt 29-Sep-21
bowhunt 29-Sep-21
bowhunt 29-Sep-21
Guardian hunter 29-Sep-21
bowhunt 30-Sep-21
Treeline 30-Sep-21
bowhunt 01-Oct-21
bowhunt 01-Oct-21
bowhunt 03-Oct-21
bowhunt 03-Oct-21
Guardian hunter 03-Oct-21
Treeline 03-Oct-21
Twinetickler 03-Oct-21
ki-ke 03-Oct-21
KSflatlander 03-Oct-21
bowhunt 03-Oct-21
elkmtngear 03-Oct-21
bowhunt 03-Oct-21
KSflatlander 03-Oct-21
bowhunt 03-Oct-21
bowhunt 03-Oct-21
bowhunt 03-Oct-21
bowhunt 04-Oct-21
bowhunt 04-Oct-21
bowhunt 04-Oct-21
bowhunt 04-Oct-21
Twinetickler 04-Oct-21
bowhunt 04-Oct-21
bowhunt 04-Oct-21
[email protected] 05-Oct-21
KSflatlander 05-Oct-21
goelk 05-Oct-21
ki-ke 05-Oct-21
BOWNBIRDHNTR 05-Oct-21
bowhunt 05-Oct-21
Scoot 05-Oct-21
Bottomdweller 05-Oct-21
Gene 06-Oct-21
bowhunter24 07-Oct-21
txhunter58 10-Oct-21
From: bowhunt
01-Sep-21
I’ve enjoyed reading all the hunting stories on here for years. Decided I should contribute a story this year. I’ll add updates as the season progresses. This year like most, I will be hunting with my buddy Tim. Hopefully we have another good season like most years, and I will have some good stories to tell!

From: bowhunt
01-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
6 mile hike above tree line on Mount Hood last year when she was almost 3 months old!
bowhunt's embedded Photo
6 mile hike above tree line on Mount Hood last year when she was almost 3 months old!
Like every other year, during the off season I’ve been trying to hike as much as possible to stay in good shape. It’s nice to feel like you can go where ever you want and not be worried about the hike being to hard or getting to tired. Starting July of last year my bag of concrete I usually train with has been replaced with my daughter Stella. We do tons of 5-7 mile hikes, and a few close to 9 miles. No matter what the weather is she is always just glad to be outside.

From: bowhunt
01-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Her first trip to the range at one month old last year before elk season
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Her first trip to the range at one month old last year before elk season
bowhunt's embedded Photo
On the 3D course last month
bowhunt's embedded Photo
On the 3D course last month
She also loves going to the archery range. We try to go shoot at least once a week.

From: BULELK1
01-Sep-21
She's a lil cutie for sure.

Enjoy your elk hunt,

Robb

01-Sep-21
She’s adorable man.

Good luck on the hunt

From: midwest
01-Sep-21
She's a cutie pie! Good luck!

From: Bowboy
01-Sep-21
Good luck!

From: Scoot
01-Sep-21
Haha- those guys took the words right outta my mouth! Definitely a cute little shaver right there! Good luck on the hunt!!!

From: Jordanathome
01-Sep-21
AWESOME!!!!

From: Old School
01-Sep-21
Hope you have a great hunt. It looks like you’ve added some joy to the off season prep time.

From: Jaquomo
01-Sep-21
Bring it! Looking forward to following along!

From: bowhunt
01-Sep-21
This summer seemed to go by faster than ever, before I knew it hunting season was only a week away. I typically hunt around 20 days throughout the archery elk season, depending on when we fill our tags, and what states we have tags in. Me and my friend Tim that I do most of my elk hunts with the last 10 or 12 years with are both self employed. This gives us some pretty good flexibility when hunting season rolls around. Lots of extra hours of work before we leave for each trip, and lots of catching up to do when we get back, no one is doing our work for us while we are gone!

Both of our jobs alow us the flexibility to usually hunt 3 or 4 day trips , and a 7-10 trip somewhere around the middle of september. On the shorter trips if we do kill a bull, neither of us HAVE to be back home. This allows us to hunt hard all the way up to when we head home the last morning of the trip. We don't mind the long drive back and forth each trip for just a couple full days of hunting. More often than not this strategy allows one of us to fill our elk tag by the time we do our longer 7-10 day hunt.

Our goal each year is to have a lot of fun, hunt hard every day like its opening day, stay positive, and for BOTH of us to get a bull. Unless one of has a once in a lifetime, or really limited entry type of tag we are not trophy hunters, and will shoot any legal bull.

From: bowhunt
01-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Starting the trek out to camp
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Starting the trek out to camp
Day before opening day:

Tim arrived at my house at first light, and we hit the road. Later in the afternoon we arrived where we park to hike out to our camp and we’re kind of surprised how few people were there. The amount of people hunting this area have really increased the last 5 years. That was exciting to see less rigs parked in the area than last year.

We were hoping to get out to our favorite spike camp location, get camp set up real quick, and then hike to the top before dark to do a little glassing.

From: hdaman
01-Sep-21
Good luck!

From: Oryx35
01-Sep-21
I love it! I've got a couple of training buddies too!

From: bowhunt
01-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Favorite camp spot
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Favorite camp spot
We made it to camp and got the Cimarron tent set up real quick, inflated sleeping pads, got sleeping bags situated, got our packs unloaded, and stuff hung up in the trees.

We really like this location. There is a tiny spring, a soft dirt bank above the spring we can shoot our bows out to 50 yards, and we have killed bulls in about every direction from this spot!

We got some water from the spring nearby, and headed to the top to check for sign on the way and do a little glassing.

From: bowhunt
01-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Glassing the evening before opening day
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Glassing the evening before opening day
On the way up top we crossed some areas with lots of tracks I. Some of the open grassy areas. It appeared there were good numbers of elk again in this particular pocket. Typically they don’t use these more open areas as much especially during day light until around the 10th of September. We did some glassing right before dark, but only saw a bear. No big deal, we don’t hunt the open areas much. Nearly all the bulls we kill out here are in the thick timber or, on really narrow open ridge tops right at the edge of thick timber.

02-Sep-21
Now I feel like my morning has taken a turn for the better. Rock on!

From: AZBUGLER
02-Sep-21
Nice! Good luck on your hunt! I’m only a few days behind you. Looking forward to following along.

From: bowhunt
02-Sep-21
Opening Morning:

We decided to head up to the top before first light. There was so much fresh sign we wanted to see if the elk might be there right at first light, and maybe we could call a bull in with some cow calls or intercept it heading for the timber. For whatever reason the elk in this area don’t like to be out in open during daylight much.

Also we hadn’t seen another person or camp since leaving the truck the day before. Some years a couple brothers with horses come in the day before the opener, or show up mid day Saturday. They camp just past the big open grassy top in the timber. We kind of figured this would be our only chance at catching these elk up there before human pressure drives them away.

We made our way up top before light, and glassed as the sun came up. The elk either already got down into the steep nasty timber, or just didn’t go out there the night before.

We decided to quickly hike about 30 minutes away to an area that has tons of timbered finger ridges, small open feeding areas, a couple springs.

We got over to the start of all these fingers, and dropped about half way down the hill in elevation. The thermals were still dropping, and we were hoping to be below any elk. Our plan was just to stay put and do some calling, hoping a bull would come sneaking in. After doing cow and calf calls, kicking some rocks around, and breaking some sticks nothing had came in yet. Tim let out a high pitched bugle , trying to sound like a young bull if that makes sense. About 30 seconds later a bull answered from across the canyon.

From: bowhunt
02-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Bugle came from the steep timbered face across large canyon.
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Bugle came from the steep timbered face across large canyon.

From: WapitiBob
02-Sep-21
Looks like another fun trip. Good luck!

From: lewis
02-Sep-21
Ok now you have my attention good luck Lewis

From: APauls
02-Sep-21
I'm committed! SOUNDS GREAT, GOOD LUCK!

From: bowhunt
03-Sep-21
That bull only answered one more time. At least we know there’s at least one one over there as usual. No other action for the rest of the morning. We headed back to camp and put some field tips on. Did a little shooting at 50 and 40 yards at a soft dirt bank.

From: bowhunt
03-Sep-21
For the afternoon hunt we were going to head about a mile north from camp, and then drop about half a mile down towards the tip of a finger ridge before it drops almost straight down. There’s a couple really good bedding areas where we have shot 3 bulls early in the season in previous years. We set up where I shot a 5 point in 2018. Tim called for about 30 minutes…nothing

We dropped 400-500 yards down to the next spot they like to bed. Tim killed a 5 point at this spot in 2018. While calling a bull bugled on the next ridge over. Nothing came in, and we didn’t have time to go over to that bull before it would be dark. It would probably take 45 minutes at least to get to him, and we had less than 30 minutes of shooting light left.

The bull that bugled was near the end of a ridge that runs about 2 miles. There’s several spots between camp and where the bull bugled that we have gotten into elk. We would head out there in the morning for day 2.

From: bowhunt
03-Sep-21
Second day of season:

We got up at 430 am and had some oatmeal and coffee. We stopped and called at a couple spots where we get into elk on the way to where the bull was the night before. At the second spot a bull came in silent behind us and across a small draw about 90 yards away. He didn’t see us, but you could tell he was feeling uneasy about not seeing any elk where we had been calling from. After about a minute he walked off. I moved about 70 yards over and out of sight to start doing some cow calls, Hoping to maybe get him to come by Tim. The bull never did come over.

The rest of the morning was pretty uneventful. We set up in Multiple spots where we thought the bull from the night before may be bedded, but never had anything come in.

The evening hunt we went out a different ridge, and had no action. There was plenty of sign, but no bugles and no bulls came in.

Not a super exciting trip, but we called in one bull and heard a few bugles. There was also a lot of sign in most of the areas we checked, so we’re expecting a good season. We never saw another person this first 3 days, and we didn’t spoon any elk so the elk didn’t get pressured at all.

From: Scoot
03-Sep-21
Very promising start! I predict you'll kill a bull before long!

From: bowhunt
03-Sep-21
Third day of season:

We got up at 430am to eat, pack up, and head back to the truck. About half way back we ran into a guy and his wife heading out to hunt for a week. They saw so many people the 3 rd week , they were just to g the first week this year. The. About a mile after that we ran into 3 more guys heading out, and shortly after that another guy!

Hopefully they all used their vacation time up for this early trip. Maybe there won’t be many around when the hunting gets good!

From: Hackbow
03-Sep-21
Looking forward to each installment!

From: t-roy
03-Sep-21
Good stuff so far. Good luck going forward!

From: bowhunt
07-Sep-21
Trip # 2 Day 1:

This weekend Tim and I were supposed to be meeting up with a friend of mine Troy, to hunt for a couple days. Tim had to cancel last minute so I headed out in the long drive to meet up with Troy, he lives a lot closer to where we are hunting.

The weather forecast had changed pretty drastically in the few days leading up to this trip. Originally it was supposed to be cooling down quite a bit, and possibly rain a couple days into the trip. That would have been great early season elk hunting in this area. It changed to increasing heat, HOT, HOT, HOT!

In this area the elk hunting is pretty tuff when it’s abnormally hot. They seem to not even want to come in silent to calls, unless you happen to set up or call really close to a bull(under 100yards). These encounters happen really fast, and it can be tuff to capitalize on them.

From: bowhunt
07-Sep-21
We got out to camp around 430pm and and headed for one of the long finger ridges a bull had bugled from the weekend before, and where the bull snuck in behind us on one of our calling setups. Last weekend when we went out there we also saw lots of tracks.

We set up and did some calling in several locations with lots of tracks, and where we have called bulls out of bedding areas before with no luck. Right before dark we got to the end of the ridge. I snuck up to the end, and there was a bull raking a tree below. It was pretty dark, the bull was standing in dark rocks, and he looked black like he had been wallowing. Some of the branches were also blocking his vitals. I turned back to Troy to tell him a bull was below, and when I turned back to the bull he was staring up at me. He must have stoped raking right when I turned my head back, and caught the movement when I turned back to look at him. He would have only been able to see the top of my head. He looked my way for 30 seconds and then slowly walked off.

From: bowhunt
08-Sep-21
Trip 2 day 2:

In the morning we worked our way across a steep hillside that has some open feeding areas, timber, and several large Boulder fields. The area is typically betters little later in the season, but some years there is a herd using it early.

We made our way through calling with no response. We also setup in a few spots that have been good previously and called for 20-30 minutes. The elk didn’t seem to have been using this area yet this year. The whole morning we only saw one area where it looked like a few elk had passed through recently.

For the evening hunt we decided to head over to a ridge Tim killed a bull on the last year. We made our way out, and set up to call in a couple different spots where I had bedding areas marked. After the second set up we went about 100 yards and I cow called a few times. A bull immediately responded very close by. We guessed 200 yards or so down the hill. I move up about 15 feet to where I thought I would have a shooting lane. Troy backed off about 80 yards to call. There were a few branches in my way, so I quickly needed to move so I could get a shot. Just I I moved the the bull came around a tree at 60 yards…busted

It was a really nice 6 point. He was coming in perfect, must have been closer than we thought. It was probably 10 or 15 seconds from when he bugled to when he popped out 60 yards away and caught me moving. I was pretty disappointed.

It seems like early in The season these bulls either sneak in silent, answer calls if they are a long ways away like across a large canyon, or wait to answer when you are less then 100 yards away.

From: bowhunt
08-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Looking down into drainage next to camp.
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Looking down into drainage next to camp.
Trip 2 day 3:

For the am hunt we were going cross a draw next to camp, and then side hill out to the end of the ridge where we saw the bull rubbing the tree the first evening of the trip. We were trying to stay around the elevation Of some benches on the side of the steep hillside where we figured the elk would bed, keeping the wind hood. There was quite a bit of tracks and rubs in the drainage right next to camp. We set up and called a few different times with no luck. Next we continues across the hillside making our way to the edge of the finger. This was another uneventful hunt.

From: bowhunt
08-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
We hiked off the ridge we were camped on, set camp in the bottom, and would hunt up to the red arrow in the evening.
bowhunt's embedded Photo
We hiked off the ridge we were camped on, set camp in the bottom, and would hunt up to the red arrow in the evening.
We went back to camp after the morning hunt and packed up. We were going to move to the other side of the drainage where I shot a pretty nice 6 point in 2019, and heard a couple bugles opening weekend this year. This area pretty much always has some elk.

We packed up, and headed down the hill. We got to the base of the ridge I wanted to hunt and set up camp. We worked our way up the ridge line for the evening hunt. Nothing ever answered, or came in silent on this hunt. Once it got dark we made our way back down to camp. We needed to get up at 430 am to hike back to the trucks, so I could make the long drive home.

It was a pretty boring trip, but at least we had a couple close encounters with bulls. There was also pretty good sign in most of the areas I like to hunt.

With plenty of fresh sign in multiple different areas, and a really good weather forecast for the next trip I’m hoping to have some more exciting stories and 1 or 2 dead bulls after the next trip. I’ll hunt by my self the first day or two of the next trip, and then Tim will meet up with me. 9 days straight of elk hunting during prime time, I can’t wait!

08-Sep-21
Thanks for taking us along with you. Good luck this weekend

From: ki-ke
08-Sep-21
Following! How do you leave that little girl behind?! Cotest thing ever...

Good luck next trip!!

From: bowhunt
11-Sep-21
Definitely going to be tough leaving Stella on this longer trip. She really likes my elk spaghetti for lunches, so I’m probably not welcome back home until I fill my tag anyways!

On the road right now heading out for a nine day trip. My pack has nine days worth of food and all the gear all need for any weather. Not planning to come back to the car until we kill at least one more or run out of food.

From: bowhunt
11-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Tim’s 2018 bull
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Tim’s 2018 bull
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Packing out my 2018 bull
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Packing out my 2018 bull
Tim and I have done pretty good this part of the season over the past seven or eight years. We both filled our tags around this time in 2013 2018 and 2019. We started hunting together a lot in 2012

Hopefully my next updates after this trip are a lot more exciting in the first couple trips.

From: bowhunt
11-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Tim’s 2019 bull
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Tim’s 2019 bull

From: bowhunt
11-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Packing out my 2019 bull
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Packing out my 2019 bull

From: bowhunt
22-Sep-21
I got back Sunday from my 9 day trip Sunday.

To start the trip out, we were hiking back out to the area we hunted opening weekend. We have been hunting this unit since 2013, and this area has produced very well for us over the years. The trailhead parking lot was packed. There are a lot of different directions you can go from here, and I was pretty happy it looked like pretty much nobody had been out where I was planning on going. There was a very heavy rainstorm the day before I arrived, so it was pretty simple to tell fresh elk or boot tracks.

From: bowhunt
22-Sep-21
We stopped to hunt the lower end of a drainage for a morning and evening before heading up to the top to our main camp spot. We had heard a couple bulls here the previous weekend.

The first evening was very uneventful. No elk seen or heard, zero fresh elk tracks seen.

The next morning we would have a little more time to get higher up in the drainage, it’s about 3.5 miles from the bottom up to the top, so plenty of pockets for the elk to hide in. This is all north face timber, with some small openings. If the bulls are quiet, or not coming in silent to calls, it’s pretty tuff.

That was exactly the case. About half way up the drainage we did start to get into some fresh sign.

We decided to head up top to our other camp spot. If the elk are quiet we know where multiple specific bedding areas are that we can usually get one to sneak into us with some cow calls.

From: bowhunt
23-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Always a herd and a bull to the left of this ridge.
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Always a herd and a bull to the left of this ridge.
We spent the next couple days hunting all our normal ridges and pockets that are typically good. For what ever reason there was very little fresh sign anywhere. Basically after heading out about 2-3 miles in 3 different directions over the course of a few days we only say a few fresh tracks after the huge rain storm! We have hunted this particular area since 2014, and usually around the 8 or 10th of September the amount of bulls in the area increases as the rut gets going.

We did have a bull, a cow, and a calf feed up out of the timber onto a open ridge top right at last light. The bull stood perfectly broadside at 70 yards, not a st I was interested in. Tim slid back about 80 yards, and did some cow calls, but the bull had zero interest. The bull, cow and calf all slowly fed away as it got dark.

We had covered lots of areas that have been great year after year, and we’re pretty confused on why the elk had seemed to of vanished from all this area.

From: bowhunt
29-Sep-21
We decided to move camp a couple miles and hunt the bottom of the main drainage for a day or two. There are several ridges that are pretty long that come down to the bottom that we figured we should be able to get into some bulls.

Once again, areas that were good in years past didn’t have much sign, and couldn’t locate any bulls or call anything in silent.

From: bowhunt
29-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Red line was our plan for getting to the top, and then over to check out the next two drainages.
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Red line was our plan for getting to the top, and then over to check out the next two drainages.
We had about 3 days left of this long trip to figure out what the heck was going on, and locate some elk. We decided to pack 2 days of food, and our sleeping bags in our packs. We would hunt our way up from the bottom to the top of the ridge. It is about 3 miles. Once at the top we could hunt the next couple drainages also and try to find some fresh sign. All three of the drainages are heavy timber, and north facing.

From: bowhunt
29-Sep-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
New camp spot near spring
bowhunt's embedded Photo
New camp spot near spring
We didn’t get anything going hunting our way up the drainage, but there was definitely some elk using the top half of the drainage. We decided we would hike about a mile to a spring, and drop off our sleeping bags and extra food. We could hunt quite a bit of area effectively camping at the spring.

From: bowhunt
29-Sep-21
After a short nap we headed north about a mile. We were going to go down a finger ridge that had a good looking ridge on each side. We figured we could basically be calling to 3 different ridges at once.

We only made it about a 1/4 mile down the middle finger ridge and started seeing very fresh tracks, poop, and rubs.

Jackpot!

We finally found an area that seemed to have at least one herd of elk using it heavily.

Shortly after that a bull responded to my bugle, and he actually sounded pretty fired up unlike the other bulls so far this year.

We were in the thick timber full of blow down and small trees. The bull was bugleing in his own after we got him going, so we just snuck into what we thought was 80-100 yards away.

29-Sep-21
I am really so happy to read this story. These are the threads that get my undivided attention. Praying for you guys. G

From: bowhunt
30-Sep-21
The bull ended up not wanting to budge an inch, and move off about 200 yards. The wind began to blow literally in every direction. We waited 10-15 minutes to see if it would get consistent maybe right before dark, but it didn’t. We backtracked up the ridge and out of there, not wanting to blow out this area that was being used heavily.

The next morning there were two bulls bugling on that ridge. Basically the same thing happened as the night before. The bulls wouldn’t come in, and then went silent.

This season was very odd this year up to this point. Bulls may answer, mostly only to bugles. They didn’t seem to care about cow calls, and we couldn’t really get them to get fired up, or even just come sneaking in.

I kept telling Tim I felt like I forgot how to call in elk!

From: Treeline
30-Sep-21
Excellent so far! Just like being there!

From: bowhunt
01-Oct-21
The elk went quiet the following morning as well. in all the different spots we checked.It was a very uneventful day of our 9 day trip. At this point we had to hunt our way all the way back down to the bottom of the main drainage. We had only left camp with two days of food a couple days earlier.

It was obvious to us we needed to pack up the tent and all of our stuff in the bottom of the drainage, and bring it up to the top where we could hunt the different finger ridges that the elk were using this year. We basically had about two days left on this trip. Then would have to go home to work for 4 days.

This upper camp location had us almost 8 miles from the truck, but the good news is I knew of a different spot to park that would cut it down to 4 or 5 if we got something, or when we returned for the following trip.

From: bowhunt
01-Oct-21
I’m going for the longest, most boring bowsite story in history!

I think I’m getting there :)

Recapping 20 days of elk hunting takes a while

From: bowhunt
03-Oct-21
We got to the bottom of the drainage and hiked back to our tent, extra food, and extra clothes.

On the way back up to the top where we were going tjj on set the tent up we heard a bull bugle. It was around 1130, and pretty hot out. We were hiking towards the direction of the bugle, so we just stayed quiet and kept heading that way. We got about 200 yards below him and he was still bugleing every 5 minutes or so.

He was up a steep hill we have been on before. It is all big timber, but is full of tag alder or willow type stuff. It is about 8 ft tall and almost impossible to get through. The way he was acting I hoped he was trying to attract some cows, and maybe we could get him to come down to us where we would actually be able to get a shot in a few different shooting lanes.if we went any closer to the bull you would even be able to shoot 10 ft.

He was getting g pretty fired up as Tim was cow calling, but just wouldn’t come down, no suprise.

From: bowhunt
03-Oct-21
I had Tim keep cow calling, and in some aggressive bugles bugles when the bull bugled. I was going to make my way up through the thick crap, and hope maybe there would be a small shooting window.

There was no way to be quiet going up, so I was trying to sound like one cow moving up to him, away from the cows and bull below(Tim calling). I did one or two cow calls every once in a while, and kept closing the distance. Just the sounds from me moving through all the thick crap was getting the bull extremely fired up. As I was going up , he was actually staying put. I was about 60 yards away at this point. I could see about 25 yards above me the crap opened up a little bit and it looked like that could be the spot where I could actually get a shot. For about the next ten yards the it got so thick I would even be touching the ground. I had to hang on branches, and walk on top of them. I was worried the sounds would spook the bull.

I got to the bottom edge of the small opening I would be able to shoot in and couldn’t believe this was all working! It sounded like the bull was just in the other side of a couple large trees at the top of the opening, maybe 30 yards above me.

I was still in the thick stuff on an almost verticals hillside. If I could get the bull to take a few steps down hill I had just enuff room to draw my bow.

As I cow called I snapped a branch in front of me, so I had about a 4 in opening through the brush and tree branches. The bull screamed and chuckled. I let out a couple more cow calls. All the calls I did from this spot I was directing the sound away from the bull. I was hoping this would make them sound a little farther away than I really was from him.

He was really fired up, but just wouldn’t budge. The next time he answered my cow call I cut his bugle off with the loudest bugle I could do, and I heard him moving down. I was just about to start drawing my bow, and he stopped just out of sight to destroy a tree.

03-Oct-21
Omg. What happened ?

From: Treeline
03-Oct-21
Go kill him!

From: Twinetickler
03-Oct-21
Sweeeet!

From: ki-ke
03-Oct-21
DOOOOOOoooooodddd!?

From: KSflatlander
03-Oct-21
Dang cliff hanger lol

From: bowhunt
03-Oct-21
Just got back from taking the baby to the zoo!

From: elkmtngear
03-Oct-21

From: bowhunt
03-Oct-21
I grabbed a big stick, and started to rake the trees in front of me. I was trying to brake some of the branches to make my shooting window a little bigger, then screamed at him again. Once again it sounded like he was going to come in, but he just moved to the side about 5 yards and started raking a tree again.

I couldn’t move any closer, and he wouldn’t come my way either. We went back and forth for a while, and he finally started to move away. I tried everything I could think of, He almost came into my shooting g land twice, but stopped to rake trees at the last second both times.

I was actually surprised that turned into a close call, my plan almost worked.

I had been gone from Tim a little over an hour by the time I crawled back down through all the crap. He recorded me and the bull screaming back and forth at each other when I had gotten really close in that opening. That was cool to listen too.

It was about a 4 mile hike up to our sleeping bags where we were going to set the tent up for the rest of the season. That was the only bull we heard the rest of the day.

From: KSflatlander
03-Oct-21
That day had to wiped you out physically and mentally. Great story telling!

From: bowhunt
03-Oct-21
Definitely

The whole season this year up to that point had been very odd. We were over half way through September, and that was the first bull we encountered that got fired up. Nearly all of our go to good areas had way less elk, and the few we got into were acting very different this year for whatever reason. Even other tuff years like this, we just keep plugging away and at least one of us kills a bull.

From: bowhunt
03-Oct-21
The next day we hunted the the tops of the three different finger ridges that run down to the bottom of the main drainage. We set up around several benches and suspected or known bedding areas to call. Nothing ever came in, and didn’t even hear a bugle that day.

The next morning hunt we hunted a couple hours, and then headed back to our tent.

We had to head back to the truck, and head home to work for 4 days. We left the tent, sleeping stuff, and everything else we would need when we came back.

On the last trip we would only have 2.5 days to hunt. It was a long hike, and a long drive home with both of us feeling pretty down and out. The likelihood of us not filling our elk tags for the first time in a long time was setting in.

From: bowhunt
03-Oct-21
After working for 4 days it was time for our grand finale. We finished another long drive, and a pretty good hike out to the tent. It was about 4pm so we hustled out to the finger ridge that had another good finger ridge on each side. It was a pretty quiet evening. We did get a response ofc the end of the next ride over after going about 1.5 miles down the ridge we were on. There was only about 30 minutes of light left, so we would have to go after that bull in the morning.

From: bowhunt
04-Oct-21
The next morning we headed straight out to where the bull had bugled. We made it about 500 yards down the ridge, and got a response from a ways off to our right. We went 300 yards straight towards the bugle, and heard him again. He was farther away, even though we moved 300 yards. We hustled up the next ride to try to catch up, and it sounded like he already made it down that ridge across the bottom, and was part way up the next ridge. He was bugling a lot pushing his cows.

As we were waiting for him to bugle I spotted a cow in an opening across the canyon. Then another, then another, and then he bugled and stepped out. It was a long ways away, but with no bumps you could tell he was a big heavy bull.

We were all in on following this bull to where ever him and his cows were heading to bed.

From: bowhunt
04-Oct-21
By the time we got from the ridge we were on where I saw the bull to the top of the ridge I saw him on we didn’t hear any bugles.

After a couple minutes I thought I heard a chuckle way up the drainage. We went 200 yards up the ridge we were on, and I bugled into the drainage below. After about 30 seconds we heard a faint response. If it was the same elk they went a long ways down into this drainage. We basically were running after this herd for the last hour or so, and now we’re hustling down a steep hillside towards the response to my bugle. The bull screamed below us, then another bull cut him off.

Perfect! We can slide in on the two bulls without any calling.

From: bowhunt
04-Oct-21
Then a third bull bugled across this drainage and to the left.

It sounded smaller like a satellite bull, but the other two were screaming back and forth. I think the bull we followed with his cows pushed them into a drainage with another herd bull.

It sounded like they were moving towards each other to fight.

There was a small knob between us and the closest bull. I got right to the top of it and was just waiting to hear them bugle to figure out where they were. If they hadn’t moved I should be 60-80 yards away.

From: bowhunt
04-Oct-21
I thought I heard a foot step to my, and then saw a white horn tip through some for tree branches. The bull had moved to the left and closer from the last spot I heard him. A few of the cows moved through a small opening, and if they kept going the same direction would wind me in another 10-15 steps.

The bull came through chest on and then turned. It was a giant bull with huge heavy fronts, a once in a lifetime type bull for me.

I could only see his hind quarter at 30 yards, and the cows ahead of him were about to wind me. It is so thick I couldn’t see the cows or any part of the bull but his hind quarter through a small window. I figured if I could move foreword 4-5 steps I might be able to see vitals and get a shot. I made it about 3 steps and he tended up, then trotted off.

He went around 80 yards and bugles for his cows.

I’m not sure if he saw me, or maybe Tim that was around 30 yards bend me.

A really close call on a true giant for the area I was hunting. It was 1130 am, and we had followed him and his cows over 2 miles through 3 different drainages

From: Twinetickler
04-Oct-21
You're killing me Smalls

From: bowhunt
04-Oct-21
Tim kept calling and I went after the other bull. I was hoping he would bed and and could sneak in, but he just kept moving out of the drainage, and eventually I couldn’t hear his bugles. I followed him for about an hour. I got within a couple hundred yards a couple times, but that was it.

From: bowhunt
04-Oct-21

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Sun setting on another elk season
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Sun setting on another elk season
That evening and the next day were dead silent.

That was the end of our 2021 elk season.

Now we have 11 months to get ready for the next season, and think about what we could have done differently.

05-Oct-21
Yep, that is elk hunting with the bow. So while it is still fresh in your mind, "what we could have done differently?"

Thanks for the recap and adventure. Paul

From: KSflatlander
05-Oct-21
Exciting hunt and great stories. Thanks for the ride.

From: goelk
05-Oct-21
Thanks bowhunt great story. wow sounds like my hunt! I had cover over 20 miles but had no bugles at all. I even hunted another unit as my tag was good for two units.

From: ki-ke
05-Oct-21
Great recap of a well hunted elk season. Tag soup isn’t awesome, but bow hunting for elk certainly is!!

Thanks for sharing

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
05-Oct-21
Nothing boring about that story at all. Kept me coming back for more all season! Thanks for sharing everything and taking all the time to write it up.

From: bowhunt
05-Oct-21
Hey Paul, we talked about what we could have done different a lot.

It’s hard to say really. We used the various tactics that have made us successful previously. For whatever reason the encounters we had just didn’t pan out this year. Our instincts of when we should be aggressive, and when we shouldn’t typically serve us well.

We have hunted this general area since 2012. Before this year at least one of us always got a bull, and both of us got one many times.

The elk weren’t using the normal areas that we had learned to be the “good spots” over all those years. Also when we got on elk, they just seemed to be acting different this year. It didn’t feel like we were hunting the rut until the last few days of the season. Not finding aggressive bulls usually isn’t an issue. We just switch gears, and end up setting up near where we think a bull is and call them in silent.

Usually we call in our bulls, this year my close calls were the result of me aggressively going to the bulls that were bugling, and hoping to be able to get a shot in the thick brush and timber once I was in shooting range.

Hopefully next year the elk are acting a little more like “normal”!

From: Scoot
05-Oct-21
Dang, I was cheerin' for ya! Sounds like a lot of fun was had and time in elk country is always a wonderful thing! Thanks for sharing your story.

05-Oct-21
Great story! Thanks for taking the time to write it! Exactly why I come to bowsite! 11 months seems like forever, but it sure gets here fast. Good luck!

From: Gene
06-Oct-21
I enjoy following your hunt and those of others. Good job and better luck next year.

From: bowhunter24
07-Oct-21
I really appreciated your write up and it sounds like you have a very good success rate so I guess sometimes the animal gets a break and next years bull will be extra rewarding! I hope to hear that story as well thanks again!

From: txhunter58
10-Oct-21
Good thread

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