Contributors to this thread:
Tule Elk hunt on the Miller Ranch
So I'm about a month out from my Tule Elk hunt with Richard Eriksen on the Miller Ranch. I'm basically on stand-by until the bulls move down onto the ranch and I get a call from Richard to come out. He says the 25th of August is typically the sweet spot and should be ready to roll around that time. Kota-man took the largest Tule ever killed with Richard in 2020 and I'd love to tag one just like his. lol!
Any words of wisdom from the folks that have chased Tule's would be much appreciated!
Good luck and you’ll probably need sunscreen.
Good luck! Hope you get a bomber!
No words of wisdom, but good luck. I look forward to a hunt recap.
No experience with the Tule’s, but have a helluva hunt! With the roll you’ve been on, I have no doubt it’ll be another one for the books, Eric!
Have a great hunt man. Kill a slob! Really appreciate you bringing us along on the adventures you’ve been rocking lately. Recurve for this hunt?
Best of luck Eric. You got this.
No wisdom to offer other than enjoy every minute! I appreciate you bringing us along, and best of luck to you.
@SBH, I'm taking it and will whip it out in the unlikely event that I can get him under 25-30 yards. Richard says typical shot distance is around 60 so I'll need the missile launcher on this one. lol
You’re in good hands with Richard…
Your going to have an awesome hunt , I live only 15 miles from Tule Elk country , some of my friends have killed some nice bulls !
Richard will put you on them. Good luck!
Got it. Well I hope you get to put a sharp pointed object thru one regardless of what bow you use to fling it out there. Makes sense on the longer distance shots.
I sure hope you let the air out of a big-n. Good luck
Good luck! I sure was surprised how hard they rutted during the 98* F afternoons the first week of August! They like water and wallows.
What does a hunt like that cost? 60 yards , wow, dont shoot enough weight to get penetration,,,,, sounds like a cool hunt...... What state is it in
Eric, I hunted Tule Elk at the Shamrock Ranch. I have a video of that hunt.....somewhere. If I can find an extra copy I'll send it your way....
Have a great hunt Eric! Looking forward to the photos and story!
How fun for you--------->
For sure share many Pix with us all,
groundhunter...............................I don;t think Eric has ANY problem with penetration! ;-)
Here we go again.....................................BUCKLE UP BOWSITE.....................................................this is gonna be another goodun! : )
Good luck and have fun Eric!
Good luck!! What's the over/under on if you can carry a gutted Tule 100 yards across your back?
Thanks for all the support fellas!
The 100 yards might be a chore. lol! I could def handle a couple hind quarters!
Send lots of pics!
Then send more!
Can't wait to see how this hunt plays out. Good luck!!
Good Luck. I hunted Tule Elk a couple years ago during the Owens Valley archery hunt. Fun critters to hunt & they really like to fight during the rut. Broken antlers are common. My only advice would be is they are a lot smaller then Rockies or Roosevelt Elk & keep that in mind when judging a bull. You'll have experienced people helping you so probably not an issue?
Took one off the Shamrock...really enjoyed Northern California, much more than i anticipated. Shot mine over the waterhole where many an archery tule fell to a sharp broadhead. Gonna be hot.
Apauls don’t give him the easy way out…..ungutted 50 yards hahaha.
Sorry Eric I had to one up the competition!
Good luck. Just remember: if Richards tells you to do something (like "put an arrow on" or "draw"), do it.....
If it doesn't make sense as to why, do it but ask him about it 15 minutes later. When he is gutting your bull.
Looking forward to this. Wishing you the best of luck.
Already an incredible year in the books Eric...just going to get better! Best of luck!!!
Know how many hours you work to make these hunts happen, pulling for you to make this hunt a successful one. PROUD DAD!!!!!! This one for sure is not in Alaska!
Far out l! Looking forward to the recape
Lived near the Owens valley Back in late nineties. Loved eating the Tule elk in the valley. Good luck
I can promise you won’t kill a tule on the Miller ranch this year :)
Good luck! Here is the dink Kota shot a few years ago. Finally he killed a nice bull in 2021…
I was going to say exactly what Matt said! Listen to Richard and you’ll be fine. Zack posted my 2017 bull. Here’s the “big” one… Good luck man!
Here it is…Killed this one 8/24/21. The first one was 8/25/17, so yeah, I ageee the 25th should be the “sweet spot”.
why did you shoot such a little dink bull Kota?:):)
If Kota can do it anyone can! :-)
But seriously-good luck!
"If Kota can do it anyone can! :-)"
Yeah, and he did it twice.
If he would just stop shooting the first bull that walks out in front of him, he might get a big one.
Brutal…who needs friends when I have you guys… ;)
HUGE Tule! Wow what an elk....would be a great Rocky or Roosevelt (which it looks like)....much less a Tule! Congrats Cory!
Damn, both of those are dang nice kota!
NICE bulls kota!
You all set to go Eric? ..........................................getting close now! ;-)
@Rut Nut.... sitting on GO! Bags are all packed and I'm just waiting on the call. I did hear from Richard yesterday. 3 younger bulls are on the ranch and they're doing some bugling so things are warming up. We're waiting for a little bit better caliber of bull to show up before I buy tickets though. He's still thinking they need a couple more weeks.
Sounds good Eric! I'm GLUED to this thread..................................... ;-)
I got a call from Richard earlier in the week. Bulls are moving down onto the ranch with some bugling being heard. The bulls aren't quiet the ones we're targeting so I'm still waiting for "the call." Things seem to be progressing as expected and Richard is still thinking the 25th, give or take a day or two, will the the sweet spot. Time is ticking........
Got the call! Wheels up at 5:50pm today. Richard has some decent bulls spotted and is saying the big ones aren’t far behind. I’ll update the thread as things happen.
Good luck Eric! Safe travels and straight arrows, the good times are here!
Good luck, Eric! Shoot straight!
Good luck! Been waiting for this....................
That’s a great bull Kota !
Bowjangles, good luck and get a biggun !
Exciting! Looking forward to this!
I forgot how pretty California is and how ugly the gas prices are.
Good luck Eric! We will all be waiting on pics and updates impatiently I'm sure.
A quick pit stop in Willits to grab my hunting license and to get a bite to eat before heading to the ranch. The plan for today is to get a feel for the land so I want be falling over myself in the morning when we head in. Hopefully we’ll get some decent bulls spotted.
Good luck...Shoot straight!
Should say Heart of Blacktail County.... ;-)
Good Luck! Shoot Straight! It is Beautiful! Side note I’m not sure which animal had the most ticks, my Tule Elk or a Manitoba Black Bear.
Good luck bro! Shoot straight. Can’t wait to follow along
Looking forward to this! Best of luck!!
Definitely following this one.... good luck out there!
Aim small, miss small. Good Luck.
Watch your feet.....I almost tap danced on a 5' rattlesnake's head when I was out there.....
Super awesome and exciting!!! Good Luck!
Good luck Eric, watching this tread -- I only have a couple days so hurry up will ya. LOL Leave for CO elk at 0-dark thirty Tuesday morning.
Well, got a call from Eric at the end of his first day. Will let him give the update when he get some time…
Day one is in the books and phrases like “new world record” are being tossed around.
More to come when I’m into better signal.
As always I appreciate the support from the bowsite crowd. Y’all are the best!
Damn. That's awesome! Great bull no matter what he scores out at. Congrats. You must have a Golden Horseshoe.
WOW! That's a dandy elk regardless of sub-species, an over the top Tule.
Congratulations my Friend!
That was a short hunt! Beautiful bull. Long tine length. He’ll score well.
What a bull! Congrats Eric!
Next time just shoot it from the jet flying over…. lol Way to not waste any time!! Congratulations beautiful bull
WOW! Eric doesn;t mess around! ;-)
Way to "Git-er-dun" Eric! Now let's hear the story................................you have plenty of time now! : )
My goodness that's a monster Tule! Looks like you made a great shot.
What took so long?? Congratulations, awesome bull
Looks like you found one of those “decent bulls” !!! Bittersweet I’m sure...quick hunt but a giant bull. Congrats Eric!
Dude, you are on a serious streak lately!! Congrats!
Damn…. That took all of 36 hours to fly land buy license find and kill a giant…congrats man!
That's an understatement, Jared! Need some of that Bowjangles juju to rub off on me!! Congrats again, Eric!
Wow what a bull! Well done. You are certainly on a roll!!
GEEZ man! You are having year you will never forget! Congratulations.....again!
Outstanding... congratulations. Ed F
Record bull, in record time!
Rock on, Sir !!!
Definitely don’t pass up in the first few minutes/seconds of the hunt what you would shoot on the last day!
Gotta love it when it happens right off the bat…
WOW! Great bull. Congratulations!
Wow great Bull Thanks for sharing looking forward to your story
Awesome bull! Can't wait for the full write up. Congratulations!
Congratulations my friend, what an incredible run
Good one Eric! Congratulations!!!!
Too good to be real......but there it is!!! Congrats!
Knockin'm down! Great bull, congrats
Absolutely incredible…….great bull and congratulations!
Awesome animal but probably the most anticlimactic of all the hunts you've taken us on! Lol Congratulations Eric!
That didn’t take long. Congrats on a super bull!
Congrats man! Worst part is he makes your biceps look small!??
Congrats on a great bull, Eric!
Eric must be hung over from the celebration! ;-)
“If you weren’t so damn big, it would make that elk look a hell of a lot bigger!!!”
“Haha. 275lbs of elk-dwarfing man!! Lol. “
Good to have a big guy like that in camp for packing out chores… especially elk, moose or bison!
Definitely on one hell of a roll!
LMBO! You could call it: “The Eric Effect!” ;-)
So we’ll pick it up upon my arrival to Sacramento.
After the super smooth, nonstop flight from DC to Sacramento I head over to grab my rental truck and I’m off. I had planned on staying in Sacramento for the night but decided to just make the drive up to Willits that night instead. It was only 8pm PST and I didn’t feel too jet lagged so off I went. 3 hours later I make it. I still need a hunting license before heading to Richard’s. After finding the True Value that sells them I crash for the night around 1am.
I wake up at 4am sharp and I know that there is zero chance of me getting more sleep. After 3 years of waiting the time to hunt Tule’s was finally here and I was gassed up big time. I passed the time with some phone games until True Value opened at 10am. Once I had my license I put a call into Richard and head over. His place was a gorgeous 30-40 minute ride from Willits. After introductions and a tour of the hunting lodge I go about unpacking, sorting gear and shooting arrows. Shots at 20, 40 and 60 all hit the mark so any concerns about my bow were quickly alleviated. I put on my war paint and it’s go time. It’s 3:30.
The plan was to head over to the ranch, set a few blinds and watch the Elk which had moved off of the property and back up the hill. There is no water on the mountain so the Elk are forced to the ranch to water themselves. We set 2 blinds up in known travel areas and back off to get a better view of the hill. We settle in and start looking for movement. It’s 5:15
30-45 minutes later we spot what looks like a good bull moving to the ranch with purpose. At first glance I could make out very little about the bull with the brush obscuring my view. As he passed through a thin spot I notice HUGE whale tails on him. This was super exciting! We decide to make a play. It’s 6.
He was on a straight line path coming down the hill. Had he continued his path he would have crossed onto the property and then walked down a huge stack of hay bales 8-9 bales high and 50-60 bails long. The plan was to tuck back into the end of the hay bales and let him walk by. Of course the bull had other ideas. Once we lost him behind the bales he took a 90 degree turn and walked along the side of the hill into thicker cover. I waited to try to catch more movement before adjusting my position. A few cow calls and a bugle got him fired up. He bugled back and commenced to thrash a tree for several minutes. It was during this exchange that I finally realized what all the fuss is about Elk hunting. It was AMAZING!! The vocalization, the raking and the anticipation of seeing the bull without obstruction was so exciting!
Finally he’s heard enough and is on the move. He starts moving along the side of the hill at a slight downward angle. It’s obvious that he’s heading to a distant water tank and once he drops out of sight into a creek bottom and we book it. There was a massive oak about 65 yards from the tank. That’s where we needed to be!! It’s 6:45.
We blaze a trail to the tree and set up. Richard takes a seat and I’m standing behind him. I range the water tank at 62 yards, dial in my sight, nock an arrow and wait. I can feel the butterflies in my stomach as my eyes dart back and forth trying to find any hint of movement. Finally I see it…..the tips of his antlers coming up from the creek bottom. He stops just short of crossing the road to check the scene before committing and was facing us dead on.
Looking at that Elk with the fading California sunlight on him and only one word came to mind….majestic.
I’m finally getting a clean look at the bull and this is the exact moment where my inexperience decides to show up. My stomach dropped to the basement and my heart takes the elevator straight to the penthouse. This bull had it all, size, shape, mass, symmetry and those huge whale tails! I’m officially a wreck and this bull is coming to the tank on a string! Every step he takes makes my heart beat faster as the tunnel vision starts setting in. In my mind this bull is a complete Titan of an animal. That being said this was my first Elk hunt and I’m smart enough to know that I don’t know shit about scoring a bull on the hoof so I ask Richard……”do I shoot this bull?” He’s response couldn’t have been more perfect. He simply said “I can’t make that decision for you” and I’m glad he didn’t. He wanted me to shoot a bull that I wanted to shoot and not one that I was told to shoot. When he made that comment I imagined what he’d like in my home with that perfect symmetry and those whale tails and I decided to take him, score be damned.
My heart is still banging when I pull the string back. I settle in as best I could and send an absolutely awful shot at the bull that grazes him low. 100% not a fatal shot. The bull makes a quick step forward as I nocked another arrow and drew. This time the arrow COMPLETELY misses the bull. This thing is turning into the Wild West in a big hurry and my name is Tex. The bull hears the arrow pass, spins to his right and trots maybe 10 yards. As I pull my third arrow out of the quiver (so embarrassing) I take a deep breath and tell myself that this is it, there won’t be another shot after this. The pin settles, I feel my thumb contact the release and I pull through the shot cleanly. The arrow hits the bull tight to the shoulder and buries in his off-side shoulder. There is a massive amount of blood at impact and as he runs off his opposite side leg is lame. It’s clear that I hit the good stuff. The bull went maybe 50 yards before expiring. It’s 7:15.
I try to pull myself together and offer Richard an explanation as to what in the hell just happened. The best I could come up with in the moment was “I almost fucked that up.” Richard replied in typical Richard fashion with, “ya think?” After a full day of running those shots through my mind there isn’t anything I could have done differently, other than not shoot at all, that would have changed the outcome. I practice regularly, I’m confident in my shooting and typically shoot straight. Nerves and inexperience got the best of a rookie Elk hunter here and I’m exceptionally lucky to have gotten my bull at all!
I gave myself a few minutes to gather my thoughts before going over to check out the bull and when I did, oh boy!!!! He is one of the most spectacular animals I’ve ever had my hands on. He’s even more impressive up close and beyond anything I thought was possible. I couldn’t be happier with him!
After the recovery we go about the business of pics and butchering. The bull was 612lbs on the rail and had a 4” layer of fat on him. He was a beefcake!
Hey, it’s like the old saying........................”I’d rather be lucky than good, any day of the week!(and twice on Sundays! ;-)
Congrats “Tex!” : )
Thanks for the honest recap. We need more pics! ...of everything!
Spectacular! Congratulations on your first elk! Unbelievable to get an animal in that class over many lifetimes of hunting and here you go and make it look easy! Awesomeness!
Holy crap! I almost shat myself, during the recap of the last few seconds…..I need a drink.
Thanks for sharing!! Great write up and big congrats!!
"Richard replied in typical Richard fashion with, “ya think?”" LMAO! That is soooo Richard right there! Awesome hunt, congrats on a huge Tule!
So you are human! I was starting to wonder. Congrats on yet another amazing trophy!
DUDE!!!! Somehow I managed to read the recap before seeing the pic. That was such a freaking great story. Felt like I was there. So awesome. Congrats!!!!
I just love the obvious excitement, the humility, everything about that story. Everything.
Hey, I bet even Babe Ruth hit a few Home Runs after fouling off the first pitch and whiffing on the second! ;-)
CONGRATS again on hanging in there and hitting a Home Run! : )
I thought Tule's were supposed to be smaller.................... Congrats!!!!!!!
Good on you for admitting that even the best of hunters have their less than stellar moments. It’s the thrill of the hunt that gets to us all at times, no one is immune to it. Congratulations on your first elk!
Awesome bull and great story. Congrats!!
After that recap Eric I’m having a whiskey on the couch for you…and one for me. Congrats again man!
Congrats and thanks for the the real story!
Been in a few “multi-shot” hunts myself. Sure appreciate the whole story. Enjoy your success.
Absolutely perfect. Congrats
Son, your write up on your elk hunt was second to none, glad you told the whole story as it happened which is seldom done. That's my Boy!!!!
Nice eric, glad you got it done so soon. I'm leaving Tuesday and was hoping to read about you taking one before I left.
What a beautiful elk!!!!!!!!!
So fun to read the story. Congratulations on a great hunt and bull! Thanks for taking us along.
All that “inexperience” and “nerves” are the reason we do this. I’m jealous, you got 3 shots at Tule, I’ve only taken one! Congratulations!!! That Bull is a Beast!
Hot dang!! Congratulations!!
Hot dang!! Congratulations!!
Congrats and thanks for a great write up.
@zachman and kota….I finally get the “you won’t kill a bull on the Miller Ranch this year” joke. Lol. I couldn’t imagine hunting that property successful. Tough country.
Bags and meat all made it home. Had some elk tacos to celebrate and wow was that meat amazing!! Here are a few more pics from the hunt.
Congrats!!! Heck of story! Thanks for taking the time to tell it and post up the pics.
What is your next hunt?
I’m off for deer season. Next travel hunt is Brown Bears up at Jonah’s place in late May!
You mean to tell me we have to wait until LATE MAY for another Bojangles adventure? Jeeze it’s gonna be a long 9 months hahahah
Very nice Tule….congratulations!
Oh my-what a bull!!! Congrats again sir! What did he green score if I may ask?
Beautiful bull, congrats!
@MA-PA it’ll be a much needed break. I’m worn slam out! Lol.
@No Mercy Richard and were getting 333” plus or minus a little. Zack is putting an “official” green score on it once he has it back at his place. Hoping like hell that he can find an inch or two!!!
Nice one, congratulations!!
Well done! Living here and seeing them really makes you appreciate seeing someone get to hunt them.
3rd's are a little short.... should've gave him another year.....
Just kidding. Awesome bull! Congrats. Thanks for sharing your hunt here.
Great bull/story Eric. So glad it all came together!
Great bull, congratulations.
Thanks for the recap and congrats once again!!
Congrats Eric! Now that you have have sometime on your hands the Bill's are looking for a strong Tightend! Ever play any football?
Having size is a semi-recent development. I graduated HS at 6'1", 135. No football for me! lol.
Congrats on a giant!!!
Great write up, story telling and pics!!