Moultrie Products
My Elk Season 2022
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
bowhunt 30-Aug-22
T-rex 30-Aug-22
bowhunt 30-Aug-22
bowhunt 30-Aug-22
bowhunt 30-Aug-22
midwest 30-Aug-22
bowhunt 30-Aug-22
bowhunt 30-Aug-22
bowhunt 30-Aug-22
Pop-r 30-Aug-22
maxracx 30-Aug-22
Scoot 30-Aug-22
bowhunt 30-Aug-22
bowhunt 30-Aug-22
bowhunt 30-Aug-22
bowhunt 30-Aug-22
bowhunt 31-Aug-22
bowhunt 31-Aug-22
SBH 31-Aug-22
bowhunt 31-Aug-22
bowhunt 31-Aug-22
bowhunt 31-Aug-22
KHNC 31-Aug-22
bowhunt 31-Aug-22
bowhunt 31-Aug-22
bowhunt 31-Aug-22
bowhunt 31-Aug-22
SBH 01-Sep-22
ND String Puller 01-Sep-22
easeup 02-Sep-22
midwest 02-Sep-22
Tracker 03-Sep-22
bowhunt 07-Sep-22
bowhunt 07-Sep-22
bowhunt 07-Sep-22
bowhunt 07-Sep-22
bowhunt 07-Sep-22
bowhunt 07-Sep-22
bowhunt 26-Sep-22
bowhunt 26-Sep-22
Jordan 26-Sep-22
Fields 26-Sep-22
TGbow 26-Sep-22
Norseman 26-Sep-22
bowhunt 26-Sep-22
bowhunt 26-Sep-22
bowhunt 26-Sep-22
bowhunt 27-Sep-22
bowhunt 27-Sep-22
bowhunt 27-Sep-22
bowhunt 27-Sep-22
BOWNBIRDHNTR 27-Sep-22
bowhunt 27-Sep-22
Bigfoot 27-Sep-22
bowhunt 27-Sep-22
bowhunt 27-Sep-22
bowhunt 27-Sep-22
bowhunt 27-Sep-22
bowhunt 27-Sep-22
bowhunt 27-Sep-22
jordanathome 28-Sep-22
drycreek 28-Sep-22
bowhunt 28-Sep-22
bowhunt 29-Sep-22
bowhunt 29-Sep-22
Jordan 29-Sep-22
bowhunt 29-Sep-22
bowhunt 29-Sep-22
bowhunt 29-Sep-22
bowhunt 29-Sep-22
bowhunt 29-Sep-22
bowhunt 29-Sep-22
bowhunt 29-Sep-22
bowhunt 29-Sep-22
Inshart 29-Sep-22
bowhunt 30-Sep-22
bowhunt 30-Sep-22
bowhunt 30-Sep-22
bowhunt 30-Sep-22
bowhunt 30-Sep-22
bowhunt 30-Sep-22
yooper89 30-Sep-22
bowhunt 30-Sep-22
bowhunt 30-Sep-22
bowhunt 30-Sep-22
Hancock West 30-Sep-22
Fields 30-Sep-22
Beav 30-Sep-22
hdaman 30-Sep-22
t-roy 30-Sep-22
ND String Puller 30-Sep-22
bowhunt 30-Sep-22
bowhunt 30-Sep-22
Jim McNamara 01-Oct-22
Guardian hunter 01-Oct-22
Dollar 01-Oct-22
HUNT MAN 01-Oct-22
Rock 01-Oct-22
Willieboat 01-Oct-22
bowhunt 01-Oct-22
WV Mountaineer 01-Oct-22
Scoot 01-Oct-22
Jordan 01-Oct-22
RT 01-Oct-22
BC 01-Oct-22
SBH 02-Oct-22
From: bowhunt
30-Aug-22
I did a long play by play of my elk season last year on bowsite, and for the first time in over a decade neither my buddy or I got a bull!

That made for a not so exciting thread. Hoping to have a more exciting season this year.

I’ll update with stories and pictures as time allows. We have around 20 days scheduled to hunt this year, so hopefully there will be pictures of 2 dead bulls along the way.

From: T-rex
30-Aug-22
Good luck!

From: bowhunt
30-Aug-22
We arrived at the trailhead and were pretty happy there were way last vehicles than the last couple years. It looked like maybe two trucks with horse trailers that might be heading out hunting, and no other vehicles that for sure looked like hunters. Just a few Subarus or Mercedes’ suvs from other states that looked like hikers.

We threw our packs on and headed out on the hike to our favorite spike camp spot.

From: bowhunt
30-Aug-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
About a mile down the trail it’s always nice to get the view of the area we like to hunt. Great elk county in every direction. The weather forecast was looking really good for this trip. Temps in the low sixties and cloudy opening day. Great elk hunting weather in this area.

From: bowhunt
30-Aug-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
We got to our camp spot, set up the tent, got water, and headed up to check for elk sign at the top of the ridge in some open meadow areas. We also checked the two other places within about a mile of us where people typically would be.

There were no other people up there, so we had a lot of area to ourselves.

From: midwest
30-Aug-22
Good luck!

From: bowhunt
30-Aug-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
With no other camps on top, we planned to hunt some large open grassy areas at first light. If no people have been around there will typically be a group of elk feeding out there at first light before they head to the timber to bed. After any hunting pressure they don’t really use this area during daylight any more.

From: bowhunt
30-Aug-22
We woke up opening morning and headed up to the top grassy area. About 10 minutes after daylight I spotted 2 cows and a calf about 120 yards away. I kept watching from the timber, and a bull fed his way into my view at 65 yards. There was a smalll tree out in the opening between us. He was feeding his way out from behind the tree, and would just keep getting closer and closer to my as he went.

The wind was consistently in my face or blowing straight down hill since I got to the top. Everything was looking good!

From: bowhunt
30-Aug-22
The next time I checked the wind waiting for the bull to get to where I could shoot, the wind had changed and started blowing straight to him. About 5 seconds later he ran twards the trees, along with the cows and calf. There were also two other bulls i couldn't see that popped out behind a small rise and headed to the timber.

Close call, and a fun opening morning.

From: Pop-r
30-Aug-22
Daangit

From: maxracx
30-Aug-22
Best of luck!!!

From: Scoot
30-Aug-22
Dang! Good luck and enjoy it!

From: bowhunt
30-Aug-22
Next we headed to a small ridge that has a big timbered basin on one side, and a much smaller one on the other side. There is lots of water, feed, and bedding areas in both. About every 300 yards we stopped and did some light cow calling. We didn't call anything in but a bull did bugle once across the smaller drainage from us. It was just one quiet bugle. We headed to about 200 yards from where the bugle was and did some cow calling for about 30 minutes. There was also a wallow that looked like it had been used in the last 24 hours.

The bull never bugled again or snuck into our calls.

We hiked back to the tent. We have a soft dirt bank across the creek from the tent we can shoot into. Its nice mid day to get some shooting in. Its pretty nice being able to shoot our bows 20 to 60 yards way out in the middle of nowhere whenever we have time during daylight.

From: bowhunt
30-Aug-22
For the afternoon/evening hunt we headed to a 2.5 mile long finger ridge that runs straight to the west. There are several spots we have gotten into bulls of the north face of the ridge. The south facing side is a mixture of grassy openings, brushy draws with a few creeks, some big open timber, and some really thick dark timber.

From: bowhunt
30-Aug-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
We have called in a couple bulls here. No luck this time.

From: bowhunt
30-Aug-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
We made our way out to the end of the ridge before it drops of super steep. This is another spot we have called in a few bulls,again no luck today.

The sun set, and we made the hike back to the tent. We were exited to hit some of our other spots the next morning. So far so good, have seen elk or sign in the normal places.

From: bowhunt
31-Aug-22
Saturday morning we headed sw out of camp. There is a pretty good mix of open grass areas, timber, a couple huge rock piles, and a couple small burn areas.

About 30 minutes into this hunt my buddy Tim spotted a big bear around 150 yards away right when we got set up to do some cow calling. He came back and got me. The bear fed into a patch of timber that was about 25 yards wide, and 40 yard long. I nicked an arrow and made my way over to where he last saw the bear. With the wind blowing down hill I stayed a little bit high so I could see top side of the timber patch on the way over there. I didn’t see the bear. When I got to the patch of trees I dropped below it, and slowly worked my way around. I was looking through all the timber expecting a large bear to feed out in front of me at any second. I snuck around the bottom of the timber, then around the back side…no bear. He must have continued on a straight line out of this timber patch, through the grassy opening, and then into the timbered ridge top. That was the only way neither of us would have not been able to see it.

The rest of the morning hunt was uneventful. No elk seen or heard. There was elk sign scattered throughout everywhere we had hunted. Not tons of sign, but enuff. The hunt we did this morning is usually good after the 8-10 of September. Later around those dates there is almost always a herd bull that shows up and a few satellite bulls.

From: bowhunt
31-Aug-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Lots of timbered finger ridges to the right, a small 8-10 year old burn about the size of a football field, and a creek. Above this area to the left is all timber as well

From: SBH
31-Aug-22
Sweet! Will be following along. Good luck! What state are you hunting?

From: bowhunt
31-Aug-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Picture from last year out on one of the finger ridges I described above
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Picture from last year out on one of the finger ridges I described above
Around 4 we headed up to the top where we got on the herd of elk opening morning. From where that herd was we have a pretty good evening hunt we do. Before the thermals switch we work our way down through about half a mile of dark timber, small grassy openings, some beetle kill areas that have a lot of feed growing in them, and some large rock piles. After the first half mile it goes from a gentle slope to really steep. At that point several finger ridge start with timber on the north sides, and grass/brushy openings on the south side.

From: bowhunt
31-Aug-22
Between the two of us this area has provided several notched tags, and many more close calls. With no other people hunting up there we were pretty close to 100 percent sure we would have a bull come sneaking into our cow calls on this hunt at some point.

From: bowhunt
31-Aug-22
We were sneaking our way down along the side of a huge rock pile. There’s lots of beds across a small draw starting about 100 yards from us. About 40 yards before we got to where I called in the bull I killed in 2018 we heard what sounded like maybe a cow call. Then a few more calls that sounded different from the first ones, but still not really like a cow or calf. We stood there for a minute just listening, then heard loud branches breaking, and saw 2 guys hiking straight up the hill at a quick pace! We’re a LONG ways from any hiking trail. What are the odds.

We headed over to them to talk so we could salvage the evening hunt. It was about 530pm so we had time to get out of there.

They have never hunted out here. They had hiked about .7 miles up the steep finger ridge we were hunting down from the bottom and set their tent up next to the start of a little creek. There is also a really good bedding area about a 100 yards from where they camped where I have called in two bulls that Tim has shot.

They looked to be about 25 and like they just got out of the military. Phelps game call mouth reed packs of every color, Hush and Born and Raised hats, and Go pro cameras mounted on the chest straps of their packs. They said they had the whole month off to hunt.

This area is screwed!

I asked them their plan for the evening, and made a plan B and hustled up the hill to head somewhere else before dark.

From: KHNC
31-Aug-22
Are yall hunting UTAH? If not, what state is open that early? Good luck!

From: bowhunt
31-Aug-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Our back up plan was to go hunt the small drainage where the bull bugled opening morning. We set up at the top first near a fresh wallow Hoping a bull was nearby.

From: bowhunt
31-Aug-22
We moved about 400 yards down. Now we are in the timber. There’s bedding areas on both sides of the drainage close by and another really fresh wallow. After about 20 minutes a bull snuck in to my right, almost behind me at 48 yards. He was looking around, trying to find the cows and calves. I figured he would head back where he came from, and there was one small window through the timber at 60 yards I thought he would cross. After a few minutes of staring at us he turned around, and headed right where I thought. Unfortunately he crossed through that shooting lane at 83 yards.

From: bowhunt
31-Aug-22
We had to head home Monday, so we left the tent at first light. After 2.5 hours of hiring different areas on the steep ridge we were sidehilling on, a bull bugled.

We moved a 100 yards closer and set up for me to call the bull into Tim. After a few cow calls I head branches breaking and could tell the bull was coming in really fast. Next thing I new the bull was already last time and circling me. It was really thick where I was calling from, and the bull never got anywhere I could get a shot.

After me and Tim met back up he said the bull ran through the couple spots he could shoot at full speed, then stopped at 60 yards. He just wasn’t feeling confident at that distance through the small shooting lane he had and passed on shooting.

That was one lucky bull, he was feet away from walking somewhere he could have got shot a few times but it didn’t pan out.

From: bowhunt
31-Aug-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
We side hilled out of the thicker dark timber and started dropping down through the more open stuff to the bottom of the drainage.

3 close calls in 3 days.

We’ll be heading back out Friday to Monday, so should have some more fun elk encounters to share next week.

From: SBH
01-Sep-22
Keep after em. Thanks for the posts

01-Sep-22
Dang close...I bet an arrow will fly this weekend. Thanks for the update, good luck !

From: easeup
02-Sep-22
will be rolling with you on this....

From: midwest
02-Sep-22
Looking forward to the next installment!

From: Tracker
03-Sep-22
What elevation is that area at?

From: bowhunt
07-Sep-22
We arrived back to where we park to hike afloat to camp, and saw the truck was still there that belonged two the two guys we ran into the previous Sunday evening. When we ran into them we figured out they were camped right in the middle of multiple bedding areas.

With the really hot weather forecast for this trip I had planned to set up and call near thick bedding areas. I had all 4 days planned out. With them spending so much time in one of our go to spots we scratched that of the list.

From: bowhunt
07-Sep-22
Our plan was to hike out towards camp, and then cut up the mountain to hunt through the area we had called in the bull last Monday.

We set up a few different times near ridges or benches that had fresh tracks/rubs, and did some cow calls hiking a bull would sneak in.

There was plenty of good sign around, but no elk were seen or heard.

From: bowhunt
07-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Saturday morning we hiked about a mile from camp to hunt a basin, and the ridge across the basin.

There was sign scattered pretty much everywhere we went, but way less than what we expected in the basin. We ran into the same once we got over to the far ridge.

There were a few more fresh rubs on the ridge. We set up and called in multiple spots where we figured the bulls may be bedding. Just like yesterday no elk were seen or heard.

With temps well above 80 degrees we knew we were in for a tuff trip. We never see much daytime movement when it’s this hot.

From: bowhunt
07-Sep-22
We packed everything up and headed down off the ridge we were camped on. A couple miles away we have another spot we like to camp in the bottom. We spent the entire day hunting a big basin from the new camp location. Its a mix of mostly timber, small openings, and grassy meadows in the creek bottom. We found tons of rubs and fresh tracks every where in the basin, but didn't have any encounters of any kind.

From: bowhunt
07-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
We will be hunting this area for the first couple days at least when we head back over Friday.

From: bowhunt
07-Sep-22
Monday morning we got up at 4:45. We had to pack everything up and start heading back to my truck. Along the way we got a response from a bull up on a finger ridge a little bit after daylight. We got went up the steep finger he was going up to bed. He answered 1 more time, and then stopped. We hung out for about 30 minutes doing some cow calling hoping he would sneak in silent, but im guessing he continued up the hill further to bed.

That's the end of trip number two. Heading back out friday night-tuesday morning. Hopefully the basin with all the sign and rubs has a few active bulls when we head back.

From: bowhunt
26-Sep-22
Haven’t had time to update. I have been leaving home thursdays or fridays after work, and getting back on Monday’s or Tuesday’s. It’s been a really crazy September having to come home to work for a 2-3 days each week. First year I couldn’t take a week or 10 days straight off for a long trip.

From: bowhunt
26-Sep-22
Trip #3 September 9th

We dropped down to the bottom of a main drainage, and headed a few miles to where we would camp for at least the first night. With not a lot of time, we decided to just hunt about a half mile section where some bulls should be coming down from bedding areas in a couple different ridges. We saw some fresh sign, but no elk encounters.

The next morning we hunted through the same area at first light, with no elk encounters again. We started up a steep finger ridge that is all pretty thick dark timber. About 1/2 a mile up we finally got a bull to respond quit a ways above us. We hustled up the ridge to close the distance, and hopefully call the bull in. He answered a couple more times, but never did come any closer. While trying to call him in, another bull bugled once further up the drainage in the next ridge over. We decided it seemed like the elk were in the top halves of the different drainages during daylight hours.

We needed to pack up camp and relocate. After packing up we headed up a 3 mile long ridge. We hoped to get something going on the way up, but he bulls were quiet, and nothing came in silent in the different areas we setup and called for a while. With the amount of rubs in this ridge we were surprised we couldn’t get anything going. The elk were here, so just a matter of being there at the right time.

We made it to camp spot #3 about an hour after dark and got situated. From this camp we can pretty easily access 5 different finger ridges that head north off a main ridge.

From: Jordan
26-Sep-22
fun stuff!

From: Fields
26-Sep-22
I never hunted elk.... so I live my elk hunting through others... One thing for sure, what many don't understand in the work involved to get into them, much less, get a shot at one.. cant wait to read more...

From: TGbow
26-Sep-22
Hope you get a shot at a nice bull.

From: Norseman
26-Sep-22
Good stuff. Thanks for the ride!

From: bowhunt
26-Sep-22
In the morning we headed out what we call “middle ridge”

In the mornings we usually at least can get a response on one of the other ridges from this one. It’s pretty steep dropping down through the timber and blow down from the main ridge, to this finger. Then mellows out for quit a ways. About .6 miles out the finger a bull responded across from us about 1/3 of the way up the next ridge. The last couple times a bull answered from there, he was actually heading up and over the ridge to bed in the next drainage to the east. Before we bailed off this finger, we wanted to see if their was another bull closer. That first bull answered a cow call pretty fast from about 900 yards so we weren’t going to mess around much.

We quickly moved about 150 yards farther down the ridge where we have had bulls answer on both sides of this finger. I did a few loud cow and calf calls, and the bull across the drainage bugles pretty quick in response. I did some whiny estrous calls, and another bull came unglued 150-200 yards below us at the very most. It sounded like a good size bull. The way he screamed, I fully expected to call him in to Tim fast. I backed over the other side of the finger and started doing some cow calls, and milling around in a pile of dead sticks. I figured I would here Tim cow call to stop the bull for a shot within 10-15 seconds by the way that bull screamed the first time. The bull answered again finally, not fired up at all anymore? He did that one more time, and I went back over to Tim so we could try to sneak really close to this bull. Never heard a peep out of him again.

Not sure what happened. The first bull had also stopped bugling.

From: bowhunt
26-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Got the first response here off to the right
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Got the first response here off to the right

From: bowhunt
26-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
The second bull screamed just off the right side of the ridge pictured here

Tim set up to the right of the tall dead tree.

I went to the left side of the ridge to call, so the bull would have already walked in front of Tim before he could see where I was calling from.

From: bowhunt
27-Sep-22
It was going to be a fairly cool overcast day. We wanted to spend the entire day in areas the elk seemed to be using a lot this year , blind calling near bedding areas hoping a bull would sneak in silent, and trying to locate bulls bugling.

From: bowhunt
27-Sep-22
At around 10am headed back up the finger we were on and we’re going to spend the rest of the day on the back side of the the farthest west finger of the 5 ridges we hunt here.

The top of the ridge was big timber, with some large patches of really bad deadfall. The west side of the ridge gets really steep fast with a good mixture of big timber, deadfall, lodge pole pines , and grassy openings.

After about an hour of going through deadfall and thick crap we hit the first grassy opening. We spread out about 50 yards apart, and both did some calling for about 30. Nothing happened, so we headed a few hundred yards away.

From: bowhunt
27-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Strange patch of dead and live trees
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Strange patch of dead and live trees
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Plenty of blow down. Tim is about 3 ft above the ground
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Plenty of blow down. Tim is about 3 ft above the ground

From: bowhunt
27-Sep-22
The next spot we got to was a little grassy opening on a steep hillside with some pretty big timber below, and a bunch deadfall to the right.

It just felt like there should be a bull bedded in the timber right below us. I let out a loud fairly aggressive bugle, hoping to startle a close by bull that would respond.

Almost immediately I heard large sticks breaking about 60-80 yards off to our right and slightly below us. My instinct was right there was a bull here, just wasn’t where I thought.

In less than 5 seconds the bull jumped over a dead tree, and appeard 40 yards away. He was behind a small cluster of 6-8 ft tall trees. If he kept walking about 10 yards I would have a good broadside shot.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
27-Sep-22
Really enjoying your re-cap....now I'm really hooked!

From: bowhunt
27-Sep-22
The bull stood there for almost 25 minutes. He moved up, down, and side to side . Unfortunately he only moved a step or two in any of those directions. Eventually the wind blew his direction, and down the hill he went.

From: Bigfoot
27-Sep-22
Was hoping this thread would get going again. Been anxiously waiting for updates....

From: bowhunt
27-Sep-22
It was a little past noon. We were both ready for something to eat And a little break. After moving a couple hundred yards , we bumped a bull in some more really thick blowdown.

We moved a little further and stopped for a break.

From: bowhunt
27-Sep-22
Glad you guys are enjoying the thread.

From: bowhunt
27-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Cliffs below photo. Elk could come up point of timber below
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Cliffs below photo. Elk could come up point of timber below
bowhunt's embedded Photo
All cliffs below photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
All cliffs below photo
We made our way out to an area we haven’t been. On satellite imagery it looked like it would be a large open feeding area. Out here the difference between steep and cliffs cannot be seen on a topo map. This was more cliffs than just steep. It still looked really good for a bedding area below the cliffs. I had Tim set up where he could shoot where I thought a bull would come up from below, and I did some calling for about a half hour. Nothing came in. We were pretty surprised. Usually when we get somewhere neither of us would want to pack an elk out of, we shoot one!

From: bowhunt
27-Sep-22
After nothing came in went to the top of this opening and cut up at a 45 degree angle for 300-400 yards above the back corner in the second photo.

If flattens out a lot, and we figured we would do some calling again here. Tim set up right where it dropped off really steep, and I was about 70 yards away on the back of a little rocky knob. We figured elk would be bedded right below where Tim was if they were here.

Within a minute of calling I heard a stick break and caught some movement off to my right. Two times in less then 3 hours we were set up wrong. A bull was heading through the lodge poles, and looked like it would step out At about 55 yards broadside if it continued on the path I saw it taking.

From: bowhunt
27-Sep-22
I was at full draw when it stepped out, but it turned and came straight to me, no shot.

I let my bow down as the bull kept coming straight at me. At 40 he turned broadside and stopped. I pulled my bow back, settled my pin, and executed a great shot.

From: bowhunt
27-Sep-22
I watched the bull drop when I shot. When my arrow hit the bull had dropped down a lot and my arrow hit, getting pretty much no penetration. He ran and stopped in the timber 83 yards away. I could see a little blood, and the arrow. Not a fatal shot in any way. I watched the elk reach back and pull the arrow out, then walk up the hill. Basically it hit right behind the shoulder blade where the ribs meet the spine.

This is only the second time I’ve ever had an elk jump the string.

It was just about to get dark. I was pretty upset, but nothing I could have done differently. I aimed and exicuted a good shot, the elk just wasn’t in the same spot when the arrow got there.

It was about a 3 mile hike back to camp. In the morning we had to head home.

I saw where the arrow hit at the shot, and a second visual confirmation when he stopped at 83 yards. On the way out to the truck in the morning we still did 3 miles of grid searching just to be through. Never found any blood, wich wasn’t surprising.

Ended this trip on a pretty low point, even though I couldn’t control the elk jumping my string.

From: jordanathome
28-Sep-22
ARRRRRGggGgggggg.......damn man....that sux. Great story regardless. Some steep arse country you were trodding there.

From: drycreek
28-Sep-22
Not the outcome I was expecting or the one you were wanting I’m sure. At least it wasn’t a fatal shot. Just looking at that terrain hurts my knees and ankles ! Keep it coming, great recap !

From: bowhunt
28-Sep-22
Trip # 4 Sept 15th

Tim and I both were behind schedule to head out. We both got held up trying to wrap up stuff at work, and it was going be past 11pm by the time we could get out to our camp where we had our tent and sleeping bags from the trip before. We decided to grab a hotel and hit a local brewery!

We usually don’t mess around during elk season, but there was actually an area we wanted to check out not terribly far from where we would park to head out. So we wouldn’t be missing any hunting the next day.

From: bowhunt
29-Sep-22
The alarm went of way to early in the morning, may have had one too many beers the night before.

Off we went.

We pulled up to a dead end road where we would park and threw our packs on to head out. It was a couple miles steep up hill, and then we started to drop off down into some small creek bottoms and small meadows. It didn’t take long and a bull answered a bugle. He was moving away, probably heading to bed so we followed. We were on a large bench, before a really really steep drop off down to a creek bottom.

The first bull we heard kept going wherever it was he was heading and we lost track of him. As we got to the edge of the steep drop off a different bull bugled, then another, then another, then other!

A couple of the bulls were getting pretty fired up, the rest were just answering the other bulls every once in a while. During all the different bulls sounding off, a couple more piped off on the next hillside across the creek. The closest bull sounded about 300 yards straight below us. By now it was getting pretty late in the morning, and we had a feeling these bulls would shut up at anytime now, but probably not until till they pulled us even further down the steep hill.

From: bowhunt
29-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
It doesn’t look like it in the photo, but it s quite a ways down to the creek and really steep. I actually had a buddy that was camped on the top of the next ridge, so wasn’t going to go after any bulls over there. He had hiked out the day before, and would be hunting out there a few days.

Like we figured all the bulls quit talking. It was almost 11 so we decided just to eat some food, and hang out for a hour or two.

From: Jordan
29-Sep-22
Here it comes.......

From: bowhunt
29-Sep-22
After our break we started working our way up a big big bench hoping we could get something going.

We never did, and once we dropped off the bench and into the bottom we found a large horse camp with a couple wall tent. It was a cool looking area, but we decided to boogy up to our tent and get an evening hunt in up where we normally go.

The bulls first thing in the morning got us side tracked pretty good.

From: bowhunt
29-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
In the bottom of the drainage with the horse camp there were large meadows with creeks meandering through them.

It was some really neat looking stuff, but you could tell it definitely attracted hunters. Lots of boot tracks and and found another camp that someone had recently used, and left some stuff indicating they would be back.

From: bowhunt
29-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
We got back up to our camp, And dropped the extra food and clothes we had been packing around all day. We had left the tent, and sleeping bags. We also brought the wood stove on this trip. It was looking like we could get some serious rain 1 or two days on this trip. It’s pretty nice to get toasty warm and dry in the evening after a day out in the rain.

From: bowhunt
29-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
We hurry is out to the middle ridge we like to try to locate bulls from, and got to a high point.

We tried some cow calls and bugles, but nothing ever did answer.

We knew the elk were here, so this would be our starting point Saturday morning.

I’m not sure why we almost always get something going on one of the fingers in the mornings, but the evenings are pretty spotty.

From: bowhunt
29-Sep-22
Instead of going up to the high point from the night before, we headed further out the middle ridge to where we had the bull bugling right below us on the last trip.

After working quite a ways down down the ridge a bull finally answered. He was a Looong ways away. It sounded like he was on the farthest ridge to our east.

Off we went.

When we got to the top of the next ridge over there we’re now 3 bulls all answering cow calls. I quit doing any bugles after the first bull answered.

A couple sounded pretty aggressive, and they were talking on their own. We got in close to where we had heard the last bugle and I cow called.

A completely new bull went ballistic a little bit over 100 yard away.

Tim nocked an arrow, and I backed off 30-40 yards behind a small ridge.

One again I figured this bull would be in front of Tim in no time by the way he bugled.

I did some different cow calls and some raking… nothing

From: bowhunt
29-Sep-22
Another bull bugled straight up the hill 200 yards up, and then again a little further. We figured we’d follow that one since they bed not to far from where he was often and thought we had a good chance of calling him in when he got to his bedding area.

We popped out of the steep thick timber to a small opening right where I killed a 6 point 3 years ago! We didn’t realize we had gone so far down this drainage until then. The bull actually went passed where we thought he was going and went to the up and over this ridge to bed on the back side on a small finger with a bench.

It was pretty odd how a couple of the bulls answered so aggressively, then stopped or completely changed to just a lazy bugle. Not sure what what going on, but up to this point they had us scratching our heads.

At least we were getting into elk, just need to catch the right one on the right day!

From: bowhunt
29-Sep-22
Sunday morning was was quiet on all the different finger ridges.

We decided to make our way out to the area where I shot the bull that jumped the string the week before.

About an hour before dark a bull bugled after I did some cow calls from a long ways off. I didn’t do any more calling and he bugled again closer. He pretty much made his way ti about 100 yards and hung up. I figured after coming all that ways ti cow calls he would come the rest of the way, especially being in the thick timber and blow down. A couple other bulls also started talking after all that first bulls bugles. Again we were surrounded by elk, and nothing.

This was shaping up to be an odd feeling year. Typically I can feel out a bull pretty well and do what I need to to call him in. This year I was feeling about like the first year I archery elk hunted.

The sun went down and there was still one bull bugle below us. With so many active bulls we figured this would be a good spot to hit in the morning before we had to hike out to the truck and head home for a couple days. We didn’t spook any of the elk, so they should be in the general area.

Half way back to camp we spotted a huge bull track in the trail. It looked like a big boy was moving in to gather some cows.

From: bowhunt
29-Sep-22
Monday morning was a little more of the same. We did see some more big bull tracks and actuall had 2 different big six points run across the trail hiking out to the truck after the morning hunt. Half way to the trucks bull bugled around noon in the same general area we got on the bull Friday morning.

It seems like things we really starting to get going right when we had to head home.

Our last trip over would be Thursday as soon as we could get off work.

From: Inshart
29-Sep-22
Nice read, enjoying this.

From: bowhunt
30-Sep-22
Trip #5

Tim and I were both going nuts having to come home for work, right when the switch was seeming to switch. All I could think about was fired up bulls going crazy while we were gone.

We weren’t going tho make it over for a Thursday hunt. I ended up not being able to get back to my house until 1pm to head out. We were going to drive most of the way, then do the last hour and a half or 2 hours early in the am hoping to arrive where we park an hour before day light.

From: bowhunt
30-Sep-22
We got to our parking spot right on time Friday morning. We had left the tent, sleeping bags, and any extra stuff we didn’t need for the hike out on the last trip at our camp spot, so our packs weren’t heavy. We just had enuff food we were packing back in to last through Tuesday morning.

We had a really steep climb for a mile and a half, then it flattens out. Shortly after that is where the bull bugled at is on the way out the previous Monday, and where we got on a couple bulls the Friday before that.

The plan was to be there right at shooting light and drop down from the top about a 1/4 or half mile, then hunt our way a couple miles towards camp.

We would be hunting the east side of a couple mile long bench right where it breaks really steep down to the creek bottom below.

We were hoping to catch elk up on the bench before they headed to the steep fingers to bed.

From: bowhunt
30-Sep-22
It was barley shooting light, and we were straight above where the bull was on Monday. I bugled, and we both waited in silence for a response. About 5 seconds later we heard a response. It was like a scene out of a comedy show, I pointed down and to right a little bit, Tim pointed down and way to the left. The wind was blowing fro left to right, so we really needed to pinpoint where it was so we didn’t drop down up wind from the bull. The bugle was pretty quiet and 300-400 yards away it seemed. Being in the thick timber makes them hard to pinpoint too.

I did some pretty whiny cow calls, and the bull immediately roared back. Almost straight below us. We hauled butt down the hill and veered slightly to the right to keep the wind good. I wanted to drop down about 300 yard, and then cow call to see if we were good to set up to call the bull in. On the way down the bull screamed several times, probably reacting to the sound of sticks breaking as we were heading down.

We got to a spot where there were actually some good shooting lanes where you could see 30-40 yards. You would see the whole elk, but definitely had a good chance of stopping one with a clear view of vitals.

I backed off 50-60 yards, and started cow calling. One bull answered very close, but sounded different then the one we came down after. Then another aggressively screamed a little further away. Then another large sounding bull screamed a few hundred yards away, then another even further off.

There were 4 bulls bugling between 100 and 500 yards. I hadn’t bugled at all since the very first bugle at first light. These bulls were really liking the cow calls, and just bulging at each other.

The closer bull bugled again, but sounded like he may not go through the small gap Tim could shoot. I quickly moved straight down the hill a little bit and began cow calling.

From: bowhunt
30-Sep-22
Both closer bulls bugled in response. One sounded almost to Tim, the other probably still 100 yards away.

Next I heard Tim cow call, then the sound of a broadhead hitting the chest cavity of an elk!

I could hear the bull go crashing down the hill as it ran off.

I couldn’t see any of what had just transpired, but had a good idea based off what I had heard.

From: bowhunt
30-Sep-22
I bugled and did some cow calls, and the other bull came unglued, wouldn’t come any closer. I wanted to rake a tree, but there were no sticks close by, and I didn’t want to be walking around so I rubbed the inside of my boot on the tree next to me(it actually sounded like a tree getting raked) and did a few really whiny cow calls. I immediately saw tan 40 yards to my right, probably standing right in front of Tim. The bull continued another 30 yards to where I got a shot!

We just shot 2 bulls in under two minutes!

From: bowhunt
30-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Hard quarrying away shot
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Hard quarrying away shot
We waited about thirty minutes and went to check for blood. Both bulls were bleeding like crazy. The second ones blood trail ended up meeting with the first bull. We followed three combined trails a little ways and they split so we stayed to the left. About 30 yards later we spotted Tim’s bull dead less than 100 yards from where he shot it.

His bull spooked a little at when he pulled his bow back. He cow called and it stopped to look back giving him a hard quartering away shot.

From: yooper89
30-Sep-22
This is awesome stuff

From: bowhunt
30-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
Tim’s bull boned out and hung up
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Tim’s bull boned out and hung up
We picked back up on the other blood trail, and only made it 50 yards when I saw a bull get up and stumble off.

Unbelievable, this bull was pouring blood out. We backed up to Tim’s bull and figured out we both left all our game bags at the tent when we went home on the last trip. It was right at 32 degrees that morning, we figured it was just best to get out of thier, get our game bags, and drop all the extra food and clothes we had off at camp. It would take about two hours to get there and back.

After getting back from camp to Tim’s bull we began skimming and getting it boned out.

From: bowhunt
30-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
When we were all done I nocked an arrow and slowly followed the blood from where mi e had got up out of its bed. It looked like a garden hose of blood was turned on leaving the bed. 50 yards later we spotted him.

Somehow he was still alive and made a final 50 yard dash and piled up when we bumped him in the morning.

From: bowhunt
30-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
We got my bull skinned, boned out, and hung on a meat pole. What a day.

After both bulls were hung up we headed to camp.

Our plan was to sleep, get up at 4am, pack up, and start getting everything out to the truck.

On Saturday we got camp, all the meat, and both heads packed out to truck. We were completely exhausted, but started the very long drive home.

We always process everything from our hunts at my house, and wanted to get back as soon as possible since we had 2 decent sized bulls to deal with.

From: Hancock West
30-Sep-22
Congrats bowhunt. Awesome hunt.

From: Fields
30-Sep-22
Wow.... congrats....

From: Beav
30-Sep-22
What an ending!! Congrats!!!

From: hdaman
30-Sep-22
Heck of a hunt that you took the time to share with us. Thanks and congratulations!

From: t-roy
30-Sep-22
THAT escalated quickly! Wow! What a great hunt! Congrats to you both!

30-Sep-22
Heck yeah way to stick it out. Congrats and thanks for taking us along!

From: bowhunt
30-Sep-22

bowhunt's embedded Photo
bowhunt's embedded Photo
Had the Tacoma loaded down good. We only brought one cooler for meat, so had to grab another at the first sporting goods store.

Sunday we got all the steaks cut and vacuum sealed. We also got everything else trimmed, cubed up, and ready to grind.

From: bowhunt
30-Sep-22
Monday we got everything ground through a coarse plate, then through a fine plate, at stuffed into 1 lb packages.

Got done just in time for me Tim, and my 2 year old daughter to have some fresh elk burgers for lunch.

From: Jim McNamara
01-Oct-22
Superb outcome!! What a way to end a hunt.

01-Oct-22
Proud for you and Tim. Hard working elk hunters. G

From: Dollar
01-Oct-22
Great story congratulations

From: HUNT MAN
01-Oct-22
This was a great read!!

From: Rock
01-Oct-22
There seems to be an extra Elk Antler sticking up out of your truck bed. Wha'ts the story on that?

From: Willieboat
01-Oct-22
Thanks for sharing

From: bowhunt
01-Oct-22
Glad you guys enjoyed the long story.

Rock We killed two bulls, so there are two in the truck. Not sure how you are seeing an extra antler.

01-Oct-22
I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome!!!!!

From: Scoot
01-Oct-22
Awe-some!

From: Jordan
01-Oct-22
Whoot whooooooooot!!!!!!

From: RT
01-Oct-22
Thanks for the detailed write up. Congrats on two nice elk.

From: BC
01-Oct-22
Great hunt. You guys really worked for it.

From: SBH
02-Oct-22
Persistent! Love it. Way to stay after them. Glad you were rewarded and thanks for sharing your season.

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