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12 for 13 years!

 
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BLooDTRaCKeR
(992 posts)
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Oct-28-16, 
10:00 PM (MST)
"12 for 13 years!"

The general season elk hunt is by far my favorite hunt, and time of year. My wife often jokes that I live for this one week out of the year that I get to hunt bull elk. In the past 13 years of hunting this area, I have managed to pull bulls out every year but one. The year I didn't bring home a bull wasn't because I did not see a bull, but rather because I hit a six point bull but never recovered it. That hunt haunts me to this day.

The general season elk hunt is a tough hunt to be successful at. Somehow I have managed to defy the 17% success rate by killing almost every year. Maybe what separates me from others is the fact that I LOVE elk meat and cannot pass up a legal bull without throwing lead at it! I do not hunt for antlers, but for meat and the experience.

So, if you are expecting to see gigantic antlers, don't read any further. This thread is about my experience and the passion I have for hunting elk.

Saturday found my dad and I on top of a mountain looking for elk sign instead of looking for elk. Some snow storms moved through the area a few days earlier and stirred the elk up to where we could not locate any. We spent opening morning looking for sign. By mid day, we had figured out where they had all went, however, before we could form a game plan for the evening, dad looked up in the trees and saw two bulls standing there! He took an off-hand shot at the bull, but missed. We followed up on the shot to be sure, but found no blood in the snow after following the tracks for quite some time. We made it to a saddle and decided to eat lunch, rest our legs, and figure out the evening hunt. At about 3:00 pm, we heard a large bull bugling in the timber close by. We headed in his direction, playing the wind to our advantage. We got within 200 yards from the bull when I looked up above me and caught a large 5 point satellite bull staring right at me. I took an off-hand shot at the bull but missed. all the elk vacated the area and left dad and I sitting there once again trying to figure out an evening game plan.

Just a side note, I purchased my uncles Remington Slide Action 30.60 (mint condition from the 1960's) and decided to hunt with it this year thinking it would be cool to kill an elk with a family gun. I failed to remember he had the gun sighted in for looooong distance, which is why I missed that 5 point bull.

Saturday night came to a close with no more elk encounters, just a couple of bugling bulls after dark.

Dad is 70 years of age and needed a day to recover from our 12 mile journey on Saturday, so we took Sunday off and recuperated in camp. Monday found us back on top in our old familiar stomping grounds. We hunted the morning with no success. We were eating lunch when dad says, "I got a good feeling about that knob over there. I think we need to check it out after lunch." So without any objection, I formed a game plan to push the knob to my dad, who would be waiting in a clearing on the other side for anything that might come running out.

I got into position, radioed dad and told him I was heading through the trees in his direction. As I picked my way through the fallen timber, I caught movement up ahead of me. There was a small herd of elk 50 yards in front of me! I knelt down and scanned the herd for bulls, but found only cows and calfs. The lead cow fed within 20 yards of me before picking up my scent and busting out of there with the other cows. I threw the scope up, but saw only cows. I watched as they crashed off through the trees before something caught my peripheral vision. a single elk busted out to my left toward the direction the cows ran. I threw the scope on the elk only to see the larges bull I had ever seen in that area! A monster 6x6, and a clear shot at less than 100 yards! I pull the trigger and fully expected the elk to drop. However, he moved off like nothing was wrong! I walked over to where I had shot at him and followed his tracks through the snow for 500-600 yards until I met up with my dad. I found NO blood or any indication that he had been hit. Dad had saw the bull running straight at him but had no shot because of the thick timber. Just before the bull was going to come out of the timber at my dad, he made a hard left, staying in the timber, moving up and over the ridge. At that point I was frustrated with the 30.06 and decided to trade it in my my trusty 300 RUM once back at camp. I just had to finish out the evening with the 30.06 because we were so far away from camp.

That evening, I headed down to the spot we dubbed the "cheese hole" because of the many elk we have killed out of there over the years. I sat there until almost dark like I do every year. Right at dark a herd of elk rolled out of the thick timber at 80 yards and into the clearing I was watching. I watched as the cows and calfs fed to within 20 yards below me. At the very last moment of light, a bull walked out and fed toward the cows. By this time, I had figured out that the gun must be shooting way high at close distances so I aimed at the base of the bulls neck and squeeze the trigger. The bull folded up and my hunt was over!

We hunted the next evening after getting my elk out. We almost had another shot for dad but the elk busted us and took off. Dads feet were bothering him so we packed up the next morning and called it a hunt.

There is nothing better than hunting with my dad. Another year of cherished memories and successful times! Looking forward to next year when dad and I can return to sacred hunting grounds and pursue our wildest dreams!

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: 12 for 13 ...  Soj51hopefu...      Oct-28-16   1 
  RE: 12 for 13 ...  PleaseDear      Oct-29-16   2 
   RE: 12 for 13 ...  mntman      Oct-29-16   3 
    RE: 12 for 13 ...  BeanMan      Oct-29-16   4 
     RE: 12 for 13 ...  sambo3006      Oct-29-16   5 
      RE: 12 for 13 ...  DW      Oct-29-16   6 
       RE: 12 for 13 ...  BIGJOHNT      Oct-29-16   7 
        RE: 12 for 13 ...  BLooDTRaCKeR      Oct-30-16   8 
         RE: 12 for 13 ...  cmbbulldog      Oct-31-16   9 
 RE: 12 for 13 ...  Calif_Mike      Oct-31-16   10 
  RE: 12 for 13 ...  Snoopdogg      Oct-31-16   11 
 RE: 12 for 13 ...  BrowningRage      Nov-01-16   12 

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Soj51hopefull
(601 posts)
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Oct-28-16, 
10:32 PM (MST)
1. "RE: 12 for 13 years!"

Good job / story. Idaho?

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PleaseDear
(8040 posts)
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Oct-29-16, 
03:57 AM (MST)
2. "RE: 12 for 13 years!"

You always do well dude.

congrats

Robb

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mntman
(3796 posts)
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Oct-29-16, 
07:28 AM (MST)
3. "RE: 12 for 13 years!"

That is awesome! I remember you doing good seeing your pics, never realized your success % though. Congrats on another great hunt!
Its obvious you do what it takes to kill a bull in a tough conditions every year, its impressive. I enjoy hearing about these stories.
Thanks for sharing

Mntman

"Hunting is where you prove yourself"

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BeanMan
(5322 posts)
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Oct-29-16, 
08:40 AM (MST)
4. "RE: 12 for 13 years!"

Thanks for sharing, I wish my Dad had been a hunter.

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sambo3006
(262 posts)
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Oct-29-16, 
08:11 PM (MST)
5. "RE: 12 for 13 years!"

Congratulations on your bull! Sounds like you have those elk figured out.
Maybe next year take the pump gun to the range before season?
Just giving you a hard time.

NRA Life Member

www.swanspointoutfitters.com

The critters have to win every time. I only have to win once.

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DW
(8585 posts)
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Oct-29-16, 
09:11 PM (MST)
6. "RE: 12 for 13 years!"

Congrats bloodtracker!


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BIGJOHNT
(3343 posts)
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Oct-29-16, 
09:34 PM (MST)
7. "RE: 12 for 13 years!"

You dad does pretty good for 70 years young ? Congrats.

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BLooDTRaCKeR
(992 posts)
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Oct-30-16, 
08:54 PM (MST)
8. "RE: 12 for 13 years!"

Hey thanks for all the compliments! It certainly is not easy to find these animals (let alone kill one). The challenge of the pursuit is what I live for.

I will have to say that something clicked with me this year when those cows fed out right at dark. It didn't matter if I killed a bull or even seen a bull. Just watching those elk feeding just below me--instinctively doing what they do every day to survive, and watching their behavior for that brief minute before the bull walked out was nothing short of amazing!

I have always thought I had a respect for the species I hunt until that moment! I found myself caught up in the experience of watching these creatures of habit striving to live but not knowing how close they are to a dangerous situation.

Their keen sense of smell, hearing, and vision is all the defense they have when they are in a vulnerable position, which is why I think these particular elk feed out of the heavy cover right at dark.

To survive the harshest of weather conditions every year of their life, be pursued by predators, subject to disease or injuries, and then to have their largest predator, man, pursue them during a time when they need to build fat reserves--it really put things into perspective of how magnificent these creatures really are! After the shot, I walked up to this animal with a deep reverence and appreciation for the life I took. I understood at that moment how blessed I am to witness the behavior of a species that knows no harm, does no harm, yet strives each day to live in the roughest country known to man, overcoming challenges that even man cannot endure!

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cmbbulldog
(1688 posts)
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Oct-31-16, 
08:53 AM (MST)
9. "RE: 12 for 13 years!"

Good job!

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Calif_Mike
(546 posts)
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Oct-31-16, 
11:50 AM (MST)
10. "RE: 12 for 13 years!"

Great story and I can relate as I also hunt for meat and I hunt with me elderly father.

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Snoopdogg
(447 posts)
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Oct-31-16, 
10:07 PM (MST)
11. "RE: 12 for 13 years!"

Damn, I respect the hell out of you. Well done, but better yet--well put!

Congrats to you and your family on your many successes.

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BrowningRage
(3068 posts)
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Nov-01-16, 
01:24 PM (MST)
12. "RE: 12 for 13 years!"

Pretty awesome job right there... I've only ever hunted the general season rifle a few times. Never even seen an elk during the hunt. Probably just doing it all wrong I guess.

Congrats..!!

"Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!" 2 Ne. 28: 24

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