COtransplant (135 posts)
Oct-16-17, 04:03 PM (MST)
19. "RE: Unit 1 elk"
So she accepted the tag. Did a mad dash to wrap up my mountain goat hunt(thrilled to kill a 7.5" nanny) and get packed for this elk hunt.
We made a whirlwind trip over there to check it out before she accepted the tag. 450 miles each way, lotsa dust, and one ATV trailer dent in my pickup later, we came home and started planning.
Hunted 10 days of 11 possible. Borrowed a buddy's camper and had to return it in time for his elk hunt. The camper was a lifesaver, as the first 3 days were miserable. Windy wet and nasty. I think the wife would have quit if we were tent camping it.
This was my first long trip hunting for the wife only. Usually I have at least a doe tag.What a learning curve! Had to let her make her own schedule of hunting times and such. Just knew I wanted to keep her in the game as long as possible. So the mornings she didn't want to get up due to cold or wind, we stayed. When she got cold, we went to warmth. Just kept telling her it was her hunt, and her call.
She did have an opportunity to shoot a big bull. I'm guessing 360 or even 370. We were in the right spot one particular morning. We parked a long ways back up the river and walked in with no light or headlamps. As we got along the edge of the field, we could hear cows talking, and some bugling. We could see in our binos that there was a herd on the field, but they were working away from us. About this time, here come headlights up the trail road. Somebody's gonna drive in here and push these elk out before we get a chance! My cousin was hunting with us...he saw the lights and took off(in a draw) at a run to try to intercept them. Fortunately he was successful, and the other hunters were polite enough to stay back and let us have a try. We dropped back from the field edge and hotfooted along parallel to the herd, trying to get in front of them without giving our wind direction advantage up. Bright bright moonlight had the cows watching us walk through the sage 300 yards off! We went toward our chosen spot anyhow. Before we could get all the way to our little copse of trees, the herd decided to leave the private field, and came our way!
The lead cow had been watching us earlier, and she eyeballed us all the way by, stretching her neck out and pointing her noise at us like a bird dog. Making sure everybody in the herd knew something was over there. Wife and I were huddled together at the base of a power pole with nearly no cover. But we were on the ground, in one silhouette, and still. And we had the wind.
I had watched some of these cows as they came to the edge of the field, and hadn't seen a bull in the group. The lead cow was now clear by us on our right. Back over our right shoulder, still playing bird dog. But the rest of the cows all went by us maybe 25 yards apart. They were 150-175 yards out and the sage was tall. So we could just see their heads floating above the brush as they worked by us. I was counting along the cows with my binos just for fun, but when I got to the tail of the herd...Holy...the biggest bull I've seen in person was staring at us! I hit panic button...instant freak Out! Get up, shoot um!
I should take a moment to explain another facet of this gem. Wife shoots a 7mm.08. Accurate, but underpowered for a bull elk in my opinion. So I leaned...leaned heavily...on her to shoot my 300win. She gave in and said she would do it.
So this bulls quartering toward us, nose up, staring at us. She's standing, on the trigger stick, 175 yardsish. No shot. I'm thinking must be a cow behind him or something. He moves around to our right maybe 100 yards, circling us. No farther away. She got him standing still, she's on a rest, but still no shot. I'm starting to panic...hurry up lady! He moved out to about 300 yards. Standing separate from all the cows, 100 yards from nonhuntable monument boundary. Probably 15 seconds he stood there. No shot. The herd jumps the fence and trots over the hill.
She turns to me with tears in her eyes and says" I was afraid to pull the trigger, because I'm scared it will kick!" Boy Did I feel like an ass!
That was her only chance at a big bull too. Couple smaller ones went by, but she was determined. Go big or go home! Had another great bull stand and look at us, but he was a mile into Utah, and knew it.
Thought I would leave a story for those interested folks. Some of you gave us some great info. And for that, we thank you.
Any MM member that would like info on this unit in the future, feel free to contact me. I will share what I learned.
In the meantime, I should be able to draw this tag in a couple years. Here's a guarantee...won't be any recoil apprehension keep me from killing a good one!
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