My friend John, aka Dr_Hunter, had asked a while back about placing his trail cam in an area he was interested in bow hunting. The area was one that my dad and I had hunted quite a bit when he had his LE elk tag. From reading previous posts, this was also a place WapitiBob had hunted a few years back. I had contacted him a few days prior and he ran through some of his observations of the area. I certainly appreciated his insight.
We already knew that there were some good bulls there from previous trail cam pics, now we needed to get a better idea where they were hanging out. John and I arrived at his camera just about as it was getting light. A few more pics of the bull were taken, but we werenít able to obtain any with his velvet rubbed off before the cattle had taken over the salt lick.
While climbing the hill we heard a faint bugle every so often. Later, as we stopped to rest, we realized that the bugle was now below us rather than ahead of us. We took off through the fallen timber hoping to get into some action. Once we got into a spot where it looked like elk had been in I let out a bugle. Instantly the bull responded, and he was close. John then caught a glimpse of him within 100 yards through the trees. It appeared as if he was going to try and circle us. Not a moment later I noticed the back end of another elk through the trees. As we inched closer he finally spotted out movement and trotted off. Sitting in the area for a while two more bulls came through. We had been hiking less than 2 hours and had already got onto 3-4 different bulls. And better yet I now knew a little better where they were hiding out during the day. Family and a heavy rainstorm prevented any further exploring for the day.
It had been a couple of days and I was itching to get back out. Because of rain and crowds I had decided to lay back over Labor Day weekend. I started the day hiking into an area that I had not been into in a long time. I figured there would be elk in there since there always was when I was a kid. The hike into the area had me a little discouraged. I hadnít heard or seen anything. After stopping to glass and eat lunch I decided to head back. On my way out I was beginning to see a little more sign in the trees. Then I caught a whiff of that great elk scent. A few more steps and the scent was getting stronger and stronger. I looked to my left and couldnít believe it, there was an elk. I pulled up my binos and saw that there wasnít one, but two bulls bedded 30 yards from where I stood. The trees were thick enough that it was hard to get a descent look at them. From what I could see it was a small 6 point and a raghorn 5 point. I thought I would try and see how close I could get to them. As I inched my way I was only able to close the distance 5 more yards before the rubbing of brush was too much to hide. I grabbed my cow call and did a few chirps. I couldnít believe it, cows began chirping all around me. Somehow I had walked right into the middle of a herd. Unfortunately, none of the video turned out.
After the morning adventure I was off to explore some new area. It didnít take long before Mother Nature had plans of her own. I canít think of one day where rain hasnít affected me to some degree. I decided to call it an early day and head back to the cabin. If I were lucky I would see the bull I saw the night before, except this time I would have my spotting scope handy. A couple miles before the spot I saw the bull the night before I looked up the hill and thought I saw something. Upon further examination it was indeed an elk. As he came out of the trees I could see antlers so I jumped out with my spotting scope. At 747 yards away I was able to get some great video of this bull. Better yet, this was the same bull that John had gotten with his trail cam. He may not be the biggest on the mountain but he certainly has what I am looking for. After Johnís pics I had already set my sites on this bull, and now with the video my hopes were only higher. The bad news was that not only had this bull began to move around, he had also made himself public to other viewing eyes. Hopefully he will make it through bow season and I can get a crack at him on my hunt.
*I've been told my videos will only work on a PC (not sure why, but a phone and IPAD I guess won't upload them) Anyway it's worth the watch so find a PC