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#1 Ironranger

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 05:05 PM

Just returned from a week chasing elk in CO. Had a wonderful time with some good friends. First afternoon of the hunt I saw a monster bull above us at about 30 yards sneaking thru a thick patch of timber. The game trail turned uphill and went along that patch which was so thick it looked like a wall. He crossed the trail at about 45 yards and had horns going everywhere. I was too slow to react and didn't get an arrow nocked in time. Wish I could say I saw him again but that was a one time sighting. Wow, what a bull though.

2nd day I had one bugling below me but the wind wasn't right and he wasn't coming to my call. So I followed him as he continued bugling quartering up the mountainside. I'd get close and then he'd move farther up. I picked up the pace and the wind switched from coming down to going straight up the hill as the thermals kicked in. I changed to attempting to slide up on him from a parallel position on the hillside so the wind wouldn't be a factor. Everytime he'd bugle I'd slide up thru a few more trees using them for cover. I finally got to within about 30 yards and he let out a bugle. I could see him behind a 10 foot pine and no shot at this point. All he had to do was step up hill about 5 feet and he'd be wide open. Suddenly, he turned to go back down the hill and was wide open except for a huge downed tree that was blocking his vitals. As soon as he stepped behind a few more pines going from my right to left, I came to full draw. He made his way to the last pine and in my mind I was focusing on the shot. He stopped and looked up at me. Just then I felt the breeze on my neck and things changed from good to gone. He turned and just disappeared over the hill. Not running but if he'd never been there. That was close.

On the 6th day (I believe), I honed in on a bull up in a bowl that was bugling heavy. I was at about 11300 and closing. I came down off a steep hillside and crossed a boulder field to the edge of a marshy area. I had just one more rock to step across and then I was going to wait for him to bugle one more time. The rock was unstable and made a loud "Crack" when I stepped on it. Out about 50 yards I catch movement and there goes a nice bull trotting off. Dang, slow down Tim. I took a break from it and regrouped. Suddenly, two more bugles across the way. I slid down thru some rough rocky country and the bugles were moving away from me. I picked up the pace once again and got really close to the first one. Steps slowed to one at a time as I eased up over a ridge. He bugled really close this time and I kneeled to wait and watch for about 10 minutes. Then he bugled farther away so I picked it up again. I came over the next little rise and stepped around a tree slowing to one step at a time. There he was. Busted again. He trotted off over the hill and I think it may have been the same bull that busted me first. He was tall and heavy. Nice bull. I slid over into the next ravine and got between two bulls but just couldn't gain any ground on them.

On the 7th day about 4 in the afternoon, I eased up a hillside towards treeline and heard a squeelie little bugle that I figured was a hunter I'd seen and heard the day before. I eased up towards the sound and he bugled again. I thought "Man, that sounds really ridiculous but figured I'd sit behind a tree and wait to see him walk by. I caught movement and said to myself, "There he is" and saw his shadow in the trees below. Then I saw his legs and he had 4 of them!! I caught a glimpse of horns and then he turned and came quartering up the hill from my left to right. I took the opportunity to close the gap and get to the next little hump on the hillside. I went to full draw as he went behind some more pines and I could see him turning his rack back and forth to get thru the trees as he moved up. He hit the clear and stopped to look right at me. I was thinking 30 yards and settled just behind his shoulder and released. I lost sight of the arrow as it made it's way to him but heard a loud "Thwack". He turned and trotted off and it just didn't seem like I'd hit him. Went over and looked around. Marked the spot but found no blood but no arrow. I made some wide swings of the area but nothing. So I went back to search for my arrow. After some diggin I found it stuck on the hillside behind him. Not really sure what happened. Maybe it was a branch that deflected it or maybe I tweaked the shot. That was my last opportunity and I'm already looking forward to next year. I really can't be too disappointed as I learned some lessons along the way and spent some great days in the mountains with some awesome people. Can't get much better than that....

#2 Phil

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 05:24 AM

Great story Tim !
Man you sure some exciting moments this year.

Edited by Phil, 30 September 2008 - 05:25 AM.

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#3 Larry $

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 07:23 AM

Sounds like you had a great hunt Tim! You were very blessed to be in them so much this year. Lessons learned this year means better chances next year.
Elk: it's what's for dinner!

#4 Whitetiger

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 08:37 AM

I got the fever just reading that....Thanks! Good luck next year.

#5 paturbo

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 08:03 PM

Tim sounds like you had a great time, and thanks for sharing your hunt with us. The story makes me want to get back there again.


turbo

#6 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 07:12 AM

The way you told it it sounds like a blast. Thanks. I'd sure think about that hunt all year till I got in the woods to make another memory.
"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#7 sschneid73

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 08:48 PM

Awesome hunt Tim. Sucess to me is not the harvested animal all the time but a great story like that to last a life time. Thanks for sharing.

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#8 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:16 AM

Congratulations Tim. Many times we read of a persons exploits and sort of forget how everything must come together for one to be successful with a bow on elk or for that matter any animal we choose to archery hunt. How many times have we read or had happen to us that only if that animal had stopped one step sooner or taken one more step before stopping. Aah the frustrations of stick and string hunters. When I was at Elkatraz III I enjoyed a huge learning curve never having hunted elk before or at the elevations we hunted. Those are the hunts that although the freezer is still empty, our memory banks get plumb full of the experience.
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#9 McBruce

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 05:39 PM

man I would love to be on bull elk that many times in a single week :)
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#10 iamyourhuckleberry

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 09:19 PM

Timmy,

:clap: ...next year buddy!
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#11 Ironranger

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 04:42 PM

Yes, I felt totally blessed just to be able to get that close to them. I've got alot to learn and this trip was filled with great lessons. The memories are going to keep me focused on next fall!!




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