"0" days 'til the launch..........

D

Deerslayer

Guest
I don't have picture posting capabilities at the time, but maybe some of the other guys can put some up.

Draftstud, Wes, and myself drove to the point of entry and met up with Raybow. Anticipation was very high, though John seemed to be coming down with something. We got up and in in a timely manner and were just beginning to get settled with the snow starting to fall...about a foot the first night. More of the same the next day and it was obvious by this time Draftstud would have to abort the mission as he was not doing well at all. Fastforwarding ahead, we got him out and to an airport and he flew home, got some meds, and was feeling much better by the time we got home. You know how those bugs are, when they hit you, they can hit you hard. It must have been a 24 or 48 hour bug because he was much better in 3 or 4 days. I just hate he had to forego the hunt. You'll get 'em next year John!

So it was me, Raybow and Wes. We set out the first morning looking for 3 bulls. We got to a vantage point just after first light, and the elk were there as if on que. About 15 cows and a small bull. We were patient knowing we had a whole week to hunt. The day ended uneventful, with more snow on the way.

Day two found us seperating to cover more ground, and Wes found a lot of VERY fresh sign traveling through a particular place in the forest and was very hopeful, while Raybow and I split up with him taking the highground and me dropping down in the low ground, knowing full well I would probably find my bull and it would be a hellaciuos task getting him out. But I knew Raybow was fit for the task of helping me, so I went in full bore. As Raybow watched from above, I weeded through some cows and small bulls and found a dandy 5x5. He was at 610 yards bedded with sentry cows as close as 200 yards. I belly crawled around a ridge and closed to right at 400 yards. I wanted another 50 off of that to feel good about the shot, so I kept at it, ever so slowly. Over the period of a couple of hours, I got the shot I wanted......except for the bull being bedded part. But it looked like they may stay bedded for hours, so I lined up the shot. On the report of the rifle, I wasn't sure of the hit, and got off at least two more rounds before the bull could get over the rise. Raybow said he was sure at least two shots connected as he reported hearing a distinct "thud". I had seen the bull hump up and was sure he took the full brunt of the 338 magnum, but as many big bulls will do, they tend to take a hit with little sign of a fatal wound. By the time I got to the rise where I had last seen him, they had covered much ground.....but his cows were now leaving him behind, and his movements were slow and exagerated. He was hunched up and staggering around. Not taking any chances, I lined up on him again through the brush and squeezed off again, feeling certain of a good hit. The bull ran a ways on impact, and just as I started to send him another round, he colapsed into the brush a few hundred yards away. Ray came down to give a hand, and as we inspected the bull, it was now evident he took 3 fatal shots. One to the neck, one to the upper midsection, and one to the boiler room. I am still amazed at just how tough these animals are. The rest of our day was consumed with getting this 5x5 with a very large body out of this hell hole.......we just beat dark into camp.

Day 3, I was sure that my knowledge of the area was sound and all the scouting from previous years would hold true, so I took Raybow and Wes back to the exact spot we were at opening morning, telling them to not be surprised to get a double in a place they saw no shooter bulls only two days ago. No sooner than I got it out of my mouth, I spotted some elk about 500 yards away on another rise feeding towards us in HEAVY fog and near blinding snow......perfect conditions! We verified the presence of a shooter bull, then I drew up the plans to make a stalk and intercept them as they fed below. We dropped on the backside and made good ground, knowing the elk were feeding slow. The plan worked to perfection with us reappearing only about 300 yards or so from the feeding elk. As I got Wes into the best possible position, I asked if he was comfortable with his now 250 yard shot....he said he was. As he got his rest and waited for the bull to reappear from behind the brush, Wes spotted another bull feeding just 150 yards below us in the drainage. This second bull was a loner, while the first was with 4 or 5 cows.
Wes decides on the closer, unsuspecting bull and zeros in for a good shot. I whisper to Raybow to be ready for a follow up shot on the second bull some 250 yards away at the report of Wes' rifle. All was set and I told Wes' to "take him" when he was comfortable. Wes' soon said he was locked in and had his shot........seconds later the report of the rifle and the bull's body language told us it was a good hit, and almost simultaneously Raybow fires a perfectly placed shot on the other bull as he tried to clear the ridge some 250 yards away. Raybow shouted, "I nailed him!" ....and the two bulls piled up less than 50 yards from each other. I had two happy hunters and we had a lot of work ahead of us, but getting a "double" on the bulls had put smiles on all of our faces. We packed out, again just beating dark into camp. The horses are worth their weight in gold in this country.

Day 4 found me and Raybow putting a stalk into a bowl to try and give me a chance at harvested me my first ever calf. I have heard they were the best eating, and had past up opportunities on several cows to try and get a calf. I had seen this calf bed down in the bowl 3 or 4 hours earlier, and we made the stalk down from the top, and circled below for just the right shot. The calf never knew we were there as the head shot from just over 100 yards dispatched her instantly. The pack out and up to the horse trail found light waning, and once again we drug up as darkness fell.

We broke camp the next day with everyone having their elk and fatigue setting in. There was still a full day of packing out to do and the break in the weather was a welcome sight. We endured temperatures that fell under -10 at night and there was a constant "chill" in the air. But our adrenaline got us through.

I will say that John (Draftstud) is a one of a kind, a truely great guy......one that you would have to meet to know what I am talking about. I would hunt with him anytime. And his bestfriend Wes was cut from the same mold. The kind of guys you could always count on and are a joy to hunt with. Thanks guys.

Raybow was all I expected and more. He is probably the first guy I have hunted with in the lower 48 that could match me stride for stride. Elk in the holes seemed second nature to him. It was good to have another "mountain goat" along! I did get him tracking me up some vertical stuff that had him shaking his head later in camp though! ;) ......that was about the time he told me I hunted elk harder than anyone he had hunted with..........well Ray, I can say the same about you. Your an animal , man! :eek:

I left out all the rodeoing and horse-wrecks the guys seemed to keep finding:D
Horses are like kids...they know who they can get over on and who they can't!
.....but all in all, I was proud of the way these guys Cowboyed-up........

I have shared camp and hunted with more than 20 guys from these forums, and I will say this camp rates right at the top. There is nothing like men getting together and testing their metal against the elements and the game we hunt, and forming bonds that sometimes spans years. You learn a lot about a man when you spend days with him afield under less than perfect conditions, and I can only think of a couple over the years I wouldn't still call friend........

[ 11-08-2004, 10:54: Message edited by: Deerslayer ]
 

Moosie

Grand poopa
Joined
Dec 9, 2000
Messages
17,530
Location
Boise, Idaho
Sounds like a Blast..... Looks like I'll have to get back into that action again next year. But I ain't using no horse, I'm a "REAL" man ;)

Seriously though, Congrats on a great hunt. It's always good when you have fun on a hunt and do well !!!
 
D

Deerslayer

Guest
Moosie......like I told you before.....your welcome in my camp anytime. I have hunted with you before and look forward to doing it again.......soon.
 

DRAFTSTUD

Active member
Joined
Nov 14, 2002
Messages
5,087
Location
SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA
D.S. and Ray, I still had fun and will be back even stronger for our next adventure. You know when things are going south for a guy, people will do either 2 things: 1. they will bitch that you are screwing up their hunt or 2. Show concern and want what is best for whoever needs their help. Well, D.S., Ray and Wes showed the best of the traits that I demand of a Friend. I would share a camp with any of these guys, anytime and anywhere! God Bless all three of ya'll!
 
D

Deerslayer

Guest
That means a lot John. Wether I am able to draw a deer tag or not next year, I would gladly tag along with you and Wes and help you guys try and fill your tags. It's about the comradery more than anything else.

Glad to see you shake that bug big guy!
Enjoy the elk meat!
 

raybow 1

New member
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Messages
439
Location
bellingham- washington
Can't wait John-it'l be a hoot with all the one liners and lie swappin going on!! I ended up with a couple of your knives and radio John, so if ya want just send me an e-mail with your address and I'll get em out to ya.
 

IndyJay

New member
Joined
Dec 10, 2000
Messages
380
Location
Indianapolis, IN, United States
Sounds like you boys had a great hunt! I'm just sorry I couldn't have joined you! Next year though, I'll be ready to wack my first elk!

I've hunted with DS twice and have never seen anyone work as hard as him! I've been on two guided hunts where I paid thousands of dollars for tags, outfitting and guide's tips and not a single one of them have worked and hunted as hard as Mark!

The difference is that those guys did it for the money and DS clearly does it for the love of doing it and the SINCERE desire to see that those in his camp have a quality learning experience and a successful hunt! No two ways about that!
 

JohnSWA

Senior Thread Mover
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Messages
1,236
Location
Chandler, Az
Dang DS! Sounds like you're the MAN of all time! I'd love to get in on the next go around. I would seriously like to get the details and requirements for next year.


I don't mean to muscle in on anyones territory, so no harm if you already have a bunch of guys set up. Hell, I'd just like to meetcha someday and learn a thing or two! Not that I can learn much since I'm quite the seasoned Elk killer! LOL! Killed my first Cow this year! Don't that make me an expert? I kill me! :D

Sounds like you guys had an awesome hunt and a great time to boot! Lot's of things learned and good friends made for keeps.

Take care and keep the stories coming. I can't wait for the pics!
 
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