A bull for the kid…


Well-known member
Feb 1, 2021
So my son tried really hard for most of archery. We covered a ton of ground and his best chance actually came opening morning when I called 3 spikes broadside at 18 yards. Despite the lack of archery success, he kept pushing hard. 3/4 of the way through archery season we are working the areas above our house. My son hard tried hard the last 2 years to get a grouse, but it always fell apart.

The one evening we are trying to get into a spot for a last minute hunt. As we drove my son looks over and sees a grouse. He jumps out and a second one shows up closer… Takes aim with his bow, and lets the arrow fly. Solid hit the bird is flopping with the arrow stuck. I tell him to hurry don’t let it fly. He gets over and hesitates. The bird flies off with an arrow in tow…

Crap. Not only does it fly, but it clears the trees by 30 feet and is gone. His heart sinks but we search for a 1/2 hour maybe more… We double back check again. No luck. Sun is setting we lost the elk hunt but that’s ok…

We hope in the jeep and head down the road. We chat and look for more grouse, see a doe and fawn. Then my son say dad stop. I stop.

“I see my arrow!”

Well, go get it. He jumps out and the arrow starts running away… Grabs his bow get a second shot and finally has his first bird…

Archery ends with lots of great memories, tons of miles and no other real elk success.

The area we know opens on Oct. 15th for elk. Saturday. We pack our camper on Thursday so that when school is out on Friday we can leave…

3.5 hours later we have camp set and prepare for the next morning.

We agree that we want to hunt a designated walk in area that we hunted a couple times in the archery. Knowing it is opening day, we know we have to get up early to beat the crowds. LOL!!!

Well we get to the walk-in area and there is a zoo. 9 vehicles already parked an hour and a half before the sun rises. We park and contemplate our options… 2 more trucks 4 more guys show up and head in. We could see 14 headlamps in the dark. All walking in the wrong way, with the wind bad etc. so needless to say we tried another spot and same
Result. There were people everywhere and there was no pace we could find to get away from the masses of people. We spent the morning just glassing deer and moose from the truck… We eventually find a spot away from others but it was late in morning and nothing was moving.

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After a long sit glassing and watching trucks move all around, ATVs etc. we decide to head back to camp for lunch. We make a plan for the afternoon to hunter lower away from the crowds. In an area where we know people have been hunting but we also know there are elk…

After lunch around 3:30 we leave camp, a 1/2 mile from camp we see a group of cow elk in the sage. We make a move in the truck to head them off but they give us the slip. We both agree that was not very fun. We watch 5 other trucks try to figure the elk out but they slip everyone into a hole. We decide to work out our plan and head into a spot where there have been others and we know they have been hunted. Get into this area and there are another 4-5 vehicles and some guys pushing trees etc. all the elk sign was older and it was obvious they had moved on.

I told my son we must keep digging and looking…

We work out into the low country. I say there is a thick sage bottom with cut banks. If I was an elk, then I would hide out there as my last place to hide…

So we head to the area… I pull up on a glassing spot… Tell my son if I was an elk I would be…. right out there like that one…

Sure enough about 1.5 miles out I can see and elk. I throw the binos up and sure enough there was an elk… A decent bull.

The bad news, he is looking right at us and there is absolutely no cover between his location and ours. So I throw the truck in reverse, and back out of view. The sun was setting and we needed to hurry.

1.8 miles we hurried and barely got into range as the few minutes of sun were leaving…

At 180 yards the bull turns broad side to leave. My son settles in and shoots. The bull does not flinch. Not at all. Another shot it steps forward a bit. I settle in to shoot. Elk are tough, in the end my son sent 2 shots into the kill zone, I added 2 more and one in the neck before the bull fell.

His first shot hit bottom of the heart, Second shot hit high lung. Mine hit lung and liver…

In the end my son ended up with his first elk. He made 2 shots and the follow up shots were completely not needed…

We killed the bull at last light had it fully loaded at 10:45 on and we’re back in camp eating dinner at 12:15 am… He is very happy and I am proud that he stuck with it and made it count…
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Well-known member
Jul 1, 2012
NE Washington
Congrats, that's a nice first bull. I've heard of grouse flying off with arrows before, elk aren't the only tough critters. Remember my Dad telling me about 45 years ago, "If you ever get a chance to shoot at a bull, keep shooting until its on the ground". My first bull, a spike, took three 7mm Mag slugs to the boiler room before he hit the ground.


Well-known member
Oct 20, 2016
Serious memories right there, and a great first elk. Congratulations to your son, and you for all that special time you’ve gotten with him.


Active member
May 18, 2016
Congratulations guys. Couldn't happen to a nicer father and son team. And it's a damn fine bull in my book. Nice that you took the time to take good pics.

And the bird. Looks like a nice adult male bird to me. Nice shootin.