PEAX Equipment

A Season for the Ladies


Well-known member
Jul 14, 2015
This year has been good to us. A little recap and back story. Application season was solid ish with one minor set back. I apply for tags for me, my wife, and good friend. I drew my either sex elk archery which was the first hunt so that’s where I chose to post. I only put in for points for my wife and buddy as they are fairly new and not quite ready for an elk hunt. My dad and brother also drew muzzleloader cow tags so they would join somewhat on the hunt. Due to my job as a CPA, mid September is rough month so I knew I needed to be at work until the Wednesday the 13th to take care of deadlines and I had a board meeting to present the annual audit the 13th at night. My dad and brother went up Monday the 11th and I chose to haul camp (fifth wheel + atv ) up the weekend prior. I got to camp about 9:30 that night…it had been raining all day so it was wet.

Day 1 - after raining all day the day before, everything was soaked. My gaiters and boots are good, just not good enough to keep that much wet out for that long. Feet and knees and thighs were soaked from the brush. Got excited when I thought I heard grunting over a ridge and got an arrow knocked … then I heard it as it got closer… glunking which was fun to hear and watch.
After the morning hunt out with no sign or calls. I bailed for a change of shoes and pants and socks. Went to a different drainage to check sign for the afternoon. Nothing.

Day 2 - woke up at 4 am to rain pounding on the camper. Shut off my alarm as I knew it wasn’t happening. Woke at 6 anyway and made coffee for dad and I and my brother cooked up some eggs from his chickens. Watched it rain and what not until 10. Rain stopped so out I went. Tried a spot with no luck. I hadn’t heard a bugle yet nor had a few others in the area I chatted with that had been there a week. Nothing spotted or heard but found a really cool area for future hunts. I guess these are blinds ???

Day 3 - my brother and dad left this morning.. they don’t really hunt hard at all but like to be up there and I like their company. I chose to go up to a peak to check it out and drop off the edge and finally get a bugle. I know where this bull is but it’s only 50 yard visibility in the fog. I try to draw him out of the bottom but he is not budging and not aggressive but still responding. I know where he is but is beyond my ability to recover him alone before the weather rots him as it looks to be 60 during the day. I’m hindsight I should have tried taking a tree or something to try to get him going but we bugled back and forth for 2 hours almost without a budge. Mistake here is that I didn’t check my map and thought I knew the direction I needed to go and dropped off the wrong side causing a few extra ridges and a steep side hill out and an extra hour… not all was lost though.
Perfect arrow.

More to come!
Day 3 continued - I was freezing my butt off in that mountain holding still and trying to get that bull to come then long hike out I was wiped. Back to camp to eat and rest a few. Already being 3 I knew I needed something not so strenuous and not so far. I’ll just wander up this hill and sit until dark in an area I have bumped several in the past.

Bugling every 15 minutes or so up the hill I get nothing… I come to the fork in the drainage and debate, look at my map, bugle, Nothing … I pick right since left is steeper climb. Another 200 yards and I catch movement. Heads through the trees about to crest the ridge. I am stuck in the middle of an abandoned forest service trail and no way to take cover. They are only 30 yards but walking on the path they were headed. I knock an arrow and know it’s top pin out to 35 yards. It all happened so fast in hindsight.. instincts took over and all I remember telling my self is center the pin and let it fly. I saw antlers in the back of say 15 elk but never having harvested with my bow and holding an E/S tag I targeted the lead cow. I was in the middle of the trial knowing it was a matter of time before they spotted movement so I let it fly on the lead cow. Perfect shot it seemed! I saw blood spewing out and a buried arrow…
I drew a little picture later to help explain… stick figure is me… circle is where the elk were.

The herd bolted and stopped at 60 yards after I heard the cow crash. The elk just hung around and were chirping and chatting and I was loving it. I could see a nice rack over the brush but has no regrets at this point… I set a time for 30minutes as I thought that was plenty of time on that shot. Clock at 5:30 … plenty of time… the herd slowly moves off but a few calves and cows hung around with me thinking my cow was down and they were confused… times up let’s go see.

I go right to where I should find her but nothing … hmmm … ok scan for blood… plenty of it no problem… easy trail ..
Even found where she crashed…
She should be here… uh oh the trail stops though… it’s fairly open since forest service clear cut back in the 90’s but I see nothing. After 200 yards my trail went dry… I panic a minute… ok grid search … hands and knees out to 20 yards … 40 yards…. Ok real panic … take a breath … adrenaline dry heave …. I look at onX … back track to the original shot … follow blood and waypoint each spot of blood … when the blood stopped I just continued on the path she was on and 150 yards later I cut track in where the herd went down a little cut and another 50 yard and there she is… 10 yards in I stop to verify… oh shit she is still breathing! I knock an arrow and try to get a better angle just in case… thought she was just going through her aginal breaths but I watch a few then she lifts her head towards me and instinct took over again and I put another arrow in her neck / head area trying to spine and end her( her butt was facing me). 20 more yards and she was mine.

I don't understand how she was still alive after the 1st shot, it looks perfect.
What's your arrow setup?
So got her down and finish at 7:20 … quick pics and get to work … been here before and knew what to expect … solo pack out in the dark again. But the good news is only 3/4 miles from the wheeler and all downhill so glad I chose an easier hike that evening lol. Took an hour to quarter her up and an hour to get back to the wheeler and camp.
Congratulations! Looks like a really good first shot - any rationale why she stopped bleeding?
My thought is that when I shot it was a slight quartering too and ricochet off the offside rob because entrance was perfect looking. This is where I got careless is that I didn’t even look for an exit. I assumed I had a pass through and got to quartering since it was dark. I got to the offside hind quarter and ..
I was skinning that quarter and the blood was pooled and through me off … expose a bit more and bam … my first thought was it was an old arrow … stupid on my part for not being careful but no cuts or anything… I grabbed my leatherman and Pulled and my whole arrow came out in one piece… total carnage an that quarter that I figure cost me 10 -15 pounds of meat! That explained why blood stopped and she layed down .. no exit wound.

I don't understand how she was still alive after the 1st shot, it looks perfect.
What's your arrow setup?
Shooting gold tip hunter Xt 300’s with a muzzy 3 blade 100gr

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