Caribou Gear

Back from New Mexico, no bull


New member
Dec 23, 2000
I got back from my archery elk hunt late last night with lots of memorys, but no elk.
I saw enought big bulls that I decided to hold out for a good one. I had several chances to fill my tag with rag horns or cows, but I just couldn't close the deal with one of the 300+ bulls that I saw almost daily.
The first day of hunting, I climed a high ridge with a mesa on top, after an hour of still hunting I herd hooves and a string of cows trotted out of the trees and across in front of me at 80 yds. A dozen cows were followed by a perfect, semetrical, super heavy 6X6 that would go over 340, maby 350. I was caught in the open, so I dropped to my knees in the tall grass and tried cow calling. He bugeled at me and pushed his cows off the side into heavy timber.
The next day I called a 250 class 5X6 into bow range, got him to stop broadside with his head behind a tree and ranged him at 29 yds (perfect shot) but I couldn't do it thinking about that 6X6. I also passed on a spike and a several cows. On Tuesday, I was 100 yards from two big bulls screaming at each other, but the only way to get closer was from up wind. The last morning, I chased a 300+ 6X6 for a mile, getting within 40 yds three times, but he never gave me anything but a Texas hart shot, and he finaly just dissapered into the forest.
I have at least three big blisters on each foot, one toenail about to fall off, two large bruises, hundreds of scraches and sore muscels from head to toe, and a big smile on my face !
I want to do it again!
Sounds like you had a very successful hunt even if you didn't get one of them big boys down. Glad you had a good time and hope you have some pictures to share with us.
Well, I wouldn't exactly call that a skunk! Sounds like you saw some dandies out there and had a great time!

I'll be hunting elk for the first time in a couple weeks and you can bet I won't be looking for any world records. Just me though. I'm glad you had a great time and I'm sure the elk gods will smile upon you the next time you're out!

Thanks for the story!
Hey sounds like you were in to em'...that in itself makes it a great hunt! Glad you had a good time and this will just whet the appetite to go again!!!
Getting that close is a rush for sure.
Sounds like a great trip to me.
Take care of your feet,that doesn't sound very good.

No bull for me either. But I did get to work about a dozen in 4 days of hunting a VERY HARD to reach area. The horses were no help getting to this place...but man did it hold some HUGE ASS bulls!!! First morning ...45 minutes into my hunt I stalked withing 150 yards of a real nice 6x6(300ish)...then called him in on a string to 40 yards and played for a few minutes before remembering the oath Dan and I made to hold out for the first several days on anything except a toad. Later than day aroud 1...the toad appeared...bugling in a burn with 24 cows!....I stalked withing 60 yards in the tall grass and waited for them to feed by in the draw.....worked like a charm as the first half of his cows fed by at 30 yards..then the wind changed and the gig was up! The big 6x7 was the biggest I would see all unexperienced eye guessed him at 350+( Greenhornian type bull:)) I cow called and stopped him at 60 and then 80 yards...but the lure of his cows was too much and he followed them over the ridge. The next Day found me working 3 seperate bulls by 2pm.....two of which were frigging huge.....the other was a spike that stepped out at 20 yards as I was coming to full draw on a monter 6x6 at 40 yards! He had bugled over 20 times around noon while Dan and I called from 3 ridges away. We followed the faint sound until I finally pinpointed his location and made the stalk. It was perfect and he had no clue as he raked trees and threw grass and mud in the air with his headgear. Everything was right as I came to full draw....then without warning a spike stepped out and stood facing me at 20 yards! After a couple minutes he began to bark! I thought frantically on what to I decided to cow call to try and draw the lone bull closer so he would think he was the one to run the spike off......worked great as the bull came down the hill....except one thing...the spike wouldn't leave and closed the distance walking slowly straight at me...still barking. The bull got antsy and decided something just wasn't right...he high stepped over the top..leaving the spike there alone with a very angry and frustrated hunter who debated perforating him just for the hell of it!!!!!!

The next two days would be much of the same...with me finding the bigger bulls with lots of cows or the swirling wind making stalks and setups lasting more than 20 minutes or so unsuccessful. The last morning found me back with the big 6x7 not far from where I first saw him.......but now he was alone and bugling hard and often. With the wind in my favor, and 60 yards away, I matched his staedy, even gait step for step down a ridge for close to 500 yards. He was walking slow and deliberate..on a march, and the wind dictated me to stay behind and to the right of him. I wasn't going to screw this one up. All I needed was for him to stop and rake, or veer just a little to the right or left and I could gain another 20 yards for an unsuspecting shot.....then the inevitable came......he reached the end of the ridge and was heading down into the pits of was go time, now or I brought up my favorite cow call and pitched my best at him.....he immediately stopped in his awsome glory, and slowly turned and looked back in my direction....2 minutes...5...10....I was scared to death. At this time I knew my inexperience bowhunting elk was absolutely doing me in.....and I just didn't know wether to call or not. He waited, and waited.....and waited. Then he proceded forward ever so slowly.....I called out of desperation, but it was as if he said "too late". He went right down and in......I tried my best to follow but the approach was loud and was over and I was simply crushed. I knew at that point...even though I still had a half day to hunt, that was my best chance and I blew it. I am not sure how, but I knew I did. As I drew close to guard down......I came upon 15 cows bedded over a depression.....unaware. As I stalked closer, their "keeper"....a huge bull, stood up about 40 yards behind me, hesitating momentarily, then bolting, leaving his harem behind. They had no clue and it took about 5 minutes for the to get up and follow. This only added insult to injury and I was truely defeated at that point. Yes, one could say it was still a great hunt, but truth is, I laid everything I had on that very rugged, very difficult mountain and I came up short. That is the difference in the guys that bring them home with sticks and strings and the guys that just "get close". I plan to continue my education bowhunting monster bulls .....same place, same time next year:)

[ 09-13-2004, 16:01: Message edited by: Deerslayer ]
Hey DS, glad you made it home.
Another thing we both got into, wild turkeys up the wazoo ( I wonder how hard that tag is to get ? )
Yepper Dan......made home and am beat. I am taking a couple of days off to recoup...

Rick, I had a carribou hunt set up for two weeks away....but I am cancelling. I feel guilty for leaving my 15 year old daughter again so soon. I recently gained custody of her and feel my time better served at home for a while.

I do have one more elk hunt though.the Colorado late hunt you mentioned. It will be about 6 weeks away....and Raybow and Indy are meeting me in the high country to slew some bulls....using bullets this time!!!!!

Good luck on your upcoming hunt to New mexico and may your luck be better than ours was!!!
That's great that you have your daughter with you, Mark. Nothing makes a man feel so good as the word "Daddy" in his daughter's voice. Fifteen is a tough time, though, and you're right to spend as much time as you can with her - she will be out the door before you know it.
Right on boys! Those are great hunts regardless. Any pics of the country? Sounds pretty sweet... :cool:
I should have some pics in a few days, right now, I'm takeing care of family medical problems.

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