Gastro Gnome - Eat Better Wherever

Botched Birthday Elk

Hunter4Life78

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2022
Messages
641
Well Folks, 44 years ago on November 20, I came into this world a little after 6 a.m. I think this is why I love to hunt. Born during the rut, just about daylight in some places or the time one might find themselves walking into the heart of Mother Nature's splendor in hopes of finding the "big one" or simply in hopes of putting meet in the freezer.
This year I decided I was going hunting and kill an elk on my birthday. Little did I know that it was gonna be a lil' bit of a rodeo.
I spent Saturday with a coworker trying to find him a deer. No luck. I drove him back home three hours from where I was staying since he had to work Sunday. No problem. Get back to room and get up later than I wanted to. (HELPS TO TURN THE ALARM ON). I go to some wares for the day and my card is declined, not once but twice. This is odd. So there goes the morning, finally figure out some kind soul decided that my card should pay for a $70 meal at a restaurant I've never heard of let alone been to, as well as a $90 meal Denny's. Now don't get me wrong I don't mind me some Denny's, just not 90 bucks worth. They also felt the need to attempt to spend $300.45 somewhere in Vegas at 1:28 A.M. Now I'm frustrated, this is my bday, after last year's mess, the old man having covid and ma deciding to have a "minor heart attack" and a "mini stroke, I was hoping and praying this year would be better. Anyway I deal with debit card mess am able to get cash to continue my hunting adventure.

Not wanting to travel 45 mins to the area I usually hunt in since it's afternoon now, a conversation is struck up with the hotel night manager and he is kind enough to point me to some state ground bordering some private ground. He swears elk are in there and are traveling to this private land. We look at OnX and I gather my stuff and head to the guaranteed elk spot. Not gonna lie was very hesitant and trying not to get my hopes up.

I drive to the spot get out and start glossing. Low and behold I find a cow bedded then i see another cow, I can shoot a cow here I'm gonna take this opportunity for a gift to myself and start the pursuit.

I leave the pack, take the rifle, and start across roughly a mile of open ground to the tree line where she's bedded. I've got the wind in my face Sobieski start trucking. I watch as she stands up and starts to feed. Slowly what was two elk turn to five elk all cows and calves. I have time to watch so I find a cow with no young uns and make her the target.

I get to 576 yards away and a calf is locked in watching my direction I' m a little ways off, I obviously need to cover some distance yet, but I stop and let calf go back to feeding. I change direction and get some scrub bushes between elk and I. I get to the bushes and range again 482. Still not taking the shot. Confident in the rifle, not in myself. I now have zero cover except a medium sized bush that. I range it and figure thus will get me inside 300 yards. Still not what I want, but a distance I've practiced at.
Elk have now changed direction feeding towards me and lead cow finds me, she starts pacing back and forth checking the wind, which is still in my face downwind from them. She settles down and I finally make it to the bush.

They elk have clumped together now and are feeding. I get another range and they are at 283. Again not what I want, but the only cover is this bush or a group of pines that are in line with this group of cows. I get myself rested on the bush and start slowing down my breathing, I find the group in the scope and pick out get the target cow located again. She behind the lead cow looking at me. Lead cow runs off to her calf and continues the stare down continues. I let them all calm down and get myself ready behind the scope. Target cow is in the crosshairs. Here comes lead cow and she stops right in front of target cow. She moves and I get settled again on target cow and I squeeze the round off. I watch lead cow run off and I watch target cow walk and lay down. She tries to stand, but falls down. It looks like I hit her further back than intended, I'm not happy, but I watch her for 20 mins she lays her head down and doesn't move again.

I start my approach and get to within 100 yards of her and stands up and runs to the trees and lay's down. No shot. I give another 15 mins and go to where she first laid down at. No blood. I move to where she was when I shot, no blood. I'm mad at myself at this point and want to finish her quickly, I know she's hit, with lack of blood I'm sure she's hit in the paunch.
I jumped her three more times from her bed each time no blood. I finally decide to back at out and see if I can find her in the morning.

I didn't sleep much. Finally gave up at 0430 at trying to sleep after waking up all hours of the night and get dressed to go see if I can find her having made up my mind that I was notching my tag regardless. I grabbed coffee fuel and proceeded to the spot and waited.

At 0748 this morning I found her. She was in a group of pines trees expired. I said quick thank you prayer and apologized to her for her suffering and went to work at getting her field dressed. I did hit her further back than I intended, doesn't appear that a lot of meat was lost not a rancid odor, I feel horrible that she didn't expire in a timely manner. I said another thank you prayer and asked that she not be spoiled.
 

Attachments

  • 20221121_082132.jpg
    20221121_082132.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 15

FoodIsMemories

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
1,715
Location
SW MT
Well Folks, 44 years ago on November 20, I came into this world a little after 6 a.m. I think this is why I love to hunt. Born during the rut, just about daylight in some places or the time one might find themselves walking into the heart of Mother Nature's splendor in hopes of finding the "big one" or simply in hopes of putting meet in the freezer.
This year I decided I was going hunting and kill an elk on my birthday. Little did I know that it was gonna be a lil' bit of a rodeo.
I spent Saturday with a coworker trying to find him a deer. No luck. I drove him back home three hours from where I was staying since he had to work Sunday. No problem. Get back to room and get up later than I wanted to. (HELPS TO TURN THE ALARM ON). I go to some wares for the day and my card is declined, not once but twice. This is odd. So there goes the morning, finally figure out some kind soul decided that my card should pay for a $70 meal at a restaurant I've never heard of let alone been to, as well as a $90 meal Denny's. Now don't get me wrong I don't mind me some Denny's, just not 90 bucks worth. They also felt the need to attempt to spend $300.45 somewhere in Vegas at 1:28 A.M. Now I'm frustrated, this is my bday, after last year's mess, the old man having covid and ma deciding to have a "minor heart attack" and a "mini stroke, I was hoping and praying this year would be better. Anyway I deal with debit card mess am able to get cash to continue my hunting adventure.

Not wanting to travel 45 mins to the area I usually hunt in since it's afternoon now, a conversation is struck up with the hotel night manager and he is kind enough to point me to some state ground bordering some private ground. He swears elk are in there and are traveling to this private land. We look at OnX and I gather my stuff and head to the guaranteed elk spot. Not gonna lie was very hesitant and trying not to get my hopes up.

I drive to the spot get out and start glossing. Low and behold I find a cow bedded then i see another cow, I can shoot a cow here I'm gonna take this opportunity for a gift to myself and start the pursuit.

I leave the pack, take the rifle, and start across roughly a mile of open ground to the tree line where she's bedded. I've got the wind in my face Sobieski start trucking. I watch as she stands up and starts to feed. Slowly what was two elk turn to five elk all cows and calves. I have time to watch so I find a cow with no young uns and make her the target.

I get to 576 yards away and a calf is locked in watching my direction I' m a little ways off, I obviously need to cover some distance yet, but I stop and let calf go back to feeding. I change direction and get some scrub bushes between elk and I. I get to the bushes and range again 482. Still not taking the shot. Confident in the rifle, not in myself. I now have zero cover except a medium sized bush that. I range it and figure thus will get me inside 300 yards. Still not what I want, but a distance I've practiced at.
Elk have now changed direction feeding towards me and lead cow finds me, she starts pacing back and forth checking the wind, which is still in my face downwind from them. She settles down and I finally make it to the bush.

They elk have clumped together now and are feeding. I get another range and they are at 283. Again not what I want, but the only cover is this bush or a group of pines that are in line with this group of cows. I get myself rested on the bush and start slowing down my breathing, I find the group in the scope and pick out get the target cow located again. She behind the lead cow looking at me. Lead cow runs off to her calf and continues the stare down continues. I let them all calm down and get myself ready behind the scope. Target cow is in the crosshairs. Here comes lead cow and she stops right in front of target cow. She moves and I get settled again on target cow and I squeeze the round off. I watch lead cow run off and I watch target cow walk and lay down. She tries to stand, but falls down. It looks like I hit her further back than intended, I'm not happy, but I watch her for 20 mins she lays her head down and doesn't move again.

I start my approach and get to within 100 yards of her and stands up and runs to the trees and lay's down. No shot. I give another 15 mins and go to where she first laid down at. No blood. I move to where she was when I shot, no blood. I'm mad at myself at this point and want to finish her quickly, I know she's hit, with lack of blood I'm sure she's hit in the paunch.
I jumped her three more times from her bed each time no blood. I finally decide to back at out and see if I can find her in the morning.

I didn't sleep much. Finally gave up at 0430 at trying to sleep after waking up all hours of the night and get dressed to go see if I can find her having made up my mind that I was notching my tag regardless. I grabbed coffee fuel and proceeded to the spot and waited.

At 0748 this morning I found her. She was in a group of pines trees expired. I said quick thank you prayer and apologized to her for her suffering and went to work at getting her field dressed. I did hit her further back than I intended, doesn't appear that a lot of meat was lost not a rancid odor, I feel horrible that she didn't expire in a timely manner. I said another thank you prayer and asked that she not be spoiled.
Hey it happens to us all, but most importantly she DID expire in a place you could and DID find her. Good story, good recovery, great job, Dave. Meat in the freezer baby.
 

FoodIsMemories

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
1,715
Location
SW MT
Don’t. It’s done now. Had you got there and she wasn’t there, I’d be stressing TF out. Though she pushed further because of you doing your diligence, ultimately you found success because of your decisions. Your decisions to get closer. Your decision to wait for the best shot you could. The decision to back out, and the decision to go back and give it your all to find her. You got your elk, which is largely difficult for many elk hunters each and every year. You ought to be proud. Set a target date and just go make it happen? Sounds like you got some lucky underpants, my friend… lol
 

Hunter4Life78

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2022
Messages
641
Don’t. It’s done now. Had you got there and she wasn’t there, I’d be stressing TF out. Though she pushed further because of you doing your diligence, ultimately you found success because of your decisions. Your decisions to get closer. Your decision to wait for the best shot you could. The decision to back out, and the decision to go back and give it your all to find her. You got your elk, which is largely difficult for many elk hunters each and every year. You ought to be proud. Set a target date and just go make it happen? Sounds like you got some lucky underpants, my friend… lol
LOL it's the red union suit the old man provided me with and the hat my daughter got me.
 

Attachments

  • 20221121_125352.jpg
    20221121_125352.jpg
    2.7 MB · Views: 9

Jwill

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
1,571
Location
Virginia
Happy bday! Pretty cool story and glad it worked out, sounds like the meat was in good shape. Hopefully you kicked a few lbs to the night manager for the tip.

As you can see from my signature below, this article left a mark on me several years ago. :)
 

Gr8bawana

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2013
Messages
4,787
Location
Nevada
Congrats on the elk! That freezer full of delicious meat makes it all worthwhile.
I also had a similar experience last year while elk hunting when my debit card was somehow "skimmed" and they twice charged almost $500 before my wife got a phone call from our bank. The got the card frozen before they tried to charge another $500 and it was declined. Luckily the bank did not hold me accountable for the bogus charges. (y)
 

F250

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2011
Messages
1,550
Location
Vermont
Congratulations ! You did everything right. You moved in as close as you could to be within your practiced shooting yardage. You waited for the best shot opportunity and tried to recover her right off. That didn't work out, so you waited overnight. All very sound decisions. Happy birthday. You are a good hunter !
 
Leupold Banner

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
104,730
Messages
1,732,824
Members
32,744
Latest member
knjax15
Top