Daughter's Montana bull...


Active member
Oct 28, 2019
Billings (and Little Snowies)
Earlier this year when it came time to put in for tags, I decided to go ahead and apply for either sex elk rifle tags for my wife and a couple of my kids in the district we typically hunt. I apply for the 900-20 tag for archery only myself. I figured it would be a 3-6 years before my younger kids (15 year old boy/girl twins) and wife would draw anyway. My 15 year old daughter wasn't super excited when I told her I applied for the permit as she likes to go out with me and her brother, but that was about it. I told her there were low odds (less than 10%) this first year that she would get drawn and by the time she was drawn in a few years, she would be really excited about it.

I'm sure you can guess the draw results- no one else drew a permit except her! Her excitement grew over the summer as she thought more about being the first of her siblings to shoot an elk, etc. We started at the range with a .243 then progressed to the 7mm-08 with light loads and then to the final 7mm-08 ammo - Hornady 150gr ELD-X before hunting season began.

The first couple of weekends of rifle season we were limited on our time in the field due to sports wrapping up and a Colorado mule deer hunt for me (write up to be done later in the Deer section). The last couple of weeks were spent getting close - a couple bulls actually hanging out some mornings on our 20 acres, a group of 18 bulls that were 200yds across the fence on private land at sunset (long walk back to truck in the dark), missing a surprise shot at bull at 150yds, and "stalking" on 10 bulls that were on a hillside with nothing between us and them but open prairie (not surprisingly, that did not result in a shot).

Then we got "the call" last week....a call from a private ranch asking if my daughter had filled her bull tag yet - and if she wanted to come up and hunt for the day....ummm...let me think about it for .01 of second. Absolutely! We were onsite the next day about 1230pm and were on bulls pretty quick but did not get a shot at the first bull. Seems he wanted to engage in a staring contest from 100yds. He stared at the 3 of us for 20 minutes through the timber. He was slightly down-slope so we could only see mid-chest and up. The ranch manager with us and I would occasionally wave an arm, raise and lower binoculars, step aside and back - nothing caused this bull to take a step either way, but he did yawn once. After a couple cow calls he and his buddies finally moved out of there so we could continue on.

We moved to another area and got on another group of 6-7 bulls that were about 300yds away. They were moving up a hillside across from us. We closed the gap a bit and got the shooting sticks out. As she had before, she got a bull in the scope and squeezed the trigger, but was high - then a larger bull walked out from the timber below. She chambered another one and put the cross-hairs on this larger bull - and this shot hit true - perfect lung shot that ranged at 240yds. The bull went down and the celebration began. She was a little emotional on the walk to the elk as she had never killed an animal. By the time we got there she was all smiles - the elk didn't suffer and we'll have a freezer full of wonderful meat.

I reminded her this is not "normal" elk hunting for us and very likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am very thankful and blessed to have had this opportunity with her and for the call from the ranch with the offer. We are looking forward to the european mount as the left antler is definitely unique in how it comes out the middle of the skull.


  • abigail-elk2.jpg
    600.9 KB · Views: 415
  • abigail-elk1.jpg
    624.1 KB · Views: 414


Well-known member
Nov 13, 2011
Good for her, congratulations on a great bull and she will enjoy a great trophy and some fine eating
Leupold Banner

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Latest member