Daughter's Montana bull...

FoodIsMemories

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Jun 26, 2021
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915
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SW MT
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.
An incredible offer I can’t believe it took you that long to think about it!? 😉 congrats!!! Does she want to get another one this year?
 

beartoothhiker

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Joined
Oct 28, 2019
Messages
39
Location
Billings (and Little Snowies)
An incredible offer I can’t believe it took you that long to think about it!? 😉 congrats!!! Does she want to get another one this year?
She actually has a twin brother that hasn't been drawn for a bull tag so I didn't even apply for her - b/c as luck would have it she would somehow draw again and he wouldn't. I'll probably still buy a pref point this summer for her, but not try to draw again until he gets a shot. And he didn't get drawn this year either.
 

8andcounting

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Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Messages
2,730
She actually has a twin brother that hasn't been drawn for a bull tag so I didn't even apply for her - b/c as luck would have it she would somehow draw again and he wouldn't. I'll probably still buy a pref point this summer for her, but not try to draw again until he gets a shot. And he didn't get drawn this year either.
Aren’t you montana residents? I just find it fascinating, (didn’t get drawn for a bull tag ) , can’t you buy a general tag to shoot a bull over the counter ? In my experience, and in my opinion, the general tag in montana is as good or better than many LE hunts
 

Ghillieman

Active member
Joined
Jan 26, 2022
Messages
110
Location
Florida
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.
Nice bull.. Abigail and proud poppa....well done!
 

beartoothhiker

Active member
Joined
Oct 28, 2019
Messages
39
Location
Billings (and Little Snowies)
Aren’t you montana residents? I just find it fascinating, (didn’t get drawn for a bull tag ) , can’t you buy a general tag to shoot a bull over the counter ? In my experience, and in my opinion, the general tag in montana is as good or better than many LE hunts
Both kids are involved in fall sports (and I coach one of them) so I put in for an either sex elk permit only in the HD where our cabin is located. Yeah, we could hunt in other areas with a general tag, but are very limited on time for the next couple of years.
 

8andcounting

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Messages
2,730
Both kids are involved in fall sports (and I coach one of them) so I put in for an either sex elk permit only in the HD where our cabin is located. Yeah, we could hunt in other areas with a general tag, but are very limited on time for the next couple of years.
Ok . Congrats to your daughter great bull
 
Yeti

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