Finally Got My First Bull

chambero

New member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
93
Location
Fort Worth, TX
It took me more than a few tries, but I finally killed my first bull elk.



We were hunting in a drop camp up around Meeker. We went in just under six miles on horses, but were probably right around 2 miles from the closest 4x4 road. Friday night before season, bulls were bugling everywhere. We thought we had the place to ourselves.

We came out of the tent around 5 am to head to our spots and were met by the darndest army of headlamps marching up both sides of the valley and the bottom. Apparently the locals knew the valley held lots of elk.

At daylight the shooting started. It was actually pretty pitiful. One group of about 20 cows broke out on an open ridge. From where I sat, I counted five that made it to cover. I could count 40 hunters in "our" valley.

I missed a small bull about 9 am. Shot was probably too long (around 450 yds), but he was standing still and I had a good rest. He just walked off in the trees. We trailed him for a while and finally stopped in a small clearing and had lunch. We decided our best approach was to just sit. I stayed put and my buddy went a couple of draws over.

Two different groups of hunters came right up by me hauling out elk on their backs over the top of the south ridge. About an hour later the wind got up in my face and I stood up to get some blood circulating. I guess I heard something, and turned around to see my bull running straight downhill directly at me at full speed - maybe 40 to 50 yds away. He passed within probably 10 yards to my left as he thundered by. Needless to say I'm lucky I didn't have to change pants.

I had forgot to turn my scope power down after the miss earlier. On the first shot I think I just pretty much pointed the gun at him and shot. On the second I guess my finger touched the trigger right as I jacked another shell in because I fired into the ground in front of me. Somehow I got a third shot chambered right before he made it to cover and found him in the scope, maybe a 100 yds away. I fired right as he went over a rise. I didn't hear anything or see anything, but I really figured I had missed again.

When I went to look, he had dropped just over the edge of the rise from a "perfectly" executed "Texas heart show". He must have died instantly because he crashed headlong into a 6-8" aspen tree. His left brow tine stuck into the tree like a railroad spike, actually coming out the back side before breaking off. He broke his whole bottom jaw in half.

I was truly shaking. I had just harvested a very nice 6x5 (for the area). Not exactly how I pictured my first elk kill. I imagine I'll still be able to see him rolling toward me till my dying day. We didn't have a saw and didn't feel like trying to cut the tree down with a hatchet, so that brow tine is still there.


The area we hunted.


We had a cold ride back to the trailhead at the end of season.
 

Spitz

Active member
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
2,395
Location
Idaho
Congrats on your bull! Nothing quite like the opening day mayhem that goes on in popular areas.
 

Bambistew

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
5,344
Location
Chugiak, AK
Congrats. Good story too.

Ya know when you get cold you can get off those 4 legged critters and walk a bit... warms ya right up. ;)
 

Bwana

Active member
Joined
Dec 10, 2001
Messages
1,483
Location
North Dakota
Nice job with the bull but I would have definitely retrieved the browtine before heading out of the country.
 

mtmiller

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 7, 2001
Messages
9,343
Location
Montana
Cool story, but do you have a picture of the antler in the tree. If not, I am call bullsheet.;) :D
 

Mac7

New member
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Messages
740
Location
Idaho
Congrats on the bull.So out of a herd of 20 cows hunters took 15 of them?
 

Oak

Expert
Joined
Dec 23, 2000
Messages
12,408
Location
Colorado
Wow, sounds like a typical hunt in the CO pumpkin patch. Actually, a typical hunt would be those 40 guys shooting at two cows, a calf, a spike and a raghorn. Sounds like the snow helped you and others out.

Congrats on your first. That's a good bull for an open area.
 

Tom

New member
Joined
Jan 22, 2001
Messages
4,985
Location
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Too bad you had to leave the brow tine in the tree. What a story. No bone saw to get it either I guess? I bet the taxidermist can fix it though, you tell him what it looked like.

What a story, wow. 40 cow elk and 5 make it to cover. It sounds good that nobody got shot.

Congratulations for sure, it looks fantastic! Pretty much him or you with that charge, that's quick loading.
 

JohnSWA

Senior Thread Mover
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Messages
1,236
Location
Chandler, Az
Welcome to the world of elk hunting! It's an addiction you'll never recover from. Thanks for sharing your story and also for the great pics!
 

danr55

Active member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Messages
4,327
Location
Mesa, AZ
Congratulations! THe first one is always the hardest. The rest should come easy.. Isn't that right Mooseman?

:cool:
 

chambero

New member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
93
Location
Fort Worth, TX
In regards to the browtine, somehow I didn't bother to take a picture of the tree with the antler in it. But you can see where the browtine is broke off in the photo. It really is in there. We looked around for it on the ground for a while and gave up. My buddy that helped me quarter him is the one that actually found it stuck in the tree right before we headed out. By then it was almost dark, I had his cape on my backpack (which I never did figure out how to load correctly), and we had a mile walk back to the tent (downhill thank goodness due to my way off-balance pack). I could e-mail you coordinates if you want to go check for yourself :D .

I carry a small hatchet in my hunting pack, but not a saw. It would have took a fair amount of chopping to cut the tree in two places to retrieve it. I could have gone back later on for it but felt it might be kind of cool to try to take my two boys back to look for it someday. In hindsigt I guess varmints might be likely to nibble it away though.

I never thought we'd have that much company, especially that far away from roads. We've road camped and backpacked numerous occassions and never run into that. Of course we never ran into that many elk before either.
 

Dinkshooter

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
7,241
Location
Colorado
From the look of that second picture. Here is the recipe you had:

Flat
Open Aspen forrest
Lots of elk
OTC unit
= A TON OF COLORADO HUNTERS and chaos.

Nice bull!!!!!!!!!!!
 

DRAFTSTUD

Active member
Joined
Nov 14, 2002
Messages
5,087
Location
SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA
"Of course we never ran into that many elk before either" Yeah, I'd be interested in looking at that Browtine!!!! E-mail me some Coords. John:D :D :D
 
Top