Caribou Gear Tarp

First Elk Finally!

MT_BWHTR

Active member
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Messages
74
Hey all! It's been a long while since I have posted on here unfortunately. But, I'm here now, and here's a quick run down of my first ever elk.

After several backpacking trips into a few different locations over the month of Sept, and 2 close calls with a 330" and a 350" that wind swirls screwed us, I was finally able to connect an arrow with my first elk in early October, the day after a 3 day snow storm finally stopped. The storm broke in the morning, so I packed up and hiked in a couple miles to set up a small camp as my wife was going to be joining me in a few days. I had just a few minutes of daylight left, so I walked to a nearby ridge to glass, and found several elk scattered along the private and public boundary, so that gave me a good plan for the next morning. That night it was pretty cold! I think the lows hit the mid 20's and I just have a 3 season 2 person tent with no stove.

I woke up chilly, put my frozen boots on, and headed out. At the top of my glassing ridge, I wanted to double check the basin, and sure enough, the elk hadn't moved much. I then ended up running into another hunter, Grant, that had the same plan as me, so we decided to team up instead of messing each other up. As we got close to the herd, that was actually several small herds with bulls pushing their cows, and bugling going on everywhere, we realized with the frozen snow, it was going to be hard to get very close to anything. We made a couple moves on a small group that was within a couple hundred yards, but the bulls were just following cows, and we couldn't get in their path.

After a couple hours of that, we sat on a knob overlooking a lot of country so that we could eat some food and glass. A short tined 6pt actually came out a couple hundred yards below us, and disappeared up and over the next ridge into what I knew was some pretty thick timber. We made a mental note of that bull, and glassed up a really big bull bedded about a mile away with a small group of cows. Our plan was to work back around the way we came, try to fine the small bull bedded, but ultimately make the trek over to the large bull with cows. It is now about noon, and the sun had melted the crust off of the snow, so walking around was quiet finally.

As we made our way around to a spot we could glass for the first bull from a few hundred yards away, it didn't take either one of us more than about 15 seconds to find him. We both looked at each other, and Grant instantly said for me to go after him, and he would watch on a nearby ridge in case I bumped him, or so he could see where the bull ran after a shot. I have never shot an elk before, and Grant has never shot a bull, or anything with a bow, so to this day, I still feel like I owe him! As I made my way into the timber patch, constantly checking wind and just sliding my feet through the snow, I knew I had to take it slow, and that bull wasn't going anywhere for awhile. Once I knew I was within 100yds I would take a slow step, then glass and pick apart everything in front me, then do it again. It seemed like it was taking me forever, and I also wondered if the bull had winded me at one point, but then all of a sudden I caught a weird shine about 40yds in front me. As I focused on it, I could tell it was antler, and it was one of the bulls fronts that caught the sun just right. He was bedded with his back rolled towards me and mostly behind some downfall, and a small tree covered with snow was blocking his head. As I assessed things, I knew a 30yd shot is better than 40yds, so I kept that small tree between his head and me, and slowly crept forward. When I was able to get a clear range on a tree right next to the bull, it said 31yds, but I still couldn't see anything but the back half of him still bedded. With my release clipped on, I was trying to figure out what to do, and scared of that dreaded wind swirl, when he decided to get up and stretch. As soon as he started standing, I drew back, but still couldn't see vitals. His head was still blocked, so while at full draw, I took a slow step to my right so that the window I had, would open up towards his vitals. As soon as his front shoulder cleared the trees, I settled my 30yd pin on his heart, and pulled through the shot. I watched the arrow hit true, but the bull only flinched. He had no clue I was there, and no clue what had just happened. As I knocked another arrow, he took a couple steps left, behind the trees again, then turned downhill. At one point I could have shot again, but would of had to put the arrow through, or in front of the shoulder, and I opted not to, knowing where my first shot went. He took a few steps to my right, and downhill, stumbled, turned uphill, and fell over not 10yds from where he was bedded. It felt like forever, but he had expired probably 15-20 seconds, right in front of me.

I could type a novel about this bull I'm sure. But in short, I told Grant I couldn't thank him enough. He offered to help break the bull down and pack out, but knowing he only had that one day to hunt for awhile, I told him to go after that other bull we spotted. The weather was cold, and I had several days to get him packed out. I skinned, quartered and hung meat solo, then packed the first 2 of 6 boned out bags. I got back to the truck at midnight, and my wife took off work to come help the next 2 days. She was more worried about the fact that I put my knife into my shin while skinning the neck out.....

This was my 4th year chasing elk, and I have had several close calls, and racked up well over 100 miles per year on the boots. I added up that I was at 110 miles for the year when I shot this bull, and by the time my wife and I packed him all out, it was 130 miles. It's crazy what we do not just to fill a tag, but for these adventures....


IMG_4948.jpg IMG_5145.jpg IMG_1517.jpg IMG_1553.jpg IMG_4949.jpg IMG_5209.jpg
 

bts09

Active member
Joined
Aug 9, 2017
Messages
259
Great write up, great persistence (year over year), and I‘m glad it worked out for you and Grant. Always hope to run into that kind of hunter/person while out there.
 

jjubran

Active member
Joined
Apr 11, 2016
Messages
104
Location
Houston, TX
Hey all! It's been a long while since I have posted on here unfortunately. But, I'm here now, and here's a quick run down of my first ever elk.

After several backpacking trips into a few different locations over the month of Sept, and 2 close calls with a 330" and a 350" that wind swirls screwed us, I was finally able to connect an arrow with my first elk in early October, the day after a 3 day snow storm finally stopped. The storm broke in the morning, so I packed up and hiked in a couple miles to set up a small camp as my wife was going to be joining me in a few days. I had just a few minutes of daylight left, so I walked to a nearby ridge to glass, and found several elk scattered along the private and public boundary, so that gave me a good plan for the next morning. That night it was pretty cold! I think the lows hit the mid 20's and I just have a 3 season 2 person tent with no stove.

I woke up chilly, put my frozen boots on, and headed out. At the top of my glassing ridge, I wanted to double check the basin, and sure enough, the elk hadn't moved much. I then ended up running into another hunter, Grant, that had the same plan as me, so we decided to team up instead of messing each other up. As we got close to the herd, that was actually several small herds with bulls pushing their cows, and bugling going on everywhere, we realized with the frozen snow, it was going to be hard to get very close to anything. We made a couple moves on a small group that was within a couple hundred yards, but the bulls were just following cows, and we couldn't get in their path.

After a couple hours of that, we sat on a knob overlooking a lot of country so that we could eat some food and glass. A short tined 6pt actually came out a couple hundred yards below us, and disappeared up and over the next ridge into what I knew was some pretty thick timber. We made a mental note of that bull, and glassed up a really big bull bedded about a mile away with a small group of cows. Our plan was to work back around the way we came, try to fine the small bull bedded, but ultimately make the trek over to the large bull with cows. It is now about noon, and the sun had melted the crust off of the snow, so walking around was quiet finally.

As we made our way around to a spot we could glass for the first bull from a few hundred yards away, it didn't take either one of us more than about 15 seconds to find him. We both looked at each other, and Grant instantly said for me to go after him, and he would watch on a nearby ridge in case I bumped him, or so he could see where the bull ran after a shot. I have never shot an elk before, and Grant has never shot a bull, or anything with a bow, so to this day, I still feel like I owe him! As I made my way into the timber patch, constantly checking wind and just sliding my feet through the snow, I knew I had to take it slow, and that bull wasn't going anywhere for awhile. Once I knew I was within 100yds I would take a slow step, then glass and pick apart everything in front me, then do it again. It seemed like it was taking me forever, and I also wondered if the bull had winded me at one point, but then all of a sudden I caught a weird shine about 40yds in front me. As I focused on it, I could tell it was antler, and it was one of the bulls fronts that caught the sun just right. He was bedded with his back rolled towards me and mostly behind some downfall, and a small tree covered with snow was blocking his head. As I assessed things, I knew a 30yd shot is better than 40yds, so I kept that small tree between his head and me, and slowly crept forward. When I was able to get a clear range on a tree right next to the bull, it said 31yds, but I still couldn't see anything but the back half of him still bedded. With my release clipped on, I was trying to figure out what to do, and scared of that dreaded wind swirl, when he decided to get up and stretch. As soon as he started standing, I drew back, but still couldn't see vitals. His head was still blocked, so while at full draw, I took a slow step to my right so that the window I had, would open up towards his vitals. As soon as his front shoulder cleared the trees, I settled my 30yd pin on his heart, and pulled through the shot. I watched the arrow hit true, but the bull only flinched. He had no clue I was there, and no clue what had just happened. As I knocked another arrow, he took a couple steps left, behind the trees again, then turned downhill. At one point I could have shot again, but would of had to put the arrow through, or in front of the shoulder, and I opted not to, knowing where my first shot went. He took a few steps to my right, and downhill, stumbled, turned uphill, and fell over not 10yds from where he was bedded. It felt like forever, but he had expired probably 15-20 seconds, right in front of me.

I could type a novel about this bull I'm sure. But in short, I told Grant I couldn't thank him enough. He offered to help break the bull down and pack out, but knowing he only had that one day to hunt for awhile, I told him to go after that other bull we spotted. The weather was cold, and I had several days to get him packed out. I skinned, quartered and hung meat solo, then packed the first 2 of 6 boned out bags. I got back to the truck at midnight, and my wife took off work to come help the next 2 days. She was more worried about the fact that I put my knife into my shin while skinning the neck out.....

This was my 4th year chasing elk, and I have had several close calls, and racked up well over 100 miles per year on the boots. I added up that I was at 110 miles for the year when I shot this bull, and by the time my wife and I packed him all out, it was 130 miles. It's crazy what we do not just to fill a tag, but for these adventures....


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Looks like a great hunt!
 
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