Here's the story to go with the pictures... First of all, have you ever seen an airboat chasing gators in the high-country swamps in Colorado?? It's awesome - let me tell you. The Gator/Elk combo hunt is wild!!!
Actually, the gators came from the FL Everglades the week before my CO elk hunt. Wacked them both with my bow - spined them both. The guide absolutely could not believe that I spined them both - there was NO fight at all, the gators just rolled over and were DEAD! I was pretty disappointed as I was looking forward to some wild action.
The elk was shot on the 4th morning of a 5 day hunt in SW Colorado. Shot the bull with a .50 cal muzzle-loader at 90 yards. I'd passed up 6 legal bulls prior to shooting this one. One of the bulls I passed was a decent 6x6 that I had second thoughts about once he walked off... anyway, I set my goals on a good bull or nothing this year - glad I held off. This bull was bugling a little early in the morning but not really going nuts - the wind was really squirrly so I waited until about 8 am before trying to move on him in hopes the heating thermals would settle the wind direction down a little bit. It took about 30 minutes to get where I needed to be and I started doing a little cow calling and got him fired up directly! I had a perfect set-up and 15 minutes later, the smoke was choking me as it blew back up-hill in my face and my best bull so far was in a heap! As it turns out he stopped in just about the only good opening I had thru the aspens and gave me a clear shot at his rt shoulder - the bullet broke the near shoulder, clipped the heart, the bottom of both lungs and broke the off-side shoulder as well. At the shot he went down, got up (darn things are TOUGH!) and went about 65 yards before going down for good. To top off my good luck, he crashed right next to an old logging road and we were able to drive right up to the bull and drag him into the bed of the pick-up! After having packed out my share of elk from some of the ugliest country imaginable - I darn-for-sure appreciated the ease of getting this one out! Awesome hunt from start to finish...
Thanks to Moosie for posting my pictures as I had given up on it!
Congrats on a couple of great hunts. I am with you on the killing next to the road thing. I was able to get one about 100 yds from the road a couple of years ago. I guess it's paybacks for all those miserable packs from about 4 miles in.