Thank you for not overcooking that tenderloinWell, elk season went quick this year. Its hot here in Wyoming like everywhere else! I got the privilege of having my wife come out with me for the first time on an elk hunt and this was my first archery elk (normally I hunt late season or muzzleloader). We dropped the kiddos off at the grandparents opening morning and headed up. Got to camp around 1 pm and set everything up then headed out. The first night out we spotted a couple of small 3 point bulls about 125 yards out. I had the wife sit behind a rock and I snuck up to do some calling. I called the 2 three point bulls in to about 75 yards where they held up for a bit... then I heard a branch snap to my left, turned and saw a young spike that had snuck in from the side right between my wife and I at 30 yards. Of course he spotted us and bolted taking the others with him. It was an exciting few minutes, especially for my wife who had never experienced anything quite like that. It was getting dark, so we worked our way back to camp.
4 am came early for the ol lady, but she was a trooper. Woke up with me, helped get all the gear ready and helped chug a bunch of coffee. I wanted to try a new area friday morning, so we set off to a ridge I like on OnX. We started out looking for a trail that no longer existed and after about an hour of climbing over dead-fall, I thought she was going to kill me haha. When we broke through the trees and found a steep mountain to climb, I dont think either of us could have been happier. We started the climb up and started seeing more and more elk sign the higher we got. Just I looked over at my wife and told her there had been a heard in here this morning a bugle burst out over the knob about 70 yards away. Shit hit high gear at that point. Again, I had her get down and watch as I creeped up about 20 yards. I got down and started calling... 3 different bulls started screaming at me and I could see a good 6 point coming in at 62 yards. He held up behind some trees, stopped, then turned and started heading back up the hill. I stood up to see if I could get a shot, but he crested before I could see him clearly. I turn around and see my wife with her eyes the size of baseballs and her pointing to the side. Then a bull screamed right beside her! He had snuck in from behind silently! He was 15 yards from my wife and 42 yards to my left. He put his head down to feed, just long enough for me to range him and come to full draw. I release and hear the sound of an arrow impact. Our hearts were racing! About 30 seconds later I could hear the bull crashing down the hill.
It was suppose to be close to 90 that day and it was about 730 am. I only gave the bull 30 mins and pushed him because I didnt want to risk meat spoilage. We tracked the blood for about 150 yards and found him bedded. I put another arrow in him to get him to expire as quickly as possible. Now the work begins! We got the bull broke down and hanging in the shade within a hour and 15 mins. The rigorous hike out down a steep hill and through a half mile of dead-fall started. My wife was awesome! She packed out 2 loads and we were able to get the bull out in 3 trips total, had him on ice within 4 1/2 hours and before it reached 75 outside. This was an amazing experience and a memory my wife and I will share forever. Not the biggest bull, but cant complain for my first archery elk!