Idaho Elk Guides-Elk City Zone---Big Bull Down!...Story Posted Here Now

Good afternoon, so how did your hunt turn out???
Well, I am going to put up a bigger post when I get some time but my son bugled in a massive 6x6 on opening day...bull of a lifetime for us! Shot it about 4 miles from the gate. Unbelievable hunt and trip. Got some help getting it out of the canyon and my son basically got it to camp. Big, wide, tall, long tines and pretty good mass. Taxidermist estimated 330-340ish on the score. Thanks for asking!
Well, here is our story and thanks all for your continued interest. My son got to the road/trail we wanted to hunt (where we had heard the bugle I reported earlier in this thread) on Friday the 6th of October for an October 10 opening day. He set up camp. Next day he scouted and met quite a few nice folk. He drove 45 minutes Saturday evening to get to cell service to give me a call and told me about how he had met a bunch of folk and that he was checking out other roads/trails while he awaited my arrival. On Sunday, after church, I started on the 9 hour drive to where he had set up camp. I got in at 10:30 at night. He had the tent all set up, a fire going and he was excited to see me. He told me about each road/trail and where he was seeing elk, etc. during his two days of scouting while he waited for me. He wanted to get to a certain trail on Monday morning before sunup to, I went to bed in the tent. It has been many, many, many years since I have slept in a tent and it was much different than I remember...or the YouTube videos of all the guys on these exotic/extreme hunts. It was super cold, every sound kept me up and I didn't get a wink of sleep. Had to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night...that was a whole ordeal, etc. 5:30 came and he is up and ready to go. Somehow I got up and followed him to the trail/road. We hiked about 1.5 miles in and saw a spike elk on our way in. Once we got in about a mile and a half we heard an elk bugle. So, my son responded. It bugled back! Then another elk bugled back. We stayed hidden and he bugled in the heard bull and a satellite bull. The satellite bull was a 5x5 and we saw him at about 15 yards. Never did see the other bull. Pretty exciting. We worked our way back out and saw a rag horn bull on our way out. Went back to camp and had lunch. Felt pretty proud of ourselves. Went and visited with some folk my son had met and then thought about our evening scout. Decided we were going to check out the trail/road we were camped at since that was the place we planned on hunting. Walked in 3.5 miles (this now makes 6.5 miles for me on the scout day and I still have to get out!) and got to the end of the trail/road. We hung out there for a little while. I looked to my right and in a little draw about 150 yards away I saw a cow come out. Then a second and a total of 10. They just stood there and then the lead cow started barking at us. So, we tried a bugle at them...I think they just stood there and laughed at us. Anyway, they were super chill and we just watched them. It was close to dark. As we were about to leave my son saw one more elk show up...he goes dad, was that there before? We both look and he goes dad, that's a big bull. Sure enough, a 6x6 bull elk had walked out. He was a brute. So, we watched him for a minute then got out of there. We hiked back to camp (3.5 miles for a total of 10 miles on the day) and planned to go in there in the morning and see if we could find him.

Opening morning (October 10):
After deciding to sleep in the truck rather than the tent, my son comes in the truck at 4 AM to watch and count the number of hunters that go to the trail/road. By 5 AM nearly 15 folk had gone through the gate. He was freaking out. Every person that got into the gate before us was like losing a little piece of our heart. We were so pumped to go get that elk but I didn't want to get in too early and push him out before we could see him. Who knows where he moved to over night. However, we had an advantage over the other folk...we had bicycles with us. So, we got on our bicycles and we started flying down the road/trail. We passed everyone! At about the 3 mile mark we dropped our bikes and hiked. It was an up and down bike ride so we had been walking our bikes a bunch as well but still beat everyone in...good news was everyone else wasn't planning on going to the end of the trail like us, or so it seemed since we didn't see another person from then on. So, we got to our spot where we saw the elk the night before, hunkered in and waited. And waited. And waited. It was 38 degrees and started raining. And we waited some more. By about 3 in the afternoon we were like they must have moved on. No elk anywhere. We resisted the strong temptation all day to push in where they were but this is big big idaho elk country with canyons and cliffs, etc. We would just push them out so we decided to be patient. Around 5:15 PM we heard this faint sound that sounded like an elk bugle...way up the ridge from where we saw the elk the night before and in the timber. My son grabbed his bugle and responded. Sure enough it replied. And the game was on. We snuck down a ridge that parallels the ridge the bull was on were able to hide over the edge of it and keep bugling and cow calling. My son is very good at both. So, I set up my shooting rest and got ready to shoot while he was running along the backside of the ridge cow calling and bugling. The bull kept responding and was getting closer. Then, I saw a little gap in the timber at 399 yards! He was the big boy from the night before and he was tearing up a smaller tree but I couldn't get a clean shot...I told my son to keep calling. So, my son is thrashing stuff and cow calling and bugling and it is responding and getting closer. After about ten more minutes...I look up and there it is...150 yards broadside!!! Holy crap! I setup and thought, you better not miss, your son is going to kill you if you do! So, I took an extra breath and squeezed off a great shot from my new Browning X-Bolt Speed 7mm. Boom!! Great SHOT! I hit it and it turned and started going uphill. It was clearly dazed and stunned. I usually shoot an old lever action Savage Model 99E gun so when I went to eject the bullet I short actioned it and the shell didn't eject with the bolt action...was not used to a bolt action enough. So, I had to get the old casing out and then I stepped back and stepped into a hole. The Shooting tripod fell over and I was falling down and my son is freaking out like what in the heck are you doing!!!!! I regained myself, got out of the hole, got a new shell in and picked up my tripod...rushed three shots and missed them all!!! My son is so mad at me at this point (I'm the only one with a tag so he doesn't have a gun)!!! I say to him I don't have any more bullets!! The elk is slowly walking up the ridge...still stunned and hurt from the first shot. He goes, you have a bullet pack as part of your bio harness and I was like oh yeah, I forgot!! So I grabbed 2 bullets real quick. Gave one to him and re-centered myself. Got the bull in my sights again and shot...this one was a solid hit! The bull spun around and started walking down hill again but it was clearly hurt. So, my son said hit him again and handed me another bullet. I put the bullet in and took a shot...boom and he went down instantly!!!! We got him!! Holy Crap...we got him!! We went over to see him and there he was...for us a massive 6x6 Rocky Mountain Bull Elk!!!!

We have since taken the rack to a Taxidermist and they estimated it is a 330-340 class bull...which for us is freaking awesome. First elk! The most fantastic hunt and I got to do it with my son. We had such an incredible time. A true Do It Yourself, Public Land monster Bull. I have to say that there is no way I could have done this without my son. I told him, this isn't my bull, this is our bull! The plaque will say both of our names. We did order up a full shoulder mount and we are so excited to have this incredible animal be part of our family forever. Thanks to everyone who gave us advice and a special thanks to everyone my son met nearby our camp. They were all so great and some even helped us get him out of there! We are so grateful. Here are a couple pictures. One is my daughter holding the head/rack upon arrival home and the other is me with the animal shortly after the shots. Let me know your thoughts on our hunt!!


  • tqWbYGD4.jpg-large.jpeg
    1.1 MB · Views: 229
  • yI-m3nlZ.jpg-large.jpeg
    661.4 KB · Views: 231
  • IMG_4447.jpg
    33.6 KB · Views: 230
Last edited:
Gastro Gnome - Eat Better Wherever

Forum statistics

Latest member