Update on the last few days gotten into a few times , Monday I saw an elk in a wash out and couldn’t see all of it , this is the washout
So I get closer set up and bugle a few times and drop in a few cow calls , then the elk in the washout that was feeding left had turned and was trotting back right , I then notice cow calls to my lower right , then I see the elk in the washout looking for me , it’s a cow , so I take a pic
Before I even get the camera away , I hear a loud crashing sound to my right and out of the woods come a whole herd of elk looking for me , so I take a pic and glass them up . And of course there was a small limb in the way I noticed later and the herd came out blurry
Never seeing a bull in the back of the herd and not hearing one bugle back , just cow calls , I watch as the whole herd stars to feed towards the last location of my bugle, I bugle a few more , still nothing, we had friends that had hunted this area pretty hard and they had seen a large group of cows without a bull , I figured this had to be them , so leave it to me to find a lonely group of ladies who need a man in there life , knowing I’m not the man there looking for , I back out .
I did feel good about it overall, I’ve only been bugling since last December and to see a group of elk come out of hiding and start to track me down was pretty awesome
Tuesday was uneventful no elk seen lots of rigs , but I did find where a big herd came down on the road that morning, I tried to locate them but no luck , this is the mess they made coming off the bank , pretty easy to spot after a hard rain
Yesterday evening at last light I drove to a high point to take a pic of the moon
After the pic , walking back to the truck I grab my bugle , decide to let one rip as I’m overlooking a monster canyon , see if I can get a bull to talk , no sooner do I get the bugle to my mouth when I Hear cows talking right below me . I’m move closer to the edge and do one cow call , instantly I hear 2 elk cow call , I back out with dreams of the morning
I get parked this morning up the road I walk to climb the high point to glass the openings where I think the elk are feeding and suddenly my ears are filled with men talking and a giant machine working , freaking loggers are working right where I left the elk , disappointed , I make up a new plan , I’m close to where that herd was yesterday morning, I drive over and park and walk the roads to look for tracks , it rained again very hard mid afternoon Tuesday so any tracks I find will be 12 hours old , walking down to the last tracks I see nothing fresh .
On the way back to the rig I walk the opposite side of the road and see tracks I missed , there going up , get to my rig I drive back up and park and walk in on the backside of where the tracks headed, shortly I find these
If those tracks were any fresher they’d have elk in them , a few more step lots more tracks , the road is all grass , I’m dead silent, looking down I grab for an arrow as I step at the bend in the road , looking up I have a spike bull bedded staring at me 75 - 80 yds and a calf is bedded behind him and 2 more elk are feeding behind, I can only see glimpses, standing still in a stare off for about a min , I’m in the 3 point unit spikes are off the table . I slowly back away , the spike never moves a twitch just sits there , I can hear an elk to my right in the thick stuff feeding, backing out to the road I give it 5 min
Knowing I’m less then 200 yds from a herd , I set up and bugle now , thinking maybe a bull won’t like that , silence .... do a few more bugles and a cow call or 2 , silence. Curiously, I sneak back down the road , the spike is gone , the calf is still half asleep in the road getting some sun . They think I’m an elk , or else they would have rounded up that calf on the way outta dodge , I sneak back to my set up , and bugle a few more times over another 20 minutes at least , nothing, not a sound, of any kind . So I went back to the rig
This was where I set up , u can see how thick the brush is on both sides of the road and the grass road that goes to the right where I found the elk
After txt John about the encounter, his only critique was , he would have pushed in on them through the reprod, if you blow them out at this point what’s the difference, he referenced last week when we got on the big 5 point and I didn’t care about us , he said there could have been a bull in the back, but already being out , I wasn’t gonna go back in , and while typing this post a female hunter on foot going solo was walking down the road we talked , she was looking for the same group since yesterday as well , I told her what happened and were I left them and showed her on her onX , she was happy, maybe I made a mistake by not going back , I’ll never know , but I was feeling good about making the right reads this morning in determining where those elk went . Time for lunch and plan the evening hunt , here’s a couple pics of stuff
Loggers with a sense of humor
A giant spider , I thought he had a figure of an alien with a giant head and hands on his hips , designed on his back , ha ha ha
U tell me ???
Home with an unpunched tag, the rut kicked in on Thursday, I was running with bugling bulls the last 2 and a half days came home yesterday , one week left in Oregon’s season, I will get to hunt this Sunday last day of season , after 20 days hunting my body is tired , feels good to sit on the couch and watch football
Last year the bulls where coming into bugles from the 1st day of season , and that’s what I used to plan my hunt , this year was the opposite, I never believed before the hunt , I would hunt 20 days without getting a shot , but that’s what happened , in 20 days , I only went 4 days out of 20 without seeing elk.
The last 3 days made my season, was disappointed in not getting an elk , but FINALLY got to be close to bugling bulls, instead of the frustration of a slow start to September.
It will take a few days before I have time to process all the different experiences I went through. I will greatly miss camp and the guys and all the laughs. I cant even begin to count how many elk I saw. The guys aren’t hunting today , it’s another downpour rain day , in addition to the later rut this year , we’ve lost more days to rain than past years.
Thursday I got into my first bugling bull , I was 150 yards from his cows , i saw 3 and he was in the mist behind them , we bugled at each other for close to an hour , I would close in on him we would be under 100 , and he then he would run away, after the 3rd time getting 100 or less and him running off and bugling back at me , I went into stock mode , following his bugle, got close again , could hear sticks popping, then he bugled and ran , down the ridge, I never caught up to him again. I felt if I kept pressing him he would come in , instead I think I intimidated him his last 4 bugle I was just stocking him , he would just bugle and take off , I tracked him into the draw he ran into ,went back that evening but never found him
His last tracks
old road he dropped in to
saw 2 rubs on the road pictured above pulled up my onX , it was directly below the where he crossed the road that morning earlier , it was the exact same draw
Where the bull went was the most green jungle moss covered area I found my self in all season
Friday morning I didn’t make it 200 yards from the truck when a bull cracked off on the same road I was walking , he had just walked into the reprod so after a bull constantly running ahead the day before I decided to just stalk this one as he bugled , it was 3 times as thick
I walked into him right as he stopped bugling, he was bedded broadside some 80 yards ahead but to many branches permits me from getting a real range , as I tried to quietly close another 20 yds , I barley broke a twig , he turned and looked my way , after a few he slowly stood up still looking my way , after a min or 2 he slowly walked off to my right , being so thick I knew there’s now way to get close to him at this point without blowing him out so I backed out .
Early that evening I took the long way around to where I felt the bull would be come evening, it was still early just after 4 , so I laid in the dirt and napped a little after 5 he bugled and woke me up , excited, I started to move he was just in the woods below me , then it went quiet , in the distance to my right I hear a faint bugle , could he go that far so quick ? I can’t not go investigate, following the bugle , I make it back to the road I parked on , there’s a rig parked by mine , and some other hunters and there on the ridge just across the road from me just blowing it up with bugles , not sure what’s going on at this point I slowly make my way back to the last place I herd the bull I was hunting bugle
It’s after 6:30 now and he hasn’t bugled since 5 , thinking the guys on the other ridge pushed this bull out of my area , because yesterday’s bull and him running and keeping distance from me while we bugled at each other was fresh in my mind , thinking about what to do next ,he rips a bugle , it’s 6:43 now , back in the woods I go , but the bull is moving now and he bugles again , the guys on the other ridge have moved all the down in and are at the bottom now , there about 1000 yds away with a main gravel road between us , but this bull is moving there direction, I’m like crap there sucking him over , I txt John , he says bugle at him , I tell him I left it the truck because I was just planning on stocking this bull and not letting him know my location, I try to run ahead and catch up and now all the bull is doing is just a growl as he keeps getting farther ahead , I hear a few more growls from the bull , he’s so pissed he’s not even bugling at this point , light fades as I hike out frustrated at how fast that went south .
The guys from the other ridge each the park point as the same time I do , they begin to tell me they were on a big bull with a herd , but he wouldn’t come in he would just bugle at them and push his cows farther away , and the just pushed the herd around for a few hours , which was what I experienced the day before and it all made sense , the bull I found that morning even though he was a nice black antlered 5 point bull was hanging just on the edge of the herd across the road and when they pushed the herd down the ridge my bull followed. When I got back to camp big chris asked if I cow called him, and then I felt like a rookie, this being my 1st year , it didn’t even cross my mind , that bull was so pissed , I knew he was alone , I’ll never know now, also not just taking my bugle was a mistake also , John told sometimes other people bugling with a bull can get another one fired up close by. I tried not to think about all the I wonder what , if scenarios. The guys hunting never herd the bull I was on .
The next morning I got to the gate 1st and was gearing up , thinking about where that satellite bull went to , thinking he would try to get back in with the cows in the night and that bigger bull would run him off again, it’s was anyone’s guess what direction he would be ran off in , just as I was about to leave one of the guys from last night pull up , he ask what gate im gonna hunt , I take the same one .
I never herd or cut any fresh tracks Saturday morning, and walking past the area from Friday’s events made me relive all the what if’s again and Started to get me down . Hiking back to the rig , John and Big CHRIS are hunting from camp and will come out on a gate down below me , so I take a nap as wait for the txt to pick them up , then I’m awoken by the younger kid come out to his rig , he told me he got into a herd farther in and on the way back to the truck a bull bugled next to the road and the herd from yesterday then pushed to the bottom was back in the timber at the top, he smiles and says I’m not getting sucked into to chasing him around again , then I hear him , a bugle fills my ears , he’s 300 yds away
I start gearing up , after a very dull morning, excitement fills my heart , the kid then asks can I go with you , I tell him sure I don’t care maybe one of us will get a shot , just the thought of being close to a bugling bull is what I needed. And the possibility of the unknown outcome. Walking down the road and waiting for the bull to crack off again before I decide what and where to go . He bugles again almost on top of us , quick wind check going right to him , back down the road we retreat quickly, and into the thick reprod crap we go , it’s thick I find a place with a ten yard opening and wait , he bugles I bugle , but this time I keep some distance and don’t push him hard , since he ran from there bugles last night and the same thing with me on Thursday when I got aggressive from the start , the bull wasn’t leaving this time , we could hear him working the ridge ahead of of us and I would move with him up and own the ridge , the bull was comfortable with and just kept bugling, I then began to try to mimic his bugles , hoping this and just staying close and not invading his space he would get tired and come in , he didn’t
The wind changed at this point and we had to hook hard left out of the reprod and into the edge of the big timber the bull was in , you could see over 100 yards in here and we just sat still trying to locate him then movement to our left , we had some bushes just to our left you couldn’t see through , but could hear movement, just sheds a cow calf and spike Trot down the ridge from us towards the bulls location, I didn’t think they winded us , but because the wind we just came out close to them and they didn’t feel comfortable and down to daddy the went , the bull bugles again but a little farther down the ridge so we just slowly walk looking and glassing , then movement to the left , more elk just walking single file out of a small meadow, we watch them till they disappear ahead , then continue slowly moving ahead, all is quiet , so I bugle to try a figure out which way he went , he chuckles way down the ridge to my right , the other elk went left , so we continue to move on , I bugle again after we moved ahead, silence . We decided not to just walk ahead in hopes of walking into him , I left him in the bottom and passed the info onto the guys from camp that would be hunting that evening, walking out of the woods I was all smiles , even though I didn’t get to see the bull , it’s what I had been dreaming about since January, being in the woods during the rut , I was disappointed that it took so long to kick in. And had to head home just when the woods were getting interesting
Oregon’s archery season ended Sunday the 22nd I was able to get out Wednesday evening the 18th got into 2 herds of elk , 1st herd had a bull bugle, very raspy, I replied , then nothing, after waiting and hearing nothing walked ahead 30 some yards and some of his herd was in the road , so I took a pic
We ended up exchanging a few bugles then he was below me , couldn’t tell if he was trying to hook me or was taking his cows and leaving, but the wind was wrong so I backed out , there was one clear cut on the next road system over , I thought they might go there and I would be below them and the wind would be in my favor , getting there I pushed through the cut to about the middle got across it then kept pushing east till I had about 70% of the cut to my left and I was up close to where the reprod met the cut double checked my onX and felt the elk should be in front or left of me based on there last location I tried a location bugle , I was wrong , they where at the edge of the cut already and behind me , after the bugle , there was timber crashing and I thought the bull was coming in , so I turned and went towards the middle of the cut to get visual, more noise and a few cow calls I realized they winded me and where making tracks.
It was late and not much light left so I started waking to the road out to the rig , as I got to the edge of the next clear cut , I could hear branches breaking, elk ! How lucky is this , knock an arrow and move ahead, there above me is elk coming down hill through the cut and there gonna pass in front of me , I see a small branch bull leave the timber and following the cows , I keep moving as quickly and quiet as possible trying to intersect them as they reach the road I’m walking, but to my surprise these elk are on a trot and get to and across the road before I can get in range , they were over 60 yds but under a 100 and just didn’t stop , the lead part of the group now across the road , the bull and a cow stop on the edge , there gonna start feeding I think , I start to try to close , I take about 2 steps , the front part of the herd push ahead at a trot again and I watch as the bull and cow following along , they go about 200 yds and stopped on a flat the cows talk and the herd starts feed.
I watch them through the binos then keep walking out.
Sunday morning came last day , heavy to moderate rain all morning, the afternoon was calling for no rain , John was home cleaning the RV we head for eastern Oregon on the 26th or 27th for the mule deer season. I told him I have to be in the woods on last day as the sun sets on my season , I can’t stay home , he replied I’m Going with , went and helped him finish up and off we went. Parked at 3 and by 4 we found a bugle and and were trying figure out where the bull was located. It was very close to the 1st herd I was on Wednesday evening and felt it was the same bull , so we planned to spot and stock him off his bugle , since he was call shy a few days earlier. He was between 2 canyons and we took awhile to pin his location, from the echo. like 2 freaking hours !! Long story short , we thought he was on the ridge above the clearcut across from us so we hiked there and herd his bugle good , got into position, then it went quiet, so I went in after him. Got on the ridge , saw some great rubs , took a few pics
This is the elk trail I was walking
I kept listening for noise or sound and thinking any second I will find them , and then he bugles and reality sets in , he’s way back over on the the other ridge across the canyon back where we started from , we came to the conclusion he never left there he was just bugling facing the other direction and the canyon caused the echo and led us in the wrong direction, I get back out to the road and tell John
With just over 1 hour left in our season back around to the other side we go , we get back on the ridge, we haven’t herd him bugle again , so we try a location bugle , all is silent , we know he’s close but it’s so thick without a bugle I’m not going in the reprod again , there is 2 clear cuts ahead , so I suggest maybe there gonna feed into that , so we pic up the pace and don’t go 25 yds , elk in the road , were busted, the herd was already feeding out , just onto the grass road we were walking, after a short stare down , the 3 elk , 2 cows and a calf , disappear into the thick trees
Time to head out , but instead of turning back , I say let’s take the longer loop through the next cut back to the rig , John grumbles but agrees , we walk quickly less worried about noise to make the last cut with 30 minutes of light left ,
As we get to the cut , I see an elk , and tell john , he replies there’s 3 , I look left , he’s looking at some different elk than me , and then we began to see there’s elk scattered for several hundred yards across the tree line and the clear cut , bull !!! John says it’s a spike , no there , I point , and we see cows running and a 5 point nose in the butt chasing cows ! Elk running all over ! We charge ahead and split up hopefully pull out a miracle, as we crash throughout the cut we see the bull chase cows in and out of sight into the reprod , bugle I tell john maybe he’ll get jealous and come at us , we continue to close and John throws out a bugle every so often as we get closer to the herd , the cows are loud as there calling and making noise , it’s a wild scene , the looks out direction, pauses then chases after cows again. And disappears agin into the timber , then I hear a bugle to my left , what the ????
Is that a different bull , I look left , then the bull ahead reappears , I push ahead , John bugles , the bull stops and looks for us again , then he and all the cows leave the cut , they didn’t see us , but that bull didn’t like us closing in on his cows , John and I are back together again under a 100 yds from where the elk disappeared, well that was fun , he gone , as we feel the time ending in our season , suddenly BOOM an elk bugles again to our left , it was a different bull , we turn , Johns says there , John makes a quick bugle and all I see antlers moving, John says hes coming on a trot !!!! And this bull is bigger than the one that just ran off. I separate to the right from John and begin to move forward, I got about 20 yds from John and work forward , I can see the bull pause , bugle then trot ahead I get low in the grass and move forward using tress to get closer, the bull keeps looking for John he can’t see what he believes is the other bull , but he continues to move forward, I’m close now and only have one small evergreen tree blocking me from the bulls view , I decide to slide forward and right as the bull moves towards john, he starts forward again and I move right , the tree is 15 yds ahead and to my left , I’m trying to get in position for a full broadside shot as were in the last fading minutes of shooting light, I loose sight of the bull as he moved forward, I move right again, oops , He was moving slower than I anticipated and my gamble to slide right as he went forward failed , He swung his head and he looked at me in total confusion and disbelief, he started to turn away and stopped and turned his head looked at me again like he was hoping I wasn’t real , john and I had stumbled into an elk orgy and this bigger bull was coming in for the action, and we ruined his evening, the bull was still fired up and and as he finally turned away from us , before he walked off he raised his head and bugled again then disappeared from our view into the fading light.
I got over to john and he told me the bull 47 yards straight on when he stopped, and I said that’s when he saw me , and as he turned and looked at me again, John ranged him at 51 yards full broadside, John says to me that during those moments he though about Tonys bull from Friday when Tony shot the bull at 22 yds and it got away, John said also because of the fading light was the 51 yd range accurate or was it the tall grass and it was then he choose not to shoot. He then smiled and said that was a great end to our bow season , I felt the same , even though I didn’t tag out and I was disappointed in that it’s hard to feel like I came away empty handed after being in the middle of that rut fest and the other bugling elk over the last 5 days I got to be in the woods , when I was in with bugles and bulls every day ,
My dream of getting my own big mature Roosevelt bull with have wait. Till another season. He still on the loose
Thanks to everyone for all the positive comments of my first bow hunt , I enjoyed sharing with everyone the pics of the country and critters where I live and hunt. Undecided if I will do it again next year. On a side note John did say to me he was glad I had a hard season , he wanted me to get a bull but also wanted me to have a better appreciation of how hard bow hunting is . Which it did , it humbled me, can’t lie about that. Ha ha ha ha