• Thank you for creating an account on Hunt Talk! We require that all new users contribute at least 10 posts before gaining the ability to start new threads. Once you have made 10 posts, you will be able to start new threads in the forum.

Last Day Utah General Season Bull

CPAjeff

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
127
Location
Utah
As the cow cleared the bull, I settled the crosshairs right behind the front shoulder and slowly squeezed the trigger, waiting for the rifle to surprise me …

Growing up, I hunted mostly birds. I was fortunate to have great places to hunt doves, grouse, ducks, geese, and pheasants. I HATED going deer hunting when I was younger. Mostly because sitting still and being quiet were not on my short list of strengths. We never hunted antelope because my Dad killed a buck once in his youth and said it tasted nasty – seer blaspheme, I know! My first antlered big game animal was a spike mule deer when I was 18 – a good buddy of mine talked me into getting a tag and going with him during the week when we should have been in school. ;) And, at 18, who really needs an excuse to sluff school?? Hunting elk simply didn’t interest me at that time.

Fast forward a few years, and after returning from spending two years in Brazil, I was looking forward to hunting again. I’ve always considered antelope to be one of the prettiest big game animals and made plans to hunt them in the fall of 2009. After discussing the plan with my Dad, the disgruntled look on his face was obvious! I mentioned that maybe he just didn’t take care of it like he should have and that’s why it was so nasty. He gave me “the look” and upon seeing “the look” I knew I would have to revert to a lesson I learned long ago - - I can run faster scared than he can mad!! ;) One antelope hunt and I was hooked. I’ve hunted antelope every year, in one way or another, since then. Antelope hunting led to other adventures for deer, elk, bears, moose, and mountain goats. While I wasn’t always the one with a tag, I enjoyed the process and being in the outdoors.

Since I got into big game hunting, one animal that has eluded me is a bull elk. I’ve been on plenty successful elk hunts with others, but when it came time for me to punch a tag on a bull, it just hasn’t worked out. So, when an opportunity came along to hunt some private land, I jumped at the chance.



STOP READING HERE IF HUNTING PRIVATE LAND MAKES YOU THROW UP A LITTLE IN YOUR MOUTH!



This private land isn’t what most would consider “elk country.” It’s not the alpine slopes or the high mountain parks, it’s a mixture of sage brush, river bottoms, and agriculture fields. Due to some work commitments and scheduling, I would really only have one day to hunt – the last day of the 2020 Utah General Season Any Bull Elk Hunt. A plan was made to sneak in before light and hope to intercept the elk moving from one place to another on the property. We got into the predetermined spot about an hour before light and were greeted to the sound of multiple different bulls bugling. The wind was perfect – a slight breeze quartering from the elk to us. As the time slowly passed, the elk became more and more vocal. At this point, my seven year old son whispered, “Dad, they sure are noisy!”

As the blanket of darkness gave way to the slow illumination of the day’s arrival, the elk were headed in a direction that would take them well out of range of our setup. For no rhyme or reason, the entire herd suddenly stopped, milled around for a minute or so, and then made a 90 degree turn and headed right for us. With the breeze coming very gently from the elk to us, the elk continued to slowly close the distance. With the herd well within shooting range, I sat in awe at all the sounds a large herd of elk make. The many different variations of bugles, cow calls, and calf calls were truly magical. The line the elk were on would take them within 100 yards of our setup. Slowly, but surely, the elk continued on their path and were now broadside at less than 100 yards. As I painstakingly waited for a shot, the elk seemingly had no cares in the world and were not in any hurry to go anywhere. All I needed was for one cow to take a few steps and give me a clear shot at the best bull of the bunch, within a few seconds she took those needed steps. As the cow cleared the bull, I settled the crosshairs right behind the front shoulder and slowly squeezed the trigger, waiting for the rifle to surprise me. KABOOM!! The 140 grain Accubond smashed into the bull and I had my first bull elk. Twisting to the side to give my son a high-five he was noticeably shaking. I asked him why he was shaking, and I’ll never forget the look on his face when he said, “Dad, I have no idea why I am shaking!! All I know is my heart is beating so fast and so hard, I think it’s going to beat right out of my chest!”

As we approached the downed bull, gratitude filled my heart for these wonderful animals that we all love to pursue.
 

Attachments

  • 0EEBAAEB-3C59-4C07-82B2-4457AC68EF7D.jpeg
    0EEBAAEB-3C59-4C07-82B2-4457AC68EF7D.jpeg
    764.6 KB · Views: 164

Happy Myles

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
181
Congratulations. i have taken bull elk in the Rockies from Alberta, B.C., and down through the U.S. my two biggest came off public land in Utah. Again good work
 
SITKA Gear

Forum statistics

Threads
90,416
Messages
1,299,862
Members
28,083
Latest member
barehunting
Top