My Elk Story, by Indy Jay


New member
Dec 10, 2000
Indianapolis, IN, United States
Well, now that most of the public fighting has stopped, I suppose I should pony-up and tell my story.

We saw lots of elk to be sure. Each day, DS would tell me it's just going to get better and darned if it didn't. Finally, Wednesday afternoon, we were on the trail of a nice bull. The largest tracks we had cut to date. We got a glimpse of him too late and a too far off for a stalk. Disappointed and tired, DS assured me we could get closer to a bigger one if we were patient.

I'll be darned if he wasn't right again! Thursday AM after 90 minutes of steady walking we decided to take a break. When we lit on an old dead fall, we were overlooking a narrow 'tongue-shaped' patch of relatively open country... open compared to the thick stuff on either side of the tongue anyway...

Out of nowhere, a bull materialized. A big bull at that. That's when my heart started racing and my palms began to sweat... DS calmed me down and we decided I needed to take a poke quick-like. My lane was a clear as could be hoped for with some small **** close to where the bull stood. At the sound of the gun, he was off... down into the deep stuff, headed toward the wilderness.

We quickly moved down to where he was standing and found lots of hair and tracks leading away. After about 30 yards, we found blood! Well, we followed blood for a good 3 hours, seeing the bull only once with no shot opportunity. After a very brief rest, the search continued... all uphill! This bull wasn't hurt badly enough to even think about going down... 2:00pm came and went. As 3;30pm neared, the search ended. The bull had bedded down and gotten back up. No further blood trail....

All in all, I'm disappointed I didn't tag the bull, obviously. I am, however; glad he'll live to see another winter. He'll be there next year... God and the Wyoming draw willing, so will we...

Final readout on the bull... good mass, tall main beams and six points on the side we saw clearly... a nice representative bull to be sure.

Sorry you didn't whack that big guy!
I take it it was a downhill shot? How far away?

that really sucks sorry you didn't get to tag him. maybe he'll be there next year, hopefully he'll be even bigger. always have to find the good side of things

The shot was downhill, at about 150 yards, slight northwesterly wind. Worse conditions than he let on. He did well hitting that bull, but the wind was shifting, and the shot couldn't wait, it was then or never.

THe shot grazed the brisket and got some flesh on the left front leg........I know this from tracking him all day......uphill, and when he bedded, the blood was clearlt on his foreleg. He did not bleed after jumpimg from his bed......the cold snow had carterized sp? the wound, and he bounded off a healthy bull some 7 hours after the hit. We tracked him close to 15 miles in the 7 hours, and all 4 of us was in on it.......funny to say, but that was a very exciting part of the hunt even though we came out empty............4 friends matching wits against a monster bull like that. WE almost put him down the last time we jumped him......only inches from a clear shot.......we were spent.........but had to gear up and get Dan's bull out he had slain only minutes after Indy Shot his big bull.

Like I told my Brotha.......if it was easy and automatic.........we wouldn't want to do it......hey, sh!t happens! ;)
Thanks for the support guys... I made a call to my shrink today and he can fit me in next week... keep having this recurring dream/nightmare about the wall-hanger that got away. Two things are now very clear in my mind:

1) A 5x5 elk or better is truly a trophy that is earned! My hat's off to those who regularly score on such animals.

2) DS is a true sportsman and a hunter extraordinaire. I don't have the experience that lot's of you out there do but... I've hunted on two continents and in three countries and I've yet to cross paths with anyone of Mark's caliber.

Next year, Leopard Boy! If I don't draw a tag allowing me to pursue 'ol scar leg', I'll darn sure buy a tag to hunt one of his beotches!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 25 October 2001 20:18: Message edited by: IndyJay ]</font>
I helped with this tracking job, and let me tell you, it was a long day. After filling my tag, Wy Tim & me were hiking out and we bump into Indy and Mark, already on the trail for five miles. We jump on it to, but I gave out after another five miles. But not Tim & DS, they just keep on going. All in all I bet DS tracked him for at least twelve miles, maby more, up steep Mt.s and through forest so thick you couldn't see ten feet. I know that bull is still healthy, unless Tim finds him. ( good luck, Tim )
Indy,thats to bad you didnt come home with the bull.
I could feel your excitement at seeing and getting a shot at him. I have helped track others and my own and the feelings are so mixed up for me when that happens.
The total excitment and the let down of not finding them piled up.You guy did what we all should and that was a good effort in catching up. Better then alot of guys I have run across while out hunting.
Ill be hoping you draw another tag for next year.

I used to think that I was lucky that every big game animal I've shot (not that many mind you!) has piled up within less than 50 yards of being hit. After reading your story, I realize that I've been deprived of a truly awesome experience. It was undoubtedly grueling, hard work to grind out those miles after that bull, but you've got memories that can't be bought. You, sir, are a rich man.
I guess that's why they call it hunting and not grocery shopping!
Congrats on a great hunt and good luck next year.
Jim in AZ
Sorry to hear that you didn't get the bull, Indy! Better luck next year! Sure sounds like you didn't let it dampen your spirits, that's good.

Thanks for all the well wishes, folks. You're all right, I'm a better person and a better hunter now for having had this experience.

Good friends, hard work, and elk... a trio that's tough to beat. Thanks a gain to DS, Tim, and Anaconda. It was truly a team effort!
Indy, now you need to put in again for next year. That big boy has your name on it and should not be taken by someone else. Hope to see you there next year.
Well Elkhunter...........all I can say is load up! ;) ............we just missed hooking up this year, and we wished we had. We are planning to put in for a group again, and even if we don't draw, we'll buy the cow tags you can just plan on joining us!........I think that ol' tent has room for another! :eek:

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