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On going 2021 archery elk hunt

Hilljackoutlaw

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So we got a busy but close to home elk season in store this year. It started with my friends Mike and Jason arriving here Saturday from PA. Mike has a river bottoms tag and Jason has a mountains tag. Another buddy from PA will arrive the 5th who has a river bottom tag. Then on the 10th three friends from AZ and two more from PA arrive all with mountain tags.

The river bottoms tag has been open so Mike was the first out the gate. We threw him in a spot I have been scouting his first morning here and shortly after 7am a small 6x6 came in. We cow cow called and he started raking a cedar tree. 47 yards and Mike missed him right under the brisket. The rest of Sunday was uneventful. Mike was in the dumps and I told him he will have more chances. Monday rolls in and he had no action all morning and came back for late lunch at 2pm. He waited for me to get off work and I took him to a different spot for an evening hunt. We sat down and about an hour later I called in a small 6x6 that I didn't even know was there as we werent sitting side by side. This bull just kept wandering around in the brush between 30 and 80 yards away throughout the hunt offering no shot. At 740pm I got a response from the opposite direction. So I went into some series of calls and soon after 2 spikes and some cows appeared to my left. Behind me I can hear thrashing but I can't look. So I text Mike that we have elk to my left he never looked at phone cause he was consumed by the other 6x6 on the other side of him. Eventually I have both spikes within 10 yards looking right thru me at the other bull behind me. I'm being as still as possible and mosquitoes are biting the living shit out of me at this point. Meanwhile Mike still had no idea what's going on by me. Finally the spike turn there heads and I look back to my right to find the other bull. He is a good one. He is within range of Mike and I can't figure out why he isn't shooting him. Come on dude I'm dying over here mosquitoes are draining my blood. The bull let's out a soft bugle followed with some chuckles and Mike thinks to himself damn Sean sounds awesome calling over there. Then the bull starts destroying a bush and Mike is like now Sean's being a little aggressive so he turns to look my direction only to find out I'm not the one making the racket. So while the bulls head is stuff in the bush Mike draws. I hear the arrow hit the bull and it sounds good. Bull takes off does a circle and comes right at me passes by me at less than 3 ft I could hear the blood and air bubbles girgling inside him as he trotted by. He goes about 30 more yards and goes down. I yell way to go and the two spikes are still just staring at me within 10 yards so I grab my bugle and scream one right at them. They jump do a 180 and finally take off.
Mike shot him at 51 yards and he died 30 yards from where he shot. Easy track and I could get my truck to within 150 yards of him so an easy pack. Didn't even need the goats.
Little back story on Mike. He came out in 2016 for the first time to hunt and we had terrible weather with bad snow storms actually got stuck on the mountain. He saw 2 elk in 8 days and both were over 500 yards away across gullies. It was a miserable hunt. Felt terrible for him that I let him down, but last night he got redemption on a beautiful 6x7 river bottoms bull and a memory to last forever!
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I'll continue to update this thread as our other hunts unfold. Resized_20210830_210653.jpeg
 
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Hilljackoutlaw

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I went up the mountain after work last night. Went below a spot that elk are usually hanging out in the heat of the day. About 730pm sure enough I hear a bugle. And about 250 yards above me is a 5x5, a spike, and 6 cows. I played with them until dark, but they had no interest in coming down to me and I watched them round the backside of the hill and head to water. First bugle I have heard on the mountain.
Jason and Mike went to a different spot and were harassed by a lone spike all night long. Everywhere they moved the spike would come in and that's all they saw.
This morning I worked. Jason and Mike went to where I saw the bull the night before and ran into them but once again they had no interest in investigating their calling. They also saw a giant muley that I'm hoping they got pics of. I'll find out tonight when I head up after work. I'll be camp cook tonight as I won't get off work in time to hunt. Backstraps over mashed cauliflower drizzled with a balsamic glaze for dinner tonight.
 

EastTNHunter

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Definitely following this thread. Congrats to your buddy on the success so far, and good luck to the rest of you on the current/future ventures
 

Hilljackoutlaw

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So some updates. The guys on the mountain are seeing lots of elk everyday but they just aren't talking yet. A lot of the bulls were seeing aren't even with cows yet, until this morning Ryan and Mikey both had bulls bugling. But no shots.

On the river bottom we have had them going but just not getting shots until this morning. My buddy from PA was into what he called the best day of hunting in his life. Understand he has only elk hunted once last year and we got him a 5x5 the second day and it was easy as far as elk hunting goes. Came in all by himself to 20 yards and wack. This morning a different story. He had over 20 cows and 7 bulls come in. He called me and said it was total mayhem. The herd bull was going nuts chasing other bulls off and chasing cows all over the place and screaming his head off. This went on all morning all around him. Said he easily heard over 50 bugles. He missed the herd bull a big 6x6 at 53 yards cause he was shaking so bad. He had no clue he was even shot at and the mayhem continued. Then he missed a smaller 6x6 cause he is a single pin shooter and he came in so fast and he had his pin set at 50 yards and thought it was set at 40 yards. Bull was 20 yards and he missed him over his back cause he didn't re-adjust his pin and guessed. Which he shoots all the time so he is 100% capable of that, but the 40 yard 50 yard thing was his demise. Things finally calmed down and the elk headed toward the spot I know they bed down during the day. So he climbed down the stand and is gonna regroup and go back around 5pm for the evening festivities. He is a litte bummed but he said today alone was worth the price of admission. He has never witnessed elk in the rut like that. The excitement in his voice is awesome. He is like a little kid haha. I told him that is what we all dream about getting in the middle of when September elk hunting.
 

Hilljackoutlaw

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Well 2 misses this morning and we're followed by sweet tender tasty redemption tonight. The wife told him on our drive out to the stand that he better come home with meat or don't come home so cow was on the menu.

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Had 2 calves come in at 705pm calling like crazy standing right by me and about 20 minutes later momma come charging in. She stood 8 yards from me when he shot her from the treestand. I was kinda scared of an arrow deflection. Haha He made a great shot at 20 yards and she went 100 yards. Woo-hoo!
 
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