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Youth Cow Elk Success

wyflyguy

Active member
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
73
Location
New Mexico
My oldest son drew his first ever elk tag this year in NM. He has been talking nonstop about this hunt since the draw results came out last Spring. The time finally came and we hit the road with our neighbors (who have two boys who also had anterless elk tags). We rolled in and got camp set up on Friday, waited for the evening, then struck off on a drive to explore a bit and see if we could locate some elk to chase on opening morning. We ended up finding a herd that was beautifully skylined against the sunset, but were being watched by another group of hunters. That was still enough to get the boys' blood pumping, though. Just after dark we parked on a point that overlooks a good amount of area. We were soon treated to the sounds of a couple of bulls bugling at each other. It was something special to see the smiles and excitement of the boys experiencing this for the first time.

The next morning (opening day) we drove to a different area that had historically been good to our neighbors. We arrived in the dark, hopped out of the truck and just sat still to listen for a few minutes. Sure enough, we had a bull bugling up the canyon from us. We quickly grabbed all our gear and set off up the canyon with just barely enough light to see. The further up the draw we got, the more activity we heard. There ended up being 4-5 bulls scattered through the bowl at the top of the draw and each was very vocal. We got to a spot where we could occasionally glimpse a cow moving through the trees and set the boys up to wait. What an amazing experience to hear those bulls bugling, turkeys calling down the canyon, and some very excited boys on their first elk hunt! Before too long, an opportunity presented itself and the youngest hunter squeezed off a round. Good shot, good hit. His cow went about 20 yards up the hill and tipped over. With the ensuing commotion through the forest, it sounded like there were 100 elk in there, though we saw very few of them. As we made our way up the hill through the deadfall to retrieve the downed elk, we saw that another cow had stuck around. I got my son set up again and waited for her to present a shot. We had to watch her for a couple of minutes as she picked her way around the deadfall. Interestingly, she was curious about us and kept walking towards us. She cut the distance from about 80 yards to something like 50 before she gave him a clear shot. Boom! Another elk down.

That evening we were able to locate another herd in another part of the unit and the last young man was able to fill his tag. One day of hunting, three elk down, three very happy and excited young men who are undoubtedly hooked for life. The dads couldn't be more happy with how things worked out and hope that we haven't set some unrealistic expectations for our boys!
BlaineElk.jpg
 

wyflyguy

Active member
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
73
Location
New Mexico
Thanks, everybody! Haven't been able to wipe the "perma-smile" off that face. He will definitely remember this one for a very long time.
 

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