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I Shot My Sons Bull !!!!!

Old 10-02-2008, 04:38 PM
Typical Buck
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Default I Shot My Sons Bull !!!!!

The morning started out innocent enough! We were heading out 45min before light to a pre-determined spot we had been into elk 2 days earlier. It was just my Son & I. We had covered about 1 1/2 mile into the Idaho woods when we heard a bugle just north of us 400ys+ out. We had not called at all to this point so this ole boy had sounded off on his own, he bugled several more times but we could tell he was in hot pursuit of something, such as a herd of elk with a possible hot cow. We followed his bugles the best we could but he was moving fast!! At this point we could not see him but figured him to be a 5-point bull.

You must appreciate the country we hunt some! It's steep in many areas & very rugged. There are tons of downfall in it from years of burns. Alder type brush grows rampant in every direction & is in the 7' to 15' high stages, it's nearly impossible to see over or get through it, you must find seams here & there & do your best to maintain a reasonable direction. In this case we were trying to follow this bulls bugles as we felt he would lead us to the real herds. You will cover 3 times the distance as needed because of this terrain & it's steep as all get out!!

We are in pursuit of this bull but his bugles are becoming faint as he's moving much quicker than we can follow, we know the area well as we've taken better than 25 bulls off this mountain range over the years. After about 45min of following & weaving our way straight up this miserable spot we hear a bugle above us aprox 1/4 mile away, we are now more excited as it sounds as though we are finally closing the distance, meaning this bull is finally where he wants to be or bed. We now hear a 2nd bull to our left, he's 500yds off easily & a bit below us in a downfall hell. Almost un-approachable! We know his spot well & hate it!! (grin) He's no doubt a very good herd bull by his sounds. We do have a stroke of luck as these 2 are keeping each other entertained vocally.

We still have done no calling to give away our presence. We now close the distance to the bull above us, he's straight above us on the other side of an alder thicket, he's 55yds out & we can't see a thing. There's a small opening above us & the bull is slightly right of it in the cover, he has now bugled aprox 8 times as we stand there with my Son up front as this is going to be his opportunity, I always want my Son to tag out first. Well, these 2 bulls go back & forth for 10 minutes & just when we think this bull just above us may step into the opening he retreats back, he does it time & again, the wind is in our face so no issues there. The bull has now moved further away to our right & now is a good 80-90yds away, I don't like this at all. I tell my Son to get down the mtn another 40yds or so from where we came up, there's a bit of an opening there. I'm going to try & call this bull over his way with some very soft cow calls & then retreat as I'm doing this in hopes this bull will follow. I have seen no real indication that this is a herd bull we're dealing with so decide not to scream in his face to get him to "react" although I'm puzzled if he's not why his distance is so great from the bull to our left?

My Son sets up & I get behind him 30yds or so & give a few soft calls, nothing!!!! I try again & get very little response, just a slight chuckle from him. I move away & pick up the volume a bit & he shows more interest. About 4-5 minutes have passed & I slowly have picked up the excitement level some from this cow & he's starting to build in his excitement as well. I don't feel from my position that he's getting any closer but yet seems further away & going over this steep brushed out mtn. He's vocal enough to give my Son a good position & I'm hoping he's slipping in? I decide to go back where I left my Son which is a good 100yds away & he's not there??? I look ahead & all around & see nothing, where the heck did he go? The bull is in front of me still a good 80yds out in this thick cover & is now giving short screams for this cow to come on over, (me).

All I can think of is my Son must have tried to shimmy his way through the thicket above where the bull started out to close the distance & get a shot at him as he was very vocal to get a good fix on him. But the bull is now 50yds below this thicket & slightly over a small knoll on the mtn. He now seems like he's getting farther away from his last bugles & chuckles. I feel he's getting nervous because this cow hasn't shown up & I decide I HAVE to get aggressive with him or he's gone!!!! I can't find my Son still & think he's stuck in the thicket above & can't get to the bull in fear of making too much noise?

So I take it upon myself while still this 80yds out (mind you this is all taking place in my mind in a matter of seconds) from this bull to get very whiny & loud using sounds very similar to a gathering or lost sound on high volume & very pitchy, I do this along with some stomping & running partially through the lower brush to create a visual in this bulls mind that this cow is now on her way & wants him!!! I'm now really calling away loudly & stomping my way to him making sure to keep good cover between us, I see a fir tree 15' high with green branches growing all the way to the ground & head for that feeling the bull is only 20 yds on the other side of it. I get 25yds from the tree & give my last sounds & nock a SnufferSS tipped arrow on my longbow & hurry quietly to this tree really expecting to see this bull, I see nothing but am staring intently where I last heard him. ---- Mind you all the while I'm wondering where in the heck is my Son???

Well I stare a few more seconds & see a rack through some timber & ears & eyes staring right at me 30yds out still, I'm still staring through the branches, I know he saw the movement but I feel he thinks it's the cow he's looking for so we have a 4-5 minute stare down all the while I'm holding my longbow in the ready position & my arm is starting to burn as I cannot lower the bow or move a muscle, he screams a good 1/2 doz times & the excitement level is off the charts. After the stare down he feels all is OK, whew!!!!!!! He pops up on the knoll now 20yds out & stares for a few seconds, I'm now shaking like a leaf in the wind from exhaustion & excitement that this might just happen, but where the heck is Paul?? The bull a 6-point is now 100% broadside & wouldn't you know it there's a dead branch running across his side & is covering a portion of his vitals. It would be a slam dunk shot with a compound at that distance but too much trajectory involved to risk with a longbow & screw up the shot! I wait!!!!!

The bull now turns & walks a few yards to an aspen tree & starts raking it with just his browtines. His rear is facing me, in front of me & slightly to my right is a 12" high slab of granite stone, I feel I need to get on that while he's raking to get elevation for the shot when he turns over that branch. I slowly move & up I go hoping he doesn't spot my movement, he doesn't!!!! I'm in position now still shaking of course!! (grin) If he stops raking & turns left I have no shot, too much cover, I need him to go back where he came from. This bull is raking to display for this unseen cow & trying to impress her. The bull turns right, sweet, 18yds out! He takes 2 slow steps to my right & I draw anchor & release, I see the arrow fly right into his heart & know he's not going anywhere.

I turn around to go find my Son & he's standing right there next to me, I'm in shock as I don't understand how he could've been there so quick??

So here's how my Son saw it all unfold!!!!!!!------------------

He says he had crept up to a tree not 15yds away yet above from me where I went to the tree with branches growing to the ground, he was there watching the bull 30yds out waiting for him to step up out of the cover. That's when this crazy old man, me, went running by him screaming those cow sounds & stomping away. My Son said he was waiving his arms at me frantically & hissing at me to stop because the bull was just right there, he just knew I was going to blow the whole thing!!!!!! I went by him only 10 yds away, he said since I didn't notice his waving he then picked up a good sized rock to throw in my direction to get my attention to STOP!!! He says the rock hit me in the right leg & I never slowed for a second!! He said that crazy ElkNut just kept on going to the tree like a man on a mission. LOL!!!!!! I guess I was so focused I saw nothing at all. The first thing my Son said was "nice shot"--2ndly he said that's the 1st time my caller has run by me to kill the bull, we both laughed but I was actually still in shock that I shot that bull right out from under him, actually I felt terrible about it. I had no clue where he was!!!!

My Son did say that when the bull was raking the aspen tree that if he'd turned left where I had no shot that it would've given him the perfect shot. Go Figure!!!! (grin)

I tried loading a photo of bull but it says file is too big! You can see it if you wish at

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Old 10-02-2008, 05:31 PM
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Default RE: I Shot My Sons Bull !!!!!

Some good story, I couldn't remember 1/4th the details of my moose kill last fall. But I feel as if I watched you and your son do your hunt!!! Thanks!
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:32 PM
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Default RE: I Shot My Sons Bull !!!!!

Very good story and very nice bull! Congratulations, sometimes you have to take what you can get, I wouldn't feel bad about shooting that one instead of your son. You didn't know he was anywhere around until after the bull was already dead.
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:41 PM
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Default RE: I Shot My Sons Bull !!!!!

Great story and a real nice bull. Congrats.
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:50 PM
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Default RE: I Shot My Sons Bull !!!!!

Congadulation! Awesome story and and awesome job telling it, made me feel like I was there with you!
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:27 PM
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:23 AM
Typical Buck
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Default RE: I Shot My Sons Bull !!!!!

My Son is 30, he's taken a lifetime of bulls already but it was the way this hunt unraveled that was quirky, funny & strange all at the same time, certainly a first for us!!!

I did try to make it up to him by calling in a huge ID bull on Monday evening! We were 4-5 miles back in with 20-30min of light left. We had a couple good buglers going & put the Chuckler to the real test on that big guy. We knew we had to make a quick decision on which bull to work as light was fading quickly & we had a 2hr hike out, no doubt in the dark with flashlights!
We decided on the bull above us as it was in the direction we had to leave anyway. I made contact him at about 350yds out several times so he knew who this bull was. We then rushed towards him with no other sounds, when we got aprox 60yds away in this thick stuff my Son setup in back of a small opening facing uphill, there was a 15'x15' patch of thick crap between him & the bull 15yds out which my Son used to his advantage to force the bull around it as he came in where he could have a good broadside shot.
I got back 30 yds or so & introduced myself to him up close & personal like, he didn't care for that much! (grin) He bugled as well as another bull did, these 2 were very close together, I cut him off instantly when he screamed & called quickly a 2nd time before he could even think about it. I also started breaking branches & stomping loudly like hoofs pawing the ground. We exchanged several screams with me cutting him off each time, he was getting a mite riled with that!! He had advanced a bit toward us but not fast enough, this 2nd bull with him made him nervous I suspect about leaving his cows to fiend me off, so I stepped it up a notch & threw in 3 very aggressive hard pants & a seriously loud aggressive scream. The pants were calling his cows to me & the scream is an intimidation to him, it's a two-fold sound all balled into one.
When I did this, this bull came unglued & rushed me to push me outa there NOW!!!! I was on a slight down hill slope from where the bull was so in order for him to see me he had to come to the top of this knoll bringing him right by my Son. (setup is everything) Everything was working as scripted in our minds eye until the bull came straight through the patch of thick crap instead of around it !! (guess I should have only given one pant/huff--grin) This put Paul Jr eye to eye with this bull under 15yds & his recurve, there was a 30 sec stare down & Paul knew he had to try something, he started to draw & the bull turned to leave at his movement, when he did the bull showed him his whole broadside figure at point-blank range, my Son continued his split second draw & fired, the shot went a foot over his back!!! I heard the shot & thought he had connected but it was to no avail, bummer!!!
I go over to him & he has his head down to his knees, he said I just
"shanked it" I said oh well, that's hunting Son!!! I don't believe it eased his disappointment! On top of that he says it's the biggest bull I've ever called to him, he says it'll push between 330-340 that's huge for our part of ID. Paul has taken a lot of bulls so I know he knows what he saw!!
That was his last chance as the season ended the next day! That darned NM hunt stole 10 days out of his archery season this year or I promise you he would have connected!!
Anyway, I tried to make it up to him!!!! (grin) He did say that with a compound he could have drawn easily without detection as the bull entered the thick patch, not true with a recurve however, you don't draw till the shot presents itself, just adds another challenge to bagging a bull !!!!


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Old 10-03-2008, 09:47 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: I Shot My Sons Bull !!!!!

Now Paul your going to have to leave some to other pepole,great bull and good read.Congrates!!!
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Old 10-03-2008, 10:04 AM
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Default RE: I Shot My Sons Bull !!!!!

Great stories and congrats on connecting on your bull. I'm sure you'll make it up to your son soon enough, and to have that level of excitement has got to be great for you both as it.
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:07 PM
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Default RE: I Shot My Sons Bull !!!!!

What an awsome hunt and a beautiful bull, nice job! Your son got the bull too in a way, he'll never forget this hunt with his dad, he tell the story over and over again for the rest of his life.

There is no animal more exciting to hunt than an elk witha bow, some people will never understand.
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