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My first Elk and with a bow to boot

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My first Elk and with a bow to boot

Old 10-15-2009, 02:27 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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Default My first Elk and with a bow to boot

In mid September my friends and went DIY bow hunting for Elk in the flat top mountains area near Craig, CO. We backpacked to live among them…..it’s my groups opinion that you have to get away from the crowds and get in the middle of them to be successful. On the first night I missed a nice 4x5 bull. In 7 days of hunting I saw 7 bulls and 4 other bulls that were not legal to shoot. In the same period I saw over 30 cows.

The last day in the mountains was my big day….we started way before light trying to ambush a herd that we had been watching come in and out of a bowl for a couple days. Unfortunately that morning they fooled us and were not down in the bowl. My two buddies and I split up at around 7 am to stalk hunt on our own. I worked my way into the aspens hunting the trails as they winded between the many fields surrounded by aspens and some dark timber.

As I got to the opposite edge of the flat top I decided it would be fun to look out off the other side. That side of the mountain is a very steep dark forest area that is all private land at the bottom. While looking over the side of the mountain I listened to three bulls bugling at each other about 1000 to 1500 feet below me. I was enjoying the sounds but didn’t think much about it since they were miles away. But just for the fun of it I made a few loud cow calls and was immediately answered by the closest bull. He was still a LONG way away. I pulled out my bugle call and let out a loud bugle with a lot of chuckle. I wanted to sound big and dominate….he immediately responded….and bugled back and forth several times. I stopped bugling and was looking at my GPS Topo to decide the next direct to go when he bugled again only this time he was half way up the mountain. I started bugling and estrus cow calling and he kept responding then shut up again. After about 20 minutes he bugled again and he was REALLY close.

Stuck between me and a strip of dark timber he was in a small field raking a tree with his horns and bugling off and on. I stalked up slowly to the dark timber and got to a small hole in the timber. I could see him about 5 yards away raking a tree. Then he walked forward to the opening opposite of me and stared right at me. After 5 minutes of staring at each other he took one step and started raking a dead tree leaning against the dark timber. I drew back my bow and took careful aim…..wack….he took off running….it sounded like thunder as he ran with trees breaking and stuff getting knocked about. It was a 30 yd shot…..I walked to where he was standing when I shot and started looking for blood.

I didn’t find any blood but did find my arrow…coated in bright red blood…..making the spot on my GPS I started looking around and saw him standing on a hillside 135 yds away. I watched him for 30 minutes standing in the grass just hoping he would go down. Then he slowly started walking off….i could see the blood and hit on his side and realized I hit him a little high and it was going to take a lot for him to die. As soon as he went behind some dark timber I ran across the field to catch up to him and to attempt to get another arrow in him. He was way ahead of me about 70 yds away and then he walked over the hill. I was debating following him or waiting for him to lay down and die. I was worried since I could not find any blood in his trail. Out of no where he came back down the hillside on the edge of the flat top 40 yds away but in heavy brush. As he ducked out of sight I worried that he was going back down the mountain.

Rushing over I followed his tracks and found a great train down this steep side of the mountain. About 30 yds down the trail he was standing on the train broadside….couldnt see his head could see all the important stuff. I took one step and shot him perfect hitting both lungs. He went crashing down the side of the mountain. I could hear him rasping and then die. I was ecstatic to make my first kill but he was on the other side of the mountain from the camp and I had to climb back up after gutting him to go get my buddies. All in all it was one incredible hunt that I will never forget my first a 5 x 5.

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Old 10-15-2009, 02:57 PM
Giant Nontypical
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: IL
Posts: 6,575

nice looking 5x5!

are you and your crew from CO? or which state if you wanna share...

Still looking to get my first elk bowkill, perhaps next year...
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Old 10-15-2009, 05:21 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Huntin' In Colorado
Posts: 2,910

Welcome to HuntingNet!!!

Congrats on the bull!!!
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:55 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Snydersville PA
Posts: 101

Very nice Bull, Congrats!
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:31 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Helena Mt USA
Posts: 1,834

Great story, great pictures and great bull. Congrats!!!! I got my first elk this year with my bow too. Awsoem feelings. Again, congrats
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