The skies had cleared last night before we fell asleep and I had hopes of waking up to a cold, clear morning. It was clear, but it was far from cold. With pre-daylight temps in the high 50’s, I knew our window of opportunity was going to once again be very small. We quickly got our packs ready and headed down the ridge into the canyon. A location bugle elicited an immediate response from “our bull”, and the game was on.
The bull answered from about halfway down the mountain, so we slipped down to a high ridge overlooking where he had bugled from. I let out another bugle to get a final location on him, hoping he was still on the bench below us…he wasn’t. He had moved down the hillside another 300 yards and was nearing his bedding area from the morning before. We decided to slip down within 100 yards or so of where we knew he had bedded yesterday. We found a perfect place to set up just above the ridge he had been bedding on and I let out a cow call. Nothing. I let out a few more, still nothing. Finally, I couldn’t stand it any longer and I bugled. Again, silence. We waited 20-30 minutes thinking he might be sneaking in, but given the results of the past 2 days, we were doubtful. After 30 minutes of silence, we slipped down the ridge and hit the creek bottom, then worked our way up the creek bottom for a mile or so.
The creek bottom was tore up with tracks and sign, but there was nothing in there this morning. We climbed up the opposite side of the canyon, bugling as we went, but to no avail. We moved through the saddle into the next drainage and bugled down the north-facing slope below us. It was around 10:00 and it was HOT. To our surprise, a bull answered 200 yards below us. The wind was good, so we slipped down 60 yards and found a great little bench to set up on. Unfortunately, the result was the same as before. We never heard a thing from the bull again. Realizing it was just too hot and too early, we succumbed to the fact that we had been defeated and headed back up to the saddle. We dropped back into our canyon and climbed the steep, hot hillside back up to the truck. We loaded our gear and were on the road for home around 4PM.
The good news…we saw a lot of bulls and heard a few good bugles. The bad news…it’s September and we’re heading back up on Friday for 2 weeks…there is no bad news, unless you’re an elk! 🙂
When Babe Ruth was asked what he would do when he got in a batting slump he replied: “I just keep goin’ up there and keep swingin’. I know the old law of averages will hold good for me the same as it does for anybody else, if I keep havin’ my healthy swings. If I strike out two or three times in a game, or fail to get a hit for a week, why should I worry? Let the pitchers worry; they’re the guys who’re gonna have to pay for it later on.”
Look out elk…we’re coming back!
“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth
Stay tuned for a full, detailed report when we return. We’ll try to have lots of pictures and video to share in a “semi-live” hunt format…one post each day, detailing each day of our hunt. Semi-live hunt begins on Monday Sept. 21!