Here’s a report from long-time friend, Michael Kessinger, on his 2009 Idaho archery, public land, DIY bull.
“Well I hunted pretty hard for elk this year. I had a number of close calls and passed on a few spikes and forked horns in the first couple days. By Saturday, September 26, I was pretty sure I had made a big mistake passing on the small bulls early in the season. When I woke up on Saturday at 4am I had given up. I told my wife, Jennica, I was going back to bed. She said I better go hunting, that way I couldn’t complain about not going out for the next 11 months. I got out early and had a number of bulls bugling. Problem was they were down in a big hole. Against my better judgment I jumped off the hill and went down, down, down. After dropping about 1000 vertical feet I was in the elk. I had heard a number of distinct bugles and finally got where I thought I needed to be. I blew an estrus call and the brush around me came to life. I saw three different bulls in the course of about 2 minutes and heard some others not too far away. I was standing in the wide open when a 6×6 came charging into the opening and began walking right at me. I was pretty uncomfortable by the time he was only 8 yards from me, looking right at me, and still walking my way – I was getting a little nervous. He veered a little bit to my right and despite the fact that he was quartering hard at me, I let the arrow fly and snuck it in behind his right shoulder. He bolted, I let out a cow call, and he stopped about 40 yards from me. I sat down to let him expire. After about 20 minutes I walked over to where I had last seen him. To my surprise, he was still standing right where I’d last seen him. I watched him for what seemed like an eternity, just waiting for him to fall. When he didn’t fall I finally I stepped around the bush between him and me and let another arrow fly. The arrow buried to the fletching in his shoulder and he didn’t even flinch. I grabbed my last arrow with a broadhead on it and let it fly. It was a perfect low lung shot. He took about 5 steps and fell over. As it turns out, however, shooting him was the easy part. I called Jennica and a friend Bill. When Jennica called my sister Melanie to ask if she could watch the kids, Melanie offered up my brother-in-law, Lonnie’s, services. It was a good thing. The elk was 2 ¼ miles from the truck and the trip out was very steep. We finished the pack out about 20 minutes after dark.”