February 25, 2021, 07:09:17 AM

Author Topic: Close Encounters at Dusk  (Read 469 times)

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Offline 43Eagledriver

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Close Encounters at Dusk
« on: December 08, 2019, 12:03:48 PM »
 It was the last afternoon of archery elk season 2019 and I was hunkered down in a sagebrush cul-de-sac meadow surrounded by dark timber and rising terrain.  A half hour earlier, I heard a bull bugle from within the woods and crept up to within 40 yards of the tree line where I was now doing my impression of a bush.  I threw out a few cow calls and soon was talking back and forth with four different bulls!  I spent the next hour and a half trying to draw the bulls out, but they were not budging from the timber.  I finally crept into the woods to get an eyeball on the bulls, but as much as two of them were bugling, they were invisible.  They were ghosts!  Dusk was falling and I dejectedly determined it was time to hike home and prepare for rifle season.
 
Suddenly, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up as bull with a deep, throaty bugle torched off in back of me!  It came from the direction I had to hike back, so I crept forward 40 yards to where I could see down into a small saddle below me.   There, I saw a dozen cow elk and calves grazing 50 yards from me without a worry in the world.  That is when a monster 6x6 bull stepped out from the tree line near the herd.  He was THE herd bull and strutted toward them as he let out another throaty bugle that morphed into a scream ending in angry chuckles.  He was answered by a bull above me, bugling from within the dark timber. 
 
By this time, dusk had fallen and I could not make out much with my naked eye.  I peered through my binoculars and watched a beauty 5x5 bull trot out of the woods and run down toward the herd.  He stopped across the meadow, broadside to me, a mere 35 yards away.  I then heard pounding hooves coming from above and beyond the 5x5.  I swung my binos toward the noise and watched another dozen or so cows and calves running down the hill directly at me!  A cow and calf almost ran me over, passing within 10 feet before the herd bull bugled again and the new arrivals turned to join the herd.  I felt like Kevin Costner in Dances With Wolves when he was running with the bison!  This was unbelievable!
 
I let out another cow call and the herd bull charged past the cows, directly at me! He must have thought I was one of his cows not moving fast enough for him.   When he was about 30 yards away, I realized he was not going to stop.  I yelled, HEY!, throwing my arms up.  He skidded to a stop a mere 25 yards away and seemed to analyze this strange creature standing in his meadow.  I now had two shooter bulls within my comfort range, both staring at me, but it was too dark to do anything more than gawk at the spectacle unfolding before me.  After 30 seconds of this stand off, both bulls trotted off to join the herd.
 
Now that it was dark, I turned on my headlamp and started hiking toward home past the herd.  I said out loud, thanks for the show guys! It was incredible!  The herd was now just shadows and glowing eyes.  They trotted off ahead me and split into two groups.  One headed perpendicular to and away from my path and the other bunch ran ahead of me, crossed the creek below me and up the hillside beyond. 
 
It was now pitch black with spectacular stars overhead and as I walked cross hill down the canyon, the bull on the other side of the creek continued to bugle.  I could not see them, but from the sound, I could tell they were actually paralleling my path.  It didnt matter that I couldnt fill my archery tag this season.  With each bugle, my smile got bigger and I knew that this would be a hunting story I would never forget.
 

Offline cohunter14

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Re: Close Encounters at Dusk
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2019, 07:07:57 AM »
Awesome story and encounter!

 

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