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Author Topic: My 2019 Archery Elk Hunt first Archery bull  (Read 1091 times)

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Offline Wade76

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My 2019 Archery Elk Hunt first Archery bull
« on: September 20, 2019, 11:04:10 AM »
My 2019 Elk hunt, well lets start with some history to put a little perspective on how deep the dreams of hunting Elk are embedded in my soul. We need to start way back in 1990, that was my introduction into Elk hunting. My dad had raised me hunting since I could walk but was strictly deer and small game, in 1990 one of his friends took me on an Elk hunt with him. That hunt was successful in that I got hooked as we had 35 cows come in front of us at 35 yards but we were on a spike only any weapon hunt so we didnt harvest anything that year. Fast forward to 1997 after eating Elk tags I finally found success and shot a spike on an anybull unit in Utah with an old sporterized 30-06 that was handed down to me. That story in it-self should be told separately as it was such an awesome experience.  From 1997 to 2016 I ate every elk tag, I tried archery, Muzzleloader and rifle. No dice but with my 1990 introduction and 1997 success being so impactful I still kept trying. In 2018 I finally drew one of Utahs coveted tags it was a muzzleloader hunt starting September 25th.This story as well should be told separately because it was such an awesome adventure but Ill just highlight a few things that got me to 2019. When I drew this tag I was excited as anyone would be, but I was worried. I was worried because I finally realized I didnt know how to hunt Elk history has proved this, also history proved Im a little hard headed, look how many years it took me to realize. Well I jumped on you tube started researching and through that I found Elk 101, Born and Raised, HUSH, and many others who just posted their success. I became obsessed every day I would watch Elk hunting I would practice calling and research OnX and google earth.  Well my hunt came and went and it was successful but I learned a lot, I wasnt in shape, my pack sucked, my calling sucked I still had a lot of improvement I needed to focus on. So going back to Elk 101 I found most of the answers. I looked at physical conditioning and that led me to the MtnOps 90 challenge, I practiced on calling, focused on shot placements. I watched all the Elk101 videos, Born and Raised, Hush and many other videos anything I could find on Archery Elk hunting because 2019 I would be buying an OTC archery tag and I didnt want history to repeat itself. I worked my butt off all year, I studied and when the hunt rolled around I felt more ready than ever. I planned some time off over Labor day weekend and the last week of the hunt. This hunt ends on September 13th. So labor day weekend I headed up on a Thursday and that evening I just had time to get up there and do some glassing. But I decided to do some calling as well. Im sitting there calling and then I hear an elk call??? What the heck I turned around and there is a calf standing there! So for the next 20 minutes I called this calf back to me 3 times!! I wasnt going to shoot a calf but I was ecstatic! I called an Elk in to under 20 yards!! So I sat there and called some more, look over and theres a cow and a spike!! Headed back to camp that night I was all grins!!  I couldnt sleep!! The next morning came so I headed in, I had a plan! Started walking a ridge and calling and a got an answer but the wind was no good. So I headed down and around the ridge to get my wind right. I hiked down a way down a North facing slope and started calling, I hear some twigs snapping, so I keep calling then I hear some noise that is really close. Im looking and looking but cant see anything so I start working my way up about 30 yards and a pine cone comes flying past my head! I look up and theres a squirrel and hes laughing at me! So I give him my best finger and walk down the ridge a ways. I called some more I could swear I could hear something above the squirrel, I was like is it another one?? I decided to bugle one more time and immediately a Bull Elk screams back and chuckles!! Holy cow I started shaking! Adrenaline is rushing and then I see him! Hes running in! Im looking for shooting lanes shaking and he comes in perfect stops and bugles! I draw, level, pick my spot and send it! 2 feet before the Elk my arrow hits a dang gone limb!! Deflects and hits him in the leg. I hurry and call and stop him, frantically getting another arrow, draw and guess the range and totally miss him! Im sick as a watch him walk away with my arrow sticking out of his leg. I sit down and start reading on Elk101 on blood trails and in there Cory covers a leg shot explaining they will bleed really good, but its just muscle blood, the only chance is the femoral artery. So I wait 2 hours and go in I ended up tracking this bull all day to learn hes ok, its not fatal. So I head to camp and Im just sick but at the same time Im excited! I just called my first Bull in on a string and if that ends up being my only opportunity I was ok with that. But I bought a tag to kill an Elk so I was going to keep trying. The next few days I get some answers but the rest of the hunt ended up being slow and hot. My next opportunity comes on a Sunday my Wife let me go out for a morning hunt. So I go to the same ridge and do the same thing but this time its quite. So as Im sneaking out Im calling as I go and I spot an Elk in the trees at 50 yards, start looking and I can see there are more. Every Elk I see is a cow but I know there are Elk I cant see. So I back out and come in from another angle. I start calling and after 20 minutes I decided to move up, I take 2 steps and theres a Bull at 20 yards! He busted me! Sucker was coming in ninja style! This brings us to the last 2.5 days. First evening I get onto a monster bull! But hes got a herd of cows and no matter what I tried I couldnt get him to break off. But that experience lasted 2.5 hours of working that Bull and I was back on cloud 9! Next morning, I call in 2 small bulls they get to 80 yards and the wind switches and their gone. There are bulls screaming in every canyon! And I watch 10 head into a canyon about a mile away but there is a Bull screaming below me. So I go after him and I can hear him for 2 hours as I move in and try to locate and then he goes quite, no dice. So I decide to bomd=b over where I saw Elk pouring into in the Morning. I take a guess of where they might be beaded and head in. Way before I get to where I think they are I run into a heard beaded. They bust me but no Bulls. I immediately start calling in hopes the whole canyon doesnt get out of dodge. I start working my way up calling and I look up and there is a 6 point at 70 coming in like another dang Ninja! Busted! So after all that I end up finding myself at 4pm not knowing what to try next. I had missed so many opportunities but I was having a blast!! So I decide Im going to head to the top and just find some different Elk. I do just that and I get to a spot and decide to throw out a locate bugle. 3 Bulls pop off!! I grab my bow and dive in! One bull is close and coming fast! Then I hear him stop and after a min I hear him head down the canyon! What the heck! Then the light bulb comes on wind!! Yup sure enough the ol wind checker says my sent was headed right for him! So I dive off the other side to get down in to where my wind is right and that takes too long darkness is coming. So I back out and decide this is where I will spend the last day. The next morning, I get there and try another locate. This time its different only one Bull fires off. I go in after him but every bugle I can tell hes headed out. So after a 4 mile plunge I go back to what Ive been learning for 2 years. Last night was a full moon so the Elk probably bedded early. I decide that I think there are Elk still in here I just have to wait for Mid-day madness! So I wait and around 2:30-3 its still quite so I try a locate. A bull pops off and hes in a spot that just might work. So I head in and hes talking but not like the night before. As I get closer his Bugles turn into a weak grunt. So I work in real slow only calling every 45 min or so. I get to an area that I was like this is the best set up. I decide to try and pull him into here. So I get set up and range several markers of where I think he might come in. I Bugle away from me to an angle. And about 5 min later I see him! Hes coming in! But then I realize hes not going where I want I want him to. So I start frantically looking for other shooting lanes. I see one I think might work so I draw, he comes into it but there is brush. I stay at full draw the next lane brush! Then the last lane he walks in and hes clear and he stops and Bugles! This is the exact spot I projected my Bugle too! Holy cow I see what Cory was talking about in real life! So I level and send it! I see it looks good then I lose my arrow right before it gets to him! HIT?? MISS?? I dont know?? I grab my Bugle tube and start just ripping on it! Ive practiced so much that every Bugle is awesome! Im chuckling just throwing the kitchen sink at him! He stops and runs right back in!! I didnt expect this at all. Frantically I grab another arrow, draw level and send it! Same thing looks awesome but I lose it right before my arrow gets to him!! HIT?? MISS?? I dont know?? Im just thinking that was your last chance. So I walk up to where he was and start looking for arrows and I cant find any. So I follow his tracks and I find a drop of blood, holy cow! Then I find a lot of blood then more and more and then back to drops and back to nothing. Im worried the color isnt what I want so I send some pics off to friends. Everyone has the same opinion, Dead Elk But back out till morning. So thats what I do. I also send out a request for help to look in the Morning. My Stepson, Brother-in-law and Nephew jump at the chance and come up. The next morning, I take everyone to the last blood and we look for 45 min and no one can seem to find any. So I group us back up and organize a grid search. After 60 yards my Step son finds a drop so I run over, then he turns into a Blood hound spotting blood left and right! I look and theres my arrow!! I pick it up and as I stand up with my arrow in my hand I look and There he is!! I scream and run up there!! We found him!! I cant believe I just got my first archery Bull!!! We spend a few minutes taking pictures and then break him down! All the meat was good and backing out as hard as that was it was the right choice. My Hit was fatal but it did take him awhile to expire. Thanks Elk 101, Born and Raised, HUSH, Mtn Ops! You all have great products but the most valuable is the knowledge you share with the world! Anyone can put the time in and learn and apply it without spending a dime if they wanted to. Huge shout out to everyone! And Mtn Ops with the 90 day challenge and the group support most definitely got me in the shape I needed to be in to conquer! Cory your selflessness of sharing Knowledge about all aspects is a great gift that can help anyone put Elk in the freezer! Born and Raised you guys are amazing at sharing real hunting! The ups and downs! HUSH I love everything you guys put out so down to earth and real! Thanks for helping break my curse and put Elk in the freezer!!
Wade Ross

Offline klyons

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Re: My 2019 Archery Elk Hunt first Archery bull
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2019, 01:31:01 PM »
Great story Wade76 and congrats on a successful hunt.

Offline cohunter14

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Re: My 2019 Archery Elk Hunt first Archery bull
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2019, 05:11:27 PM »

I second what klyons said, awesome story!!! Except there's one little problem...where's the pictures?!?! Hahahaha, we need some trophy pics, dangit!!!


Congratulations and thank you for taking us along on the ride. You've got my blood pumping now as I head out in the morning for my hunt  :dance2:

Offline Ol Arky

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Re: My 2019 Archery Elk Hunt first Archery bull
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2019, 11:16:12 AM »
GREAT tale but I need my elk fix with a picture or two or three.. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
See ya and God Bless;
Phil "Ol' Arky" Weaver