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All Elk... All The time => General Elk Hunting => Topic started by: huntingman24 on December 12, 2019, 03:47:51 PM

Title: My Idaho 2019 Elk Hunting Story
Post by: huntingman24 on December 12, 2019, 03:47:51 PM

On Saturday morning my 14 year old nephew and I took off to go hunting at 6 am. We drove up to our scouted out area and parked the car. We didn’t want to drive any closer for fear of spooking any animals. So off we went to hike up the hill to be above the animals coming off the private fields feeding in the morning. As it started to get lighter, we started looking for the elk that we had seen days prior. There were no recent signs of any elk in the area up the canyon we were head. So, we decided to hike up to the large pine pocket in the top of the canyon where we had seen a bull elk raking a tree. As we hiked up through the pine pocket, we saw lots of old sign but nothing new. And wouldn't you know as we got to the other side of the pine pocket, we found some regular beef cows. We had walked all the way to the top of the canyon to find nothing. I was super disappointed and told my nephew I had no clue where the elk had gone. I told him that we should walk over to the next canyon along the top to see if we could see any down in there. We had quite the hike around and had been walking almost none stop till 8:30am up the hill. We made it to the top of the other canyon and started looking around. There were no signs of life down in the canyon, so I decided that I would bugle and see what happens. As soon as I had finish bugling down into the canyon, a bull bugled right back. That was a great sign and my nephews face lit up with excitement. This was his first time hunting elk and hearing them bugling in the wild.  I was excited and thought that we might get close to some. We started looking all over for where the bugle came from, but we weren’t able to find any elk through the binoculars. I knew that the bull elk was down the canyon and so we need to move down to get in front of them. I thought if we got a little closer that maybe we could bring them in with calling.

We started down the canyon on one of the fingers that lead to the bottom. About a fourth of the way down I stopped to bulge again. This time two bugles came back, one where we had thought one had come from and another from the same side of the draw as we were. We started to move to get to the bottom as the excitement mounted, after a few more yards I looked up and saw a truck at the top of the canyon. My heart sank, I told my nephew that the bugles back were probably just other hunters and so it wouldn’t be worth our time to go down there.

As we were standing there glassing around, I spotted some elk where we had heard the first bugle. So, we watched the elk for a couple of minutes to try and determine where they were going to go. When I could tell they were coming into the draw we were in and the elk were moving up the canyon. I checked the wind and it was in my face. I told my nephew that we needed to get moving fast or we wouldn’t be able to get to the bottom and up the other side to intercept them. I cow called down the canyon to the elk we spotted to get them to continue coming our way. We started moving quickly down the hill. I stopped to bugle again and then both bugles came back. I thought that the elk were still coming and the other one was the hunter that was to far down the canyon to be able to get a shot. So, we started moving even quicker to get to the bottom to get up the other side to intercept the elk. We were excited that we might get a chance to get close to the 5 cows and rag horn bull.

Just as we got to the bottom and were getting ready to cross to the other side, here comes the cows and bull. He was still bugling and so was the hunter. I stopped dead in my tracks and got my nephew to stop too. I told him we needed to get off the trail because I thought they were going to come right at us. The trail that we were on had been used a lot and I figured that it was the path they would follow. I was wrong, the turned and started heading up the canyon. I quickly looked for a path through the cedar trees so I could get an open look at them. As the first cow came across the opening, I pulled out my rangefinder a find the yardage. She ranged at 55 yards, well within my comfort of shooting. She was across the canyon, clear shot with nothing in between them and me. I had great cover, two cedar trees in front of me and one big one behind me. So just as the rag horn bull was starting to come into the opening, I saw a big whitetip bull walking behind the other cows. He stopped to bulge and then keep pushing the cows. He was the one that had been bugling at me. Then the hunter below bugled back, probably just over a hundred yards away. There is no way the hunter is going to get the bull to turn around and come back to them. The one cow started to head toward the hunter, but the big bull cut her off. He turned her back the way the other cows and rag horn bull were headed. He stopped to bugle again to show his dominance, and it rang in our ears. Just as he came into the clearing, I cow called to stop him. I was already at full draw and let the arrow fly. It went just underneath him and buried in the dirt on the side of him. My heart sunk and then he dropped his head to look at what just hit the dirt. It was my opportunity to hurry and nock another arrow and shoot again. This time I knew exactly where he was at and the second shot was perfect. I saw the arrow bury in his chest, I thought it was a little low but still good. I watch him through my binoculars looking for blood and could see it coming out.

The bull walked into the aspen trees about 50 yards away, where he stops and I hear him stubble. Not even a minute later, he crashed through the trees falling. My nephew came up to me all excited cause he could hear all the commotion. Just then the other bull bugled below us. That is correct it wasn’t a hunter it was another bull. I set my bow and bag down where I had taken the shot and grabbed my calls. I wanted to see how big this other bull was that kept bugling. My nephew and I could hear him breathing, grunting and then bugling. We got him all worked up and within about 40 yards of us before he caught wind of something he didn’t like. It was another 6-point bull, he wasn’t as big as the one I had shot but still nice. He was headed back to his cows and pushed them up the mountain. I was then super stoked about my bull and couldn’t wait to get my hands on him. My nephew and I tracked him to were he died in no time flat. He expired in the thickest stuff ever but there he was a 290-inch bull. I was so excited, and this was an awesome hunt! It had everything you could want in an archery bull elk rut hunt, two big bulls bulging and challenging me! I was so glad that it all worked out and that my nephew got to be a part of it all!
Title: Re: My Idaho 2019 Elk Hunting Story
Post by: cohunter14 on December 13, 2019, 08:34:24 AM
Congrats on a great bull!
Title: Re: My Idaho 2019 Elk Hunting Story
Post by: Bowhunter1 on December 13, 2019, 09:29:10 AM
Congrats on a great bull. It was cool that you had your 14 year old nephew with you. I am sure he is anxious for next year.
Title: Re: My Idaho 2019 Elk Hunting Story
Post by: rick.going on February 21, 2020, 05:48:01 PM
Congrats on a great bull and very cool story!