This has already been one hunting season I will never forget. On October 29, 2011 my friend Jordan, his Dad Bill, and myself traveled to some backwoods of hunting district 285. The morning started early and we arrived at our trailhead an hour before sunlight. The weather was less than glamorous, with rain beating our camo and some gusty winds to go with it. Jordan and myself headed out 2 miles in the dark before splitting up and heading our own routes around a large ridge. I took the right trail, while Jordan took the left. By this time it had started to snow lightly, and shooting light was upon us. I followed this ridge about .75 miles, glassing the hillsides around me and the valley below. This terrain is fairly steep and the trees can be pretty dense at times. With only some old elk sign, I decided to choose an outlook to do some more glassing. The snow had started to thicken. At one point I caught a wiff of the smell of elk. I took the next 400 yards slowly, and knowing there had to be elk in the area. As I approached a ledge I noticed a tan butt no more than 100yds from me. I quickly posted up next to the closest tree and dropped my pack. I started glassing the elk and noticed there were 4-5 cows and one bull. I got my self positioned in a spot I felt would give me the greatest opening to shoot and checked the wind direction (was perfect). I couldn’t tell if the bull was legal due to the snowfall, so I waited until I could get a better glimpse of his horns. A couple minutes later I had two bulls feed perfectly into my shooting lane. My adrenaline started pumping. I ranged them at 118yards, took a good rest on my pack laying in front of me. Both bulls were legal, and slightly quartering away. Booom!! I let my shot rip at the bigger of the two bulls, aiming at the opposite shoulder. The bull dropped in his tracks, as the other elk scurried around the ridge. I quickly locked in another round and started running down the hill towards the bull, and put another one in his chest for good measure.
I could hardly even believe what happened, and so early in the morning (830am). After having so many chances during archery season, I finally got my bull and first elk ever! Everything just came together too perfectly. God definitely answered my prayers that morning.
The one day that my brother and I weren’t out filming, and of course I shoot a bull that day, but I couldn’t be happier to have my first elk down. I quickly tagged the 6X6, and stood there for a good 10 minutes just admiring every detail of this big game animal.
Jordan and Bill heard my gun shots and found me an hour later. Bill helped me gut and quarter the bull. We were in grizzly country, so we kept our rifles close by.
The pack out was no easy task. We had almost 3 miles back to the truck, 1/2 mile being steep uphill hiking. We toughed it out and got everthing out in two trips. Big thanks to Jordan for helping me get his beast out.
We made it back to the truck at 415 pm. All of us were tired, but there is nothing better than a successful day of hunting with friends. I have had quite the rifle season so far, shooting both my mule buck and my elk within 7 days of each other, and only 7 days into the rifle season. Big thanks to Jordan and his family for their hospitality. More adventures to come!