09.22.2015

Bull Elk Hunt

I drew a Fish Lake bull elk tag this year.  DG was way more excited than I was, but as the hunt got closer I got more excited and really wanted to kill a big one.  My FIL also had the same tag this year, so we got to hunt together.  It was a lot of work, but 9 days of fun!!

The pictures give a lot more detail but in a nutshell:

  • I missed a good bull the night of the opening day.  He was 1,300 yards away and my .243 won’t even shoot that far so I shot DG’s long range gun that I’d never even shot before.  I missed by being a mere 12 inches low.
  • I missed a good bull the second morning.
  • I hit a GREAT bull the third morning from 560 yards.  He would have scored +385″.  DG and I both saw him get hit, and my FIL and the guy he was with were just above the bull on the ridge and heard it hit.  We searched for the bull and couldn’t find him.  There wasn’t a blood trail, which even with the two we ended up killing and finding, they didn’t have blood trails either.
  • My FIL and I both missed the good bull from my first night on day 5.
  • I went home the night of day 6 so I could go to BG’s football game.  On our way off the mountain DG radioed me while I was in the meadow and said to get ready because one of the other guys had spooked the elk and they would probably be running right in front of us.  Well, he was right.  There were 6 cows that came out, followed by a bull.  It was only a little 4×4 so I said I wasn’t going to shoot.  BG was with me saying “just shoot it! just shoot it!”  I think that was a little combination of wanting to be done and wanting to see me get one!  I think I disappointed him that night, but I didn’t want to shoot just for the sake of killing something.  I wanted a good bull.
  • While I was gone my FIL killed his bull.  It was a 6×6.  Everyone’s phone’s were dead though so they didn’t get a picture.
  • I kept hunting.  I didn’t see anything to shoot at again for a few days.  DG would see something and the elk would either get spooked before I saw them or I’d not be able to see them in my scope.  I obviously should have been practicing shooting and locating things in my rifle scope long before the hunt.
  • The second to last day of the hunt we spent the whole day in the same spot (see below picture).  I shot at a bull that was a little smaller than the first day bull.  He was about 1,100 yards away.  I barely missed him by shooting under his neck.  Had his head been down, I would have hit him there.  It was getting dark when I shot so then I couldn’t find him in my scope again.  I kept looking and the bad lighting and the distance made it impossible so I didn’t even take a second shot.
  • On the last morning we rode all over looking for some elk.  We heard them but they were across the fence from us on private property.  There was nothing we could do to call them over.  DG, my FIL and I were continuing to ride, hoping we would find something.  A spike jumped out and my FIL told me to shoot it so I’d at least have something, but I wasn’t willing to do it.  Then we heard some elk bugling above us again.  DG took off to get below them so they wouldn’t run off too far.  I rode over to where I’d been sitting that morning and finally, a bull walked out!  He was smaller than I hoped, but still a bull so I shot and hit him!!!  He was 92 yards away, which made it the easiest shot I’d taken all week.  It was quite an adrenaline rush, then the work of cleaning and packing him out began.
IMG_7152

DG and his dad overlooking the fields on opening morning.

Selfie because duh.

Selfie because duh.

My FIL riding along the ridge. I love this pic.

My FIL riding along the ridge. I love this pic.

We took 2 pack horses every day to carry our gear--optics, extra coats, lunch, snacks and other hunting things that I can't even name.

We took 2 pack horses every day to carry our gear–optics, extra coats, lunch, snacks and other hunting things that I can’t even name.

BG toughed out the cold and hunted with us a couple days.

BG toughed out the cold and hunted with us a couple days.

Three generations.

Three generations.

The cutest kid!!!

The cutest kid!!! This was as we were riding to the truck to go to football, just before we saw the 4×4.

Beautiful view!

Beautiful view!

Another pretty view.

Another pretty view.

Another day. Another selfie.

Another day. Another selfie.

We spent the second to last day of the hunt in the same spot all day. We got there early in the morning and heard the elk, but didn't see them. We knew they were there because my FIL and I had both shot and missed at two good ones in this spot (at over 1,000 yards), but so DG decided we'd stay there and wait. That meant we all took naps during the afternoon.

We spent the second to last day of the hunt in the same spot all day. We got there early in the morning and heard the elk, but didn’t see them. We knew they were there because my FIL and I had both shot and missed at two good ones in this spot (at over 1,000 yards), but so DG decided we’d stay there and wait. That meant we all took naps during the afternoon.

About 10 minutes before I shot my elk.

About 10 minutes before I shot my elk.

The final prize!

The final prize!

Comments

  1. Lisa Robins says:

    Nice blog. I felt like I’d been there. Loved the pictures! Nice Bull.

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