Archery Elk For Team OO member

Archery elk hunting is the most exciting hunt I do every year. To call in and interact with animals that tip the scales at over 700 pounds at ranges of 10 yards is very hard to beat. This year I was able to hunt with my bow after my hunters finished their hunts. I hunted hard for 3 weeks and had many close calls with them and now it was my turn.

I spotted this bull in the early light as he pushed his cows and bugled for over 2 hours heading down into a big canyon. The weather was cold, windy and spitting rain and the elk were active most of the morning. The wind was very sparatic so we had to stage in a timber patch and wait for it to stabilize in order to make a play. I was able to snap this photo of the bull as he lay guarding his cows at over a half a mile away by using my spotting scope. I knew he was a good bull and I wanted to make a play on him.

After 4 hours of watching him and memorizing the land scape it was finally time to make a move. It was 4 pm and the elk were back up feeding and he bugled off and on for an hour as we approached. I had to cross an open river bottom that had no cover. As the bull pushed his cows around and was distracted I made a mad dash to the side the bull was on.

After a 200 yard sprint I made my way up toward the bull on his level. This is very important in this rolling country. Get even with a bull before you call. He is more apt to come toward you if he does not have to climb up or down to find you. I decided since he had 6 cows and no other bulls around I would only bugle to challenge him for his cows. I first set up about 150 yards away and started bugling. He would answer right away but would not budge. This is very common when a bull has cows. I than closed the gap to 75 yards and just above the bull. Again I bugled but this time made a more aggressive challenge bugle. The bull answered back but was more agitated by me. I could hear it in his response. I again bugled one more time but immediately ran 50 yards closer.

I looked down in the draw and could see him now running towards his challenger. Within 30 seconds the bull covered the distance and was coming up the hill. I drew my bow and as soon as the bull stopped on the meadow’s edge the arrow was on the way at 25 yards. I hit him perfect and he ran 75 yards and stopped in the meadow before he toppled over.He was by far my biggest elk with a score of 355. It is beyond words when you out smart a herd bull and call him into your set up and make a great shot. The work began once he hit the ground but the back pain is well worth it. If you EVER get a chance to come out West for elk do it. You will be hooked forever.

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