Archive for September, 2019

September 15, 2019

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

We decided to take a shot in the dark and return to the mountain we hunted a few days earlier. It was a slow morning, and nothing sounded off. When we got near the top, we spotted a few animals, but they saw us at the same time.

Since we had been going nonstop without a break, we decided to head out of the woods early and relax a little at camp before heading out for the evening hunt.

On our way out, we were fortunate enough to meet three guys from Wisconsin. Some people are great people, and these people fit that mold. It was great to share an hour with them on the trail. We exchanged some great stories and had a fabulous time. Things like this are what keep me going. No matter where life brings you, you never know who you might meet. This was an unforgettable meeting, and I hope the other guys feel the same way. I left them feeling refreshed — and confident, even though the hunting had been slow up to that point.

September 14, 2019

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

We had a hard time decided where to go, so we decided to return to the same place we hunted the day before. We never disturbed the 5×4, so we hoped we might get another look at him

The morning was uneventful, and we never heard a noise. In the evening, we heard some bulls bugling and tried to close the distance. Somehow we found a herd of elk before we ran into them.

As cows and a spike bull filtered past us, we patiently waited. The herd bull began growling and screaming but never erupted into a full bugle. The action lasted until it got dark, and we were never able to see him to get a shot. The timber was too thick in the area, and the number of animals made it impossible to move.

September 13, 2019

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

We headed back up on the main mountain for the day. Shortly after first light, we spotted a nice bull on the opposite ridge. He was feeding across a meadow. We chose to stay put to see what he was going to do. If he fed all morning, we would know where to be for the afternoon.

Within an hour, the bull was just below us and bugling like crazy. Somehow, we ended up between him and his cows, but he didn’t want to fight. We gave it our best shot, but he wouldn’t come in to give us a shot. Although all of the animals were close to me, I never saw one of them. The cows and bull were talking wildly. It was an awesome experience.

Throughout the day, people were wandering through the woods and playing tunes on their bugle calls. I’ve never seen anything like it. There are piles of people, and they all seem to think that blowing on their bugles nonstop will put a bull in their lap. It’s not a good thing.. I’ve heard noises that I couldn’t even begin to explain what they sounded like, but I can assure you that the noises didn’t resemble any bugles I’ve ever heard.

September 12, 2019

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

We spent the day hunting on a mountain where I’ve had a lot of luck. We could smell elk the entire day, but we didn’t hear a peep from any bulls. On our way out, we jumped a few elk. They ran down the mountain, and a guy from Oklahoma killed one of them. That’s the breaks.

Here’s a photo of the wallow we went to check out today. It still looks the same. I can remember many years ago when the entire field was a pond. Time tends to change many things.

September 11, 2019

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

Today, we headed back to the area we hunted the first day. There was too much sign there to ignore, even though we didn’t hear any bulls bugle. The day got off to a good start when a bull screamed at us in the darkness.

We quickly scurried into place and waited for enough daylight to possibly see our pins to shoot. As we waited, the bull decided to head in the opposite direction, and we assumed he had some cows with him. It was a great way to start the morning, as I could hear the air coming from the bull’s diaphragm. It’s exciting to have a huge animal that close to you and not be able to see it.

The action continued as we made our way up a trail along the side of a mountain. When we stopped for rest, I heard a noise in the timber across a dip. Quickly grabbing an arrow, I saw a few cows making their way into the meadow in front of us. Three cows and two calves made their way past me in single file. I knew a bull was in the mix, but he hadn’t shown himself.

Looking in the direction from which they came, I could see more cows coming toward me. Three more of them ended up in my lap, no more than 20 yards from me. Handcuffed, I knew I could’t move. They seemed spooked and quickly ran past me. A big 6×6 suddenly ran into the meadow below me. He was following a cow. I knew that he was going wherever she was going.

In five minutes, the action was over. He never gave us a shot opportunity. A little bit of bad luck prevented us from getting a shot. If he had followed any of the other cows, we would have had a fairly easy shot in a meadow. The sight of a bull that big was incredible, something I’ll cherish for as long as I live.

We continued up the trail and made our way to where we found all of the sign the first day. As I was walking across a meadow, I thought I heard a cow call and a whistle. Then, I heard a horse. Since I knew I was near an outfitter’s tent, I instantly knew that the tent had clients in it, whom I met later in the day.

After hearing the commotion, we started in a different direction. Barely out of sight of the tent, a bull bugled, and I knew it was a good one. The bugle was raspy and throaty. I wanted to get a look at him, and it sounded like he was headed in our direction.

When I ducked into some spruce trees at the edge of a meadow, I was surprised to see the herd bull on the other side of it. He was a giant 5×5. As he bugled and tore up the dirt, I could see three satellite bulls in the mix and a pile of cows.

Suddenly, the someone let an incredibly bad bugle rip. I knew it was a person, and I knew the person had no experience with elk hunting. I got to watch the bull round up his cows and head in the opposite direction. He continued bugling as he walked away — and the person continued calling, not having a clue what was happening. The excitement was short-lived, and I was really disappointed.

By the time the day came to an end, we had encountered eight guys, and we were about 10 miles from our tent. We were in an area where you would expect to see nobody, and that is why we went there to hunt.

September 10, 2019

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

This morning, we decided to go to my all-time favorite place. We covered a lot of ground but didn’t hear a peep from any bulls. There didn’t appear to be a lot of sign, but the ground was so dry that it would’ve been hard to see it.

While still-hunting, we saw a raghorn bull. He got out of his bed and slowly wandered away. We didn’t have an opportunity to shoot at it. We also walked by a few wallows, and none of the wallows had been used in a while.

It was a slow day, but we tried figuring out where we should spend the most time.

September 9, 2019

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

Brian and I didn’t get an early enough start to get where we wanted to be before daylight. Since we were running a little behind, we decided to still-hunt our way to the top of the mountain and check things out as we picked our way to our destination.

Along the way, we didn’t see much sign, and the sign we did find seemed to be a few weeks old. Unlike past years, we didn’t hear an elk bugling. Although it was disappointing, we didn’t pay much attention to it. Instead, we continued our journey.

As we neared the top of the mountain, we began getting into quite a bit of fresh sign. It felt good to know we were amongst them even though we hadn’t seen anything yet.

After seeing all of the sign, we decided to cover some more ground and find a place to hang out for the day. We both figured the bulls would be singing before the sun faded out of the sky.

The day came and went without much action.

September 8, 2019

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

We had camp set up by late afternoon. I wasn’t in a hurry to get going, so I stayed behind with Dad and worked on organizing the tent. I also shot a few arrows and made the necessary adjustments. Everything seemed to hit a little bit high, so I dialed it in and felt good about it when I put it away. Here’s a picture from a few years ago of the area we will be hunting.