September 16, 2019

The morning dragged into early afternoon, and the rain pitter pattered off the aspen leaves. Brian and I took cover under some thick spruce trees and tried waiting it out. We were never able to escape the rain, and it made it uncomfortable. Eventually, we decided to head off the mountain and still-hunt back to the trail.

On our way through some thick timber, we spotted a herd of elk feeding up the ridge. Instantly, we spotted a herd bull in the mix. He wasn’t a monster bull, but he was a nice one, and he had a herd of healthy cows with him.

As he slowly made his way toward us, Brian and I got ready for a shot. Finally, he stepped in a shooting hole, and I got a shot off. Darkness was bearing down on us, and I rushed the shot when I saw that he was only going to be in the shooting lane for a matter of seconds.

Right before the bow fired, he turned toward me. The arrow missed its mark by no more than three inches, but when he quartered toward me, the miss compounded. The arrow struck him in the middle of the body a short distance in front of the hind quarters. I knew I had gut shot him.

He jumped and ran a few steps before stopping. I tried threading another arrow through some thick stuff but the arrow hit a branch. Disappointed, I watched him do the penguin walk up the hill. I knew he was hit hard. I figured if we gave him some time, he would bed down.

We marked everything with ribbons and headed out, deciding to come back the next day. It was an extremely long and tiring trip back to camp.

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