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Author Topic: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt  (Read 12864 times)

Offline Rainier10

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #125 on: October 02, 2017, 01:10:36 PM »
That whole line of bulls was just passing through from the blues, no elk left in the colockum.
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

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Offline cmiller85

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #126 on: October 02, 2017, 02:00:19 PM »
Saturday, 9/30/17 Ė Opening Day, 8 am to 9 am.

After all the small bulls had seemed to pass by I headed back up the ridge to some higher elevation. The bulls continued to blow their heads off below me.  I continued up the ridge and saw some fresh tracks. They were easy to spot because everything was damp unless disturbed. Back up top, the wind was howling. I headed back towards where I had entered the woods that morning and I could hear the bulls paralleling me about 1/2 mile below me as they headed back toward bedding. I let out a few bugles as I made my way along and nothing responded. The fog now started to lift a bit and my surroundings began getting much clearer, which was a nice relief.

After about a half a mile of this or so, I just couldnít take it much longer. The bulls still continued belting out those high notes down in the valley and the lure was like a moth to an outside light. I just couldnít resist. A few of those bugles sounded pretty darn good and I knew there was just too many elk for me to have seen them all. There seemed to be nothing up highÖPerhaps that bunch down there deserved a second look.

As I made my way back down the hill, the screams got louder and louder. Those big boys in there were fired up and they were just absolutely shredding their vocal cords it sounded like; just emptying every bit of air out of their lungs as they let each other know that they should back the hell off!

I quickly made my way down the mountain to where the bugles were just over the next finger ridge and in the thick green timber where they liked to bed. I had to cross and open area and knew I could get busted, BUT with the wind howling and blowing from my right now to my left up the hill and the elk running everywhere I had as about as much in my favor as one can have.

As I bent over and trotted across the more open hillside with a bunch of blow down I came upon a satellite bull at about 70 yards. He didnít get a good look at me I donít think but he did run back down the hill (away from the bugles). No big deal I thought. No other elk are going to pay attention to a loud, crashing satellite in this setting. I continued onÖ

Up on top of the little finger ridge the bugles became amplified as very little distance now separated me from these bulls, and I got the full effect of these bulls giving it all they had! The area was thick with young pines between 4-8í tall in the midst of some old growth timber; perfect bedding. As I crept along I spotted a satellite of to my left. I stayed low. The wind howled and, as a predator, everything was in my favor. He couldnít hear a thing due to the wind and activity and he couldnít see me as I moved through these small pines. I continued onÖ

About 50 yards later I catch an elk body through the trees. He looks like a good bull and heís raking the hell out of some poor sapling. I canít get a good look at him as everything is so thick and eventually he moves off. Iím trying to pinpoint the big bulls and stay upwind of them as they move up the ridge. Things are just going perfect! I work my way to the edge of a smaller clearing so Iím out of room to keep advancing. Dang it! Oh well, Iím pretty well out in front and above them so I work my way down the edge of the timber. I can hear that bull that was raking just crashing through some thick stuff making a ton of racket and then POW! CLACK! CLACK!....Thatís no sparring session there, I thought! I quickly take advantage of the commotion and run through some thick stuff to get to where the commotion is. As I get close I can see the two huge bodies pushing each other around; other elk and small bulls just walking around the fight. I sneak forward and am busted by a cow or small bull off to my left and it takes off back down to the herd. The bulls keep fighting and no elk pays attention to the one I just spooked. The chaos is just insane. It was almost too easy!  I finally got a glimpse at the bulls. No shooters. One is that big gnarly brute of a 6x with the broken right side. This is too cool though, so down goes the gun and up comes the camera. I didnít get it going in time for the battle but here are the moments just after.


You can see in the video that the battle scarred old brute just apparently whooped up on a younger and bigger bull (Iím pretty sure itís this big 350-360Ē bull with the broken 5th, in the below video, that he sent limping down the hill).


These two, I figured, are the herd bulls that Iíve been hearing and they are running the show. So I just decide to sit back, watch, and see what happens as I always do. Even when I decided there is nothing worth shooting I usually wonít just take off and blow them out. Iíll just sit back and let them do their natural thing before I move on. I donít like spooking anything unless necessary or unavoidable. So there I sat, just itching to get out of there so I could keep looking for that Huge 6x. I had some areas that I had picked out to look for him in already and it was already 9 am. I needed to get going! But sit and wait is what I didÖ

Offline Boehmer

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #127 on: October 02, 2017, 02:35:26 PM »
A big THANK YOU for taking us along on your hunt - great pics and video!!  Excited to hear the rest!

Offline Gringo31

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #128 on: October 02, 2017, 02:44:21 PM »
Your ability to hold off with bulls of that caliber...... make you a freak! 

 :tup:
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Offline cmiller85

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #129 on: October 02, 2017, 04:02:53 PM »
Saturday, 9/30/17 Ė Opening Day, 9 am to 9:30 am.

Well that big gnarly brute walked off to my left with the wind at his back and went up and over a little rocky knoll clearing so I sneaked over into the burnt timber clearing that the elk were coming through. As I sat there watching some cows down in the bottom of the draw I can see bulls running everywhere! A nice bull, looks like 330Ē or so, appears to be running bulls away from those cows. There are numerous 6x6 satellites trying two work in and get a piece. That 330Ē bull ran one off on the right and then another on the left. The cows are just standing around watching all the commotion.

Then off to my left I see the old gnarly brute coming back down into the draw towards the cows and is quickly steered away by a bullÖWait, huh? I start glassing the cows and can see antlers going through the trees. Is that the same 330Ē bull? No, the 330Ē bull is up the hillside above the cows! That looks like a good bull! What does the side profile look like? Iím looking for those whale tails and then he turns. ITS HIM, the Huge 6x!  :yike: Holy cow Iíve actually found him on opening morning just about 1/4 mile from where I had seen him 6 days ago now. I canít believe this is actually happening! The adrenaline flood gates were subsequently opened to full capacity.

Now he was about 150 yards down into the draw and judging by the way the elk were moving with the wind at their back from my right to left, I figured I would not be getting a shot at this time, so I just sat back and watched him run bulls off left and right; all the while screaming his head off.  He was staying right with those cows.

As I sat there watching all this, the elk just kept pouring in. When I first got there I thought they must be about to bed down but now it was getting pretty chaotic. Bulls were everywhere. I saw only about 3 cows down there, although I knew there were more. The bulls just kept funneling in from somewhere. Then suddenly I saw the Huge 6x run a cow toward the drainage bottom to my right. There were a couple other 6x6 bulls down there and they just kept coming. The Huge 6x was heading closer to my direction now; could I really be about to get a shot? There were so many bulls, so many antlers in the air down through the trees that I wasnít sure I could even pick out the Huge 6x if he did get within range.

Then the cow I had seen him push started coming up out of the draw and a WAVE of 6 points, about 5 of them wide, came up out of the draw on her heels and she is headed right to the trail that gnarly old brute just took when I filmed him walking away. She was going to come right by me. I started scanning for the Huge 6x but didnít see him at first. There were just too many bulls flowing out of the bottom down there.  Suddenly I look left and there is a cow I missed coming my way and about to hit the trail and turn upÖAndÖRight behind her is a an elk coming straight at me that looks like it has a 2x4 on each side of its head. WHAT THE!?  :yike: What bull is that and where did he come from?! The he turns his head sideways and WHOA! Thatís him! How did he get all the way up here? He was never down in the bottom apparently and I had missed him come up a different way trying to pick him out.

Now when the wave of 6 points came out of the bottom that cow picked up to a trot and the herd that was up by me, including the Huge 6x, began to hump it a little and slow to a quick walk. They were coming right by me at 40 yards! I pull up, trees everywhere! I had to find an opening! There was one right there. I also have to be careful as the herd is stacking up a little. The Huge 6x has a cow at his rump and his nose is at the cowís rump in front of him. I pull up as the Huge 6x comes in between trees in my shooting lane. The cowís rump clears the tree and BOOM! Smoke fills the air. The herd starts to trot and I make a few frantic cow calls which seem to slow them as they, looking fairly calm, continue walking up the side of the hill towards the rocky knoll clearing. The bull didnít seem to react to my shot, I could see no signs of him being hit, but thatís not unheard ofÖ :-\

I had imagined that heíd just drop or jump and stumble (as well all hope for) but that wasnít the case. He casually strolled to the top of the rocky knoll clearing and belted out a monstrous bugle while some cows and satellites followed up behind. I scrambled to get my gun reloaded in order to get a follow up shot. And I listened as that bull bugled going into the burnt timber on the other side.

I got all reloaded and while running up the hill to head them off, my mind is obsessing over the shot. Did I seriously just blow my chance!? The shot felt good. It was sooo close! I donít see how I could have missed. He must be hit in the gut. He was moving after all. The shot was quick but it felt pretty good. The fact that he just kept moving and bugling was not a good sign to me though, and that gave me a lot of concern. I HAD to redeem myself!

I ran up the hill staying as closely as I dared above the bugling bull as he made his way side hill around the mountain. The wind was still coming up the hill so I stayed above them. After about a quarter mile up the ridge through some thick stuff and noticed an elk in the trees to my right. It was a 300-315Ē satellite bull just standing there looking for the source of the noise he had heard as I hurried my way up the ridge. He was about 45 yards away.  He just stood there broad sideÖwaiting. I really didnít have time for this. He was looking pretty sleepy and didnít seem to be in a hurry to go anywhere like I wanted him to do so I can get back at redeeming myself already! After a few minutes, I said to hell with it, I got a tree between he and I and I just started crashing straight toward him. At about 30 yards he finally turned and nervously walked down over the hill. THANK YOU! So I continued onÖ

I went another 150 yards and caught movement out front as I made my way to head off the bull. A satellite worked his way up the hillside across a clearing. Then a 1x2 and then the 6x6 I had just ran off. I got my gun ready! If the rest of the herd comes through Iím sitting pretty! That big bull bugled just out of sight over the hill. He was close! This is it I thought! Then the bugles got farther away and he headed another direction.

The wind was blowing swiftly uphill from my right to left and still making a lot of noise as I continued running up the ridge. I caught the butts of the satellite bulls out in front of me disappearing into some thicker, green saplings. No time to worry about them. The chaos elk tornado still gave me a big advantage! I headed straight for them. I came through the saplings and at about 15 yards to my left a couple of spike aged bulls took off on a trot. I didnít even slow down. Coming up on the next cluster of trees I heard a small bugle about 20 yards away. I plow through the small trees and 15 yards away, directly downwind of me, standing broadside and looking right at me is a 4 point. He gets a good look at me and trots back behind me away from the bugling bull I am now within 80 yards of. As I continue on, completely ignoring and writing off the 4 point, the 4 point bugles! Hah! What the hell?! He saw me and smelled me (Iím assuming Ė the wind is a little crazy and moving fast) at 15 yards and it didnít even phase him but to just get out of my way! I AM INVINCIBLE TO ELK!!  :IBCOOL: This was so awesome!

I come up to the next stand of new growth, green pines. They must be going to bed here. The bull hasnít bugled in a couple of minutes so I slow way down and then stop completely. I know Iím close and itís thick. I canít see anything though. I sit down on a log and Iím looking down a little trail that gives me about 60 yards of viewing and wait. Then that little 4 point bugles again and the Huge 6x fires back and he is probably 50 yards away! Adrenaline OVERLOAD!
As Iím sitting there I catch movement straight down my shooting lane. A cow feeds right into the opening and then somehow looks right at me. Iím frozen as best I can be after getting my heart rate running at full capacity from that hill climb and then dumping untold amounts of adrenaline in to fast moving blood streams! She stares me down for a while and goes back to feeding. The wind is howling and is in my favor but these high pressure winds are about as trustworthy as a fart after a painful stomach gurgle following a night of drinking and chilli dogs! And, you can hear them coming over the tree tops right before the wind speeds pick up, and I know that any minute my scent is going to get swirled right to them and it will all be over!   

Sure enough, I hear the roar! I try to make myself as small as possible in hopes of limiting my scent signature (seems like that should help, should make me smell really small right, non-threatening?) The wind howls and then swirls and the cow that was crossing from my right to my left starts to look nervous. She turns and takes few steps back into the timber on my right! Uh Oh! Itís go time! Guns up and cocked! That Huge 6x should be coming through any second now and I can taste sweet redemption on the tip of my tongue! I catch movement coming from the left at the end of my shooting lane at about 60 yards! He walks into the opening; no time to soak it up, huge rack and the big whale tail are in my peripheral as I center my sights behind his shoulder and BOOM! This time he is hit and takes off! The cows bunch up and run 10 yards to the right and just stand there. After couple minutes they get nervous and run past me on the right at about 15 yards; no bull in tow. Now Iím feeling good!

But before I can get too excited my brain kicks back inÖ.Wow that was pretty quick, I really didnít a good look at himÖ.ummmmÖhopefully that was him. I paralleled his bugle up from the last shot I took, he has the cows just as he did when I last saw him, giant rack with a whale tail and a quick shot that redeems whatever the hell happened back down the mountain. I sure was anxious to get over and make sure before I let myself get too excited!

I walked down to where I shot him and found good pink blood. Thatís a lung shot! Heís not going to bugle his way out of this one! I follow the tracks and see some more blood and then lose the trail. I go back and relocate and as I walk 20 yards and look up ahead of me I see antler! Anxiety and excitement collide until gut sinking grief completely takes over! That G4 doesnít look right at all! That had better not be that gnarly old brute I have passed on now 3 times todayÖ..Sure enough. The gnarly old bull lay there before from a double lung hit; only about 80 yards from where I had shot him.  :bash: The shot hunterís dreams are made of and the one I had envisioned since pulling up on that Huge 6x about 30 minutes ago! It was just on the wrong elk.

Wait a secondÖHow does this guy now run the show and have the cows? Does that mean that Huge 6x was fatally hit and this guy swooped in and took over? Greif and anxiety compounded as I wondered how much the fines were going to cost me when I showed up at the game departments door with two bulls. Hopefully they would let me keep the first one Iíd shot! God only knows, but this is one of the worst possible scenarios I can imagine!

So after a bit, I head back down to look for the Huge 6x. After about 10 minutes of no sign of a hit I find blood. I canít believe it. It is just a quarter sized dropÖthen another and another. Nothing that looks fatal at this point and the blood trail dies out. I canít follow a trail this small after a big herd comes through like this. Man to go from the highest of highs this morning to shooting at the Huge 6x and not getting a fatal kill shot right then and there to now thisÖLower than I thought you could go. I couldnít stomach the thought of having that big monster bull out there just rotting somewhere. I was just sick!  :puke:

So we got the gnarly brute all taken care of and my gut was just in knots. Who knows where that Huge 6x went to. There were just so many unanswered questions, but after much discussion we decided that we would go out and look the next day to try and locate the Huge 6x either alive or dead. It was in the mid twenties temperature that night so if he made it through heíd probably be fine.

The next morning we went up the ridge and let out a bugle. The bulls fired up but it wasnít absolute insanity like the day before. My Dad, cousin and I were following a bugle to try to get a look at the herd bull when we decided to split up. Iíd stay on this bull and theyíd checkout another bull in the other direction. Just after we split up the bugling stopped but I followed the fresh tracks and they took me back to the road! Dang it! I then heard a smaller bugle to my right on the lower side of the road and then a bigger one beyond that. We had discussed the possibility of him crossing the road the day before so I worked my way down wind to see if I could get eyes on these bulls.

Downwind I let out some cow calls and got a quiet chuckle in response so I worked my way in that direction. Cow calling my way along I never got another response so I continued back the direction I had came looking for this elk that was surely here somewhere; nothing. I came to the road again and decided to head back up to see if I could relocate that bull that had quit bugling. As I was walking through some thicker stuff I saw some fresh tracks and thought that the elk that had chuckled at me must have when ahead and crossed the road. About 50 yards further I heard the sound of thundering hooves as a group of elk hurried away from the noise I made while walking. The wind was in my favor so I quickly grabbed by bugle and let out a squeal followed by some chuckles. After about 10 seconds a bull bugles back. So, I immediately give him my nastiest challenge bugle and I run up into a thicker stand of small trees. I can see the cows through the tress at about 40 yards and the proceed to trot on off to my left. I bugle again and go crashing through the brush trying my best to be an annoying satellite bull.

Trailing the herd and trying to stay low and in the shaded areas to avoid detection by a herd that will surely be looking for me I bust out into a more open area to see a cow looking at me at about 70 yards. I have learned the worst thing you can do is freeze so I just keep bent over and casually keep pace over into some cover. She immediately looks back behind her, seemingly unconcerned about me and I pull up the binos. I see some brow tinesÖ..then he steps forward and is broad side. Mr. Huge 6x steps out without a care in the world and he and his harem casually move off. I trailed them for a bit and got several looks at him. No limp, no wound on his left side and just living the dream!

 Iím super relieved at this point! But am totally bummed I rushed the shot. I was just kicking myself. There was no need to be in a hurry and my hunt hadnít even really started yet. The most frustrating part was that I let my emotions get the better of me rather than just relaxing and thinking logically. I never even questioned before the shot that this might not be the same bull. Everything just aligned perfectly to be the same bull in my mind. The bugles I followed, the cows he had and even his busted up right side made him look like he had a huge whale tail.

In the end though, he is an awesome, battle scarred old bruiser and I think it is awesome that I got to see him whoop up on that slightly bigger bull and then walk away, nose all bloodied and bleeding from his head as that other bull limped off down the mountain. Before that I watched him stave off 20+ satellites that came walking past me longing for a piece of his action. In the end, he took his deserved cows right before it was lights out! Iíve got much respect for him and all the character that is represented in his battle scarred rack; a rack that clearly has put the hurt on a number of bigger and no doubt younger bulls.

And the blood I found down around where I had shot at the Huge 6x I think was actually his blood. I remembered after seeing no signs of injury to that Huge 6x that I had filmed this gnarly old brute walking the same path just before the rest of the herd came through. He was bleeding from the nose and from the head.

Offline cmiller85

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #130 on: October 02, 2017, 04:05:39 PM »
Your ability to hold off with bulls of that caliber...... make you a freak! 

 :tup:

 :chuckle: What makes me a freak is I have spent more time doing a write up on my elk hunt than I actually spent elk hunting!

 And the fact that I apparently can't hit an elk, broadside at 40 yards...

Offline BrownGoinDown

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #131 on: October 02, 2017, 04:18:38 PM »
Epic write up. Maybe not the bull you dreamed of, but all of us on this website would have loved to experience what you were able to. Thanks for sharing and congrats on a sweet bull.
Smoke em' if you got em'

Offline cmiller85

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #132 on: October 02, 2017, 04:21:23 PM »
Here are some pics.

Offline cmiller85

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #133 on: October 02, 2017, 04:25:24 PM »
On a quick field score he came out to be about 340-350" bull, gross had his points not been broken.

As is he is more along the lines of 325-330" on the gross and 305-310" on the Net. My first 300" bull so it is a new record! And he's got more character than I know what to do with. Getting to watch him and film him like I did also makes him pretty special. I feel like I spent most of my morning and elk hunt watching him do his thing!
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 04:32:15 PM by cmiller85 »

Offline vandeman17

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #134 on: October 02, 2017, 04:27:24 PM »
On a quick field score he came out to be about 340-350" bull, gross had his points not been broken.

As is he more along the lines of 325-330" on the gross and 305-310" on the Net. My first 300" bull so it is a new record! And he's got more character than I know what to do with. Getting to watch him and film him like I did also makes him pretty special. I feel like I spent most of my morning and elk hunt watching him do his thing!

Nice bull! I feel you on the broken points. Character!  :tup:
" I have hunted almost every day of my life, the rest have been wasted"

Offline High Climber

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #135 on: October 02, 2017, 04:28:20 PM »
Wow congrats on your hunt, that's one hell of an old warrior you harvested too

Offline X-Force

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #136 on: October 02, 2017, 04:35:39 PM »
Beautiful bull.

Thanks for the write up!
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Offline jagermiester

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #137 on: October 02, 2017, 04:44:24 PM »
"The last word of ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant 'What good is it?' " Aldo Leopold

You took a great bull. A warrior on the mountain that served his time as king of the herd. We are all proud of you for being such a good sportsman and proud to be able to read such an amazing story about you harvesting that bull.

Congatulations
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Offline Shawn Ryan

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #138 on: October 02, 2017, 04:51:17 PM »
Great storytelling.  Good for you for following up on the Big 6.  Congrats on a great bull. 

Offline teanawayslayer

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #139 on: October 02, 2017, 05:22:34 PM »
Good job man! You had a great hunt and lots of memories made a long the way! Nothing wrong with that bull! :tup:
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Offline elkrack

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #140 on: October 02, 2017, 05:44:03 PM »
That's quite the experience! Awesome bull! Congrats
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Offline TVHunts

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #141 on: October 02, 2017, 06:36:25 PM »
Great write up and awesome bull.  Great work!
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Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #142 on: October 02, 2017, 07:00:38 PM »
Congrats and that's a great bull!
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Offline High Climber

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #143 on: October 02, 2017, 07:32:00 PM »
... now hurry up and delete this thread before that tag becomes more impossible to draw  :chuckle:

Offline Mr T

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #144 on: October 02, 2017, 07:41:14 PM »
Congrats, my blood is pumping with adrenaline after reading that.  Hope those cows are still lingering around in 5 days!!

Offline HardCorpsHuntr

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #145 on: October 02, 2017, 07:43:18 PM »
Special memories for sure, and thanks for sharing it with us.  You make it sound all too easy.   
"Fast is fine. Accuracy is final. You need to learn to shoot slow, real fast." -Wyatt Earp

Offline Turner89

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #146 on: October 02, 2017, 08:01:23 PM »
Just read this thread from the beginning, and am glad I did. That was my favorite story on here yet. Awesome job :tup:   thanks

Offline bowhunterforever

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #147 on: October 02, 2017, 09:25:41 PM »
Great bull and write up :tup: Congrats
You know how to skin griz pilgram

Offline 724wd

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #148 on: October 02, 2017, 09:27:03 PM »
WOW!  thanks for your awesome write up.  Maybe not the bull you were after, but a great animal in his own right!

Offline riverrun

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Re: 2017 Colockum Muzzy Bull Hunt
« Reply #149 on: October 02, 2017, 09:40:37 PM »
Awesome Bull! Enjoyed reading your posts! Glad you filled your tag!

 

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