I have to say, this was a crazy year for me, and one that will never be forgotten. I started the year off back in March, applied for my tags with no luck, and got the bow out to start shooting again. I needed new strings, got that taken care of and had my Bowtech Sniper shooting good. Along came July, and the Full Draw Film Tour, and by the end of the night, I was the lucky dog that came out with a new Hoyt Nitrum 30 bow. I was pumped! Only problem is that I am one of those weird lefty shooters. I go down to Bob's Sporting Goods here in town to see what they could do. It just so happened they had last years Nitrum Turbo tucked in the back storeroom. I worked the deal to paying the 50 buck difference and exchange bows. Even more pumped now. Then it came to a decision as July came to an end, take the gamble and switch everything over, or hunt this year with my old bow I knew was shooting good. I couldn't let a brand new bow sit for a whole year and made the choice to ride my luck with the new bow. In a few short weeks and only days to spare before the opener, I was grouping 4" at 70 yards and never felt more comfortable shooting a bow. It was on!
September was there, I had the time off work, and a couple places in mind I wanted to be. You never really know how that is going to work until game time and of course where I thought I need to be, 6 miles in, others had the same idea. I couldn't move from ridge to ridge as all I would see were people. And the elk weren't talking. Lets just say I found the first week to be difficult. The following I got myself into a couple very close calls (never like having 4 bulls in either direction but the one favoring mine was trying to keep his cows from another bull on the other side of him). It was awesome to say the least. The experience was stellar, and times were great, but early season came to an end and I still had a tag. I ended up getting my buck and I waited patiently for late season.
Lone and behold, life always has other plans for what you intend on. Late season was here, I got out in the woods a couple days during the opener but that was it. Before I knew it, I was looking at the last 2 days of the season left. I was going to get out for those days. The first, was all iced over snow, loud and crunchy. I blew 2 different stalks, but wasn't throwing in the towel just yet, I had one more day. That night, it dumped about 6 inches of fresh snow, and by morning, the sun was out and it was beautiful, just to be out in the woods. I started off, just like every other morning on my loop, cutting fresh tracks all around. I came to a clear cut and saw 4 cow bedded down about 400 yards away. The wind was perfect to sneak down a timber draw on a creek bed and pop out right on them. I did so. Everything seemed to be working out great, wind was perfect and I got 60 yards from them when all of a sudden, back in that same timber draw, I heard breaking, crashing, and saw 3 more cows busting away. Of course that spooked the ones I was stalking in on and never was able to get a good shot off. I tried following until they crossed a river I wasn't going to go through. With my head hanging, I made my way back up the road I was walking and to continue on.
Back on the walking path, I moved on up the loop. Only this time, not seeing a single bit of fresh sign. I was just coming to the end of the road before cutting up and old reprod patch to connect to another road when I came around the corner, what else do I see but a cows head! Holy crap, she was just feeding on the side of the road. I checked the wind to see if its good, cross wind, and I could work with that. I get an arrow nocked and start sneaking closer behind a lone jack fir on the side of the road. Just as I step out to get a range on my cow, 5 more are right behind her on the hillside I couldn't see until this very second and they were staring right at me. I froze. And right when they all moved their heads just enough, I pulled to full draw. I was guessing she was at 60 yards and I didn't want to be blown again. She was broadside and I let a stick fly. It looked like it was flying so good and right at the end, just dropped right under her, and knicking her leg (I saw hair fly). Not a single one of those cows knew what was going on. I got another nocked, but this time she was quartering away from me. I put my 60 pin on top of her back and let it fly. Thwumb! Hair flying, blood started pouring out of entry wound, and scattering like crazy.... I couldn't believe it. I gave her 45 min and couldn't wait any longer. I walked up to where she was and ranged back to where I was standing, 75 yards! I started my tracking, little blood at first but beginning to get more and more with every step. I made it about 90 yards before I came to what looked like where she laid down for a minute and blood everywhere. No more than 10 feet from that, there was another. I was thinking to myself she has expired by now and I am close and of course, right then, she jumps no more than 5 feet from me under some jacks. I hear crashing for about 5 seconds and it was dead quiet again. I decided to give it another 30 minutes and continue tracking. I make it about 40 yards and see her piled up under some more reprod!!!! I was in awe, and couldn't believe what I was staring at. I had done it, and with not a day to spare. 12/15/2016 and both tags were finally full.