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Author Topic: This one is on the wall!!!  (Read 1987 times)

Offline Pete112288

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This one is on the wall!!!
« on: October 15, 2019, 12:45:33 AM »
This year seemed like a whirl wind.
I have been hunting since I was 15, I am 30 now. My first deer and first elk I got when I was 18. Since then I have been fortunate enough to fill my deer tag every year and have only 3 years since then without filling my elk tag.
However, the biggest thing that has made them all bitter sweet to some extent is that I have never been able to have someone there with me when I filled a tag. Everything was shot solo. I have had buddies not that far away, or show up after the fact, but no more than that. And the worse is I have never shot anything on a day where my dad is in the woods too. He even started joking that he was a jinx to me. So this year I had a multiseason deer tag, and muzzy elk tag. I had not tagged a deer yet as muzzy elk opened. So I told myself, no matter what I paid for the multiseason deer tag, if I saw any legal buck on the days my dad was with me, it was going down.
So opening day of muzzy elk, we see 3 cows at first light, no sight of any bull with them. But it had been a while since my dad and I even got on animals together, so it was a good morning. Then for the afternoon into evening we went to a clear cut that you can walk a lower road through the bottom of the cut, and an upper road a couple hundred yards off that goes through the trees and then out into the cut.
As I was walking down the road a coyote spooked up and ran off. No sign of elk so far. As I get close to where the road goes into the clear cut I saw what looked like a gray rock down through the trees against some brush 40 yards away. I looked and it didnt move. Moved around to get a better look through the trees, finally saw the butt and knew it was a deer for sure. Moved more, looking for its head. Finally got a glimpse through the brush and saw a small, but good curve of antler. I thought it was going to be a small forky based on the curve. I moved a hair more to get vitals and let the harvester hardcast fly. Through the smoke I thought I saw legs go up in the air and figured he was down for the count. Walked up to him to find this spike with a wicked little curve to it. I was giggly like it was my first buck, cause I knew just 100 yards away or so my dad must have heard the shot and was now anxiously waiting. I walked back to the truck and drove down to get him with a giant poo eating grin on my face. He chuckles and goes to climb in the truck and asks "buck or bull?" I tell him its a buck and give him the run down of the story on the ride to where I shot from. I left out the detail that it was a spike. I told him he was gonna shake his head at me when he saw it. His response was "I figure its a decent one with how you said you saw a curve to the antler" Then as we walk up to it I am blocking his view as I lift the head to show him and at the same time I say "Yup, a wicked curved spike" we both laughed and within 30 minutes it was cleaned, skinned, and in the truck. To save a couple coins and cause I like doing it myself, I cut the deer at home. The best part of that was the look on the wife's face when I said I could quarter it and hang it in the garage fridge that we normally keep drinks and such in. Hahahahaha.
the next morning my dad and I start in the same area, but no sign of anything. We hunted around throughout the day, stopped to shoot the bull with some friends up there and ended the day catching up over the same clearcut we started the day at.
The next morning we returned, same place as the last 2 mornings. The road we walk in at the bottom of the clearcut has a good burm on the uphill side and he was walking that side of the road as I walked the other. Because of the burm he couldnt see up into the cut as well as I could. First light was starting to fade over the cut as I looked up to the top of it. It is a knoll that is skylined against the dawning sky. I see a broadside elk standing there like a freaking magazine cover pic. I motion to my dad that I saw elk, I pick up my binos and look, expecting a cow. It finally picks up its head and I see high and wide antlers, tines all over it seemed like, perfectly silhouetted against the sky. My knees about gave out. I look at him and hold up my hand and mouth to him "think its a 5 point" His eyes go big.
I range the bull at 200 yards, which I have practiced at but dont feel that great with. I move up the burm to a big stump and lay across it for a solid rest but as I do so the bull wanders behind a stump and then below a knoll. I back down and tell my dad I am going to hoof it up the road. The road from there is hidden from the elks view and should put me within about 100 yards or so of where I felt that the elk was headed to cross into a bunch of reprod. He says he will stay put in case any push back this was from where I am headed.
I get up the road a ways and come up to where there was a dozen or so cows milling around the road crossing into the reprod and feeding. A quick scan with the binos confirms none are him. I am worried he may be in the reprod already but didnt think that was the case as he was walking so slowly. I got lucky that none of the cows picked up their heads from feeding as i didnt have much of any cover. they were all about 140 yards out. Then the road makes a dip at about 100 yards and I saw a big cow walk out from a blind spot in the cut. Ranged her, made sure it wasnt a bull, and then he stepped out right next to her. She is just on the far side of him by about a yard. 100 yard broadside shot with a rest of leaning on a tree... But these hardcast rounds I like will go right through him and I didnt want to hit the cow on the far side. So I waited. He walked into the road right in the belly of the road and i could no longer see him. I stepped into the grassy open area on the side of the road, crouched and worked up a little closer. Stood up, but could only see the top half of him and figured that if I tried it, I would likely hit the rise in the road. So I crouched again, yet again super lucky none of the elk happened to look my way as many of the cows had the high ground on me and him so they could see me if they did. Moved up more and stood up. 60 yards, full open, no cows close by, full broadside........ I am pretty sure I completely wiffed that first shot. He took off and the cows bunched up and moved up the road as I reloaded. I moved forward, checked the bunch of cows to confirm he was not with them and headed to check for blood. Got about 10 yards past where he had been, no blood. Then looked out into the clearcut to the right and he is fast walking away from me at 60 ish yards. I picked up but did not want to take a straight butt shot or anything since I found no blood and had no idea if he was wounded or not. So didnt want to make a bad shot on him if he wasnt already hit. Finally he turned and gave me a good quarting shot. I felt really good about that shot as he climbed the rest of the 20 yards through the cut and dissappeared around an old growth stump at the edge of the reprod. I reloaded and very slowly started picking my way towards where he had been. Then like a dummy I started walking straight for where I saw him last instead of checking lower in the cut for blood first. I saw a ton of blood at the same time he stands up 10 yards in front of me. He had already laid down right behind that big stump. I fired a 3rd shot at 10 yards with about the same quartering angle as the last one. Saw where there was great blood where he laid down.
I backed out and met with my dad as he was working up the road right behind me. Told him what happened and that I was pretty sure he was down not that far into the reprod.
He went to get the truck as I wandered towards the reprod. By now 20 min had passed and i was sure he was down. Then I lost all blood sign 20 feet into the reprod, I looked around a bit, but forgetting my marking ribbon, I decided to back out and come in and move slower and mark blood like I knew I should.
I pick a trail and start walking it back to the road. 20 feet or so later, around a tree and BAM! There he is, down for the count. 50 yards from where the truck was.
My dad has a giant spool of rope, so we were able to run it the 50 yards to him and drag him the the old log on the road, up onto the log, then slid him in the back of the truck from there. My dad always balks at taxidermy and the cost of it. But one of the first things out of his mouth was "if you need help paying for it let me know." Hahaha. I didnt notice how nice it was till he really pointed it out when we got him in the truck. Super even, very "typical" looking, just gorgeous, and the fact that he was there with me, sealed the deal on spending the money on it. I could not be any happier with this season. Blacktails are my crack, elk I love but have always been content with anything legal to put elk in the freezer. My 5x5 I got in 2017 I figured I was going to be happy with for the rest of my days as far as a big bull unless I drew an amazing special tag. But the way this all happened and the quality of bull. Man, everything about it has made me all emotional a couple times when I think about it.
On top of it all, this morning (Monday first week of modern deer) I helped my cousin tag his first big game, a nice size doe. And a good hunting buddy managed to tag an amazing bull a day or two later. His has the heavier rack and more unique look, I was just as excited for him (Shout out Pigfuz).
What a great year, and some great trophies to boot.

Offline JakeLand

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Re: This one is on the wall!!!
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2019, 03:50:20 AM »
Well done !!! Good times with your dad and thatís a nice bull !

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: This one is on the wall!!!
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2019, 07:11:38 AM »
Great story and nice job on both, beautiful animals.  :tup:
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Offline nitroelk

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Re: This one is on the wall!!!
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2019, 10:58:44 AM »
awesome story and some good eats there.

Offline bowhunterforever

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Re: This one is on the wall!!!
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2019, 01:45:02 PM »
Well done and nice bull :tup:
You sure you know how to skin griz pilgram

 


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