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Author Topic: My season of elk and deer  (Read 1781 times)

Offline deerlick

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My season of elk and deer
« on: December 31, 2019, 10:31:51 PM »
I will start this out with I am not one to write about my hunting or  fishing adventures. I spend nearly every weekend taking in the outdoors in one way or another. but this season was one i will never forget. This season started with a group of buddies talking hunting and a bow purchase back in early january. Tags were bought for idaho and scouting trip in place. After scouting plan a zone our plans changed tags all exchanged and plan b was put in place. Meanwhile washington special permits applications were sent in and first time montana applications were sent in. Montana plans constisted of my wife, my dad, for a 60th bday present, and two of his good friends, one who recently retired. None of us had been there before so everyone was excited and hopeful to draw. Lots of practice with the bow and a new rifle that with practice would stretch our comfortable shooting distance, and looking over maps took place all in hopes of a dream season. Montana results came out and we drew deer tags. Air bnb booked and more pouring over maps with lots of excitement.  After a few weeks washington draw results were published and after 21 years of applying the odds were finally in my favor. i drew both quality deer and quality elk tags in units i knew extremely well and have been my first choice for all these years. I was 13 when i started applying. The only problem was the elk tag was for muzzleloader which i have little experience in,  so back to the range to practice with a third weapon. After moving some vacation days around and shortening idaho elk season by a week the preparation began. I needed to have everything for hunting season dialed in and ready by the forat qeek of August as my summer fishing had me lined uo to take a full boat of friends and finally fishing out of ilwaco and bouy10 for 5 extended weekends straight like we do every summer. Usually there is a break for a month  or so after my salmon season, but with an idaho archery season starting for me the following week things needed to ready for a quick change over of gear feom fishing to hunting.

 Fishing season went great and while i was still fishing our group went over to idaho and hunted the opener. They spent a weekend in an area our grouo had been in rifle hunting before. They were in elk right away and had a very close encouter with a good bull. Few weeks later we are driving through the night to get to camp for what would be our firat time hunting together and my first time archery hunting. We pulled in and had camp set up quick. After shooting our bows and habging around for a bit we decided to hit it for an afternoon hike. Plans to do a few miles quickly turned into a late night as we had 7 different bulls screaming and 8 miles later we made it back out to the truck a couple hours after dark. Very close but  couldn't get it done, what a first day.   The next several days were spent pounding the hills with bulls screaming but just wouldnt commit and give us a shot. Mid week we took part of our camp and drove down to an area i had hunted last year during rifle season to give the drainages we had been in a chance to settle down and to see some different country. First morning we did some glassing and turned  up a bunch of elk and a few nice bulls. After making a game plan we started in on a group of elk we had watched bed  in a patch of timber. As we were making our way into the timber stand we saw some cows feeding on the edge of the timber. I was more then willing to take a cow so the guys got to calling for the bull and distracting the cows. I was able to slip in close and had a cow feed up 30 yards in front of me. I drew my bow and and placed the pin on her. I was shaking like my first time all over again. I calmed myself took the shot and watched the arrow fly perfectly. Then i heard what sounded like my arrow hitting a tree and the herd busted. I was devastated, i told my partner i think i missed. Looked at the trees and didnt see the arrow. Meanwhile the bull is bugling and our other partner got the bull to come in to 40 yards Raking a tree and never gave him a shot. Next we proceeded to check for  blood on the cow i shot after giving her some time. Turns out the shot was perfect and she had only gone 20 yards. I have killed many elk but the excitement of seeing that cow on the ground, my first archery harvest after  5 days was unbelievable. We made quick work of her and back to camp. After a few days the guys called in and shot a very nice 6 point in what was one of the craziest rutfests ever. 4 or 5 bulls screaming and out of nowhere another bull came running in and down he went. what an experience to watch unfold.
 Five days later and my washington quality tag begins. My wife, cousin, dad and his friends joined me for the weekend. Opening morning we got to our first spot and opened the door of the truck to the sound of three bulls screaming.  We were able to glass them up and two were small 6x6 one was a rag. We moved on to another spot and hiked in short distance. My cousin lets out a bugle and seconds later i hear a bull running to us. He runs up and stops 5 yards away from my wife  and i. That was awesome except he was a spike. The nextday we glassed up a few more bullls but at noon my wife and dad and friend had to take off. My dad dropped us off for an afternoon hunt back down to our camp. Half mile into hike back we let out a bugle and get a response  the bull moves away a bit. After a quick adjustment we reloacte him and my cousin calls him in. He came in quietly ,a big 6x6 and at 50 yards i shot. The bull went down, after a minute or so he got up and made his way down into a deep thick drainage. We looked for blood and never found any or any sign of a hit. Not sure what happened we followed his tracks for miles and never found him. The next day we went back to see if we could find him. We stopped and decided to bugle in the same spot we first got a response the day before. As my cousin pulled his bugle tube out something busts in the timber above us. I look up and see a bear at 20 yards running straight at me. I pull up the muzzleloader and as he hits the cat road im on i shoot. He was 5  feet away and fell at my feet. My cousin and i were  blown away by what just happened. He wasnt a real big bear but none the less he was coming straight at me and didn't know his intentions. This happened to be my first bear. Ive always bought a tag but had never really hunted bear. We took care of him and went back to looking for the bulll. After spending another day with no sign of a hit we finally gave up and moved on. The next day we went another good spot ive hunted alot in the past. We bugled and and got a reponse down in the drainage. We dropped in and bugled again only to hear him bugle back right from where we had parked. We worked our way back up and got him to come down some but he hung up at 50 yards or so and couldn't see him in the thick reprod. He went quiet so we dropped back down to get the wind better. After a bit he got him going again down near the bottom. When he started screaming 4 other bulls started screaming back. Now we are surrounded and in the middle of a rutfest. After 30 minuts they all go quiet. We waited for awhile in case one came in quiet but nothing came in. We decided to cow call back and fourth and after 15 minutes he bugles from the top of the ridge again. This time he is in the big timber. We move in very slow cow calling between each other working our way up the ridge. All of sudden he rips off a bugle just up the ridge from us. I get ready to shoot as he is coming. He comes over the spine and walks in. I see big long fronts and mass he turns and looks our way and shows his width, at 30 yards he gives me a great shot.  The Smoke clears and the bull crashes out of sight. We find him 80 yards piled up stuck in a tree. First muzzy bull 2 weeks after my first archery elk. The bull is everything i could ask for and having my cousin there calling was an awesome experience for both of us. We boned him out and a few trips later we had him in the truck. What a great hunt worthy of the time i waited to draw the tag.

Offline deerlick

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Re: My season of elk and deer
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2019, 10:38:41 PM »
The next weekend had my wife and i looking for an elk for her general muzzleloader tag. We spent 3 days hunting westside jungles and came up soaking wet. We had a great time but didnt get into the elk this time. After a few days at work we were off to the northeast corner for general rifle deer opening day. Opening morning was derailed by a group of trespassers who decided to ride their quads on the property she is permitted to hunt on. After talking to the property owner about the trespassers we were back to hunting. A couple close calls on basket whitetails made for a good day. The next morning we decide to get up top and check where a couple mule deer bucks had been hanging out the weeks prior. Soon as it got light we glassed a 4 point feeding. She got into postion and made an excellent shot and killed her biggest buck to date.

Onto Washington quality deer the following weekend. Saturday is here opening day of the tag and tagging along is one of my fishing buddies who i invited tag along . Its pouring rain and blowing so we decide to take it easy and do some glassing from the truck. My uncles friend had drawn the same tag so we met up in the morning and showed him a nice spot and a few bucks. Onto the next spot and 15 minutes later i get a text, buck down, so we head back over to give them a hand retrieving the buck and head in for lunch. Later on the weather lifted so we hiked into a spot and glassed til dark. We turned up 7 bucks and one shooter. The next morning we hiked in a couple miles in the dark to get close to where the buck was. As it gets daylight we spot him and he slips over a hill out of sight. We make a quick move and spot a buck, its not him, then is see a deer moving away slowly to the left. I throw my binos up and see the biggest buck ive seen on the hoof. He showed himself one more time but the wind was blowing to hard to make a shot at the distance he was at and then he disappeared. We spent the rest of the day glassing and trying to find where he went. He saw 17 bucks all 3 point or better and a few tempting bucks turned up but not him. The next morning  we go in from a different angle and get in well before light to try and catch this buck before he bedded. We turned up several bucks in the morning but nothing to hang my tag on yet. We hike a ways over a find another good glassing spot. Immediately i glass up a group of 5 bucks and 20 doe, No shooters still after hours of staring into the brush,  through my 18x56's, i spot a massive framed buck. He is hidden away a few hundred yards away from the other bucks with only the top of his head and antlers showing. I make a plan and starting making a big circle around the deer to get out of sight. He is a mile and a half away. Im making my way toward him and out of the corner of my eye i see a deer. I look up and see 5 bucks staring at me. Im too close. I look for him and finally see him still bedded. I try and get set for a shot but the brush is to high. I try and find a shooting lane and then  up and out of site he goes. I loop down the draw and see him making his way toward me. Still cant get a rest, where i can see him,  so at 150 yards i decide to take an offhand shot. I shoot and he just stands there then comes toward me and shoot again. I see the impact and its right behind the shoulder. He runs 30 yards and tips over. My partner had stayed back and watched the whole thing. He came running in and we walked up to the buck together. Laying in front of me is the biggest buck ive ever shot. Big main frame 3 point with stickers 6x7 all together.  wide tall and mass all the way through. We celebrate and begin caping and quartering the buck. 5 hours later we are back to the truck exhausted and excited and ready for dinner.

 A few weeks later its time to go see what montana has to offer. The drive is long but road conditions good so after a full day of driving we ariive to our cabin. The next day we set out to see the country. We find several large bma and some great state land with nobody hunting. After seeing some decnt bucks and lots of deer and antelope we have found our area to concentrate on. The next day we went on a long hike and turned up 30 bucks or so and 100s of doe. Finally we find a shooter, he is busy breeding a doe, so we try and close the distance. After getting into postion my dad shoots but misses the buck. He went up and stopped up on a ridge above us. We were 8 miles into our day and my dad was is whooped so decide to leave and try the next day for the buck. A couple days later we spot a buck at first light and my dad shoots a nice 4 point. The day is going good and right at last light we spot a 4x3 the 15 one of the day. my wife decides she is ready to shoot. As she gets setup to shoot a doe blocks the buck and stares us down. A few minutes later she starts walking toward us from 300yards away with him trailing her. My wife waits patiently as the doe blocking the bucks walks to within 30 yards. Finally she stops then moves to the side to give her a shot at the buck almost as if she was trying to get the buck killed to quit pestering her. She shoots and smokes the the buck and makes for a nice short drag to the truck. The next day we look over a bunch more deer but the wind really has the holed up in hard to glass spots. We find another area where the wind is blocked by a ridge and start seeing alot of deer. I see a buck i like and set out with an hour or so of light to try and make a play on it. Another hunter is watching me and trys to move into where im going as if he is going to try and beat me to the buck. I see he us heading toward a buck nearby but not the good buck i was after. Minutes later he shoots the smaller buck im seeing and starts hollering to his partners and scares the other buck out of the next draw.  i see the buck but  its too far too shoot. And gets dark on me. The next morning i hike in early and try to relocate to big buck from the night before with no luck. That afternoon im in a different area and spot a good buck. After a long stalk into shooting range i was able to harvest a nice 4 point buck.  

Offline deerlick

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Re: My season of elk and deer
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2019, 10:40:09 PM »
Big thanks to my wife, dad, jeff, jake, caleb, and chris for tagging along on the adventures.

Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: My season of elk and deer
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2020, 12:46:02 AM »
What a year!!! Congratz on the success! Nice write up and pics also  :tup:

Online fishngamereaper

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Re: My season of elk and deer
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2020, 06:16:13 AM »
 :tup:
You might as well quit hunting now, it's all down hill after a season like that.

Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: My season of elk and deer
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2020, 06:21:09 AM »
Outstanding!!!!
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Offline boneaddict

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Re: My season of elk and deer
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2020, 06:51:11 AM »
What a year.  Well done and thanks for sharing!   

Offline bearpaw

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Re: My season of elk and deer
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2020, 07:37:04 AM »
very nice, congrats :tup:
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Offline nwmein199

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Re: My season of elk and deer
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2020, 08:25:25 AM »
Whacking and stacking!

Congrats on a great season

Offline OutHouse

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Re: My season of elk and deer
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2020, 05:06:40 PM »
Heck of a season! Nice job and better buy another freezer?

Offline 2MANY

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Re: My season of elk and deer
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2020, 12:22:04 PM »
 :tup:

Offline deerlick

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Re: My season of elk and deer
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2020, 07:35:55 PM »
Thanks guys

Offline Gonehuntin01

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Re: My season of elk and deer
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2020, 07:14:46 AM »
That is a great year.  Congrats to you all.

Offline RWB

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Re: My season of elk and deer
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2020, 08:09:27 AM »
Solid performance Derrick!

 


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