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Author Topic: 3 Mice and a Bull  (Read 1976 times)

Offline elksnout

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3 Mice and a Bull
« on: November 11, 2019, 09:13:22 PM »
Thought I would post up a recap of my White River elk hunt as well as giving thanks for those who helped along the way. Thank you cem3434 and Crunchy for you emails and phone calls. Another shoutout for game warden Jamie along with bio Michelle. Each played a role. However, my biggest debt of gratitude goes out to my son Dane and his best friend ( I'd adopt him if I could ) Cory. Each gave up precious vacation time who collectively left behind two working moms and five littles ones ages 1 1/2 to 6 years of age to help me get a bull.

Several scouting trips in late summer and early fall combined with the intel from the above cast of characters left me feeling fairly confidant going into the hunt of where we wanted to focus our efforts. Even though I've been hunting elk since I was 14 years old I decided to up my game for a tag that I've waited for years to pull. I built a wood box for step up's to get my thighs strong ( along with a ten day bow hunt in eastern Oregon ), studied elk anatomy for shot placement and shot my rifle so I knew exactly how it shot out to 300 yards which is a poke for me.

I arrived three days before the start of the season to set up the wall tent and do final scouting. I felt pretty good for what I found bull wise in the area we scouted the most and really wanted to hunt. Then on the eve of the season the snow storm hit. We couldn't get up high in my 4x4 and went straight to plan B 800-1000ft. lower. Even there the snow was a foot deep. The nasty weather continued until mid-week and we hunted many different areas and were struggling to locate a bull.

On the advise of my son prior to the season we purchased walk in permits for the Hancock property in case such a scenario like the one we were in arose. This turned our hunt around almost instantly. We got into bulls each day and multiple times each day. Mostly by getting on the bugle. The only problem was the bulls were in the reprod each time. They would come in to the call only so far, then hang up and fade away. Anyone who has hunted reprod knows the difficulty of that game. But we persisted up to the last day of the hunt.

There was a knob just below the very top of the ridge that had a lost count of rubs, fresh tracks and droppings. Problem was that each day we were heading up there we would get side tracked by at least one bull bugling lower on the mountain, then the chase was on. This morning was no different. after we blew that confrontation off we rushed towards the top knowing full well we missed first light where we really needed to be. Sure enough about a third of the way up we heard two bulls bugling up on the ridge but west of the knob. We climbed as fast as I could and followed those bulls by sound along the ridge, down into the canyon and up the other side before they shut up. At one point in the creek bottom I thought a shot was soon to be had. One of the bulls was really pissed and started to come over.

We spent the day in there, ate lunch in the sun and took a much needed nap in the sun. Around 3pm we climbed back up out of that drainage determined to spend the last couple hours of our hunt up on that knob. None of us spoke of it but this was the final inning of the hunt.

When we arrived at the knob the three of us took up positions to visually cover different views. I was sitting there and my mind started to wander how I could come back up the next week for a few more days of hunting. I didn't know it at the time but Dane and Cory were doing the same mind game. At the very least they both were planning to go out on a morning hunt the next day when their wives were expecting them home in early afternoon.

I'm not sure how long we had been sitting there but I could see my son in the corner of my eye coming in low behind me. "Dad, there's a branched bull feeding out of the timber above us" My world went into slow motion. I got up and put my pack back on as he gathered his stuff. With Danes pointing I found the bull. He was feeding out of the timber by himself. I got setup on a stump using both of our packs. 207 yards. I couldn't get steady and to add to my anxiety was the setting sun glare was hammering me in the scope. While all this was happening we felt the wind on the back of our necks. The bull noticed this too and was now looking our way and slowly was now moving back towards the timber. Dane had me get prone on the packs in the shade but the sun glare was still killing me. Dane and Cory kept wondering why I wasn't shooting but thru the scope I could see small alders keeping his vital zone covered. Finally I got a window and sent one down range. By the bulls reaction at the shot thru the scope I knew that I hit him. He was still on his feet again slowly walking towards the timber and changed directions. He gave me one final broadside window before he would be out of sight. I sent another behind the front shoulder and he folded. Bull down! 4:40pm on our last afternoon. Dane was hugging me as well as Cory. It seemed like forever before we got up to him. The boys let me go the final steps myself. Quite a feeling. Thanks was given and we admired the bull for quite awhile. I may have pulled the trigger but this was all three of us bull. Hard work, persistence and just flat not giving up. Turns out the first shot was deadly, he just was still on his feet.

We finished breaking him down by headlamps and got back to the truck at 10pm. The next morning we would go in for the second pack. While we were bringing out that first load the stars were spectacular. The big dipper was as big and clear as I've ever seen it. Bulls were bugling. Frost came from our breath. When we arrived at the truck and took off those heavy packs we laid down in the middle of the road and just gazed up to the sky. I felt so lucky and grateful.

Sorry for a long winded story but I felt compelled to do so. I hope the pictures post! Tagged filled aside,  this was a fun hunt. We removed three pesky mice from the wall tent, played pine cone baseball, drank some smooth whisky around the tent stove, laughed like school girls and hiked in some of the most beautiful country our state has to offer. This bull wasn't the bull of the woods by a long stretch. But he's our bull of the woods.

Elksnout
Can't we all just get along?

Offline elksnout

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Re: 3 Mice and a Bull
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2019, 09:17:34 PM »
More pics. Didn't come thru with first post.
Can't we all just get along?

Offline elksnout

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Re: 3 Mice and a Bull
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2019, 09:19:20 PM »
More
Can't we all just get along?

Offline elksnout

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Re: 3 Mice and a Bull
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2019, 09:21:46 PM »
Pics
Can't we all just get along?

Offline full choke

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Re: 3 Mice and a Bull
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2019, 09:27:50 PM »
Congratulations!  :tup:

Looks like you had a great time- that is what it is all about!

Offline Shoofly09

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Re: 3 Mice and a Bull
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2019, 09:38:09 PM »
congrats      thanks for sharing

Offline teanawayslayer

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Re: 3 Mice and a Bull
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2019, 09:53:28 PM »
Congrats! I was rooting for you!
Happiness is being in the woods!!!

Offline Turner89

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Re: 3 Mice and a Bull
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2019, 09:54:21 PM »
Great story, sounds like it was a great time :tup:
" if your a 20 year old and not a liberal, you don't have a heart. If your a 40 year old and not a conservative,  you don't have a brain"

Offline redi

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Re: 3 Mice and a Bull
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2019, 12:15:51 AM »
Great hunt Congrats.

Offline TVHunts

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Re: 3 Mice and a Bull
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2019, 03:30:57 AM »
Fantastic story!  Great bull that you worked hard for, CONGRATS !
MAGA

Offline RoostrCogburn

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Re: 3 Mice and a Bull
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2019, 04:01:52 AM »
Getting a bull on the last day, that’s a good hunt right there.  Congrats

Offline trophyhunt

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Re: 3 Mice and a Bull
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2019, 06:50:21 AM »
How fun!!  great job you guys, congrats!!
“In common with”..... not so much!!

Offline TheStovePipeKid

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Re: 3 Mice and a Bull
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2019, 08:39:20 AM »
What a fine tale indeed. I'm just shocked we didn't get any pictures of the three mice :chuckle:
I laugh in the face of Danger. Ha ha ha Danger Face!

Online Jason

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Re: 3 Mice and a Bull
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2019, 09:18:53 AM »
Congrats on the Bull!!

Offline Fish4Fun

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Re: 3 Mice and a Bull
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2019, 11:29:01 AM »
Great story and a nice bull, congrats  :tup:

 


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