Author Topic: Idaho Elk....Thanks for the Help  (Read 667 times)

Offline ShaneTyTrey

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Idaho Elk....Thanks for the Help
« on: October 28, 2020, 08:52:05 AM »
Wanted to say thank you to those that helped with the information that led to my 12 year old filling his Idaho Elk tag on his first ever bull.  I have already shared the pics and story with those who helped...but here goes for the rest.

After a couple of summer scouting trips and having a pretty good idea of where we wanted to be opening morning, we headed out with a lot of optimism on September 30th to be ready for the opener on Oct 1.  After a 7 hour drive, we arrived to the area we wanted to be, only to find 6 horse trailers and two camps.  Needless to say this was a bit disappointing, but we knew we had miles of public land and if we worked hard enough, we could get to elk others weren't seeing.  This country is vast, but relatively flat, so lots of miles but not necessarily tough miles.  After a short discussion we decided to try and find an area with any shade (we were able to find one and it even had a meat hanging pole) and we set up the wall tent, cooked dinner, and started dreaming of what the next day might bring.

We knew the weather was going to be hot as opening day was calling for highs at 86 and that hunting during the middle of the day was going to be grueling.  Based on our scouting trips, we figured we had about a 2 mile hike into the area we had hoped to start glassing and had been seeing some decent bulls.  We hit the trailhead about an hour before light, 2 miles in we were still seeing fresh horse tracks and poop so we kept hiking, hiking and hiking.  Next thing you know we are about 4.5 miles in and have a sweet glassing spot.  Within minutes we are starting to see elk with a few decent bulls.  About an hour into our glassing situation, I find what appears to be a nice bull about 2 miles away in a small patch of trees.  I can tell he has decent mass and length and that my son would likely be tickled with him, so I lock in the spotter and ask junior to take a peak, he smiles, I ask if he wants to go kill that bull and he nods.  With the wind blowing about 10 miles an hour uphill, I know our journey over to the bull will be a long one and will involve gaining some elevation.  My son has some real foot problems in which he goes to PT for, (I am so excited about the thought of him killing his first bull that I don't really think about what we are in for).

I have my cousin who has joined us for the hunt stay back with the spotter and keep an eye on the bull.  I let him know we will keep glassing back to him every 10 minutes or so and that if the bull leaves the area (pretty sure he is in their for the day) to start doing jumping jacks or something obvious so we don't burn the day chasing him.  2 hours later, we are directly above the bull with my son is literally in tears and I am second guessing my decision to pursue a bull this far from the truck (we had narrowly beat someone on horseback to the spot, luckily they turned around seeing the young hunter).  Knowing he is struggling, I say, Michael is still behind the spotting scope, the bull is still in the trees, you are going to kill him.  Suddenly, Trey seems rejuvenated and excited.

I get him in position on a rock with the bipod down and I start cow calling.  Instantly we see an antler in the bushes below us.  We have the bull surrounded in a small timber pocket, he has three ways to exit with distances of 130 yards, 160 yards and 220 yards.  All of the sudden a cow pops out and is literally 6 yards from us with no clue, she continues and gets above me (I know she will bolt in seconds as she will now wind me), she smells me, bolts and crashes back down into the timber.  We can hear the rest of the elk crashing below, to our fortune they pop out to our lower right in the opening that is only 130 yards and they are just trotting.  As the bull emerges we notice he is completely broke off on one side (from the distance we originally saw him in the trees I assumed we could just only see one side but now it is clear why) Trey gets excited and misses his first shot, I tell him to calm himself, take his time and put it behind the front shoulder, his 2nd and 3rd shots find the mark and the bull is down.

I check my watch and it is 12:38 pm and luckily the bull had gone down on the edge of another set of trees.  As we walk up on the bull, we can tell he is an old, well past his prime, he has the biggest body I have ever seen, no teeth, ivory tips on each point, a broken 5th on his right side and main beam broke off above his G1 on the left.  A really cool and unique bull, we are pumped.  As we sit their and soak up the moment, waiting for Michael to make the trek over to us I look at my watch again and realize we are 6.8 miles from the truck (we know it is going to be a long evening).  We finished working the bull up about 4:30 and made the decision to just sit their and enjoy day until about 6:00 so it wouldn't be so hot for the pack out.  At this point I know it will take a miracle for Trey to make it back to the truck let alone come hike back in the next day, so Michael and decide we have to try and take 1/2 elk each as far as we can.  At 9:45, still 3.5 miles from the truck, Michael and I are beat and I make the call for us each to drop a front quarter and that I will hike back in the next morning and grab them both and he can stay with Trey and sleep in.  We eventually made it back to the truck at 12:30.  It was a long hard day but truly one of my all-time favorite, Trey learned a lot about hard work.

Thanks again for all the helped and gave advice.  We didn't end up with the biggest bull on the mountain, but it is still a 6 point which is awesome for a 12 year old, and likely a bull that wouldn't have survived another hard winter.

Offline Stein

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Re: Idaho Elk....Thanks for the Help
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2020, 08:57:04 AM »
Looks like an awesome trip!

Offline Rainier10

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Re: Idaho Elk....Thanks for the Help
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2020, 09:18:22 AM »
Great story, congrats on a memorable hunt.
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

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

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline rainshadow1

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Re: Idaho Elk....Thanks for the Help
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2020, 09:22:56 AM »
- - Steve
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Offline HikerHunter

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Re: Idaho Elk....Thanks for the Help
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2020, 10:27:42 AM »
That's awesome, congrats!

Offline branches

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Re: Idaho Elk....Thanks for the Help
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2020, 06:38:18 PM »
What a great hunt. :tup:


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