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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have had a little time now so thought I would share my hunt this year.
Background:
-I have been addicted to elk hunting for the past 7 years
-5 points going into draw
-never have killed a bull just a handful of cows
-archery is my weapon choice

I figured go after a muzzleloader LE tag this year since the dates were so good. I really just needed to satisfy my lack hunting elk in the rut. I didn't end up drawing the tag and made plans for the archery hunt. Totally unexpected I received a call from the DWR that a tag a been turned in and I was next in line. Well this is not how I planned it, wasn't sure on what to do so I slept on it. Woke up the next day and figured I love a good challenge and took the tag. I have hunted the south end of the unit so I and not sure why I choose to pick a totally new area to explore for this hunt but I did. I have never owned nor shot a muzzleloader and needed to get this figured out to. Well I went down once to scout, again freaking out because this was not how I planned it. I had bought a flip house earlier in the year an was committed to that and my full time job. I did take 16 days off of work for the hunt and figured that I would nail down it down then. Fast forward to the hunt. I have now shot my muzzleloader 6 times over the summer at 100-120 yards dead on from various positions and good camp sites identified. Left solo Sunday morning and found myself in my pulling into the campsite I wanted, someone had just left...sweet. I did some scouting that night and saw several bulls and one really nice one so I came up with plan a and b for opening morning. Come to find out in the morning that there are several people hunting my a spot so out of respect I move to plan b. Never saw a elk that morning so I went to spot a around noon and the into the most nasty dead fall I have ever experienced. I got back to came well after dark to find my dad by the fire drinking a beer, he totally surprised me by showing up since he isn't much of a hunter. I ended up passing on several smaller bulls over the next few days thinking I would never find a mature bull. I found a canyon about 10 miles form camp go figure that held 5-7 bulls. I hunted them Wednesday morning and this just kept moving up the canyon so I figured I would put them to bed and then try from the top that night. I returned that evening and dropped in from the top, the wind was at my back so I figured to head down the ridge then cut back to the elk. I ended up finding myself in the center of a huge herd of elk, passed up 3 more small bulls that night and hiked out in the dark creating a plan for tomorrow night. I figured that my best chance was to get on the hillside they feed out on to rather than chase them in the pines. The next night I moved down the ridge not hearing any bugles at first, then another 1/4 mile I cow called and the hillside across lite up. I waited the ridge glassing not wanting to drop into the steep canyon to chase bugles. Called in a small bull again to 20 yards and thought I had another small one working his way towards me. The big guys was still across the canyon in the timber and I was running out of daylight. I glass down below me and to my surprise the bull I wrote off as a rag had some really nice swords and two more points behind that. That's all it took I ranged the spot at 287 and off I went. I made it down to a spot I thought he would walk into, ranged it at 187. I needed to get closer so I ranged a clump of quakies and figured that would nock off another 60. Just as I am about to move I see him racking a aspen tree below me, range him at 126. I set up to shoot and go figure I didn't caulk the gun, so now I settle down again and squeeze the trigger. I didn't know what happen after that so I reloaded and made my way down the tree. No blood, no idea were he went or if I had even hit him. I started scanning the area, some braches from a tree sticking up fooled me as I retraced his tracks. I had maybe walked another 20 yards and saw him piled up. I spent the next few hours
cutting him up and then had to make the hike out of the canyon. That was one of the toughest hike ever since I have never packed a head and antlers before. I made it out by midnight to find dad was still there had made a huge fire and had a cooler of cold beer. I hauled the elk out the next day in 3 trips. I couldn't be happier with my elk. Now the pressure is off I can focus on one of those north slope trophies. Special thanks to my dad who logged over 100 miles on my rhino in 24hrs and keystone light!
 

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Congratulation, great bull!
 

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Thanks for the great story and great pics. Congrats!
 

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Congrats!!

That's a goodun'.
 

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Congrats great looking bull. And believe me north slope bulls will hold just as special of a place. It is tough irritating but fun and Imo the highest rewarding bull elk hunt you can do. Good luck
 

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Great looking bull - especially for your 1st. Way to make things happen on the turned in tag and then sticking to it. I'M sure it makes the experience that much more rewarding!
 
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