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Well, another archery hunt has come and gone for me with 1 out of 2 tags filled.

Began by hunting an LE unit in the southern part of the state where I'd drawn a general archery season deer tag and bought an OTC general archery elk to go along with it. Hunted opening day, and that was a zoo to say the least. Didn't go back until the 31st of Aug (honestly I can say I was pursuing elk more than deer).

After spending a couple of days figuring out where they were and how to hunt them, I was in the middle of several elk making noise, both bulls and cows. I set up once and did a short set of cow calls and hung around for a little bit, then decided to make my way toward where I heard a bull and his cows. As I was in Elmer Fudd mode walking through the trees on a game trail, I discovered that my sweet talk was bringing a spike in and he saw me and ran off. Oh well.

As I kept creeping along, I noticed movement ahead of me in the trees. I put my binos up and low and behold there's a bull. A big bull. And I walked right up on him, 50 yds away. He made a few soft bugles in response to another bull over the hill, then he bedded down. Lucky, I was downwind from him. So, I decided since he was going to make soft bugles while bedded down, I'd let him call the cows to me (since that's what he's doing anyway). After about 10 min, he stands up and decides to walk along the trail I'm basically sitting on. Dang! he's gonna see me and it's all over in the area. Then he stops, turns broadside, looks down the hill, and walks on down. He was about a 340 class bull and all I could do was watch him.

No less than 5 min later, the thunder of hoofs started my way, I picked my bow up and a group of cows were moving down the ridge in my direction. They turned and started down another trail (the one I was on split and they took the low road). I drew my bow and they kept moving - of course I wasn't smart enough to have a diaphragm call in my mouth to stop them (second time in as many years to do this). Finally, they stopped and the last cow gave me a good broadside. Shot and the arrow looked good and heard it hit her. She bailed off the ridge downhill and I let her go, did not want to hit my reed call because I needed to take her down hill to get her out, so the closer she got to bottom the better.

After a few seconds, I went ahead and cow called then heard a little more brush breaking. I flagged where I was and went down to see the results. I looked and looked and could find no blood, I knew I hit her, but where. So now I'm thinking no man's land, the gut, who knows. Can't find may arrow anywhere around, not even downhill where she ran. Anyway after about an hour of looking around trying to figure it out, I decided I need to quite dinking around and go look for her, if even following tracks and smashed down grass where I think she went (other elk ran down the hill after the shot too).

Anyway, after about 50 yds or so down the hill from where she was, I found blood - lucked out and followed the right set of tracks. Followed the blood trail about another 50 yds and I found her piled up. It took about another hour to find her because the blood trail was pretty sparse (pretty sure the last set of crashing brush was her falling over about 10 secs after I shot). High double lung hit with a complete pass through - no wonder the blood trail was skimpy. Took a quick pic and got to work on her since she'd been dead for a couple of hours already and she was sitting in the sun. No loss of meat. Pack out was 1.42 miles the next day and worth it - didn't think so at the time :p though. She was a big fat chubby dry cow, and she does eat good!!

Lesson: Even if you shoot and don't find blood right away, don't assume you missed even if the shot looked good or you didn't hit anything important. High lung shots (with a complete pass through) don't bleed until they start to fill up their chest cavity. I kept looking because I've done high lung shots before with little to no blood only to find them about 70 yds from where you hit them.

Good luck to everyone the rest of the season!! Now on to my daughter's Oct bull hunt, my dad's LE Central Manti late bull hunt, and a Dec cow elk hunt.
 

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You are right on the high lung hit. I shot a buck one year a little high and didn't pass through because of the opposite shoulder. Watched it bound off with my arrow sticking out. Spent 2 hours on hands and knees tracking tracks and occasional drop of blood. Found it 300 yards from where I shot it. While gutting, I had propped it on a slope so the innards could run down hill, and when I cut the diaphragm it was like popping a water balloon, or blood balloon in this case. I think all the blood in the buck was in the chest cavity. I was covered in it :). Caught me by surprise and there was no chance to evade the tidal wave.
 
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