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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a great time with by brother hunting cows on the Ensign CWMU and being there for my brothers first elk. I was hoping to harvest my first big game animal but it just didn't happen but it was still an awesome experience to be there with my brother.
Day 1 we saw a lot of bulls and only a handful of cows that were way to far to chase after in deep snow.
Day 2 we found a herd of 30 cows that were 550 yards from us which is to far for us to shoot so we decided to hike up the opposite ridge which would have put us at around 200 yards. As we were about to hop on top of the ridge another group of hunters came by on the road and started firing. In total they fired 12 shots hitting 1 cow but the placement wasn't good as it walked off. We tried to go after the cows as they ran over the next ridge. We found them but they had busted us and they were gone for good. We watched the group of hunters look for their elk that they hit for awhile but they gave up. We decided we would follow the blood trail since they gave up but after a couple of miles we weren't able to find it. Hopefully it survived and wasn't wasted. Needless to say I'm not a fan of that group. What also frustrates me is that there wasn't any way that they didn't see us from the road hiking up to the cows.
Day 3 we came across some cows again but they were right around our max range which caused us some indecision and by the time we made a decision they had hopped a fence and ran down the other side of the mountain. Lesson learned to make quicker decisions.
Day 4 we went back to where we found the herd of 30 elk to only find a lone bull but as we drove a little farther down the road I spotted a lone cow at 300yds, just about my max range. There wasn't any indecision this time as we both hopped out of the truck. I took the first shot and missed. I have never had the opportunity to shoot at an animal before so my heart was pumping and I couldn't control my breathing. More range time for me. My brother immediately shot after my miss and hit her perfectly. She ran maybe ran 50yds, thank goodness it was down hill. What a great time with family. Maybe next year will be my year.
A special thank you to the group of hunters that helped us get the elk the last
100yds to the truck! That 100yds was all up hill and we were beat after hiking in 3 feet of snow.
 

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I have never had the opportunity to shoot at an animal before so my heart was pumping and I couldn't control my breathing. More range time for me.
For me, anyway, I've found that range time alone can't cure buck fever (or cow elk fever as the case may be). I think there are quite a few folks on here that could tell similar stories for their first opportunity at an animal. You should've seen me on my first cow elk hunt at 13 years old - I was shaking pretty bad and not really thinking straight. I aimed for the heart, but ended up hitting the neck (thankfully my poor shooting still worked out).

I still haven't figured out a way to entirely prepare for buck fever. My policy now is to just give myself some time to calm down, which can be difficult or impossible in certain hunting situations, unfortunately.
 

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I still get the "fever" every time I draw up on an animal. The day it is no longer exciting is the day to think about giving up hunting.
 

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If you have time (as is often the case on a late cow hunt), dry fire your first round (if your rifle will support it or use a snap cap). Sometimes that does the trick on calming the nerves.

Deep, slow breathing works well too, but who thinks of that when animals are around!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice. Since this was the first time in the 3 years I've been hunting to actually see something that I was hunting for, I hope it was just a first timer thing. I hope I'm able to be in the same position next season.
 
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