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I'm long winded, so you'll just have to deal with that ;)

This year was my first year bow hunting in 21 years, and I'm really glad I made the switch back from muzz hunting. (don't get me wrong muzz hunting is great, but there's something special about having to get even closer)

The first 6 days of the hunt was spent with my two boys and my dad... yet another advantage of the bow hunt there because they aren't in school yet, so they get to have a "full hunt"... My oldest boy had a tag as well, so he got the first chance on all the shots.

He missed a buck at 25 yards, and had many other opportunities that he didn't shoot for various reasons. (all shots that I would have taken if it wasn't for giving him the shot--or I wasn't in the same position as he was to have a shot)

I did get to put the sneak on a very sizable buck (170+ class), and I was glad I had a range finder because his body was so big I could have sworn he was within 60 yards when I ran out of cover... he was 90 yards out... and big enough that now I understand why some guys choose to take that "pot shot" (I chose to pass... 60 is far enough, though I would have shot at 70)

I went up again after a day and a half off by myself and managed to have a buck at 40 yards, but just learned a lesson to not be sitting on my rear end when they come sneaking in.

So, last Thursday dad and I headed back up for a two night trip... mind you, I REALLY wanted to fill my elk tag, so that's where the concentration was.

The first evening I was supposed to be sitting on a water hole, but there was another hunter there already, so I passed on that, and we went looking for spot and stalk opportunities that evening, and again the next morning.

Friday mid morning we headed to the water hole so I could check my trail camera, and right by there is a hunter with his 7 year old son... As we rolled up to them (yes, it's right next to a road, but elk are using it, so all is good) he comes up to us and says he's trying to find a buck he just shot.

Wow! That's awesome! So we offered to help him find it.

He'd shot it near the water hole, then it ran across the road, and he really didn't know what to do... he'd taken hunter's safety 3 years ago, and this was the first big game animal he'd ever even shot at, let alone hit.

We went looking for blood, and finally found a REALLY sparse blood trail. (his arrow had blood all over it, but this blood trail didn't look good at all)

We spent the next two hours combing the mountain for blood only to find maybe 10 different places with traces of blood.

We finally gave up since the last blood was a tiny speck, and looked to be moving up hill... we were bummed.

We parted ways, and he drove his Can Am side by side about 30 yards, and there was the buck, laying next to the road... and it wasn't dead yet.

He comes running up to us saying, "what do I do now?"... so we beat feet down there, and told him where to shoot it again.

With the buck dead, it was high fives all around, and that's when I asked if he knew how to gut a deer... he didn't so we instructed him on that, helped him load it, and that put an end to a very fine morning/early afternoon.

That evening I spent on the water hole, and nothing showed up. (well, the trail camera had elk come in about 1 1/2 hours after dark, so they're still using it anyway)

Yesterday morning we decided to hit the sage areas instead of the pines knowing we'd probably see more deer, but getting close would be harder... we were right... we saw 4 really nice bucks, but there wasn't any way to get on them with only a half day of hunting to work with.

We headed up to the pines, and I managed to spot this guy and get within 30 yards to get the shot and put him down.

He isn't a trophy in some people's books, but he's a MONSTER in mine because I got it done with a bow. (And yes Lonetree, I'll give you the coordinates for your study... That drop tine on the one side is a pretty cool addition.)
 

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Nice job, and good for you for helping out those less experienced hunters. I think there are many who'd of blown them off.
 

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Nice job; I hope to get in on the archery hunt in a year or so.. need to get out and fling some sticks! Got my son a bow for Christmas last year, he needs to get up to 40lb draw as well, still a little ways out.
 
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