Utah Wildlife Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
464 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Short Version...

I shot my first archery elk. Thanks to all who helped.

Long version...

We just returned home from an incredible Utah archery hunt with an any bull archery tag in a spike and cow only unit and had a great time. This was my first archery hunt in over 30 years and my second elk hunt ever.

My usual hunting partner (who does not hunt archery) joined me for support and so that we could scout for our general season, any weapon, deer tag we both have in the same unit this October. I was also joined by another first time elk bow hunter with whom I've fished in the past.

On the first morning of our hunt we both got into elk after hiking in two miles from the nearest road. The heard I was pursuing was feeding to me while I stalked laterally for wind and angle but at 81 yards the wind swirled and they were gone.

At roughly the same time my fellow bow hunter had a separate nearby herd in the timber with elk nearer than 20 yards but no ethical shot opportunity. Again the wind swirled and blew the herd out.

That evening we decided to hunt a new piece of the mountain a little closer to camp. After about a ½ mile of side hilling down the selected canyon I found a widely disbursed herd or several herds feeding down the opposing hillside to water at the bottom. The herd was composed of cows, calves, spikes and one rag horn and making so much noise. It was awesome. I figured if I could get to 60 yards of the bottom I'd have my shot but it was a challenge considering there were so many eyes and I was on an open hillside with no cover greater than 18 inches of sage.

Plant Ecoregion Flower Natural landscape Terrestrial plant

When I finally managed to get within 60 yards I couldn't find any of the many elk that had dropped in and started to wonder where they had all gone off to. Just as I started craning my neck the heard appeared below and to my right on my side of the hill.

The wind was consistent and favorable but I knew that I had only moments before they fed to my left changing the wind to their favor. I quickly ranged the nearest legal animal (37 yards) settled the shaky 40 yard pin behind her shoulder and let go.

Holy smokes! The canyon erupted with elk running every direction in confusion. As I tracked the direction the animal had fled my concern grew as no blood could be found and no arrow recovered. The hit was a bit back, and high due to the angle of the slope. After 25 minutes of searching the slope at my feet for evidence, I turned around to head to the starting point. It was then that I saw her piled up roughly 70 yards below me. Apparently she gave up the ghost and snapped her neck while rolling down the hill.

Plant Chicken Phasianidae Beak Terrestrial plant

The rest of the story is one of great friends showing up and helping to break down the animal in the August heat and hiking the meat out ½ mile back to the truck. But it was every bit as enjoyable and rewarding as the hunt itself.

The other bow hunter along with me on the hunt filled his tag as well two days later and a lot was learned; but, that is his story to share or keep.

I want to thank all those on this forum who helped privately and publicly. Nobody tied an elk to a tree for us, but the sum of the information was helpful and most importantly confidence boosting. I truly appreciate it.

Thank you
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,327 Posts
Pretty awesome Steve! Really happy for you tagging your first bow elk, a well earned accomplishment for sure, and to your buddy as well. Hunting those critters is definitely a trip and can be a steep, time consuming learning curve! Good eats come this winter for all... Best of luck on your deer hunt in October.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
464 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the congratulations. I am still excited about the hunt.

And yes, a lot was learned. The meat turned out terrific, and the freezer is now so full I can hunt for a mature buck come deer season rather than just meat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
464 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Congrats....see, you didn't need any of my help anyway! How did the deer prospecting end up? See much?
I didn't get to the area where we discussed but we did find multiple herds of elk each day. I like to get away from the crowds myself so your comments helped.

I can think of multiple times when I would be on a hillside watching game on an opposing hillside well within view of camo clad quad riders who appeared to see neither me nor the elk. But perhaps camo is just the fashion of the day or these people weren't interested in elk, so I won't presume that they were looking, but if they were they sure missed some opportunities.

Up at elk elevations we saw some nice 4x4 deer but not many. At lower elevations the place is littered with does, fawns and spikes and only a few bucks. I imagine that things will shift some between now and Oct 23rd when we return. I am encouraged by the number of deer we saw. If the ratio of bucks to does is what the DNR states then it should just be a matter of quietly spending time behind glass.

Thanks.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top