Archery Elk – The Heartbreak Bull – Part II

Continued fromThe Heartbreak Bull – Part I

…Minutes later, we heard another bull screaming about 200 yards away and that scream sounded very familiar. Chills went up my back. Was this the same bull? We ran up to the top of a little hill and started glassing and there he was. He was huge, but he didn’t seem to be as big as the bull I had encountered a few weeks ago. What were the odds of there being two monster bulls in such a small area? My heart was pumping and I was breathing hard, but not from our little run.

He had thirteen cows with him and they were heading back up into the timber. They had spent the night feeding in the hay field and had already crossed the river. We tried calling, but he didn’t pay any attention. He was going to bed. We followed them up out of the river bottom, across a big sagebrush side hill and through a small saddle. We ran up to the saddle just in time to see them disappear into the timber about a mile above us.

We could hear him bugling until about 11:00 and then things got quiet. Cary and I talked it over and decided that there was a good chance they would do the same thing the next morning so we got busy and built a rock blind in the saddle they had crossed. We stayed there all day and that evening the elk came back out of the timber. We watched him chase around and breed two cows and right before dark they moved into the next canyon. We were getting ready to head back to camp when I spotted another huge bull. I couldn’t believe it. He was just as big or bigger than “our” bull. To say the least we were excited.

Cary had to go home, but for four mornings I sat in my blind and they never showed up. But they were still up in their meadow and I tried every day to work my way into them, but the wind was just too swirly and I would be forced to back out. The two huge bulls would throw insults back and forth to each other all day. The other bull was bigger, but he didn’t have any cows and didn’t seem interested in having any. I think he was the bull I had missed on the first day I hunted because he had that loud, creepy scream of a bugle. Besides, what were the odds of three monstrous bulls being in the same area?

I sat there in my blind for about an hour. Dejected. Depressed. Beaten. I could hear the two bulls above me. Taunting me. I decided I was going after them. I had nothing to lose, it was my last chance…

I had to go home for a day to get some work done, but Ty and Greg were coming back up so I told them about the two bulls and my blind. I had mixed feelings about letting them in on my secret, but I hope that they would do the same for me. What are hunting buddies for? Turns out that the the elk did come down to the hay field that night, but got up and over the saddle before they were set up. They did see him though and they weren’t too happy about having to go back to work.

Now it’s the last day of archery season and I’m back in my blind and the elk are down in the hay field. It’s go time! I watched as they came out of the field, crossed the river and were headed right up the trail towards me. Now, I normally get a little bit excited in these situations but I almost to passed out from breathing so hard. I was worked up and had to fight to get myself under control. Thankfully, it took them about ten minutes to get to the saddle and by that time I thought I had the cat in the bag… “the bull by the horns” would be a better expression I guess. Anyway, I digress. I had put in my time, stayed patient and a monster bull was heading my way. For some reason though, they veered up away from the trail and passed just out of bow range. To rub it in they milled around in the saddle for about an hour. Always tantalizingly close, but not close enough. Murphy’s Law sucks. Bad.

I sat there in my blind for about an hour. Dejected. Depressed. Beaten. I could hear the two bulls above me. Taunting me. I decided I was going after them. I had nothing to lose, it was my last chance…

See how it all turns out in The Heartbreak Bull – Part III

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