Shot my cow the 2nd day of my hunt. Probably in the 500lb to 600lb range. Shot her up in the high country at around 10,900 feet on the GPS 3 miles or so from camp. Shot her at 10:15 AM and got her off the mountain in 1 trip by 5:30 PM with the help of my 2 sons.
Had monster bull get within 25 yards but no possible shot in the thick brush (my mistake) moments later had cow stand broadside at 15yards for what seemed like 10 minutes....but when you've been listening to monster bulls bugle and have one walk up on you thinking you were a cow (priceless encounter I will never forget) you let the cow go in hopes of getting one more chance. The bull just walked off so I thought I might get another chance. Course now I'm wishing I had the cow steak on the grill!:sad:
Tons of elk, bulls screaming like crazy, hardly any other hunters seen(except by the road on the way back to camp). Even though I'm eating tag soup it was the best elk season I've ever had. Meet some new folks, hunted some new areas and all in all had a blast.
My first ever elk hunt ended on day 5 (21st) when a smallish (by AZ standards) 6x6 walked to 15 yards, let him have it and he died within 80 yards. We saw a lot of elk, got into some heavy bugling on the afternoon of day 2 (17th) and the next morning, but nothing worth shooting came into range. My inexperience led me to blow a stalk on a 300 inch 6x6 the first morning at 25 yards after covering 300 on my hands and knees (another bull spotted me). Saw a couple of bruisers, had a nice 320ish 6x6 come into the water hole just out of range one night and wallow, it was quite an experience for a first timer! Passed several smaller bulls, learned a lot, had a blast, and again ended up taking a decent bull. It was quite different from hunting whitetails, an experience I'll never forget, and hopefully get the opportunity to do again.
OTC public land, not to far back in the boonies at all. Lots of hunters, Lots of hunters bugling. Plenty of real elk cows calling locating calls as they filter up the mountain side after romping in the lake all morning. We called a few cow calls to bring in cows and a calf. Partner got to draw a few times but no shot.
2nd morning lots of cow calling around us a few hunters still bugling and one real bull bugling some (close). After a few chirps on the carlton cow call we saw ears working thier way up through the bushes to my lane. It stopped and looked at my in my leafy suit standing close to some bushes but not in them and she decided I was a bush. I realized it was a 2nd year calf when she went broadside and stepped behind a bush. I drew and she stepped out and stopped just at the right spot. The shot blew through the shoulder and both lungs and she trotted off a few steps out of site then rolled about 40 yards downhill. MMMMMM Elk Veal!
Will have pictures when a friend can get to mailing them to me.
No elk for me. No excusses. I don't give credit to the moon, weather, rut or Campo so they don't get the blame either. I had a great time. Cannot wait to go after them again. So for now I am switching gears to mule deer rifle hunt and a couple of trips to Michigan to bow hunt whitetails. My only compliants are I am on my last few packs of elk meat and it is T - 11 months until I get to chase those tasty critters again.
Second week of the season saw and got close to more elk than I have seen in the previous five years put together. Lots of bugling on the 8th Sept.....things looking good. That night losers moved in and camped at the trailhead with generator running all night, with stereo cranked for two hours........elk silent for the rest of the season in my area.
However, I did shoot a doe on Saturday at 18 yards. I followed the path she took after the shot for probably 30 yards.....no blood. So, I figure something went wrong and I missed her. I heard the arrow hit something that was pretty loud.....figured I must have shot high for some reason and hit some wood. Went back to where I was standing at the shot, calculated where the arrow would have gone, and went and found the arrow stuck in the ground just past where she was standing. It was covered in dark blood!
OK, so now I'm wondering where the blood trail is. I go back to where she went and start searching for blood. There are blow downs and trees and clear ground to search, and..........nothing. I hear her out in front of me a little ways in the timber making this huffing/wheezing sound. OK, no problem.......she'll be spewing blood out of her mouth if nothing else. I back out and wait about an hour, then start looking again. Can't find any blood anywhere so I go to where the wheezing sounds were coming from. Nothing. I did a half circle 200 yard grid search looking for blood or her body......nothing. By this time I'm getting real frustrated. Searched until dark walking just about every square inch between and beyond where I last saw her and where the wheezing sounds were coming from. Nothing. Very frustrated and disgusted with myself. This is the first animal I have lost since I started big game hunting in 1980.:sad:
I later set up my target at 18 yards and shot the same arrow......1" high. That should not have been a problem. I was shooting a 469gr Axis arrow with 100gr Shuttle T BH at 295fps.
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