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Well... I just got back from my elk hunting trip in the San Juan mountains, what an awesome time.

I didn't get an elk, but ALMOST did.:eek: Here are the highlights of the week, followed by the "one that got away story".

Highlights:

- One guy in camp got a mulie buck (150" or so) with a muzzleloader.
- I had a black bear at 25 yards, too bad the bear tags were sold out...:rolleyes:
- Had a stalk on a 5 x 5 ruined by some damn grouse rooting in aspens above me...:rolleyes: .... I was only 80 yards away when they lit off their roosts. Sounded like a fleet of helicopters taking off.... the bull didn't like that.
- Me and a buddy put the stalk on two elk cows... too bad they saw us coming.:embara:
- Found two wallows, one of which was on the biggest honeyhole of a ridge I can possibly imagine.:nod::zip:

The one that got away....

Rich (one of the guys I was hunting with) and I parked the ATV's at the base of a large meadow that headed up a long ridge, and jumped out. There was nothing of note in the meadow, but I had a good "feeling" about the spot and we started hiking up through the meadow looking for sign.... it was about 4 PM. We hiked the 1/2 mile up throught the meadow which turned into some VERY thick dark timber as the ridge curved up the mountain. Once we entered the dark woods, we started seein ALOT of mulie and elk sign. Within 20 minutes of exploring, we found no less than SIX fresh elk rubs (mulies are still in velvet), and started getting excited. We continued to quietly mosey up the ridge, occasionally cow calling. About 1/4 mile up the ridge we got a bugle off in the distance (from 1/2 mile up the ridge). :thumb: We proceeded to hike up the ridge and continue calling.... I let out a passive little bugle and the bull bugled back. He didn't sound like a "biggun", but he was definately coming our way. We set up and kept cow calling. About 20 minuted later, we saw a nice 5 x 5 come into a bench below us and then funnel down into the large creek at the bottom of the canyon. He was about 100 yards or so from me, but only 70 from my buddy Rich. The bull went into the creek and gofed around for five minutes and then started leaving back the way he came.... not really all that interested in what we were saying or doing.

Here comes the good part..... as he was walking away, I knew I had to make something happen, so I did a VERY aggressive, dominant bugle to see if I could get him to come back. Well... 3/4 of the way through that bugle, I got cut off by the BOSS of the mountain.:eek: A thundering, deep and angry bugle came from 200 yards up the canyon. This was a hoss... he made my baddest bugle seem like a whimper and he shook the entire ridge. I almost fell over.... well... we could hear him crashing our way (to come kick my butt :becky:). Unfortunately, I was surrounded by deadfall and could move. I bugled again and he cut me off again and kept coming. He popped up on the same bench I was on... at 50 yards and bugled at me again. I could feel his bugle beating into my chest and the deep, heady chuckles had my head spinning. As he stepped behind a tree, I drem my Tribute and anchored the 40 yard pin squarely on his chest. At this point he was facing me dead on and I wasn't focusing on the antlers. I could tell that they were almost black with the ivory white tips and I could tell that the spread was massive. I kept the pin on his chest and he stopped at 40 yards looking for me/intruder bull. I held the draw for over three minutes and he finally turned away and I chirped on my mouth call.... he didn't stop immediately, but stopped when he was turned away (butt shot). He stared for another 30 seconds and went down the ridge, out of sight. I let down and fell to my knees.... at the end I was shaking so bad, that I couldn't hit the elk's butt at 20 yards.:cry:

We continued to bugle and chase him up the ridge for another hour, but he'd never come to my bugles (he answered or cut all of them off though). We eventually backed out and thought about getting him later in the week. He knever knew we were hunters, b/c he never saw us or winded us (wind was in our face the entire time), in fact he bugled at us as we hiked down the mountain.

When we got back to the ATV's, Rich told me he was AT LEAST a 6 x 6, maybe bigger (didn't have his binos handy).... we looked at some elk mags back at the cabin and it looked like he'd have been about a 350" bull, but Rich's estimation.

Two days later, we went back in and found several muzzloader hunters in the area and they said "we heard a bunch of bulls in this area the other day and have hunted it hard since".:cry: They had ridden the ATV's to the top of the ridge and basically drove the bulls/herd off to who knows where.

I'm still kicking myself for not being "better" and getting on the bull from a better setup.:mad: :cry: I whined and cried about it the rest of the week.... all my buddies said I did the right thing by not taking the shot(s), but it still doesn't help soothe the "what ifs".:rolleyes:

I hope he survives this year, b/c I'll be back next year, and I know where he lives, and how he acts, so we have a date with destiny.:nod:

Check out some of my pictures from the trip.... it was AWESOME!

-ZA

This is the area I was hunting that big bull in....
 

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That looks like you had a blast. Just having an encounter with a huge bull has got to be exciting. Live and learn :wink: Next year you will put the smack down on him!

Great pics also, I can't wait to go on a elk hunt in the mountains.
 

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One quick question, how did you like hunting with your quiver attached to your pack instead of your bow?

I have the Main Beam Horn Hunter and was just going to attach the quiver to the side of the pack like you did and leave it off my bow when we go to Quebec on Wednesday.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I thought my lungs were gonna explode the day I took this picture. We were over 10,000 ft the entire day.:eek: My hunting buddy was feeling a little sick from the altitude, so we took it real easy. I found alot of sign in this area, but we only hunted it one day.:rolleyes:

-ZA
 

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Sounds like you had a heck of a time.
 

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Way better to keep it on my pack instead of on the bow. I could get an arrow outta the quiver on my pack as quick as I could one on my bow. Made hiking alot easier. I als had the bow strapped to my pack most of the time... that was a life saver on the steep canyons were were on.

My mainbeam pack was getting ALOT of glowing compliments at camp. Several of the other guys in camp started putting their quivers on their pack like I did. The mainbeam performed FLAWLESSLY.... great investment.

Here is a closer picture of me and the pack.

-ZA

DBL LUNG said:
One quick question, how did you like hunting with your quiver attached to your pack instead of your bow?

I have the Main Beam Horn Hunter and was just going to attach the quiver to the side of the pack like you did and leave it off my bow when we go to Quebec on Wednesday.
 

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ZA206 said:
Way better to keep it on my pack instead of on the bow. I could get an arrow outta the quiver on my pack as quick as I could one on my bow. Made hiking alot easier. I als had the bow strapped to my pack most of the time... that was a life saver on the steep canyons were were on.

My mainbeam pack was getting ALOT of glowing compliments at camp. Several of the other guys in camp started putting their quivers on their pack like I did. The mainbeam performed FLAWLESSLY.... great investment.

Here is a closer picture of me and the pack.

-ZA

Thanks for the info. That is how I am going to use my Main Beam also. Josh
 

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ZA206-
What a thrill. Sounds like a great hunt. Now all you have to do is wait about 51 weeks or so, shouldnt take long. How was the weather while you were there? Thanks for the story that was exciting.
 

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Mr. black bear had it aimed at his head for about 5 minutes, before he decided that he didn't want any of the 1911 Springfield! :eek:

Nobody got got bit by the .45 though..... one wrong step, and they would have though.:wink:

-ZA

DBL LUNG said:
Thats what I need for my next toy :wink:


Did you get to use it?? :laser:
 

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ZA206 said:
Mr. black bear had it aimed at his head for about 5 minutes, before he decided that he didn't want any of the 1911 Springfield! :eek:

Nobody got got bit by the .45 though..... one wrong step, and they would have though.:wink:

-ZA


:ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:


Man I love those 1911's. Springfields are damn nice!
 

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All these ATers coming to Colorado and nobody stops in to say hi...:sad:

Glad you had a good trip and hope you come back in '07 and get him.:)
 
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