SW CO. just across the mountain from NM
I head to SW Colorado every Sept. If you cross over the top of the mountain, you are in NM. We have the overall lease on about 2000 acres for the entire bow season. The 2000 we lease adjoins about 800 acres of BLM ground that is landlocked by private. On the other side of the BLM, is another ranch that is about 4500 acres if momory serves me correctly. We divide the season into three, 10 day hunts. This season has 3 hunters per season. We all have a ton of shot opportunities, last year we went 100% on getting a shot. Only a handful of us brought home a elk. I hunted my butt off last year, passed a bunch of bulls and cows(I saw a giant on day 3, and was going for him)
Last evening we were there, I had him, a 360 class 6x6 or 6x7 at about 30 yards in the heavy brush. He had a very distinctive bugle that I could tell from anywhere. He had his herd of cows in an old logging slash that had grown up really thick. I could see bits and pieces of him, and every once in awhile he would let out a scream that would give a guy goosebumbs. I had stalked through an entire herd of cows figuring I had nothing to lose this late in the hunt, and was in range, just needed him to give me any kind of decent shot. He began to gather up his herd of cows, and head the other direction, so I threw out all I had. I got out my bugle and screamed the biggest, baddest bugle I could muster right in his face from about 30 yards away. I raked a tree with a branch and caused a big commotion. He either was not a fighter, or just didnt care about the herd of cows this early in the season (sept 6th). He just walked the other way, and went totally silent, never to be seen again. I was SO frustrated that about a 1/2 hour later, still in the same spot, a satelite bull came into 4 yards and got shot. Not a big bull like the man I was after, but better than heading home with a $500 piece of paper in my pocket.
No one shot any bulls this big during the rifle season there, and the other ranch had no hunters, so I think he is still alive. That is the reason we are heading out later this year, to get them b4 they have huge herds of cows, but when they are trying to gather them. If I hear that bugle this year, GAME ON BABY!!
My digital camera got messed up and erased all of the pictures of my bull, but here are a few pictures I managed to recover of the rest of the group. I have more if you want to see them