So here is how my 2010 elk season unfolded...
It started out almost at a snails pace with high temperatures, little to no moisture, and a full moon which all contributed to non-existent elk. We finally caught a break with some rain on a Tuesday night and a cloud covered moon. After the light rain, the next morning started out with a "BANG."
We arrived to our hunting spot just before sun up. I jumped out of the truck and said, "I'm going to let out a cow call and see if I get a response." (Um a little pointer, don't do this unless you are ready for what might come!) Ten seconds later a small satellite bull came running and bugling to within 30 yards of the truck. WOW! we were not ready for that. So we gathered our equipment and dropped off the top of the mountain to our hunting area.
A short time later with the sun up, we set three hunters up front about 65 yards away from the caller. With my wife Emily, friends Todd and Jim all set up, I dropped back to start my calling sequence and almost immediately got a response. After about five minutes of calling I heard the sound of a bow release. Hoping that it was my wife's bow, I started calling to slow down the elk that hopefully had been hit and if not hit to keep it close for a second shot.
I moved closer to the hunters and found out Todd had shot a bull at 23 yards. Unfortunately as happens all too many times the bull was shot back from the vitals and so we called to try to keep the bull calm and in the area. While calling, several other bulls were responding to us and one decided to come in. With the approaching bull, Todd dropped back to call while I set up for a shot. Now to keep the bull coming your caller has to be able to read the incoming elk. Unfortunately Todd is a little challenged in reading animals. So when the bull came in I had to do some of my own calling, causing the bull to stay back further than I like to shoot. But with the weather the way it was I knew I could make a longer shot. The bull came in and turned to run when he winded me, but with mouth call in place I let out a cow call and stopped him. It was a quartering away up hill shot. I set my pin behind his shoulder and released the arrow. The arrow flew true and straight and hit the bull in the lower front leg. GRRR! Anyone that knows anything about elk, knows that elk have hard, hard bones and even though it went through the leg into the chest cavity it might have only hit one lung. The truth be told it went under the close side lung and through the other. After sitting for thirty minutes I moved up to find my arrow and found a piece about 12" long of the 29 1/2" arrow.
OK, so I'm writing this on Super Bowl Sunday. Therefore, I'm going to watch the Super Bowl! Sorry, I'll finish with part II in the next week or so. Also in upcoming blog posts I'll be blogging about my own fitness challenge that will hopefully put me in a local firefighter calender and help me with my upcoming hunting season.