I’ve had a two year dry spell, either lack of opportunity or bad luck. This year had to be different … all I needed was a co-operating Elk to put meat in the freezer, a Freezer Trophy.
At 7:50 AM a good bodied 4X5 came in on the upper trail, about 28 yd from the stand. Now I’m only up 15′ so the elk is above me so when coming in I really can’t move until he goes past me, besides I need a broadside or quartering away shot. Once he is past me, I stand up and he immediately bolts about 20 yds and stops … gotta check that stand for creaks and squeaks. Now, all I’ve got is a small window through a maze of pine bows and dead limbs, but I see I can reach the vitals. Shot is perfect, complete pass through…the QAD Exodus performs beautifully, all blades still shaving sharp when I picked up the arrow.
I give the Elk 30 minutes, and start trailing in about 45 minutes. 15 minutes later I see him down. I set my bow on him and take a pic. He is on about a 30º slope, and as I pick up my bow he starts sliding downhill.
He slides about 50′ and slams up against a tree that keeps him from going still farther downhill. The major problem now is his back is up against the tree and I can’t get a decent way to butcher him. Several hours of back breaking butchering and I get enough off of him to move him away from the tree and finish the job.
Including the trip to get out the treestand, bow, and gear, it took 7 trips, each one a 1.6 mile round trip … that’s 11 miles with a 1000′ elevation differential, camp at 9580′. The final trip had me back in camp at 7 PM and the bull on ice. Who says Elk hunting isn’t exhausting?
Location: In the evening shadow of oona-pa'isExcellent hunt… but Lord, that sounds like a lot of work! I’m glad you got it done. I bet you sleep well after a day like that!
Joined: 3/18/2008Awesome job…
Location: New Yorkmost awesome,congrats.
Joined: 6/22/2004Wow, what a lot of work to fill that freezer, Brian! Hearty congratulations, though, on a nice shot and a fine bull!
Thanks, but that’s Elk hunting … You have to be prepared to butcher and pack one out and not hunt places where you can’t, even if you know there are bugling Elk down is some inaccessible hole. Its more than just physical conditioning for hiking and altitude adjustment, it becomes “mental” to see it through, especially when you’ve turned 70 with all the aches and pains that come with it. Total loads were about 60# of de-boned meat off each hindquarter, 60# for each shoulder with bone in, 20# for the two backstrap and tenderloins, 10# for the rump roast, and about 15# for shank meat, brisket, and other small cuts … Total of about 285# to pack out…plus the antlers, which weigh almost nothing.
I see far too many guys hunt where they really aren’t prepared to get the elk out. Too bad those TV shows don’t cover how the game is recovered and meat taken care of…I think some might think twice before taking on an Elk or Moose without outfitter support.
As far as getting a good night’s sleep … Took 4 250-mg Potassium pills to stop the cramps. Now I’m sore in places I’ve forgotten about, and stiff as a board.
Joined: 8/10/2007Congratulations, nice elk and a great shot.
Location: S.E. MissouriThanks for the pictures and story. Love it. Fine bull and that back scratcher is awesome. The guy that got me into elk hunting always took along a couple young guys with him. As he always called them his pack mules. It might be time to find you a young man and teach him the ropes of elk hunting. He could learn archery and how to hunt from you and you could use him as your “pack mule”. I’ve helped pack out 20 plus elk the last 10 years and know just how exhausting it is. They never seem to fall in an easy place. Congratulations on the nice bull.
Joined: 3/29/2007Congrats on a beautiful Bull. I’m glad you got your bow out of the way before he started to roll.
Thats a lot of work but something I’d like to try it some day.
Joined: 2/15/2009Congrats awesome Bull!!!Good job Brian. Thanks for taking the time to share. I enjoyed the story and the pictures.Bow hunt, fly fish A friend is someone who knows everything about you, but still likes you!
Joined: 1/20/2008Congratulations on a great animal, Brian. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m hoping to be in a similar situation in about 3 weeks.
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