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I love the archery success thread as much as anyone. But I also love hearing about those situations where things ALMOST come together but don’t. So here is the place to post your stories from the season where things didn’t turn out just right. Tell us a story and share what you learned from the encounter.

I’ll start it off. We located a bull late morning bugling from his bed. Maybe 400 yards up the ridge in some reprod. We tried to move closer but the ground was so crunchy. I ended up bumping him from his bed. It would have been better to stay put, maybe position a shooter higher up the draw, and slow played him in. Love and learn.
 

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Opening day I watched a couple smaller 4 or 5 pointers spar in a clearing. Then they straightened up and started to act nervous. Up walks a much bigger 6pt+ bull and it was clear who was boss. I was on the edge of the trees and they were about 100 yards into a clearcut. Decided to go back in the trees, then sneak closer in a different spot, using the terrain to conceal me. Couldn't see the elk when I did that. Got to where I would have had a 40 yard shot, peeked over the little rise and they were gone. Had some close encounters chasing them in some thick reprod but couldn't get a shot.
 

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Went out to a spot that has consistently held bulls in the early season. Very steep north face timber. We set up to call around 830am, trying to get a bull to sneak in on a us like in the past. After 20 or 30 minutes we decided to move to the next bedding area. We turned around and spotted a large 5 point across the draw on the next ridge over sneaking in, looking down on the ridge we were on trying to find the elk making all the racket. He moved around, peaking down towards us for a minute or so. Then he walked back where he came from after not seeing any elk. He was only about 90 yards away. As soon as he was out of sight I moved over and started cow calling to bring him past my buddy for a shot. He never came over.

We never get into any elk on the south side of this ridge until it cools down later in the season. Nothing we could have really done different based of what the elk typically are doing this time of year, with the weather we had in this spot. Oddly enough we saw 2 other bulls using that side of the ridge Monday morning, which is odd. We have been hunting this ridge since 2015 and definitely found some elk using areas they typically don’t in late august. Plenty of elk sign in areas we normally see it early on, hopefully get one next weekend.
 

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Two years ago I was heading up a canyon towards my treestand when nature called and wasn’t going to stop calling. In the midst of my business a 5pt bull walks 35yds in front of me completely unaware I am there. I scramble to put my release back and I shoot from a….seated… position but I couldn’t make it happen quickly enough and the bull moved off into thick timber. Just about the time I finish up my work I hear another bull bugle and can see cows heading my way. I get setup and decide I will pass on the cows and wait for the bull to come in. As the cows close the gap one stops about 15yds from me but isn’t looking at me. She sticks her nose up in the air and obviously gets a whiff of the fertilizer I had just placed. Needless to say there wasn’t any elk shot that morning….. 😂
 

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Spending the first two weeks of the season working. I head out to Chessnimus on the 13th 😀
 

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I hiked about 7 miles into the wilderness with some
Buddies for 4 days. Didn’t see a single elk or hear a single bugle. All this despite seeing loads of fresh sign. Roughly 30 miles of hiking over Labor Day weekend. Lots of exercise to get a whiskey hangover…
 

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I hiked about 7 miles into the wilderness with some
Buddies for 4 days. Didn’t see a single elk or hear a single bugle. All this despite seeing loads of fresh sign. Roughly 30 miles of hiking over Labor Day weekend. Lots of exercise to get a whiskey hangover…
Did you see any other hunters?
 

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Luckiest Grouse: Not recent but..... Was walking back to camp and off to the side of the road, a grouse sat on a log. Always carried a bird arrow in the quiver so thought I'd collect some camp meat. Shot was maybe 35 ft. easy peasy. Well not so easy after all. Arrow went through the breast feathers and stuck in the log behind the bird. It just looked down at the arrow and stood there. Ended up emptying the quiver, making a perfect circle around the bird, no blood drawn. Grouse stood there the whole time, not the slightest concern for the arrows encircling its body. Gave me something to do in the afternoon, touching up the broadheads before leaving camp later for afternoon/evening hunt.
 

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Seems like this is about the only thread regarding elk hunting I can contribute to...

Friday afternoon took off work early and had enough time to go to one of "my" more productive elk spots in the Coast Range. Didn't hold out much hope considering I didn't get out of the pick-up until 3:45 and I haven't had much success with bugling bulls in that late in the day.

Start walking up the road about 100 yds from my truck and decide to let out a bugle down into the canyon for poops and grins. Bugle twice, nada. Put my tube back in my pack and start making the trek down the road and about 5 seconds later a bull rips off about 100 yards down into the canyon I just bugled into. So, the cat and mouse game begins of trying to call him in close enough to shoot, fall down the side of a fir and fern covered hill, try to establish footing on the pillow soft dirt, forecast where he will be, find a shooting lane, is it safe to walk and stumble with an arrow nocked at this point?, stop him once he's in a shooting lane, etc. Some of you here know exactly what I'm talking about.

I drop down in about 50 or 60 yds below the road and can see him coming towards me, but still about 50 yds below my location. Faint glimpses of his rack and tan body through the brush. I grunt, I stomp, I rake ferns, and I cut him off; all the things I know to do to get him to commit. And he did. I come around a vine maple and he's standing below me, broadside, with a fern partially covering the lower part of his belly. But, vitals exposed. However, he can now see me, as I'm in plain sight. Since he was at a steep angle below me, I stumbled for my rangefinder and finally got it steady enough: 38 yds. I drew, settled my 40 yd pin just above the fern and saw my bubble was off. As I attempted to level it back he starts walking, and it was only 2 steps until he was behind a Doug Fir despite my feeble attempts to cow call to a stop.

He heads back the direction I just came from still below me, so I double back in pursuit but at this point there's simply too much brush in the way. One more "opportunity" where he was about 30 yds below me looking straight on but I was behind some brush. If I step out obviously the jig is up. And that was that. He lost interest and back down into the abyss he went. I tried to circle down and around the road system to where he was going but he went silent. Ghosted me. He was the biggest Roosevelt I've seen with a tag in my pocket. A gorgeous, black antlered 6 point who swept back an crowned out.

Hunting these bulls in the Coast is so unbelievably frustrating by yourself. I can seem to find them, call them in, but cannot make the kill happen. It's just like with one person they are completely fixated on my location, so it's not like I can sneak ahead for a shot while his attention is on something/sounds 20 yds beyond me. Almost feels impossible to make it happen without an extreme amount of luck on my side. And the simple fact of the matter is, I'm not a lucky person.

Here's to the other posters on this thread making it happen, and being able to post in the "success" thread before the end of the season.
 

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Seems like this is about the only thread regarding elk hunting I can contribute to...

Friday afternoon took off work early and had enough time to go to one of "my" more productive elk spots in the Coast Range. Didn't hold out much hope considering I didn't get out of the pick-up until 3:45 and I haven't had much success with bugling bulls in that late in the day.

Start walking up the road about 100 yds from my truck and decide to let out a bugle down into the canyon for poops and grins. Bugle twice, nada. Put my tube back in my pack and start making the trek down the road and about 5 seconds later a bull rips off about 100 yards down into the canyon I just bugled into. So, the cat and mouse game begins of trying to call him in close enough to shoot, fall down the side of a fir and fern covered hill, try to establish footing on the pillow soft dirt, forecast where he will be, find a shooting lane, is it safe to walk and stumble with an arrow nocked at this point?, stop him once he's in a shooting lane, etc. Some of you here know exactly what I'm talking about.

I drop down in about 50 or 60 yds below the road and can see him coming towards me, but still about 50 yds below my location. Faint glimpses of his rack and tan body through the brush. I grunt, I stomp, I rake ferns, and I cut him off; all the things I know to do to get him to commit. And he did. I come around a vine maple and he's standing below me, broadside, with a fern partially covering the lower part of his belly. But, vitals exposed. However, he can now see me, as I'm in plain sight. Since he was at a steep angle below me, I stumbled for my rangefinder and finally got it steady enough: 38 yds. I drew, settled my 40 yd pin just above the fern and saw my bubble was off. As I attempted to level it back he starts walking, and it was only 2 steps until he was behind a Doug Fir despite my feeble attempts to cow call to a stop.

He heads back the direction I just came from still below me, so I double back in pursuit but at this point there's simply too much brush in the way. One more "opportunity" where he was about 30 yds below me looking straight on but I was behind some brush. If I step out obviously the jig is up. And that was that. He lost interest and back down into the abyss he went. I tried to circle down and around the road system to where he was going but he went silent. Ghosted me. He was the biggest Roosevelt I've seen with a tag in my pocket. A gorgeous, black antlered 6 point who swept back an crowned out.

Hunting these bulls in the Coast is so unbelievably frustrating by yourself. I can seem to find them, call them in, but cannot make the kill happen. It's just like with one person they are completely fixated on my location, so it's not like I can sneak ahead for a shot while his attention is on something/sounds 20 yds beyond me. Almost feels impossible to make it happen without an extreme amount of luck on my side. And the simple fact of the matter is, I'm not a lucky person.

Here's to the other posters on this thread making it happen, and being able to post in the "success" thread before the end of the season.
If Im hunting alone I tend to still hunt ,looking to ambush. I will call occasionally. I will bugle back but I use almost all cow in heat calls , seems to bring them in . I also use a pop up blind and cow elk decoy when alone.
 

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My 1st day back at it this morning after 8 straight days working. Had a herd coming right toward me with a slight cross wind. They were going to come out into an opening at 25 yards. That was MY plan, one swirl of the wind and they decided my plan sucked and went with their own idea and headed out. As the line in the song "Bullicious" says "I'll be back to ruin his day".
 
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