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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.
Hey Nate we drew rifle tags this year so I’m chomping at the bit. I’d love to come call for you and assist!


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Hey Nate we drew rifle tags this year so I’m chomping at the bit. I’d love to come call for you and assist!


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Well Phil, if you don't mind being blindfolded until we arrive at the super secret elk honey holes I may just take you up on that offer. 😃
 

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Had one come charging in on Sunday morning, we were trying to relocate a bull from Saturday night and were not ready for this bull who came from the other direction and in a hurry. We made a quick move and thought he was on the same side of the fence, which made a zig that in the heat of the moment I didnt think about. The bull was not on the same side, he hit the fence line then paused looking around and started circling. He was to close for my buddy to move, he eventually got our wind and then boogied out. Had my friend stayed where we were at rather than moving where I sent him, he likely gets a shot when the bull circled. Felt bad but if he was on our side of the fence I think he would came right to where my buddy was set up. Was our only real chance of the weekend. Hoping for another chance next week!
 

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Tioga unit. Wall of meat of cows busting uphill right to me 30 yards. Next morning, same cut a spike x fork 10 yards or less, frontal as he crested the hill point blank in front of me. Brutal. How many spike x forks do you see? Felt like i needed to go buy a lottery ticket after that.
 

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I wish Roosevelt would break his vow of silence... He's having a heck of a season.
I’ve been thinking that ever time I open the archery threads this year. We need his contributions back.


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He’s had some amazing close calls this season. The kind that make your heart pound just hearing the story. No blood drawn yet but it’s just around the next tree/bush. Haven’t heard from him in a few days so maybe he’s connected.
 

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Opening morning, Mt. Emily tag, get 100 yards out from the truck and decide there's no better time for first bugle of the season. Immediate response! I'm standing at the base of a drainage and guess that the bull is up the right side. Head that direction, and after a few hundred yards and few more bugles determine that I misjudged - he's on the other side. I let out one more bugle to pinpoint his location and 200 yards across the drainage he steps into a small opening. Big 6 and a definite shooter! He's all worked up and muddy as heck. I watch him for about 5 minutes until he heads back into the timber.

Back down I go to cross over to the other side and get back up on his level - everything is steep over there! I work my way up and over to within 100 yards of where I thought that I should be, let out a bugle, and get an immediate response. Game on! I work in closer and struggle to find a good set-up location. Thermals are going straight down to the creek and he's out in front of me, maybe slightly downhill. I find a small opening - maybe about a dozen or so yards in circumference with thick brush straight downhill from me. It's as good as I was going to find in the moment.

I resume the battle and we trade several bugles/chuckles back and forth and he begins thrashing trees about 35 yards out. He's super worked up! I let out the sexiest series of cow calls that I could muster, telling him to COME OVER HERE NOW! - and that's exactly what he does. He's coming in on a string and I'm telling myself this is going to happen - first bugle of the season beast of a bull!

About 2 yards out from the opening I draw and that's when Murphy decided to join the party. At the last minute, he decides he doesn't want to be in that opening and deviates from his path and decides to stay in the brush and circle around below me. I can see bits and pieces of his body - and as if to taunt me, his rack standing proud above the brush. There was a very small opening directly downwind of me that I was willing that bull in to, even though I knew it was not going to happen. A step, maybe two, before hitting that spot he busts me and is gone in a heartbeat.

It was the biggest bull I've ever encountered out hunting and one that I'll be second guessing myself on for some time. In hindsight, I rushed it and should have spent more time getting in a better set up position. Sometimes significant learning opportunities come with a bit of heartache.

I've had a few more close encounters over there, but haven't connected yet. Headed back over this week to finish out the season.
 
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