Hanford_BullI love to hunt and I will hunt just about anything I possibly can. My favorite animal to hunt would have to be Elk. There is nothing like the feeling of bugling in an Elk and hearing him get closer and closer and madder and madder. I love hearing elk bugling out in the woods and I can never explain what it is like to someone that has never experienced it before. When I was young I went Elk hunting with my dad one day and we had an awesome experience with an elk. We had hiked several miles that morning until we came to a spot that had some good sign. We set up and he started bugling. I was young and didn’t always have the best attention span so I think I was playing with ants on the rock we were sitting on. After an hour we had heard no replies and we were just sitting there while my dad figured out where to go next. All of the sudden it looked as if a tree was raising from the ground about 50 yards up this ridge from us. My dad got ready as a huge 6×6 Bull elk came silently up the ridge and came straight towards us. My dad pulled back his bow when he was about 30 yards. This Bull was very interested to find out what was bugling all morning and he knew the exact spot it had been coming from. He continued to walk straight towards us until he was about 15 yards away. He finally turned broadside so my dad could get a shot. Unfortunately my dad missed the shot and the bull took off. We bugled again and he stopped about 100 yards away, but we were never able to get a shot at him again.

I know what you are thinking, a 15 yard shot should be antlers on the wall every time. You are probably right, but until you have been in that situation it is tough to know what you will do and how the adrenaline affects every aspect of your body. My dad sighted in on this Bull when he was 30 yards away and he was uphill from us. As the bull came down the ridge my dad never adjusted his sights to the closer shot so it went right over his back. When we pulled the arrow out of the tree there was some of the elk’s hair on the broadhead. It was frustrating to not get the bull because he was a beauty. However my dad made a elk hunter out of me that trip. I can never explain to someone the feeling of calling in an animal so majestic and seeing him come right up to you. It is an amazing feeling and those of us that have experienced it will never forget it!

I learned a few lessons that day:

  • Adjust your sights as the animal you are hunting moves
  • Never give up on a good spot. You may not be able to hear the bull coming in, but that does not mean they will not come in silently. Some bulls will never bugle because they want to see what they are getting into before they make their presence known. This Bull we had was a monster and I doubt he was scared of another Bull in the woods.
  • Always bugle again when a Bull gets spooked because most of the time they will stop and give you a second chance, or come back in to see what is going on.

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  1. I also like archery elk the most…well only because I haven’t hunted bear yet, I am sure that would be my top hunt since it is my dream hunt right now.

    I like hunting something that you have to respect their presence because they demand it…you know an animal that if it were at yellowstone would have a sign around its neck saying stay away cuz I may just gore you.

  2. Oh and another comment…I learned a trick when I was 13 from Chris Snell who may have had an influence on my current hunting technique which is responsible for me going home without any arrows most seasons.
    You comment on bugling if you spook a bull so that you perk his curiosity to swing back around or at least stop and take one last look up hill…hopefully broadside. Well Chris would take a shot at a buck and if he missed he would whistle real loud and almost 50% of the time the buck spun around to see what was going on providing Chris with another shot.
    I don’t know if Chris still hunts that way but the last time I talked to him he had quite the photo album of beautiful buck and elk he had gotten.

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