The magic of bugles just before first light has us hustling towards the action. We quickly close
the distance to what we thought was 150 yards and Dan calls. To our surprise the big 5x5 has
snuck in to just 30 yards when we see him but it is too late as he turns and runs back to his
About an hour later we see a Spike then a Cow and then another nice 5x5 working towards us.
The problem is we are trapped in an open area and need to lay on the ground. Eventually with
Dan's calling the bull moves closer and here's what happens:
The combination of us being pinned down for a long time and the mis-judged distance had the
arrow go high. Dan and I were happy with the opportunity but Jake was really upset and felt he
let us down. In my limited elk hunting experience I believe each missed opportunity brings you
one step closer but still everything must go right. Nothing to do but press on. As time went on
Jake shook off the miss and we got back in hunt mode.
When we got back to the lodge the Father in the father/son team connected on a nice 5x5 bull
with his muzzleloader, John the Doc from New Jersey missed twice on really good bulls and
Brendan also came close to getting a shot!
We decided to sit a stand Dan calls the “Interstate stand” for the PM hunt. It is an area with
many criss-crossing trails, a few wallows and nice fresh flowing water. On the way there we see
a cow elk with a really good 6x6 in tow. The bull is totally unaware so we crouch down in hopes
they keep coming. After 30 seconds or so the cow makes us and turns away with the big guy
following. Great bull!
We then get to the Interstate stand which is a low ladder stand. Dan sits close to the base of the
stand and will do the calling while I go forward about 20 yards to set up to video where I can see
above the bench. We waited until about 5:45 wind the wind shifted and dropped down hill and
Dan let out the first bugle. I flipped on the camera to catch Jake on stand and to my surprise I
see him drawing his bow for a shot over my shoulder. I am down lower than the bull and
everything happens very quickly. Here's the video!
I know it's hard to see but it happened quickly and I did not want to pop up or move quickly to
ruin the opportinity. At the exact moment of the shot I somehow punched the record button so
recording stopped however I continued to zoom in on the elk as it ran 50 yards but then stopped
broadside at Dan's cow calling. I could clearly see through the viewfinder the bull was hit high
and back and was a pass-through. Jake saw the same thing but Dan could not see as he was
below the bench. I also noticed there was no blood coming down the side of the bull. After ten
minutes we gathered our gear and looked for Jake's arrow. We could not find the arrow but after
marking where I saw the bull stand broadside we found a couple drops of blood. About a half
hour later Dan found a few more drops so we had a direction. We had 2 hours of light from the
shot but in every direction we went we could not find more blood. As dark came upon us we
backed out to grid in the AM.
Jake was hoping for a better shot but we tried to keep the conversation as positive as possible. I
will tell you this Jake, Dan and myself wanted so badly to be successful in harvesting Jake his
first bull. We also felt a great desire to do it for all you guys who supported this hunt. Let's see
what happens in the am.