Mathews Inc.


Scenario 1

It is early September and you have located the herd bull you have been patterning all summer. But now he has dozens of cows with him and will not leave them. It is 9AM and they are settled into the black timber. What would you do?


Danny Moore

I would sneak in without making a sound until I was within 50 yards from the bull. Then I would try bugling and rake a tree with my whip stick, keeping an arrow nocked on my bow.


Paul Medel

Elk generally are not bedded by 9am so there's a good chance they are on their way to do so & are spread apart moving leisurely, I'd do my best to get good wind and set an ambush ahead (since I've got a great perspective on their destination from previous scouting)!  If something goes sour I'd be mentally prepared to be an "instant threat" to both him or his cows! This should trigger a "reaction" from him!


Paul Medel II

I would leave a caller back far enough so the bull doesn't seem threatened. I would then have him bugle every few minutes. While he is keeping the bull vocal, I would sneak in as close as I could get to the herd and see if I could get close enough for a shot. If I happened to get busted by some cows and they start getting nervous, I would scream a bugle and hope that I am close enough to enrage the bull. I would be ready with an arrow knocked and wait for some fast action.


Al Morris

Assuming the thermal has switched and the wind is blowing up canyon vs down, I will approach from the uphill side in the timber. They will bed and the cows will lay down to chew cud and nurse. The bull will grow antsy, and parade around his cows checking for one in estrus. I will approach as close as I think I can without being seen - hopefully within a hundred yards and use a lost calf, and estrus whine to get that bull to come to my location. He will want to add the cows he hears to his herd. If they are still on the move, I parallel the herd on the same level and try and get the bull to come "pick me up too". I kill a lot of my herd bulls this way.


Corey Jacobsen

Probably my favorite scenario. I love hunting big bulls in their bedding areas for 2 reasons; 1- They're no longer following the cows up the mountain (on the move) or worried about getting separated from the cows if they were to come in to a challenge, and 2- they are in their comfort area and often will come in to a set-up a little less cautious.

I like to get as close to the bull as possible, undetected...usually within 100-120 yards, always keeping track of the wind and making sure it is in my favor. Once I am set up inside the "red zone", I give a simple cow call or two. As soon as he responds I cut him off with an aggressive challenge bugle - a short, high-pitched scream that calls him every name in the book. I'll repeat this sequence as necessary, making sure I initiate each of his bugles with a cow call, giving me the opportunity to challenge the bull, rather than allowing him to challenge me and wait for me to make a move. Inside his "red zone" is a very effective, yet simple tactic for calling the big bull into your lap!


Rob Sherman

First thing is to approach the herd from downwind.  Since it's black timber, you should be able to get fairly close if you take your time and don't rush it.  Since it's still early in the day, the elk aren't going anywhere for awhile.  Eventually the bull is going to go around and check on the cows.  Be patient and there is a good chance he will offer a shot as he makes his rounds.  If this doesn't produce a shot, then a few soft mews should draw him over.  If this still doesn't produce a shot, then I would let out a small bull squeal along with a few mews.  Keep cover behind you, not in front of you.  You want to have a clear shot when he comes within range.


Back to Main Page - Scenarios

Discuss this feature


  • Sitka Gear