1500 miles to the west, 10 miles into unknown territory and approximately 65 miles total foot travel. 2020 OTC DIY Archery Elk Hunt.
Happy to return home with my first ever elk, a nice 6x7 bull taken with my Bowtech.
Well I did what I felt like was the impossible finally and I know 2020 has been a train wreck but for me blessing after blessing has fallen on me starting with Finally!! conceiving my second child after 2 years (my top prayer was answered) This is my hunting tail and a testimony. So any one that was in the #gilanationalforest knows it was super dry and hot this second archery hunt add that in with the statistics of the average #diyhunter archery tag holder success rate and I knew the chips were stacked against me. We gave it full effort though scouted the day prior and to my surprise and by accident I called in a great 6x6 while throwing out some location bugles. The first few days came and went finding little to no sign and very little responses to calling. In the mean time any time we were stopped during our 10-14 mile #bowhiking trips my nose was in my bible I think I finished 4 books while we were there and I was in constant prayer thanking god for the opportunity and the creations he made for us. This was a very spiritual experience so much so that we made friends with some residents who had the whole family out hunting they stopped in camp one day and we started talking about reading the Bible and out came my story of my walk to Christ to these perfect strangers that ended with me in tears. The next day was slow until the evening when some other hunters came in on us and we reluctantly moved on to a new location. Bam 💥 we are in a #buglefest god ushered us there I feel. Long story short call one right in and try to get dad into position and wouldn't you know it walks right in and gives me a 20 yard shot I make contact but my arrow didn't find it's mark. With little blood to go off we searched for 2 days every hill top, drain, you name it we looked high and low for miles around last blood. I was down and frustrated and no longer wanted to hunt. Again I turn to prayer asking to give me a sign that the bull was okay and I should continue to hunt. The next morning we decided to hunt a new area and before day light we hear a bull firing up below us so we move down and try to get the wind right and a pack of coyotes erupted between us and the bull. The bull goes quiet and we move on we start up another ridge to find another. Well as I'm climbing I heard in my head turn around and glass. I pull my binoculars up and immediately land on a bull and he is a long ways off but working our way. We watched for about 30 minutes as he closed the distance. I started cow calling through the bugle tube to get his attention and he adjusted course and started our way. Still filling the guilt of the wounded bull I had no intention of shooting. I tell dad to get across the small drain to our downwind side and I backed up slightly up hill hoping the bull would give dad a shot while trying to check my wind. I see my dad looking to his right and I pick up my bugle I thought he was slipping past us. As I'm about to bugle I see legs behind a pinion tree I quickly put the tube drawn and ready myself to shoot, I was at full draw as he stepped out 10 yards away and I loosed an arrow. I hit him back and high 🤦♂️ but was confident lung and liver was hit and we would expire shortly. After an hour we take up the trail and jump him. Another hour passed and we took up trail again I find him laying right where he is photographed in these pics as I approached he stood up and postured as if he was going to charge. a second shot finished him. As for the first bull we caught back up with him in his area and chased him for three days until the last day of the hunt. I'm confident he will be there next year to frustrate other hunters. I don't think the signs could have been any stronger that this was the bull meant for me. He was an old warrior with a hole in his leg, one ivory and teeth worn through to the gun. Im both blessed and spoiled for this to be my first ever elk. I'm so thankful for the experience, time with my dad, and the meat.
Congratulations on a great Bull. God Bless you and I pray you continue to always give God the glory for all things. I love to hear stories like this from brothers in the faith. May God continue to Bless you and your Family.
Great job Dad, you're building lasting memories for those kids. My sons are grown with kids and some grand kids.......and we all still love hunting together. I'm 77 and still love the outdoors! Keep up the good work!