Reply
Go Back   TexasBowhunter.com Community Discussion Forums > Topics > Around the Campfire
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-10-2021, 09:38 PM   #1
deerslayer94
Ten Point
 
deerslayer94's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Carrollton Tx
Hunt In: madison,grimes,montgomery
Default Amazing elk hunt, heartbreaking ending.

Long read here but special…

Well just got out of the elk woods here in Colorado. Was in from the 2nd till today. Backpacked in with camp and food on my back. (First shower in 8 days felt amazing) Hiked a total of 77 miles in 8 days. Basically hunted sun up to sun down each day slowly moving and taking naps under trees. This was my first year going after elk. Moved here in January and been researching and trying to learn as much as I could over the last year about the species. Spoke to a few guys when I got here about it but for the most part it was all online learning as I knew they’d be different than whitetail. Day one started with a 900ft climb and that evening saw my first black bear at 300yds. Had a bear tag along with my elk tag. Stalked up to about 80yds before he dumped into a drainage. Over the next 6 days just saw muleys and other small game. They weren’t bugling yet so felt like I was hunting ghost. Went early season to try and avoid the rut crowds to learn as much as I could as this was my first season and went to it with 0 expectations other than to try and learn these amazing animals. On day 7 I spotted an elk about 60yds up ahead through the timber, couldn’t see the head. I got set, cow called softy, and it came in right at 30yds…it was a 3x2, not a legal bull. I smiled as this first encounter was awesome to me and a sense of pride came over, little did I know what day 8 would bring. This next evening I was completely gassed and exhausted. I noticed a meadow near an atv trail where hunters would park and enter the woods hadn’t had anybody there in 3 days. A month earlier I had seen a cow there when I was scouting. I thought maybe the scent had died and something might pop out before dark. I set up on the tree line on the top left corner of the meadow, I knew the mountain thermals would be bringing my wind down so if anything came out, I wouldn’t get busted. Falling asleep sitting awkwardly on this rock I was on about 15 minutes left of daylight I hear a cow call right behind me. I freeze and use my eyes to look left and a cow steps out of the trees about 9ft from me. She’s staring into my soul. I stare back trying to control my breathing and chest movement. Right in front of her is a shrub brush about 3 ft tall and I know if she doesn’t bust me, she’ll cross behind it and step out into the open meadow for about a 10yd shot. After about a minute she finally makes the move. As she crosses the shrub brush I go full draw. The minute she gets into the clearing I look through my peep to settle on her, then she looks back and I hear mayhem in the tree line. Holding full draw 5 more cows come pouring out to her with a giant 5x5 bull… my heart goes into my throat, the pounding in my chest feels like a drum solo at a concert. The bull runs out into the meadow with the cows a bit, he’s right in the middle, and I have no shot. Holding draw for about 35 seconds at this point with 3 of the cows looking straight at me sitting on this rock under a tree branch, couldn’t move a muscle, couldn’t stand. The cows keep the bull concealed for another 15 seconds or so. My forearms starts to tremble and cramp due to fatigue and holding draw. The cows finally scoot off about another 40 yards down the meadow out of bow range leaving the bull by himself. He’s facing directly away from me. Felt like I held draw for another 20 seconds… lights fading very fast. He finally takes a step to the right and looks directly at me with a quartering away shot. I know I have about 10 seconds before he goes after his cows. I had to guess the range, I knew the clearing was 77 yds across but nothing to judge before that and wasn’t able to move to get the range finder at any point. I look through my peep in the dark cover of the tree… can’t see my pins hardly at all, I’m shaking due to holding draw for over a full minute and yes… the adrenaline and bull fever are hitting hard. The largest animal Iv ever drawn back on is starting directly at me. I look away from the peep and back in. Feeling like I find my 30yd pin I settle and let it fly… I watch as the arrow sinks and goes right under his vitals and hits the dirt…(should of used the 40 pin) my heart sinks to the bottom of my stomach as I watch the bull take off across the meadow with his cows and into the tree line…. I would be lying to you if I wasn’t mad, upset, disappointed, and feeling like I was a total failure in the moment. Missing an animal to me always feels worse than a breakup. After Iv had the day to sit on it a lot comes to mind about what hunting is and what it means. Number one, we all miss. It’s part of the game and never easy. I look back on these 8 days feeling very proud of myself, my first year and I had to amazing encounters with these incredible creatures who I have the utmost respect for. To me it was a successful “hunt” and a unsuccessful “kill.” I remind my self if the years growing up hunting in Texas with my father at places where if even a doe came out we were ecstatic. And now years later still young at 27 I’m out hunting in the western mountains with my bow having the time of my life. Hundreds of people would kill just for this opportunity. I’m grateful and thank the lord everyday. The important lessons I took from this hunt, or should I say reminders are these…

Always remember there is a difference between hunting and killing.

An experience that ends in “failure” is always an amazing experience that you were fortunate to of had.

Slow down, enjoy the moment of chasing whatever game you’re after.

Be grateful to be in the woods, as many others are not near as fortunate.

I’m beyond grateful to of had that encounter with that bull and the cows. Staring into the eyes of something like that at 9ft is kind of a spiritual thing to me. I think back to how the Indians must of chased these things with stick bows. So as my successful hunt with and unsuccessful kill is over I’m beyond grateful and hope some of you read this entire thing and got a little entertainment from it. I still have two weekends left of archery season and a cow tag for rifle. My fire is lit hot and I can’t wait to get back out there. I hope you all have a safe and fun season, we only get so many hunting seasons on our lives, cherish them. God bless and shoot straight.

-Heston
deerslayer94 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2021, 09:41 PM   #2
AntlerCollector
Pope & Young
 
AntlerCollector's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Hunt In: Votaw, Del Rio, Eldorado, Bon Wier
Default

Great read. Thanks for sharing
AntlerCollector is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2021, 09:56 PM   #3
hoythunter02
Pope & Young
 
hoythunter02's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Texas
Hunt In: Brady, Texas
Default

Man, what an experience. Hopefully you can get back after them soon.

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
hoythunter02 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2021, 10:01 PM   #4
BTLowry
Pope & Young
 
BTLowry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lindale
Hunt In: Behind the house and public in Texas; Kansas Unit 5
Default

Great read

Sounds to me like you had a great hunt even though you came home without an elk you had some awesome experiences
BTLowry is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2021, 10:07 PM   #5
pure lefty
Ten Point
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Huntsville, Texas
Hunt In: Leon County and wherever
Default

Great read, lot of respect for your dedication and hard work!
pure lefty is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2021, 10:33 PM   #6
tminc
Ten Point
 
tminc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: lake travis
Hunt In: burnet county,mexico
Default

Definitely on the right trail.Good luck in the future.Happy hunting.
tminc is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2021, 11:20 PM   #7
TD2000
Ten Point
 
TD2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Dallas
Hunt In: Star TX
Default

A great story and learning experience, I to have had the pleasure of hunting this wonderful game species with a bow.

What I have learned in my limited hunts!

They say;
The first year you make a mistake
The second year you make a bad shot
The third year you will have success

I personally on my first year made a mistake. Had a nice 5x5 come to water and as it first looked what I thought was away from me, I found they have great prorifery vision and it saw my draw. What I learned. Be patient and let the elk come to ease with its setting before you think about drawing the bow.

Second year. I was not going to make a bad shot as per the saying. I practiced every week of the year. Focused on minimal draw movement and technique. Results in second year, harvested a nice 5x5. What my practice gave me - accuracy, minimal draw movement, and most important a calm draw with what I call an instinctual peep and sight pin shot placement. Join a local archery range as it is your best investment. It gives you variable shooting experiences and friendship mentors who all have the love to learn and archery hunt elk.

Third year results. Just got home tonight with another successful bull elk harvest and experience. I AM HOOKED ON ARCHERY ELK HUNTING.

Tomorrow the meat processing starts and a game dinner planned with our group. We will all tell our stories again and share what we learned on this trip.

Waiting for next year already

Good hunting to all

TD
TD2000 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2021, 11:25 PM   #8
JMart76
Four Point
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: San Antonio
Hunt In: No where at the moment
Default

Great read for a great hunt!
JMart76 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2021, 11:30 PM   #9
SabineHunter
Ten Point
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Default

Great story on an awesome hunt.
SabineHunter is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 12:03 AM   #10
Chew
Pope & Young
 
Chew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Kingwood, TX
Hunt In: Leon County
Default

I've been there brother. Missed one due to a crappy tree stand in NM and then couldn't see through my peep as a 370ish bull stood staring at me right at dark in the Gila NF. But it's better than sitting at home watching netflix. Keep after 'em.
Chew is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 12:15 AM   #11
deerslayer94
Ten Point
 
deerslayer94's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Carrollton Tx
Hunt In: madison,grimes,montgomery
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chew View Post
I've been there brother. Missed one due to a crappy tree stand in NM and then couldn't see through my peep as a 370ish bull stood staring at me right at dark in the Gila NF. But it's better than sitting at home watching netflix. Keep after 'em.
Chew, I can only imagine that pain. But yet an experience you’ll never forget. Going to be putting in for New Mexico as well over the upcoming years
deerslayer94 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 06:21 AM   #12
J Loves Huntin
Ten Point
 
J Loves Huntin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: NE Fort Worth
Hunt In: Anywhere
Default

Glad you had an adventure. Sorry you missed the shot but as you said it happens…. Far more often than most of us admit
J Loves Huntin is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 06:35 AM   #13
Phillip Fields
Pope & Young
 
Phillip Fields's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Hunt In: NC,TX, and anywhere else I can
Default

Great write up.
Phillip Fields is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 06:36 AM   #14
Pedernal
Pope & Young
 
Pedernal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Del Rio
Hunt In: Amistad
Default

Awesome story and read! Sounds like you are wise beyond your years. Thanks for sharing you awesome experience.

Where in Colorado did you move to? Might be retiring soon and looking to possibly find a summer refuge from the Texas heat.
Pedernal is online now   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 06:51 AM   #15
Redraider
Ten Point
 
Redraider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Springtown, Tx
Hunt In: Panhandle, Out of State
Default

Thats a great write up and thanks for sharing

Sent from my SM-G781U using Tapatalk
Redraider is online now   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 07:25 AM   #16
chino
Ten Point
 
chino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: cedar hill
Hunt In: public lands
Default

Good read!
Thank you for sharing!
chino is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 07:28 AM   #17
Fajkus7
Ten Point
 
Fajkus7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Conroe, TX
Hunt In: Conroe, Doss
Default

Awesome write up. Hate that it didn’t work out but I’d say it’s quite the accomplishment just to put yourself in a spot to have that opportunity the first year doing it.
Fajkus7 is online now   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 07:30 AM   #18
WyoBull
Ten Point
 
WyoBull's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Wyoming
Hunt In: Wyoming
Default

Great story and experience you had. I have been there many times over the years.
Enjoy yourself out there, it sounds to me like you have things in the right perspective.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
WyoBull is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 08:03 AM   #19
Passthrough
Pope & Young
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

Get back after them……season still going
Passthrough is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 09:38 AM   #20
deerslayer94
Ten Point
 
deerslayer94's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Carrollton Tx
Hunt In: madison,grimes,montgomery
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedernal View Post
Awesome story and read! Sounds like you are wise beyond your years. Thanks for sharing you awesome experience.

Where in Colorado did you move to? Might be retiring soon and looking to possibly find a summer refuge from the Texas heat.
Castle Rock, Co. I love it here, far enough away from Denver avoid that terrible place but close enough to get to the airport to go back home and see my folks.
deerslayer94 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 09:38 AM   #21
deerslayer94
Ten Point
 
deerslayer94's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Carrollton Tx
Hunt In: madison,grimes,montgomery
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Passthrough View Post
Get back after them……season still going
I’ll be out there every day I’m not working. Fire is lit.
deerslayer94 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 09:42 AM   #22
CRM_95
Pope & Young
 
CRM_95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: East TX
Hunt In: East TX
Default

Awesome!! Thanks for sharing. You'll put it together on the next one.
CRM_95 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 10:34 AM   #23
Slick8
Pope & Young
 
Slick8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Richmond, Texas
Hunt In: In the woods
Default

Great story and I completely agree with the sentiment of you having a great hunt.

I tell people all the time if you measure a hunt by number of kills or inches of antler only then you're missing the point and should likely take up golf.

Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
Slick8 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 11:01 AM   #24
bps3040
Pope & Young
 
bps3040's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Spring,Texas
Hunt In: West Texas, Dryden area, Forestville, Canada
Default

Great read. Thanks for sharing


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
bps3040 is online now   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 11:10 AM   #25
Gumbo Man
Ten Point
 
Gumbo Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Livingston Texas
Hunt In: Onalaska Texas
Default

That was a great read and your outlook on the experience is heart warming. Without failure we would never experience success. Don’t take your age for granted for one minute and get as much of that as you can while still young. Us older crippled up guys appreciate you taking us along for the hunt. Continue on sir.
Gumbo Man is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 11:43 AM   #26
Trapper76
Eight Point
 
Trapper76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Default

Amazing recap,,, good luck getting your first elk.
Trapper76 is online now   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 03:17 PM   #27
Killer
Ten Point
 
Killer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Powderly, TX
Hunt In: God's green earth
Default

That’s what it’s all about! Good read!
Killer is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 04:27 PM   #28
SM69
Four Point
 
SM69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Kingwood
Default

Solid story and a great outlook man, very impressive.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
SM69 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 04:56 PM   #29
Burnadell
Pope & Young
 
Burnadell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: White Oak
Hunt In: Bee County
Default

You made memories. That's what it is about.
Burnadell is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 07:00 PM   #30
Ellen
Ten Point
 
Ellen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hall County, Texas
Hunt In: Hall County, Texas
Default

Enjoyed your write-up. Thanks for sharing your story. Good luck next time.
Ellen is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 07:10 PM   #31
Briar Friar
Pope & Young
 
Briar Friar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default

Great story and awesome adventure DeerSlayer! Thanks for sharing. I look forward to your LDPs and story of the monster youll eventually harvest.
Briar Friar is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-12-2021, 03:13 PM   #32
deerslayer94
Ten Point
 
deerslayer94's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Carrollton Tx
Hunt In: madison,grimes,montgomery
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Briar Friar View Post
Great story and awesome adventure DeerSlayer! Thanks for sharing. I look forward to your LDPs and story of the monster youll eventually harvest.
When it finally happens I’ll be sure to post a LDP
deerslayer94 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-12-2021, 08:52 PM   #33
Bubba
Ten Point
 
Bubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Driftwood TX
Hunt In: Sutton County
Default

Great read.Get back out there and get after it.Good Luck
Bubba is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright 1999-2012, TexasBowhunter.com