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Old 09-09-2021, 10:28 PM   #1
solocam_aggie
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Default My First Elk Hunt...SUCCESS!

Sitting here drinking a beer, watching the game, still in shock from last eveningís events. This was the most epic hunt of my life. Long read warning!

Arriving in New Mexico the 2nd, I immediately took to hunting as my excitement couldnít be controlled. I couldnít wait to hear that first bugle, which as it turns out would come much later in the hunt. On day two I top a ridge to look down and see an absolute stud of a bull. I posted the story in the elk thread, but long story short I miss judged his distance and shot under him. I was sick over this much of the hunt, but so goes hunting. I had another encounter with a good bull that I called in unknowingly. Taking a break on a thick ridge I cow called a little as I drank water. I go to head out and look up to see a bull standing 40 yards from me. How that bull snuck in on me as still as it was still baffles me.

Yesterday started with me having to drag myself out of bed. 5.5 days of some of the hardest hunting of my life where I averaged 8.5 miles a day and 1200 ft of elevation gain was wearing on me. My mettle was at an all time low point as I had only had those two encounters with bulls the whole time. They were suppose to be bugling, giving me an idea of where to go. Instead, all was quite and I was just stumbling around hoping to find an elk.

The morning hunt was rather uneventful; aside from stepping within 2ft of a big rattler that lit me up with his buzzer. After settling my heart and thanking the Lord for sparing me a bite, I headed to the utv. With the afternoon hunt approaching, I was slow to leave the cabin. At this point I just didnít know where to go. I decided to call the hunt a wash and head north on the utv to scout some areas to hunt tomorrow. The thought of not walking that afternoon was a welcoming one! While driving I notice a burn scar to my east that doesnít look too far off. I then see a forest service road that heads that direction. I decide I had enough energy to walk to the burn scar and glass it to see if anything was there.

After glassing the burn scar and not seeing anything, I decided to give a few cow calls as I usually do, fully expecting the same result as every other calling sequence Iíve done. But after finishing the call I hear what sounds like a half bugle coming from deep within the timberline. Still not sure that is what I heard, I waited 10 minutes and gave another couple of cow calls. An instant shot of adrenaline hits when I hear a very distinct bugle and even a ďchuckleĒ with it! A had the attention of a bull, and it was game time. I decided to cover some more ground to get closer to the timberline so I didnít have so far to pull him out. I found a perfect set up of small trees that survived the fire where I decided to make my stand. About 200 yards from the timberline now, I hit the bull with a single cow call. He immediately bugles back and itís apparent heís getting closer. I didnít want him to become weary by calling too much, so I stayed quite and waited. A sight forever etched in my memory, I finally see a bull emerging from the timbers, shortly followed by another bull! I glass the two bulls to see a very respectable 5x5, and a smaller 4x3. I watch as they begin tearing up every small cedar within proximity of them. I hit them with a pair of cow calls, and neither react to them. But who does react is another bull to my east as he sounds off with a loud bugle! This was the scenario I dreamed of for so many months!

With darkness approaching fast, I decided to get more aggressive with my calling. I let out a pair of cow calls that were louder. The smaller of the bulls begins running to me at the sound of these calls. My heart is racing as I clip my release on and raise my bow. Learning from my past mistake on the big bull from day two, I had every tree ranged and my bow sight free to dial in. As he passes my 60 yard mark, then 50, I realize this bull isnít slowing down and place my sight for a close shot. At about 30 yards his head drops a little giving me the opportunity to draw. Undetected, he continues coming, finally stopping at 20 yards. The bull is facing me head on, and although thatís not your ideal shot, I studied the anatomy of an elk enough to have the confidence to make that shot. I touch my release and see my arrow bury completely into him. He runs about 60 yards and stops. A sick feeling starts to come over me as he just stands there for at least 10 mins. My fears of a bad shot are finally quelled when the bull eventually staggers and falls!

Heís not the biggest bull in the woods, but thatís the least of my worries. The experience, the soon to be freezer full of some of the finest, freshest table fare around, and the incredible sense of accomplishment I have from this trumps antler size. Solo bow hunting, public land, and being a rookie, I fully prepared myself to be eating tag soup! The Lord blessed me with an amazing experience Iíll never forget.

There were many folks who advised me not to do this hunt solo. I certainly get the risks, and seen it first hand with the encounter with the rattlesnake. But Iíve never been more proud of a kill in my life. It was an experience Iíll forever cherish!

I want to give a shout out to Jared and Ladrones, who stayed in contact with me offering up valuable knowledge as much as they could, as well as the many others who commented on my thread with help and advice. Jared even offered to drive an hour to help me get my elk off the mountain, an awesome gesture to someone youíve never met. Itís what makes TBH such a great site!






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Last edited by solocam_aggie; 09-09-2021 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:31 PM   #2
Bone Thug
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Awesome thread!
Well done and a big congrats on a great bow kill.
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:35 PM   #3
whakm
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Congrats!
Well deserved trophy in anyone's book.
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:36 PM   #4
BenjiBarr
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Congratulations on a nice bull! Glad you kept pushing through even when it seemed like nothing was going your way.
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:38 PM   #5
JES
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Congrats, great bull and to do it solo DIY, respect!!
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:43 PM   #6
speck1
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Congrats man. What a rush that is. Canít wait to head out again myself.
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:47 PM   #7
lmartin5
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Congratulations!


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Old 09-09-2021, 10:49 PM   #8
hunt3469
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Thatís awesome, congrats!


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Old 09-09-2021, 10:50 PM   #9
DUKFVR
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Congrats! Great hunt & you earned your bull!
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:52 PM   #10
apkleinschmidt
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Default My First Elk Hunt...SUCCESS!

Badŗss!!! Iím headed up to northern NM for elk on Tuesday. Hopefully some of your luck rubs off!

Any tactics or tips youíd suggest based on your hunt?


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Old 09-09-2021, 10:53 PM   #11
Mexico
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Cool bull!
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:55 PM   #12
rjtkdplus
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Congrats!
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:56 PM   #13
FVR JR
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Congrats! Nice kill
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:56 PM   #14
TWP
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Congrats sir!!!
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Old 09-09-2021, 11:01 PM   #15
txoutdoorsman24
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Contrast man!!
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Old 09-09-2021, 11:13 PM   #16
hopedale
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Congrats and thanks for a great read.
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Old 09-09-2021, 11:14 PM   #17
kingranch
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solo diy hunt, that is an amazing feat..
congrats to such a cool critter w an even better story!
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Old 09-09-2021, 11:17 PM   #18
Bh_liberty
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Great story. And congrats thatís a heck of an accomplishment that has alluded me so far.


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Old 09-09-2021, 11:19 PM   #19
Lonewolf
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Congratulations
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Old 09-09-2021, 11:26 PM   #20
Chew
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That took a lot of gumption to get that done! Congrats. If u need a partner in the future, gimme a shout.
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Old 09-09-2021, 11:26 PM   #21
Bisch
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Congrats! You might want to think about going and buying a few lottery tickets too!


Iíve been elk hunting 4 times and never drawn on one yet!

Bisch


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Old 09-09-2021, 11:27 PM   #22
EliteDriver
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Outstanding job!!
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Old 09-09-2021, 11:39 PM   #23
CentralTXHunter
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Dude! That is outstanding! The quality of the trophy is only measured by the Hunter, not the score. This should be an absolutely giant in your book. Absolute dream of mine to do a DIY elk hunt. I hope that I can set it up one day. I gotta quit having kids though or momma is never gonna let me out of the house for 2 weeks while sheís at home with all the kids, lol. Congratulations again. Thatís a heck of an accomplishment that few have succeeded at.


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Old 09-10-2021, 12:43 AM   #24
Hsbtgarcia
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Awesome!!
Congrats!!!
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Old 09-10-2021, 01:17 AM   #25
Mtltx
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That’s an awesome story. Congrats to you sir!
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Old 09-10-2021, 01:53 AM   #26
graesz
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Awesome story and congrats on a dandy bull!
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Old 09-10-2021, 02:13 AM   #27
Bucknaked
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Nice bull! Congratulations
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Old 09-10-2021, 02:28 AM   #28
Gunswayne
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Congrats!
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Old 09-10-2021, 05:56 AM   #29
RS3
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Congrats!
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Old 09-10-2021, 06:55 AM   #30
James
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Congrats Man!
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Old 09-10-2021, 06:56 AM   #31
Uncle Saggy
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Thatís way cool...Congrats!


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Old 09-10-2021, 07:10 AM   #32
Arturo V
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Congratulations again Colton, that’s awesome!
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Old 09-10-2021, 07:15 AM   #33
Redraider
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Thats fantastic. Congrats

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Old 09-10-2021, 07:22 AM   #34
Killer
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Congratulations on the bull
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Old 09-10-2021, 07:29 AM   #35
Slick8
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Great story and bull.

Congrats on the trophy of a lifetime.

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Old 09-10-2021, 07:33 AM   #36
dbpredator
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That's awesome! Great story!

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Old 09-10-2021, 07:35 AM   #37
Paycheck
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That is great!! I tried doing a solo hunt last year and I realize what a accomplishment this is. Congratulations
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Old 09-10-2021, 07:36 AM   #38
rebelbow
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quality write up and hunt!
congrats!
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Old 09-10-2021, 07:50 AM   #39
ByronB
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That it is great!!! Congrats!!
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Old 09-10-2021, 08:10 AM   #40
7sdad
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Congrats!
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Old 09-10-2021, 08:22 AM   #41
easeup
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more congrats to you!
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Old 09-10-2021, 08:25 AM   #42
TX_Hoghunter
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Congrats and great write up.

-john
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:02 AM   #43
hoythunter02
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Man, what an awesome thread. Great recap and memories of a lifetime.

The fact that all this was alone, I think makes it even better.

I know who to PM if I get the fire to do this!

Heck of a bull too.

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Old 09-10-2021, 09:05 AM   #44
millman
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Congrats!!!
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:05 AM   #45
03GruntUSMC
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That’s awesome! Congrats sir
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:08 AM   #46
Mossback
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Fantastic. Nice job man
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:18 AM   #47
UncleBubba
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Living my dream! Congrats sir!
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:46 AM   #48
louieagarcia
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Heck yeah!!!! Congrats brotha!
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:49 AM   #49
jmoore
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Man that's awesome. Congrats
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:49 AM   #50
salth2o
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Fantastic and epic story. Congrats!
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