October Rifle Elk Hunt

I know this is post is coming a little later then I would have liked to write it....but it's been a busy year!

This past October my buddy Stan and I had Limited Opportunity bull tags in our pocket for an area that we are very familiar with.  After having an elk tag last year and finally scoring on an elk of my own I had to study the regs to help my chances at repeating the feat again this year.  We opted for this area knowing that we would have a good chance at drawing a tag and the opportunity to kill some good bulls would be there with a little bit of effort.

We started the season with the help of several good friends as we covered some miles and traversed many vertical feet each morning and afternoon.  We had located a bull that would be considered a true giant but unfortunately each day we just couldn't get a scope on him before he either topped out over a ridge or disappeared in to the thickets below.  By the end of that opening weekend he seemed to either have moved out of the area or decided to go nocturnal as the pressure seemed to increase each day.

As our help was leaving on Sunday afternoon, Stan and I decided to give this bull a rest and relocate out camp for a few days and return to hunt him again towards the end of the season if we still had a tag in our pocket.  Needless to say, that wasn't going to be necessary.

Monday morning Stan and I made it to our glassing point just as the sun was starting to make its presence felt.  As we sat there catching our breathe and getting ready to start glassing I decided to put out a cow call which was quickly answered by two separate bulls.  The sound came from our right so we quickly relocated and picked up a group of cows feeding on the opposite hillside about 350 yards away. After several minutes we caught movement to the left and we finally got to see the bull that was tending the cows, and let me just say that it took all of one second to decide that I wanted to shoot this bull.  I ranged him at 362 yards and watched him feed for a little while as my heart was pounding through my ears.  Thankfully Stan convinced me to put my rifle down and range him again to calm myself down.  As I got my rifle back on him he turned to his left and I let the Weatherby do the rest.  He made it about 20 yards downhill and was done!

 All I know is that I was truly blessed to be able to take such a great animal and to take two bulls in the state of Arizona in consecutive years just isn't an easy thing to do.  This also made the 2.5 mile pack out just a little more bearable.

 We spent the majority of the day getting the bull processed and packed off the mounting.  At about 3pm we were heading back up the mountain to retrieve the last two quarters and decided to stay up there and hunt for the evening and just grab the last two sacks on our way back down that night.  At last light we had this 6 point step out and we watched him chase a cow all across the hillside.  Finally with a few minutes to spare Stan decided that he had seen enough and was ready to punch his first elk tag.  He was able to anchor him at 350 yards, which was about 400 yards from where my bull had gone down just hours before.

 Excitement soon turned to disbelief as we realized that we now had two dead bulls on the mountain and we still had a ton of work ahead of us.  We opted to clean and cool Stan's bull that night, grabbed the last two quarters of my bull on the way down, and then returned in the morning for more pics and to get the next bull down to the truck.

Stan taking a break on the final pack out.  He is from the state of Washington and has been out here in AZ for the last 6 years for dental school and residency....which when moving here he didn't realize just how many hills he would end up having to hike up and over when hunting "the deserts" of Arizona...

This year has been an unbelievable adventure and a season that I will be hard pressed to duplicate.  Ron already posted the story of the coues hunt that we had a couple of weeks ago but I will hopefully get up my rendition of it too.


  1. Great story, great pics, great hunt. thank you for sharing.

  2. Great article, quick question, what hunting knife do you use? / recommend? I currently have one of the gerber Myth knives http://www.aboveandbeyond.co.uk/.gerber-myth-fixed-blade-pro-knife-with-dp-blade_001365812471.htm but looking for something a little more traditional.



Post a Comment

Popular Posts