This year started off with an unsuccessful on the general deer draw for my son Rhett, but Rhett being 14 still qualifies as a youth hunter so off we went to get a leftover youth archery tag. The hunt was awesome, lots of buck sightings, some close calls but no arrows loosed from the string, after every hunt Rhett would say if I only had my rifle dad!! That’s for sure! That’s how it always works just out of range!
After eating tag soup, we decided to look into the general bull elk hunts to pack his trusted rifle. Seeing a branched antlered bull close to town and knowing there were others around we took a gamble and bought a bull tag. The elk densities on the unit are extremely low, and while scouting, we counted six total elks. We purchased the tag on a hope and prayer. We bought only one tag and took advantage the mentor program so that we could both pack a gun. I hoped to get Rhett some shooting.
Couldn’t Find an Elk
As the season drew near we couldn’t find an elk; we were getting a little discouraged and thinking we should have gotten a spike tag. Opening day came and went with zero elk sightings, and one bull being taken just over the ridge from us, just our luck. I hunted alone while Rhett was in school, and after school and cross country we would try to sneak out, with the general season drawing to a close we had two days left to get it done.
Sit and Glass
On the second of the last day, I spotted a bull and thought it would be a slam dunk. I made a move to get the bull. Rhett was in school, but I had to try and get the bull as time was running out. But as luck or fate would have it I could not close the deal on the bull that morning. It must have been destined for Rhett to get his first bull elk. After school, we made a plan to find and get the bull I had spotted earlier that day. We got to a vantage point to sit and glass till the bull was spotted or it got dark. Less than 30 minutes out glassing we located the bull feeding up a thick draw. We Immediately made a move toward the draw where the bull was feeding. As we peaked over the ridge the bull had begun to feed out into the open burn. We set up for a shot and being less than 200 yards the bull heard something that spooked him, after a shot just over his back Rhett jumped from his sticks to get one last shot before the bull entered the trees. The shot rang across the canyon, and the bull fell to the ground.
After high fives and congrats, Rhett ran across the canyon to see his prized trophy! Any bull harvested with a general tag is a trophy!!! He had made an awesome shot with his trusty 7mm-08. The 140 Nosler Partition did the trick. It was an awesome experience to see him harvest his first bull elk. After many pictures the work began, boning and packing the bull off the mountain. But thanks to the family the job was made easier. And special thanks to SKRE for sweet wearing and feeling camo.