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hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3023
Back from unit 10.....man did I screw up

Well guys I just gost got back from my elk hunt for a couple of days. My dad didn't fill his tag yet so we will be going back on Saturday.

First day was okay with a lot of hiking but the area we had seen a good bull on every outing this summer failed to produce anything at all but a few old tracks. Plus my dad took a fall down a extremely sttep hill and got a branch stuck a couple of inches intto his arm. Pulled it out himself and taped it up but you could tell it hurt pretty good. He was afraid he banged his rifle pretty good so we stopped and he took a shot at a rock 250 yards away, he hit it fine and figured it was good but we found out later that was a very bad mistake.

We saw a few small bulls that evening but passed them all up as we had seen many better in the past month of scouting. The same held true for the next couple of days until my dad finally got a shot on one he liked at just over 400 yards. Two shots later and it was clear his rifle was off target as you could see the misses off to the left. Turned out it was about 18 inches off at that range when we set up a target, Just enough to miss completely but better than wounding one for sure.

Finally getting to day five and still passing up many smaller bulls I spotted a good shooter with two smaller bulls heading up the opposite hillside. They were too far when first spotted but I noted the big bull was first in line and I took off below the ridge line to to run down to where I could get a closer shot. As soon as I saw a good opening I set my bipod and hit my stomach for a prone shot. I saw all three bulls and ranged the top one as quickly as I could as the sun was in my eyes fairly bad. My dad was about 50 yards up the ridge from me and when he hit the cow call the top bull spun back around and I fired as he was quartered slightly towards me. The bullet hit just inside his near shoulder crossed through his chest and stopped in the outside meat of the opposite shoulder, he dropped dead right where he stood. That's the good news, the bad news is that in the excitement I didn't realize the bulls had changed position and I shot one of the smaller ones and not the one I wanted. No regrets though as it's still a good bull and the first one I've killed in about 13 years. I usually get cows so this is still great. I always tell you guys I'm not a big elk hunter or a true trophy hunter so I'm staying true to form. lol

I killed the bull nearly 2.5 miles from the truck according to the gps so it took awhile even with the help of a friend to get him out. Here's another bad point, I headed out with the second pack that was ready behind the friend that was with. That was his only trip as it was too much for him. When I got back for my second trip I found my dad about 100 yards from the elk sitting on the side of the trail with a pack on the other side. He was very upset as for the first time in his life he found he couldn't carry it. His hips and knees would not hold up at all. I took that pack from him and he finally settled on carrying out the head for me but that was all he could handle. This is why I'm home right now as he got an attitude about if he can't carry out his own elk then he's not going to shoot one. That was yeaterday and now with a little sleep I did convince him it's not such a big deal and that's what I'm here for. So now with the enlisted help of another friend we will be headed out again Saturday to give it another run. Hopefully he will be able to knock one down as I would have rather he had gotten one than me.

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Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5791
Other than the fact you

Other than the fact you almost killed your dad packing out the elk, I don't think you messed up at all. :wink:  First in 13 years, and it looks like that?  That's a heck of a bull, and I would be more than proud of it!

A big congrats to you Hunter.  Best of luck to your Dad.  I hope he knocks down a good one.  How's the arm, btw?  Require any sttches, or a little tape, and he's ready to go?

hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3023
In his true form he washed it

In his true form he washed it out taped it up and never said another thing about it.

And believe me I'm very proud of my bull and in no way disappointed with him. So far this has to be one of the best hunts I've ever bee on and we still have some more to enjoy. But I can still see the bigger one every time I blink. Yes

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 2004


Great story and great bull ! Thumbs up I go threw this same thing with my dad every archery season, just because he can not get around like he used to, and it can be tough chasing elk with a bow. He gets very discouraged and packs it up early usually.

Good luck to your dad when you guys get back up there and again congrats on a great bull.


Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4191
Congrats on the bull, it

Congrats on the bull, it looks like a keeper in my book. 

I can understand about your dad.  My knees are not what they used to be.  As long as I can stand up I am OK but getting back up after I am down takes a little bit of work.  This last week antelope hunting I have been packing a pair of knee pads just in case I need to do any crawling which I did the other day. 

hawkeye270's picture
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Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 1862
When I saw that you had

When I saw that you had replied to my pronghorn post... I got super excited and went straight to the elk forums! Congratulations Wade! I can understand how you can beat yourself up for stuff like that but hey... you still got to hunt a premier unit... with your dad... and you killed your first bull in a long time. That's awesome! Once again, congratulations and good luck with getting your dad a bull!

COMeatHunter's picture
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Joined: 06/01/2011
Posts: 632
Congrats on a great hunt

That's a nice bull to be proud of for sure.  Bet he tastes as good as he looks!  Congrats on a great experience with your dad.

Tell your dad at least he can still get out there and give it a good effort.  My father is no longer able to put in the miles and can't see well enough to shoot anyway.  He now has to be satisfied hearing the hunting stories of myself and the kids.  So what if your dad can't pack a bunch of weight.  Just the fact he can get out there are still enjoy the experience with his son is enough reason to go back up and get himself a nice bull...for both of you to remember.

Ya, I miss hunting with my father.  But I do get to experience hunting for the first time vicariously through my kids and that's pretty awesome too.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 924
That's a nice elk. Good

That's a nice elk. Good job.


Tell your dad to hang in there. I'm doing the same thing, but I hunt alone. That's how stupid I am. I'm almost 69. How old is your dad? Tell him there's an old fart on the forum that hunts elk alone. That should perk him up.  Big smile

hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3023
Actually he will be 65 three

Actually he will be 65 three weeks from now but after a lifetime on his knees setting tile and a broken back about twenty years ago he just can't move like he used to. That back injury is just something you never really get over.

mossbuck35's picture
Joined: 04/29/2010
Posts: 117

congrats on a great bull! That is a trophy in my book, my dad used to do the same thing too. Good luck to your dad. I hope he ends up getting a big one. And that is a good bull to get after not getting one in along time Thumbs up

SGM's picture
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Location: Canon City, Colorado
Joined: 08/13/2011
Posts: 1034
Congratulations on a fine

Congratulations on a fine looking bull and a great hunt so far. Hope you can still score one for your dad. Sucks about your dads situation and hope he is OK. I envy the fact your dad is still out with you hunting. Never had that privalidge and wish I had. I know I cannot take out as much as I use to but I refuse to stop and if I need a 4x4 wheel chair I still plan to hunt. Get him back out and into some elk and he will be fine. Good luck!

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