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.
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.