17 Year Old Helps Mother Get Her First Bull Elk
Our strategy for drawing tags in Arizona may not produce the most desired hunts, but it keeps our family together and in the field having a great time. This past season, my son drew a late 3B Blackpowder Tag and my wife drew a late 3A/3C Rifle Tag. The hunts were on the same dates which made things a little chaotic. Fortunately they both started the day after Thanksgiving and we had some friends available to help us. The only draw back for my son was that he only had 2 1/2 days to hunt because he had to be to school on Monday morning.
My son clearly had the better chance of shooting a 375 to 425 class Bull along the White Mountain Apache Reservation. We had some located and had watched them prior to the hunt. My wife's hunt had us walking into large groups of Cows, Spikes and Raghorns that were easy for the taking. She refused to shoot something that small and wanted a decent, but not spectacular set of horns unless a little luck was on her side.
Two days of hunting produced a lot of opportunities, but no Bulls. Prior to going out Sunday Morning my said "I have the rest of my life to get one, lets get one for Mom". He threw in the towel on his hunt and grabbed his binoculars.
A huge storm front was moving in and we moved north out of 3C to hunt the 3A portion of her tag unit. We hit every vantage point and glassed every field we could and then around 10:30 we found 3 Bulls Grazing together. Once was a mammoth Arizona Bull. Clearly 400+ with a head no standard Taxidermy Mold could fit. The problem was, HE ONLY HAD ONE HORN!!! We'll have to call him a 200+ Bull.
The other two looked like twins. They were matching 6 x 5's that were identical in every imaginable way. As this was not a rut hunt, we had to spot and talk tactics and be very carefull on these Bulls that had obviously been pressured. We positioned ourselves between the feeding area and a water hole and waited for them to make a move. It worked out perfectly and my wife got a nice 125 yard shot with my 300 Ultra Mag and a 180 Grain Shell. Her shot was a little high, barely catching the top of the lung and beneath the spine. It made for a good 2 hour track, but we beat the weather and got a decent Bull with the help of my son and a couple friends.
This was her first Big Game animal and now she's already talking about Africa and wants a Kudu.