Sometimes You Just Don't Use Names

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Elk Hunting in New Mexico's Unit 4 during the peak of the rut is an amazing experience.  You hear Bulls bugling throughout the night and you can't walk 20 minutes in any direction without bumping into Elk.  You drive into base camp and you see Elk the whole way.  Hop on a horse and you see Elk.  Jump in an ATV and you see more Elk.  Yes, these are free ranging wild Elk jumping the Colorado State Line to mate and continue on for their winter migration.

You show up for your guided hunt with an outftter for his second season hunt and he tells you that they were 8 for 8 filling tags with Bulls that were 6 x 6 or better on the previous hunt.  In the back of your mind you're thinking "What's left?"  The first day of the hunt 4 more Bulls go down.  Bugling lasts throughout the night and the following morning produces 3 more big bulls and a late afternoon Cow Tag gets filled.

We have one hunter left at camp without his trophy.  Once again, Bulls are screaming all night.  The morning produces a huge breakfast for the successful hunters and one man eagerly heads out with his guide.  At about 8:30 while we are dressing out and butchering 8 Elk, a gun shot goes off.  Our man is done.  High fives and handshakes go around to all for a great hunt.  Wait, there goes another shot.  A few minutes later we hear another.  Whew, its over.  Self made inferences were all over the place and we were all sure another Bull went down.

About an hour and half later the hunter's little guide comes running into camp.  "Whats wrong?  Whats wrong?"  He forgot his bullets, he only had three and the Bull is moving good.  The guide rolls through, in and out of camp like a hurricane.  About 45 minutes later, we hear a shot.  Then another.  Finally it was over.  Another beautiful 6 x 6 was down.  About 20 minutes go by and another one goes off.  Laughter had to be heard carrying from Chama to Sante Fe.  That last shot was the one that did it.

We keep the names out of it and the faces out of the pictures, but I did get a shot of that trigger finger for everyone to enjoy.


Deer Slayer's picture

First off congratulations on

First off congratulations on the taking of so many nice bull elk. I did enjoy the story, but I too would very much like to know what happened that all those shots had to be taken. Like you said, we don't need any names, just a reason. We could get in on the laughing as well.

arrowflipper's picture


That is absolutely incredible!  I don't think I've ever heard of an area with that many big bulls.  Talk about testosterone flowing.  Did anyone ever hold out for a really, really big one?  Or were they all really big ones? 

That's a good story to share to show the need for taking plenty of ammo.  I went on an archery bobcat hunt with a friend one time and his guide told him to take plenty of arrows.  He wondered why he would need lots of arrows when the cat would be sitting on a limb looking at him.  On the 8th arrow he knew why you take so many along.

Great story.  I would love to be in a camp with that many bulls coming in.  And by the way, how was the tenderloin?  Congratulations!

ManOfTheFall's picture

Definitely sounds like a

Definitely sounds like a great place to go. So, what did happen? What it just an amazingly durable bull, or were there a few misses as well?

numbnutz's picture

So what happened on all those

So what happened on all those other shots? Did the shooter miss or hit and wounded, what was the cause for so many shots being fired. Great story other wise. I would be laughing and giving this person a very bad time. My dad has done something very similiar but what cause his eratic shoting was his scope got bumped out of alignment without him knowing it.

AlpineClimber's picture

The hunter shot a really nice Bull.

It obviously took quite a few shots, but the guy got a great Bull and had a great sense of humor about it back at camp.  He also shared some really good Scotch to celebrate with.  Great guy.

My Dad actually shot a great Bull you can see on youtube the day before on that same hunt.  Search regionalaz new mexico elk and it should come right up.

WishIWasHunting's picture

Need more Info

I agree.  We need to know if it was an elk with an amazing will to live, some less-than-ideal placed shots, complete misses, poorly performing bullets, all the above???

I heard something like this play out last year during 2nd Rifle season.  My brother and I could not believe how many shots we heard fired.  Whoever it was must have shot up an entire box of bullets.  I almost wish we would have found out who it was later just to find out what their story was. 

I do know that once things start to go wrong, it just seems to go down hill from there. 

Also, is that infamous trigger finger recovered from its extensive workout?

Topgun 30-06's picture

There is nothing like hunting

There is nothing like hunting screaming bull in the rut.  If that shooter shot a box of shells, even with all the excitement that a hunt like that can create, maybe he should think about taking up knitting, LOL!!!

jaybe's picture

Man, Oh Man!

Man oh, man - it sounds like you were in Elk Paradise!

That many big bulls around - enough for everyone, and even more!

I hope you can hit it again with that kind of luck - and I hope you realize that it probably won't be that easy every time.

Yes - we all have had our "moments" when it was difficult to connect with a big game animal. Heart racing, hands sweating, eyes blurring - what else - oh yeah - finger jerking. It all adds up to extra shots, missed animals and shattered emotions.

Glad to hear that it finally worked out with an animal on the ground and everyone's tags filled.

Thanks for the report and the picture.


AlpineClimber's picture

Brazos River Outfitters

Contact Bo Preiskhorn if you ever want a great hunt or phenomenol Brook Trout trip.