17 Year Old Helps Mother Get Her First Bull Elk

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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.


numbnutz's picture

WOW!! Very nice story,

WOW!! Very nice story, Congrats to you and your son for cutting your hunts short to help out another. that takes a lot of unselfishness. good for you. I have done that once before for my brother, he hadnt taken a mule deer buck from eastern oregon in 3 tries so I decided before getting to camp that my hunt wouldnt start untill he had bagged his first deer. It took us 2 days and he connected on a nice 3x3. than it was my turn, i didnt have very good luck at all, but it was worth it all to help my little brother tag a great animal. Thanks for sharing your story, it brought back some great memorize. Congrats to your wife for the great bull.

Deer Slayer's picture

First of all congratulations

First of all congratulations to your wife on a nice bull elk. Secondly great job to you and your son working together to help your wife and his mother so she could be successful. I'm sure the family togetherness in the great outdoors is a special thing. My dad and I have been working on my mom to get out and take a deer this year. I told her we will set her up and do all the hard stuff and all she has to do is make the shot. I think we have her convinced to go. Hopefully you will be seeing pictures of her with her first deer this year. 

hunter25's picture

Great story about teamwork

Great story about teamwork and family participation. It's great to see your son give up his hunt as that reflects on his character and the values you have shown him. Usually it's one of us giving the shot or opportunity to our children as we strive to make them successful. I know now that even at the age I am my dad would try to make me shoot first even if he had a new world record spotted.

Thanks for sharing you story.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

The 200 plus point bull, I

The 200 plus point bull, I love it!! lol

Great story, and great bull!

Thanks for sharing!

ManOfTheFall's picture

Very good story and nice pic.

Very good story and nice pic. Congrats on you first bull. Good luck in the future in your hunting endeavors.

jaybe's picture

Wow! Africa - Kudu - your

Wow! Africa - Kudu - your wife had really made a giant leap in hunting aspirations! I hope that your wallet can handle that kind of hunt, because it sounds like she's definitely hooked on big game hunting!

 That's a really good story about your family working together to get the job done. I had to laugh a little, though when I read that your son said, "I have the rest of my life . . . " What does he think, his mom is an old woman? LOL

 Thanks for that story - great pictures of the "family bull".