Little Bro Gets a Bull

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After my little brother got his first big game animal, a great-eating mule deer doe, he went into a big game hunting slump. Despite his serious, distance covering efforts, he went three years without putting an animal on the ground. He had begun to get very discouraged over the situation. He wondered if he was destined to never take an elk; or any other big game animal for that matter. I would remind him that hunting is about the pursuit and not the kill but this is not the advice that a very young hunter wants to hear. I hated seeing him so down on this beautiful way of life but when the leaves started to turn sightly shades of yellow and red that year, I had a good feeling that success was in his cards that autumn. And sure enough, on a rifle hunt in mid-October, his desire to take part in the prehistoric thrill of the hunt would be rejuvenated.
It had been a fairly warm autumn. One of my brother-in-laws picked me up from my apartment after I had gotten out of class on Friday morning. My brother and best friend had class later in the afternoon and would not be able to leave until school stuff was taken care of. The rest of us had dinner ready when they finally rolled into camp an hour after dark. As usual, hunt stories from years past drifted up from around the campfire just as readily as the smoke. I decided that daybreak would find me in one of my favorite spots waiting for a bull or cow to present itself. My bro and best friend would be heading to a different area.
My hunt that morning was uneventful, and in a different part of the national forest, my brother had not found a way to end his slump either. But there was a new chill to the air. And I still believed that this was his year. That afternoon, around the lunch table (logs and plywood), my brother pulled out a map and pointed to an unknown area. He had decided that he wanted to go into uncharted territory and asked if I wanted to join. I declined because I had a particular place in mind that would serve as an awesome setting for an afternoon catnap; and possibly as the site of a successful hunt. Boy did I make the wrong decision!
My afternoon was a success; not for punching a tag but rather for catching some Zzzz's. Meanwhile my brother had found an awesome spot for wapiti watching... or hunting. In his explorations, he had stumbled onto an opening, surrounded by thick spruce and fir, with two ponds in the middle that, on there perimeter, had elk tracks stacked on top of elk tracks. When he first got a peak at it, he said to himself that there should be elk there. Well, he kept making his way into the opening and once he had the full meadow in view, guess what, there were elk there! On the opposite side of the near pond, standing broadside at just shy of 200 yards were two bulls... and they had spotted the camo-clad biped. My brother quickly raised his 7mm WSM, settled the crosshairs behind the shoulder of the larger bull and sent a 160 grain Accubond in the bulls direction. It hit its mark. The bull went straight down after being hit squarely in the vitals. He managed to get back to his feet however and my brother gave him a finishing shot that too, hit perfectly. It was starting to get dark at this point, so he came back to camp to get everyone to share in the joy of his first elk... and maybe a little to help pack it out too. With eight guys pitching in, gutting and packing out an elk isn't all that bad. It sure beats doing it on your own!
My brother's slump had finally come to an end. The hunter's fire was once again burning bright within his soul. And ever since, he has been on quite the streak. Now if only we could break his dreadful turkey slump...



Ca_Vermonster's picture

I am in an 8 to 9 year

I am in an 8 to 9 year slump.  Congrats to your Bro!  Very nice bull!!!

Critter done's picture

Nice Bull

Conrats to your brother. Slumps is the hunters worst word he could ever hear unless the word is MISSED. We all go threw them but like your brother we have to just keep pushing on. I think we all should call you and your family the ELK KILLERS. You guys sure do a fine job getting some nice bulls.

Another great story!!!! 

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Man you gotta hate them

Man you gotta hate them slumps.  Glad he pulled out of it.  This is my firts time in 4 years that I did not kill and elk or deer.  I did take my fair share of antelope and still have one tag left.  Hoope this is not a start of my own slump.....congrats to your brother.

CVC's picture

Good for your brother and

Good for your brother and glad he worked his way out of his slump.  Hunting like other ventures has its share of highs and lows.  You just got to keep pushing on knowing if you put in the time yhou're going to come out of the slump.

I've been white tail hunting 4 times this year and have yet to see a deer.  It is going to change if I keep at it right?  Right, please tell me it is going to get better.

Another good story, but you can stop now

outdoorsman121's picture

Great story

Great story!!!!! I’m sure that many of us hunters have experienced slumps. I know that I have experienced slumps. But I just kept trying and not giving up, and eventually I was able to harvest a nice whitetail to get myself out of the slump. Being in a slump can make a hunter think negative and sometime make a hunter rush a shot. A hunter who is in a slump needs to be patience and be persistent. And with this the slump won’t last forever as you can see your brother killed a nice bull!