After a week of hunting bear with Ian Harford, a member of the Realtree U.K. Pro Staff, with no success, Ian told me to concentrate on elk. He wanted a good story when he got home. I had assured Ian to be careful as I would take him up on his offer to help pack elk out.
It all started on Monday the 11th with my son and father. I had managed to locate at least 30 bulls in the month of September. I just needed to decide which one to shoot. My son Cody had found a spike bull that decided it was his time to die. After Cody spotted the bull, he and my dad got within 75 yards of him. With one shot of his .7MM Ultra Mag fitted with a March scope, it was over. I was thrilled that my father was with my son for his elk. This was the easiest elk I have ever got out. He was dead within 40 yards of a road. I went and got the ATV and we winched him out whole. It was great having a scope that could do it all from long range to reaching way out. The next day my adventure started. Now it was my turn.
This year was my hardest time to shoot a bull ever. I had injured my back and promised my wife no archery elk this year. September was incredibly hard for me to deal with. I spent my time keeping bear sites baited up and scouting bulls from afar. I had found a couple studs I was eager to shoot come rifle season.
One bull was very shy and was way off the main beaten path. This bull, like many elk of the west, had been pressured and had left the area it was usually seen in. Areas that have a lot of pressure cause you to change things up. I was getting worried about finding the big bull. There were vehicles everywhere. Elk will only tolerate so much before they leave an area. When they decide to leave, you’d better start looking in the most remote areas. This means lots of time behind your binocs and spotting scopes.