Well I didn't draw a bull tag this year and reading all these success stories has got my blood pumpin'
I found a pic or two from my bull in '05 and thought I'd post 'em up...
I was a junior in high school, we were hunting our usual October General Elk area in southwest wyoming. "We" included myself, my dad, and our friend Jim.
We were hunting horse-back a little lower on the mountain than we usually do, hopin' there'd be somethin' down low for us to play with
. Opening morning we started riding down a long, bald ridge right next to camp. After a good while me and Jim dismounted and, rifles in hand, took off for some elk we'd seen going into the thick timber off the left side of the ridge. Dad opted to stay with the horses and continue to mosey down the trail. After getting into the thick stuff me and Jim separated in search of the elk. I ran into some cows at stones-throw range never had more luck than that, didn't really wanna kill somethin' down it that stuff anyway. So I turned uphill and headed back to the top of the ridge. I hit the top over a mile down-ridge from where we'd dismounted at the start. I was pretty well beat from climbing through the jungle on the side of the ridge so I stopped to take a break next to a rock pile the size of a dump-truck which sat almost square on top of the ridge. Like I said the whole top of the ridge was bald, just sage, so I had a great view of the surrounding area.
As I sat there catching my breath, wondering if my dad was gonna come this far with the horses, I heard a heck of a ruckus off the other side of the ridge from where i was sitting. When I turned to look a whole steamin' herd of elk came barreling over the top 100 yds from me, headed straight for the rock outcrop i was sitting on! I saw what looked liked nice horns so I grabbed my gun and half ran half fell to the back side of the rocks, out of sight. I waited there trying to guess to which side of me they would run, when a cow jogged into sight at 75 yards to my left. Another cow soon followed, so I jacked a shell into the M70 Featherweight 7 WSM, shouldered my rifle and waited to see horns...
The next elk that jogged into view around the rock pile DID have horns... big ones! The cows had stopped at 80 or so yards and were staring at me and the bull did the same stop-and-stare when he reached them. As his head swung around to look at me I almost wet myself. My 17 yr old heart was really thumpin' when I caught sight of those brow tines stickin' way up in the air! I finally regained composure enough to squeeze the trigger, all the while thinking "Don't you dare screw this up Clint!" The gun went bang, the bull hit the dirt, and the cows took off. He thrashed around for a second or two, makin' me real nervous that he was gonna take off on me. Stunned as I was I probly wouldn't have been able to react if he did
After everything calmed down I went over to inspect him... he was the biggest darn bull I'd ever seen in person in my life, let alone killed! (a spike was my largest ever... ha ha) I wouldn't know really how big he was until a few days later when we took a tape to him on the living room floor.
As it turns out my dad was watching that same herd from a knoll quite a ways back on the ridge. He watched them come up out of the canyon and top the ridge but some trees kept him from seeing me and the rest of the goings-on. He had spotted the big bull and was wondering where the heck Jim and me had gotten to! As the bull went out of sight he heard the shot but couldn't be sure if that's where it originated from. He continued his ride down the ridge to where he saw the elk. I saw him coming and met him on the trail.
"Did you happen to see that big ol' bull that crossed here with some cows?" were the first words out of his mouth.
"Yeah, he's layin' over there in the brush!" I said. You couldn't have knocked the smiles off our faces with a spade shovel.
Turns out Jim had some luck down in the timber. He came across a few bulls and killed the biggest of 'em. Nice little 6 point. Fun was over, the rest of the day was spent haulin' them both back to camp.
When we got home and finally measured him we ended up with a gross score of 330 somethin' I think. I forgot the exact number over the next couple years so last fall I pulled him off the wall and measured him again...
342 7/8!! ...if my math serves me correctly...
Still makes me smile
I can only guess what his score woulda been had his top end sprouted as much as his bottoms!
Not bad for punk kid with a General Tag on public land. First bull of that caliber any of our group had ever pulled out of there. Dad has actually never killed a 6 point in that area, always wierd little 5's. Genetics or somethin maybe...
Well, thanks for readin'