I didn't personaly shoot the bull. Another feller in our party was the lucky one. We were in elk every day to some extent. The first day a couple of our party were up behind camp trolling with cow calls and young bull type bugles. At about 10,500 ft they got into a band of elk. They could see them moving through the timber out ahead and one bull answered them one time. Ultimately the elk circled down wind and broke. Another hunter not in our party fired a shot down over the ridge into the next valley. None of our hunters went over to see if any bull was killed in the exchange,but we always wondered if there was.
The second day was my exciting day of elk chasing. We trolled a long forest service road up a little higher,between 10,500 and 11,000 ft. The road up in there was horrible. After parking the rig we hiked a mile up and into the country we wanted to hunt. The 4 of us eased along calling and listening for what seemed like forever. Then at the mouth of a long meadow a bull answered from above us. I'll remember that as long as I live. Not a classic bugle but a deep grunt and chuckle. He obviously had cows in his charge and wasn't up for waltzing in to a bullet. We spread out and covered the meadow and our back side along the forest service road. 2 of our party that were up first to shoot went up in to work the bull. He of course fell silent as we figured the cows busted us,or just plain led him away. He wasn't spooked in our estimation,so we pulled out for the rest of the day. The plan was to be back in the evening,spread out and see what we could do with him. Well,it should have been my day to score,but........ My brother-in-law and I were to go set up on the meadow while the rest of the party went around the other side of the ridge he was on that morning to call and troll. We knew the meadow was between the ridge and water,so we thought we might get lucky that evening. We did. Sort of. We weren't as quiet or cautious as we should have been. The elk were already on the lower side of the clearing when we got there. They got a whiff of us at the same time we got a look at them and broke for cover. It was a perfect Quartering away shot @ 70 or 80 yards. Running but not he!! bent for election. I'm confident I could have pulled off a good shot except for the half dozen cows he was runing with. The whole thing didn't take more than 5 seconds and he was back in the cover on the upper side of the clearing. I'll see that old boy in my mind for a long time. Magnificent! I just wasn't comfortable shooting among the cows. I'm not wired that way I guess. So, my only close encounter of the trip came and went without an elk on the ground.
Monday was our good weather day. It was hot and dry,blue bird weather all week with the exception of monday. Snow had blown in and it was great. I got into the elk again,but got busted in the timber. Darn wind. 3 other fellas in the party went on down the road 4 miles and hunted a big timbered basin wrapped around a horse shoe meadow. After a half day of unproductive calling and still hunting they found a small herd of elk feeding below them in the quakies. After a bit of repositioning they got set up for what was a successful shot. Sweet meat for supper!
The rest of the week was hit or miss. Very little if any bugling. Hot and dry again. I think if we could have had some snow every day we would have had a super hunt. My moose encounter was my icing on my cake the last morning of hunting. Another first for me. I'm head over heels for the mountains. It was hard to leave. I'll be back. Hopfully with my daughter. Or daughters if the youngest one wants to come as well. I can't imagine not sharing the high country with my loved ones. I'm up to 5 mulie points now. A deer hunt is looming in the froseable future. As well as other elk safaries as often as I can swing it. Yep,I got altitude sickness