Arizona Unit 22 North Report, Bulls down!!!

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by PowellSixO, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. PowellSixO

    PowellSixO Well-Known Member

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    Well I guess Karma was really on our side for the Nov 29th - Dec 5th hunt. My buddy and I both had tags, and we both filled our tags within 24 hours of the other. I filled mine within an hour of first light on the first morning with a nice little 4x4, and my buddy filled his the second morning with a nice 6x6.

    I'll begin with my hunt, which turned out to be quite the comedy. We took the rhino out about a mile from the truck down a nasty little road.

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    We then got out and walked another mile to our look out. When we first got sat up, it was to dark to see anything. As the light began to rise, elk started to pop out all over the place just below us at about 1000-2000 yards away. We immediately saw a couple of bulls (a spike and a 2 point). This being my first elk hunt, I went into buck fever mode big time. We dropped off of the hill and went down to the big dead tree you can see in the photo below.

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    I got setup and measured my yardage, which was 575 yards!!!! I dial in my scope and get setup. I look through the scope and the cross hairs are doing a wild circle around the elk. I was so nervous I could barely keep it together. I try my best to calm down and take a shot. BOOOOM. The elk freezes and I can see the bullet impact just over his back. $h!t, I forgot to take into account that I'm shooting down hill at a 35 degree angle. The bull begins to disapear into the closest ravine, and I take another shot and once again the impact is just over his back. $h!t, I had realized my mistake after the first shot, but hadn't actually dialed down for the angled shot due to my buck fever. I think to myself this situation is going down hill fast. Lol. So I dail in the scope accordingly and the elk pops back up on the ridge next to the one I took the last shot from. I pull the trigger and nothing. I had short racked the 3rd shell in and never engaged the trigger. I eject the round and go to load another one in, but guess what. My mag only holds 3 bullets. So now I'm franticaly trying to load one in by hand which isn't going well at all. I think I dropped the bullet about 3 times before I managed to put it in the rifle. For what ever reason, the elk had changed directions and decided that he was going to come up the hill that I was shooting from. He stopped facing me, still trying to figure out what the hell was going on, which gave me just enough time to range him again and dial in the scope. I breathed deep and took my time making sure everything was good to go this time. I pulled the trigger, and BOOOOM followed by the ever so familiar WHACK! The bull dropped in his tracks. My first elk every was laying infront of me at 400 yards. YAY!!!!!!
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    Looking back up the hill I shot from.


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    This is also the hill we packed the elk back up. 1.5 miles is a long way to carry a bull, even if he is just a little guy. Since I shot him in the chest, I didn't waste a single bit of meat. The heart some how even turned out to be in perfect condition. Since we were so far away from the truck, I did have to 1/4 him, so I didn't get to keep the ribs, but I carried out everything else. I shot my bull around 7:15 in the am, and we didn't get back to camp until 2:45 pm. It was a long day.


    Now for my buddies story. After spending most of the day on my bull, we went back out before night to see if we couldn't find him a bull. Just before dark we saw two nice bulls, but they were to far away to go after them at this point. So we went back to camp and did a little celibrating. The next morning we went back to the same spot we had seen the bulls the night before. Within 20 minutes we found one of the bulls we had seen the night before. He was only out about 1 mile. Lol. So I stayed up top with the big eyes and my friends step brother, while my two buddies dropped off after the bull. We watched the bull and directed my buddies by cell phones all the way to the bull. It took them about 1 hour to get to the bull. Just after I hung up the phone with the last directions, I hear 4 shots. Then I get a phone call. I'm expecting the worst. My friend without the tag is screaming like a little girl. He shot a 6x6, he shot a 6x6, and it's a good one.

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    So we piled off the hill to go help them out. The bull will probably measure about 270". We quartered him out and made the long haul back to the truck. When we got back to camp, guess what time it was. 2:45 pm!!! Lol. So after two hard days, we had our 2 bulls!! I couldn't have asked for a better hunt. I'm allready looking forward to next year. Hopefully we can get drawn again. Hope you guys enjoy!!!!
     
  2. T3-OleMan

    T3-OleMan Well-Known Member

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    Congrats to you both. Looks like helping that 12 Year old has come around 360. Good shooting and glad it was a full house hunt.
     

  3. PowellSixO

    PowellSixO Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the response. YES, I believe 100% that helping others out will come back around. Giving up a day to help out the little trooper during our scouting trip came back around 2 fold literally!!! :D
     
  4. cohunter14

    cohunter14 Well-Known Member

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    Congrats to both of you, that is awesome when a plan comes together so well!
     
  5. GonzoK34

    GonzoK34 Well-Known Member

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    PowellSix0,

    Your write up reminded me of the many hunts I've shared with family and friends as they experienced their first big game hunts. Especially those for elk. You regained some composure, focused on the elk, made the corrections, and placed the shot. AWESOME!
    Congratulations to you both!

    Gonzo
    SEMPER FIDELIS
     
  6. kingzero

    kingzero Well-Known Member

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    May 27, 2013
    Glad you guys tagged out. A buddy of mine and his brother were up there the whole week on that same hunt and both got skunked.
     
  7. PowellSixO

    PowellSixO Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the responses guys! This was surely one of the most gratifying hunts I've ever been on.

    I just got the meat back from the local guy. With the backstraps, tender loins, steaks, burger, sausauge, and jerky meat, I ended up with 223lbs of meat. Not a monster bull by any means, but he sure does taste good!!! My wife usually isn't a big wild game kinda person, but she loves this elk. My 21 month old twin kids (boy and a girl) love it too. It feels good to sit down and eat a meal that I put on the table, and think that I built a rifle this year just for my elk hunt, I learned how to reload so that I would have the best ammo possible, I spent multiple weekends scouting for my hunt, I was in the right spot opening morning, I made the hike down the cliff, I made the shot (eventually, LOL), I gutted it, I quartered it, and I packed it out. There was a lot of time and work spent from the begining to the end, and it's a very satisfying feeling.

    It was a tough hunt to be honest. The unit is very thick with alligator junipers, manzanita trees, cactus, and yuka plants. It took us a lot of effort to find where the elk were. My buddy has had this tag 4 times now. He got a spike 2 tags ago, this year got this nice bull, and ate tag soup the other 2 years. It's not a road hunt unit. Lol. Not saying that's what your buddy was doing, but we sure saw a lot of it. Guys decked out in camo who never got out of their loud @$$ trucks.