11 Year Old's First Bull

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by Tumbleweed, Nov 14, 2012.

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  1. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2007
    It was an hour past first light as we looked into the bottom of a newly logged unit. He was definately a bull due to his color, but how big was he? Through the fog and low light it was hard to tell. Both of my boys were excited to discover that we had found something that my older son Caleb may be able to shoot. This would be his first big game animal. With the spotting scope on him, the fog finally cleared just enough to see that he was a spike, but that's good enough for a boy's first elk. The fog came back in heavy and there we sat for the next several hours.
    Around 12 noon the fog finally cleared out of the canyon and no bull, he had probably gone back into the timber. We drove the road that circled to the other side of the canyon to make sure he had not slipped over the other side of the small ridge he had been on or even crossed the creek and fed up below where we were originally sitting. No bull. I told the kids that we had better just go back to the original spot where we were glassing before and just wait.
    About 2pm as the boys were goofing off, choking each other out and trying to injure each other in the pickup, I looked right below me and our spike was feeding up towards us! We hopped out and I quickly got things set up for the shot. The bull was 315 yards. I got Caleb behind my 300 Ultra and he seemed to be very comfortable, no bull fever that I could tell either. With ear muffs on we waited and watched for a good clean shot on the bull. I never felt comfortable giving him the go ahead as there was always brush in front of the vitals when the bull would turn broadside. We had a back shot once, but I did not want to see what the Berger 215 Hybrid would do to the backstrap at close range. Finally, the bull disappeard behind a little finger.
    Having a lot of confidence in my kids' long range shooting abilities I decided that we would load up, circle to the other side of the canyon and poke across. Once there I ranged the bull, 522 yards. I got the rifle set up on the bipod and backpack under the rear for the shot. I dialed 7 MOA for 1900ft elevation and 50 degrees. My younger son Alex was running my Kestrel for me calling out about a 1.5 mph wind at 90 degrees to us. I gave a slight dope of .75 MOA left for wind. With Caleb behind the rifle watching the bull I asked several times, are you calm? Is the crosshair moving all over? "No dad, I'm rock steady." Ok, we'll see I thought to myself. The bull was broadside and slightly quartering away from us. I felt this was better than a straight broadside shot because if he hit a little far back, the bullet would still find the vitals. Far ahead, we would get front of shoulder or neck.
    As I watched through my binoculars I told Caleb to ease back on the trigger when he was ready but NOT to hurry. At the crack of the rifle I watched to bull hit the ground, roll to his back and start kicking his feet in the air. Caleb saw the whole thing in the riflescope as well. He let out a big hollar and so did I. A little pre-mature as the spike hopped to his feet and ran 50 yards to the timber and out of sight. I was surprised, but knew it was a solid hit.
    We loaded up and circled back to our original spot above the bull and started down the ridge he was on. Caleb found the tracks on his own where the bull had gone into the timber. With a lot of shouting and high fiving we found the bull stone dead 20 yards inside the timber. Upon inspection of the shot placement, it had been absolutely perfect! The 215 Hybrid entered right behind the left shoulder, broke three ribs and went on to devistate the heart and lungs. This was a priceless hunt for me and one I will never forget. Having both my boys with me, coming together as a team and getting the job done even at such a young age makes this dad proud
    . Caleb still has a perma-grin! Below are some pictures, sorry about the poor resolution on a couple, these were just cell phone pics.

    Shot placement

    Destroyed Heart and Lungs


  2. 7mmSendaro

    7mmSendaro Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Awesome! Great shot, congratulations to the whole family!
  3. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Awesome!! Give Caleb a big attaboy from me for that shot placement. Very nice. I don't know what he got up with but he didn't go far before running out of gas. Great job by all 3 of you, a father and sons hunt to remember.

  4. madman

    madman Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2012
    Outstanding. Congrats to both father and son. Nice shooting.


    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Roosevelts got gills, and webbed feet Broz. Congratulations guys great family effort, I especially liked the younger boy feeding info to the shooter, very unselfish. The coastal rainforest can be a tough nut to crack.
  6. NW Hunter

    NW Hunter Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    Great write-up and great memories.

    DUKFVR Well-Known Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    CONGRATS Caleb!! Great Bull & shot on him!!