Quarter Circle HM Archery Bull Elk
September 15th, 2017 started off like every morning I’ve spent with Jay and Tom over the past six years in Colorado, with a delicious, plentiful, and fulfilling breakfast. It’s a breakfast shared with friends and brothers full of jokes, stories, friendly ribbing and enough food to satisfy an army. What I didn’t know was this day would be one that will stand out in my memory for the rest of my life.
John and I started out to our favorite spot where we have had so many encounters with the elk that call that area home. The morning air was cool and crisp as we got set up to the sound of several bulls bugling in the area. After two hours of bugling and cow calling and bringing a couple smaller bulls and cows to within 100 yards things started to get quiet. We would get a response every once in a while from a bull south of us and I tried on last call before we decided to move. Well as luck would have it the guttural response from the bull to our south renewed our hope. The best response you can get from a hunting partner when chasing your first bull, “let’s close the distance!” So off we went. With the wind in our faces, we stalked about 500 yards towards the reservoir and set up for an ambush. Some light calling and responses from the bull but no movement towards us, “let’s close the distance” was the motto again. As we paralleled the reservoir keeping the wind in our face and an open eye for movement we moved another 300 yards towards the bulls estimated location. Some slow stalking and light cow calls and John caught movement on the ridge above us. We immediately dove on the ground and started separating from each other in the attempt to get on either side of the elk. John did some quiet cow calls and captured the bull’s interest. As he moved closer to us I was able to low crawl around a finger and get an angle on the bull. It wasn’t until I had knocked an arrow and started ranging him that I could see how awesome this elk was. As he crossed behind an aspen tree that I ranged at 30 yards I knew I was going to get a shot. John hit the cow call again and he stopped and looked. He was at 33 yards and slightly quartering away. My arrow hit its mark and I could see blood staining his side as he ran off. The moment was incredible and I couldn’t believe it was happening. John and celebrated quietly and watched the bull struggle off and around the opposite side of the reservoir. When I walked up on him it was a moment of awe and pure exhilaration. These animals are so awesome and hunting them is absolutely addicting. That day will live with me forever along with the friends that helped me celebrate my elk.