2017 Rifle Bull Elk
I was fortunate to be able to hunt elk again with Jay Mitchell last year. This hunt was on his ranch. I had hunted with him several times over the years on wilderness hunts and find him to be one of the best outfitters I have ever hunted with. Everything he told me to expect on his hunts was right on. Before my first rifle elk hunt with him a while ago, he told me that I had a good chance of getting an elk but it probably wouldn’t be a 400 class elk. After crossing a slide area, I did get a respectable 5×5 elk that year and had a great time. (Did I mention that I’m afraid of heights? Jay worked with me to get me across the slide area and got me into a great position to be able to take this nice elk.)
I hunted with him again a couple years later. This was a muzzleloader hunt and saw and stalked a huge bull but he managed to stay out of muzzle loader range. Unfortunately, a personal situation caused me to have to cut the hunt short and leave the mountain way early.
Last summer a friend wanted to do an elk hunt and I told him I knew one of the best in the business-a guy named Jay Mitchell- and I thought we should see if he had any ranch hunts open. Luckily, he did have a fourth season migration hunt open for two and we took it. The weather didn’t cooperate for the migration as it was way too warm. The good news was that after 3 hunts, there still was a good bull elk population on the ranch. At first light on the first day I saw a nice bull at about 750 yards and watched him feed for about 45 minutes before he bedded about 700 yards away. Jay and I thought he would get up during the day and feed toward me to get water at a creek between me and the bull and I would take him then. He didn’t get up until about a half hour before sunset and I watched him feeding about 725 yards away until dark.
The plan was set for a stalk the next morning. Jay thought he would stay in the area and the plan was to get above him and glass for him. We did and Jay found him! He was only about 30 yards from where he bedded during the previous day. We stalked down (across a sand slide area I might add) to within about 260 yards. I was gathering my breath and the bull still laid there. He was beginning to get nervous and Jay told me I should probably take the shot as he wasn’t going to stay there much longer. I used the new 6.5 PRC and took a nice 6×6. I was thrilled!!!
As good as getting a nice elk was, connecting with not only a great outfitter but an old friend was even better…. Jay, thanks again!