Stop the Bull!
I've been hesitant to tell my story, because it hurts every day. I think about it every day! This is not a success story.
The first year I elk hunted, third day out I called in a nice 5x5. Ranged him at 23 yards, broadside, & standing still I release my arrow. Thinking how great it was to have just killed a nice bull elk in my first year of bow hunting elk. After all how can you miss at 23 yards.
I sat down and waited a hour, then walked over to start tracking, only to find my arrow stuck in a oak tree! Fast forward to this year. Third day out early afternoon, my guide and me locate a bull on top of the mountain, we set up so I have a shooting lane to my left and right.
We work on this bull for two hours, calling. It all happened so fast, the bull is above me way to my right, he's screaming his head off. Next thing I know he's 50 yards to my left, screaming, I see two cows to my left following the edge of the clearing, I now know he's coming, I readied my self, I range the same tree I've ranged 40 times in the last two hours. the tree is still at 24 yards, it has not moved.
I look up and all I can see coming through a stand of small pine trees is horns! At twelve yards he's coming right at me! He starts to come through a opening between two pine trees, he stops, looks right at me, all I can think of is wow!
He backs up and goes behind the pine tree. I get my composure back and go to full draw, I make sure my form is good, looking through my peep, using my twenty yard pin, cow call is in my mouth, as I'm aiming, I can't get a clear shot because of all the sapling trees are covering his vitals, I see a opening, I take the shot, hit a branch, deflected the arrow.
Five minutes later he's bugling his head off at the top of the mountain. I did not stop him! 24 yards broadside, and I forgot to stop him. He was a pope and young herd bull my guide just called down the mountain. I forgot to stop him.
I'll never make that mistake again, but I wonder what other mistake I'll make next! It hurts, but I would not trade the memory of staring down a herd bull at twelve yards for nothing. Remember, Stop the bull. Bulls 2 Sam 0.
I'll be back. Can't wait till next year! Any other sob stories out there?