Harvested ByLiza Sautter
Date HarvestedOctober 21, 2012
Dad and I could see a very nice bull behind a tree across the draw where we were sitting, eyes glued to our binoculars. Unfortunately, I was in no place to get a shot. So I moved my focus to finding a good rest to shoot the bull from once he moved from behind his tree. I got set for where I thought he would go but when he got up and moved, where I was wasn’t going to work. Therefore, I had to find someplace new in a hurry as he was stopped broadside in the wide open and he was looking right at me. My dad was set to take the bull himself if I couldn’t get set, but he waited patiently as I literally ran up and down the mountain trying to find a rest. In recollection, I am not sure why that the bull stayed there so long and didn’t run off because he certainly had me pegged and I was being far from stealthy. Finally, after having no success finding a rest, I just sat down, leveled off, and pulled the trigger guessing he was probably 150-175 yards away. He dropped and I watched. Unfortunately he returned to his feet, but I was ready. I shot again and he went down behind some brush where I couldn’t seem him very well. Then another bull appeared and I intently watched for my bull to get back on his feet. As if just realizing what had happened the rest of the heard headed out, broken into two different groups but Dad and I were both pretty intent on keeping track of my bull that was on the ground. After a few minutes of my bull not moving Dad and I decided we were good to go find him. Even though he was only a couple hundred yards away he was across a pretty big drainage and we were going to have to lose sight of where he was. Instead of dropping into the bottom of the ravine and hiking all the way back up the hill, the cardinal rule on our minds, we wanted to maintain our elevation and work our way over to him. It took us a good twenty minutes or more to get over to where we expected to find him. He was down just over the ridge, not far from where I had shot him, and the look of pride that came across my dad’s face told me everything I needed to know. I had successful harvested my first bull elk on Opening Morning my second year of hunting and he was proud of me. Not to say that I wasn’t pretty excited too, I was ecstatic and I am not a person who hides excitement well!
Dad and I began counting points, the bull being a gorgeous 4 x 5 with huge brow tines that were longer than any other point on his rack, his other points not being small by any means. He was no spindly bull; he was beautiful with a really interesting rack. I happily pulled out my knife and notched out the date in my tag, immensely pleased to have antlers to attach it to instead of a leg like I did the year before on the cow I will write about someday soon. After tagging my bull, Dad and I got him dressed out and with the help of a few good hunting partners and my family, we had him hanging in the tree before sundown.