Hunter: Kevin Brookes
The morning started off slower than I had anticipated. By 9 a.m. I had made my way up to about 10,800 feet and had yet to hear a bugle. It was a discouraging start to the morning. The previous day I had bulls bugling at first light. My initial thought was I had pushed them out of the area. I decided to swing back into the valley below me, where I had heard a few bulls the previous morning.
I made a couple cow calls, followed by a bugle call, and the ridge erupted with three different bulls bugling. It didn’t take long for me to realize they where going to hold tight on this ridge. They must have had a couple of cows bedded near them and they where not going to leave their side. So I decided to swing around the mountain and come down from the top with the wind in my face. This area was thick with trees and you could smell the elk.
Once I got close to where I thought I heard the last bugle, I gave a couple cow calls followed by a bugle. Almost immediately, I had a bull bugle to my left and he was right on top of me. I couldn’t see him, but I could hear him walking. A shot in this area was going to be close. I was lucky to see 30 yards in some spots. After about five minutes I couldn’t hear him anymore and he stopped bugling. I gave another cow and bugle call sequence, with no response. Figuring I had blown my chance, I started to slowly move my way down the ridge. As I was making my way through the timber, to my right I saw a bull coming right at me. I knocked an arrow quickly and drew back.
The bull cut to my left. I had a beautiful shooting lane that I anticipated he was going to walk right into at 15 yards, but he stopped about 5 yards from the opening. He stood broadside at 17 yards and looked nervous. I could tell pretty quickly that he wasn’t going stick around for long. I had a small opening between two trees and took the shot. The arrow found its mark and the bull expired after only going 40 yards. Thank you, Colorado, for another fantastic public land experience!
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