2019 MT Deer/Elk Trip Report

Netherman

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May 24, 2016
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220
Location
Michigan
I've really enjoyed writing this the past two years so...

Year Three. This year we are hunting the MT combo tag and will be making two trips. One week for archery with a focus on elk and a second week during the rifle season for deer and possibly elk. My buddy’s dad and friend will also be hunting at the same time. Because of this we decided to each take a turn driving while the other group flies. For the first trip we flew and planned to have them drive home any meat we end up with. Next time we will drive and bring the wall tent.

Day 0:
Got dropped off at the airport after work and cleared TSA in ~1hr (flying with bows and handguns). Finally arrived in Bozeman at 11:45 local time and got our bow/firearm case and got our rental vehicle. They were out of small SUVs so we got a truck for the same cost (score!). Next we headed to Walmart to pick up some food and a stove fuel can as we couldn’t fly with one. We were able to get our food but they were out of isobutene fuel canisters (guessing others had the same plan we did). Still in need of fuel we started our drive to our hunting location at 1am local time. Our route took us thru Butte and after a second trip to Walmart we were still fuelless and out of options. About 30 minutes out from our hunting location I had to lock the brakes to avoid hitting a decent bull elk and group of 7-10 cows (things are looking up). By 5am we arrived at our hunting location and got our sleeping pads and bags out for a quick nap prior to starting our day.

Lessons Learned: I’m going to look into a stove pot + burner option that can be used with a fire if we can’t get fuel.
Questions: N/A

Day 1:

Day 1 felt a lot more like day 0 round two. With an hour of sleep we had a bit of a slow start. We had hunted this area two years previously and had some areas picked out. We hiked up to a high ridge and let loose on the bugle tube and did a bit of glassing. With no response we began moving along the ridges bugleing and glassing any opening we could see. By midday with no responses or fresh sign we were ready to move on to plan B.

Back at the truck getting packed up and ready to move we had a MT Game Warden pull up. He asked for our licenses and told us he was glad we had our archery permits as most out of state hunters forget to buy them. We got to talking about elk hunting and how we hadn’t seen much sign and were surprised based on our experience from last year. Based on our conversation his thought was that two years ago the elk were much more concentrated due to the snow level.

We also discussed the presence of grizzly bears and other animal attacks in the area. Based on his experience he said starving juvenile mountain lions were the biggest culprit of human attacks. After we told him our stalked by two mountain lions story from two years ago he asked why we didn’t shoot them. I said that we didn’t want to get in trouble and he told us that if we are being stalked we wouldn’t get in trouble. If we shot a bear that was in our camp licking peanut butter out of a jar we would have an issue, but otherwise teaching predators to fear humans is something that we need to do more of. I was really surprised that seemed to be advocating firearms and lethal force rather than the classic FWP “bear spray is most effective”.

After an interesting conversation we were on our way to our new area. Once there we started our second big hike with the same results as last time. We did have more encounters in the new area, but unfortunately they were all with side by sides. Thinking we needed to get a big vantage and look for silent elk we planned to get to a high point and for an hour or two at first light.

Lessons Learned: I am no longer worried about shooting near or shooting a stalking/charging predator. Even with plenty of previous rut sign our hunt area seems to be a winter range type of area that is not typically a good area during a warm weather rut.

Questions: Are there any things you do other than glassing, bugeling, and hiking at multiple elevations looking for sign to determine if an area is good or not?
 
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Netherman

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220
Location
Michigan
Day 2:

At first light we were up high looking at the broken timber along the foothills to the mountains and with the exception of a few deer and groups of cattle didn’t see anything. Disenchanted with our chosen hunting area we decided we needed a bigger move. Since we had actually seen elk on our drive in we decided to check out some public land near where we had nearly road rashed them the first night. On our way we decided to swing into “town” and see if we could get some isobutene and also some more water as we had been going thru two gallons a day due to daily temps in the mid 70s.

After reloading on water and fuel we headed up to check out this unknown area. At the access point we ran into a group of hunters that was packing up and looked to be headed home. We got to talking with them and learned that they had seen a cow and heard a few bulls bugeling at night but that they seemed to be silent during the day. Thanking them for the information we headed into the woods and began our typical calling sequences and boot durability testing.

After an hour or so of seeing fairly fresh sign a few cow calls resulted in a bugle (Jackpot!). We got setup and after thirty minutes or so with no additional responses or sightings we decided the bull must be bedded and waiting for us to show up. We crept thru the thick timber looking for elk as we went, but never ended up seeing any elk or promising sign.

Along the way we spotted a grouse sitting on a fallen tree. I put on the super stalk to 30 yards and zipped an arrow right past it’s head. Since it didn’t move my friend moved up to 20 yards and shot an arrow right under it into the fallen tree. Incredibly the grouse still didn’t move so we walked up to 10 feet and didn’t miss. We also noticed about six under a pine tree nearby and went and shot two more for dinner. Running out of daylight we began our trek back to the truck and set up camp. Thinking that this new area has had the most promise so far we decided to go in from a different direction that involved crossing a river.

Lessons Learned: Not really a new lesson, but one we seem to continually learn especially when it comes to elk hunting “Don’t leave animals to find animals”. No one in MT hunts grouse and they have no idea what a human or arrow is.

Questions: I’ve heard of bringing a slingshot for grouse, but am curious if anyone has found a lighter/more convenient solution. I lost an arrow in the bloodbath and was pretty bummed about it.
 

Mt Al

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Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
286
Location
Montana
Had a similar juvenile mt lion experience last year, was odd. Shot near him and he/she finally slinked/slunk away. Shoot 'em!!

For grouse: IMHO bring a flu flu arrow/massive fletching, with a small game head (coiled spring things), put it farthest away on your quiver. Easier to see when you miss, as if that's ever going to happen (joke, I kid), and easier to find, don't fly as far. Some blue grouse bail when you're far away, others would let you grab them by the throat, most will let you get well within arrow range.

Keep these reports coming! Weather's going to be great for a few days.
 
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Netherman

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May 24, 2016
Messages
220
Location
Michigan
Day 3:

Since the river looked to be knee deep, I decided to cross in my boxers and socks while my friend decided to go with boots and gaiters. My method took longer to undress and dress, but when the water came over his gaiters my friend called an audible for the return trip. Once on the other side of the frigid water we began the steep climb up to the elevation we planned to hunt.

With no bugles heard on the hike in and really thick timber we began our trek for the day, planning to head up to the head of a creek and follow it down to an open looking hillside and meadow checking out the major benches along the way. About an hour into our hike we ended up bugeling in a pair of hunters, a father and son from California (guess our calling isn’t horrible). After a quick discussion about our hunt thus far and plans for the day we were back on our way.

With the hot weather we noticed that the creek corridor was noticeably cooler and was sucking the thermals down into it rather than up. Once we moved up in elevation the typical late morning “up” thermals took over. Thinking that the elk would like the cool and water we sidehilled down keeping in the upward wind and periodically calling into the bottom. We reached the bottom with no responses or sightings. With the midday heat well set at this point we decided to stop reload on water and eat lunch. Using the steripen was really nice as it allowed us to carry our water 1L at a time rather than packing the days’ worth of water all day. As we were gearing back up to head out I pulled off a boot lace hook while tying them. Luckily it was one of the lower hooks and not one of the top ones.

The second half of our loop back to the truck began with a steep climb up the open hillside better known as the slope of sorrows. It was pretty steep but the biggest issue was the lack of trees or anything to catch you if you fell to make it more interesting it was covered in short sage that was no fun to navigate thru. It took about thirty minutes to get to the top. Once we made it and had caught our breath we flipped over the top and did some cow calling and received a response from a cow.

We quickly began moving to get setup and ended up pushing too close as we came face to face with a cow at 20 yards without a shot or ability to draw. As she blew out of there we could hear a few more elk running as well. Since we still had a good wind we chased after them. We ended up having two more call/response sequences but never got a shot. Out of daylight we began our hike back to the truck and planned to pack in tomorrow.

Lessons Learned: In thick timber if you can hear elk they are close. If you are in close proximity to water a steripen is awesome.

Questions: Are there any good field fixes for a pulled out boot lace hook? I tried tying my laces around the top of the boot, but just ended up skipping the hook. It wasn’t horrible, but with injury prone ankles I like to keep the top laces really tight.
 
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Netherman

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May 24, 2016
Messages
220
Location
Michigan
Day 4:

With our packs loaded up much more than the previous days we crossed the river and headed into our newly found elk country. Looking at maps of the area we guesstimated a path that the elk would take up to bed on a bench on the backside of the slope of sorrows. In the darkness we got set side slope of our guesstimated path of the elk. Our plan was to listen for elk coming up or call to find their path and sidehill our way into them or below them keeping the wind in our favor. Just before first light we heard a bugle down and across. Minutes later we heard another bugle still across but moving up. Impressed with our vast and all-encompassing knowledge of elk behavior we began sidehilling over to meet them on their way up.

Well, we shouldn’t start writing guide books just yet. As we got closer, we realized that the elk were moving up on the private side of the line. We got close to the edge trying to keep a few hundred yards between us and the private in case we got a shot to give the elk some room to run. We tried cow calling in hopes that the bull would swing thru and pick up the new ladies in town. We received a few halfhearted bugles and were forced to listen to the herds slow progression up the drainage. Thinking that we needed to give the bull a reason these new ladies weren’t able to come to him we tried a bull call with some whiney cow calls immediately after. That got him fired up and bugeling, but still not moving in our direction. After thirty minutes the bugles had faded into the private.

Bummed that we were so close and cursing private land I determined that the one elk super power I would love to have was the ability to say exactly what the elk needed to hear. Thinking we needed to get up high and look/listen we headed to the top of the hill of sorrows. Once on the top we had a great vantage of two drainages and were listening to two different groups of elk moving up to bed. Staring out at a wall of thick timber we were occasionally able to catch a few glimpses of elk moving thru. Thinking that we would listen to them and follow along until they bed and then making a stalk in on them. We began sidehilling along watching as they moved up the drainage.

While watching and listening I caught a flash of gray out of the corner of my eye. I tell my buddy a mule deer is walking just below us. Looking back where it came from, I watched as a cow elk walked thru and realized the first thing wasn’t a deer. Next a calf and cow came thru with nothing behind them. With an agreement to shoot the first elk we can, we start to get ready for a shot. I wasn’t the shooter so I was trying to get a range, but the hill was so steep I couldn’t pick them up while sitting. Half crouching half sitting I get the range (50yds) and my buddy dials his sight to 50. As he stands the cow looks at both of us. Although I think we do a great pine tree impersonation the cow wasn’t buying it and starts to run. Quickly coming to full draw I start calling ranges 60 – 70 – 85 – gone.

Furious we had blown a golden opportunity we did what any good hunting team would do and began blaming each other. It was my fault for not being able to get a range without standing or it was his fault for shooting a single pin sight that takes 15 minutes to get ready. I’ll let you guys decide who is to blame. Back on speaking terms we finished up the day hiking a new drainage and making a big loop back to camp with some fresh sign seen but no elk.

Lessons Learned: Single pin sights are the bane of quick shot opportunities, elk don’t respond to calling, and hunting is a massive waste of time. Serious lessons learned would be going much slower when working our way thru mid-day dark timber. We knew some elk had moved thru there that morning and probably bumped them out of their beds without seeing them.

Questions: How do you hunt mid-day if you know the elk are in a specific drainage? If the elk aren’t being responsive to calling would you do anything differently?
 
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
54
I hunted montana a week and shot at 5 bulls.first two hit branches,third was a hail Mary running after a herd,fourth I walked into a herd passed a 5 waiting on the 6 and the herd smelled me and exploded,I barked to stop him and guessed 60 he was 50.5th shot was a frontal coming straight at me, at 15 yards he paused for a half second and I shot.as i shot he started forward again and his head went down as he did and caught the arrow on the nose.the previous 6 years I was 6 out of 6 and I believe in taking every shot opportunity i get even if it's not perfect.
 
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Netherman

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Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
220
Location
Michigan
Day 6 part 1:

Big day with big expectations. We got up, let the old guys know we were taking off for the day, and headed up the trail from camp. Knowing that they had been seeing elk near the top every morning we got set on a knob looking up at the top. In less than 20 minutes we had spotted a cow sidehilling along, then two more further away. Since there was a deep cut that we thought would push them further up we quit watching them and booked it to the cut.

With a strong wind blowing down the mountain we started creeping up with our heads on a swivel. First we heard a cow call and knew we were getting close. Looking over a short shale cliff we caught our first glimpse of the elk. Two cows moving up the cut. Slowly following along we made it just shy of the peak. From there we could see the heard thru a tangle of small trees and shrubs. About 200 yds away was the heard bull with around ten cows and one satellite. As we crept closer they began moving away from us and we tried some cow calling hoping that maybe the satellite would come check us out. He looked our way for a second, but then turned a followed the rest of the group over the hill.

Silently we followed them and watched as they fed out into an open burn. Above them was a two to ten foot rock wall. Since it was my day to shoot I began stalking up to the rock wall with my friend positioning himself to call if I signaled him. Peaking over the cliff I saw the heard bull about 150 yds away laying down and all his ladies milling around with two less than 60 yds from me. Unable to move any further along the ridge without blowing my wind at the close cows I decide to shoot one of the cows. We’ve got one day of hunting left, my freezer is empty, and my friend still has a tag.

Upon making my decision, one of the cows moved out from behind some brush at 50 yds line of sight and 40 yds angle compensated. Slightly quartering towards I pick a spot behind the front shoulder and let the arrow go. Thwack, the arrow went low right and is stuck in the elk’s front shoulder with a lot of arrow sticking out. Furious with my shot placement I watch as the cow begins to sway back and forth. OK, maybe it made it thru and got the heart. Any hope that I had quickly vanished as the heard gathered together and began climbing over the top and dropping into the dark timber on the other side, three-legged cow in tow.

The cow was too far away for a followup especially with the rest of the heard around her. Knowing that there I needed a second shot I stalked closer eventually breaking into a run but was unable to get a shot before they made it into the thick pines. Hoping that the arrow had made it into the body cavity and would eventually kill I decided to wait and before following into the thick timber. Recounting my tale of woe to my friend we waited an hour and started following the blood. It wasn’t a good trail. A drop here, a drop there, and no sign of the arrow. We followed the trail and each time, just as we were about to give up we would find a new drop following an offshoot trail. Four hours in and just under a mile of tracking we lost blood. With no conclusive reason we decided that the cow would continue her previous direction and keep heading down. When we reached the bottom I knew that it was over.

Disappointed in the outcome we turned to the task at hand, hunting elk.


Lessons Learned: I need to shoot my bow more and aim further back from the front shoulder. The shot felt good and the only thing I can think is that I dropped my bow hand to watch the arrow better pulling the arrow low right. Had I been aiming further behind the shoulder and done the same thing the arrow would have gone under rather than into the shoulder. I’ll also be looking at different arrow setups to give myself some more margin.

Questions: We hadn’t been successful in calling and I had a shot. If you have a bull bedded with cows would you suggest bugeling close? Cow call?
 

Headwatermike

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
17
Location
MT
I hunted montana a week and shot at 5 bulls.first two hit branches,third was a hail Mary running after a herd,fourth I walked into a herd passed a 5 waiting on the 6 and the herd smelled me and exploded,I barked to stop him and guessed 60 he was 50.5th shot was a frontal coming straight at me, at 15 yards he paused for a half second and I shot.as i shot he started forward again and his head went down as he did and caught the arrow on the nose.the previous 6 years I was 6 out of 6 and I believe in taking every shot opportunity i get even if it's not perfect.
I'm so proud of you.
 

BullElk

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2017
Messages
85
Location
Idaho
I hunted montana a week and shot at 5 bulls.first two hit branchesok,stuff happens,third was a hail Mary running after a herdare you that desperate?,fourth I walked into a herd passed a 5 waiting on the 6 and the herd smelled me and exploded,I barked to stop him and guessed 60 he was 50did you hit him high?5th shot was a frontal coming straight at me, at 15 yards he paused for a half second and I shot.as i shot he started forward again and his head went down as he did and caught the arrow on the nosegreat job...you should be pretty proud of yourself for that one.the previous 6 years I was 6 out of 6 and I believe in taking every shot opportunity i get even if it's not perfect.<----thats an understatment..
 

BeaverHunter

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Messages
346
I hunted montana a week and shot at 5 bulls.first two hit branches,third was a hail Mary running after a herd,fourth I walked into a herd passed a 5 waiting on the 6 and the herd smelled me and exploded,I barked to stop him and guessed 60 he was 50.5th shot was a frontal coming straight at me, at 15 yards he paused for a half second and I shot.as i shot he started forward again and his head went down as he did and caught the arrow on the nose.the previous 6 years I was 6 out of 6 and I believe in taking every shot opportunity i get even if it's not perfect.
You should quit archery hunting.
 

rustneversleeps

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
186
Location
Montana
I hunted montana a week and shot at 5 bulls.first two hit branches,third was a hail Mary running after a herd,fourth I walked into a herd passed a 5 waiting on the 6 and the herd smelled me and exploded,I barked to stop him and guessed 60 he was 50.5th shot was a frontal coming straight at me, at 15 yards he paused for a half second and I shot.as i shot he started forward again and his head went down as he did and caught the arrow on the nose.the previous 6 years I was 6 out of 6 and I believe in taking every shot opportunity i get even if it's not perfect.
Gotta be a joke
 

cgasner1

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2015
Messages
177
That is like the 3rd thing on this forum I have read in the last week like that on the black tail section some guy shot a buck in the face with his bow and hit a artery and bunch of Cali guys are happy and applauding him and I’m thinking wtf why is this guy even allowed to bow hunt


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Headwatermike

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
17
Location
MT
Yeah I struggled with this post for a few days. It didn't read like a joke but if so my hat's off Steve, you got me. I didn't come on here to bicker with anyone but on the other hand my latin teacher used to say "qui tacet consentit." I don't consent. In fact, I struggle with my bowhunting adventures already because there is such a fine line between wounding and killing. Much wounding/lost game happens by careful, ethical hunters without this cavalier stance.
 
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Netherman

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Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
220
Location
Michigan
Yeah statements like that make me feel even worse for having hit that cow in the shoulder.

Back to the story...

Day 6 part 2:

After a miserable morning and afternoon, we were back looking for elk. We planned to work our way down into a foothill valley, calling, and looking for sign. On our way thru we spotted a few bedded mule deer. No giants and with a pending return trip we kept moving. Working our way around we found two other camps, but no elk. Getting close to evening we decided to get back on top and look into the few open burns that were similar to the one from the morning.

On our way up we bumped a cow elk. Crap. We had become too focused on the destination and weren’t paying close enough attention. As we made our way to the spot I had shot earlier that morning we saw elk. Another group was feeding and lounging in the same spot. Getting close we saw a giant bull laying down with about fifteen cows. Surprisingly, none of the cows were feeding him grapes like the greek god that he must have been. At about 70yds with no clear path to shoot we decided to bugle. There’s no way that bull takes crap from anyone else on this mountain. Once we bugled he stood, bugled, and chuckled, but didn’t move towards us. Instead, he called his cows and they all followed him up the ridge away from us. Out in the open we couldn’t make a move to cut the distance so we were forced to watch as they worked their way up the opposite slope.

Halfway up and standing above a short rock cliff his majesty turned a bugled angrily down at us. Standing on the hill he gave us plenty of opportunity to count all seven tines on each side of his massive rack. As the king of the forest, he demanded to know who thought to challenge him and command them to show themselves. Unable to challenge him we watched them slowly crest the ridge. Once they were over the top we started running to catch up. On the other side we crawled within one hundred yards of the bull but was too open to get closer. We tried bugleing again and just as the definition if insanity predicted, were met with the same result. The bull bugled and beat up a small pine. Then took his cows and ran over the next slope. Running up the second slope we couldn’t find them on the other side.

Beat down, we guessed their direction and headed that way, but quickly realized that they had gone out of our lives, at least for the moment. With darkness upon us we headed back to camp discussing our day. In hindsight we could have tried to sneak below and get closer or sneak around prior to calling in case he ran again. Back at camp and dead tired we ate dinner, made the plan for the next day, and went to bed.

Lessons Learned: Try to think about options and best ways to mitigate risk before calling. I think we could have either tried to crawl closer or tried to get into two positions to maximize our shot opportunities.

Questions: What could we have done differently to get a shot at that giant? Does anyone have a favorite tactic for this type of encounter?
 
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
54
Didn't mean to hijack the post and definitely expected some hate but I understand shit happens so I kept hunting and I ended up killing a decent bull yesterday.for the guys who think I'm reckless and a terrible shot im not things just kept going wrong when they so easily could have gone right and the only one I shouldn't have taken was the third but I had ranged the cows and they were 65 which is an easy shot normally but I was running up a mountain out of breath and had a bugle tube squeezed between my legs when I stopped.shot clear over him.whatever dont need anyone's approval just thought it was an action packed week and wanted to share it.
 

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jmav58

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Joined
Feb 12, 2015
Messages
233
Location
WSS, MT
Didn't mean to hijack the post and definitely expected some hate but I understand shit happens so I kept hunting and I ended up killing a decent bull yesterday.for the guys who think I'm reckless and a terrible shot im not things just kept going wrong when they so easily could have gone right and the only one I shouldn't have taken was the third but I had ranged the cows and they were 65 which is an easy shot normally but I was running up a mountain out of breath and had a bugle tube squeezed between my legs when I stopped.shot clear over him.whatever dont need anyone's approval just thought it was an action packed week and wanted to share it.
There's a difference between shit happens and making it shit. Shooting an arrow and calling it a "Hail Mary" is making it shit.
 
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
54
I did call it a hail mary.Not because i didn't think I would hit but because I was out of breath and in an awkward position.The bulls back half was behind a rock I knew I wasn't going to hit somewhere in an awful spot and I would take that shot again regardless of what anyone thinks.
 
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
54
Yeah statements like that make me feel even worse for having hit that cow in the shoulder.

Back to the story...

Day 6 part 2:

After a miserable morning and afternoon, we were back looking for elk. We planned to work our way down into a foothill valley, calling, and looking for sign. On our way thru we spotted a few bedded mule deer. No giants and with a pending return trip we kept moving. Working our way around we found two other camps, but no elk. Getting close to evening we decided to get back on top and look into the few open burns that were similar to the one from the morning.

On our way up we bumped a cow elk. Crap. We had become too focused on the destination and weren’t paying close enough attention. As we made our way to the spot I had shot earlier that morning we saw elk. Another group was feeding and lounging in the same spot. Getting close we saw a giant bull laying down with about fifteen cows. Surprisingly, none of the cows were feeding him grapes like the greek god that he must have been. At about 70yds with no clear path to shoot we decided to bugle. There’s no way that bull takes crap from anyone else on this mountain. Once we bugled he stood, bugled, and chuckled, but didn’t move towards us. Instead, he called his cows and they all followed him up the ridge away from us. Out in the open we couldn’t make a move to cut the distance so we were forced to watch as they worked their way up the opposite slope.

Halfway up and standing above a short rock cliff his majesty turned a bugled angrily down at us. Standing on the hill he gave us plenty of opportunity to count all seven tines on each side of his massive rack. As the king of the forest, he demanded to know who thought to challenge him and command them to show themselves. Unable to challenge him we watched them slowly crest the ridge. Once they were over the top we started running to catch up. On the other side we crawled within one hundred yards of the bull but was too open to get closer. We tried bugleing again and just as the definition if insanity predicted, were met with the same result. The bull bugled and beat up a small pine. Then took his cows and ran over the next slope. Running up the second slope we couldn’t find them on the other side.

Beat down, we guessed their direction and headed that way, but quickly realized that they had gone out of our lives, at least for the moment. With darkness upon us we headed back to camp discussing our day. In hindsight we could have tried to sneak below and get closer or sneak around prior to calling in case he ran again. Back at camp and dead tired we ate dinner, made the plan for the next day, and went to bed.

Lessons Learned: Try to think about options and best ways to mitigate risk before calling. I think we could have either tried to crawl closer or tried to get into two positions to maximize our shot opportunities.

Questions: What could we have done differently to get a shot at that giant? Does anyone have a favorite tactic for this type of encounter?
I've been in that situation many times and I've scared that bull away enough times to be a little cautious about coming in screaming.It seems to me like he has to be fired up and screaming on his on or there has to have been contact with the bull prior to you screaming that close.It definitely wasn't an awful idea because there's always a chance that bull comes in to defend his cows but with them being completely calm and having no idea anything is near them I think bugling at 70 yards in somewhat open country is a bit of a risk.I called in a couple herd bulls this year for my girlfriend that weren't fired up at all and I did it by staying back and cow calling softly followed by raking and glunking.One I got to the point he came in screaming and a couple others came in slow and quiet.I dont think there's always a right or wrong tactic it just takes a lot of experience to know what has the best shot of working.If you could have worked in another 10 yards or so over the next hour as they were bedded there would have been a chance that he would eventually have walked into your range.At that distance I probably would save the aggresive bugle for a last resort
 
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