Follow Robby and Nate Mabie on a High Quality Elk Hunt in SE Idaho

robby denning

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Although I'm a deer hunter, elk help pay the bills around my house and I must admit that I have a certain affinity for gagger bull elk in the rut.

Jodi and I have ran a private land outfitting service since 2001. We manage about 20,000 acres of private land in SE Idaho for quality elk and deer hunting, all wild, all free range.

While I realize hunts like this aren't in the budget of many of us (including me!), I thought you might like to follow along this week as I take an experienced hunter, Nate Mabie, on his first Rocky Mountain Elk hunt.

Nate's father, Craig, hunted with us last year for the rifle season. He killed a great bull with me on the last day of the season.



Being the great dad that he is, he gave up his slot this year to his son Nate, but we're bowhunting this time.

Here are a few more of the bulls we've killed over the last few years.


Stew Stone's 2008 bull


Daryl Munoz's 2009 bull shot at 550 yards with his trusty 'ought-six


Ted Hultman's 2010 bull

These are all rifle bulls and we'll have our work cut out for a bull like that with a bow. Nate would be happy with any mature bull but will give it our best on one of these big boys.

I met the hunters yesterday after their LONG drive in from Michigan


Left to right: One of our landowners, Al, Craig & Nate Mabie, and of course, the one and only Cowgirl Up!

She's a great companion and plus I don't have to mess with the gates



So come along, you never know what is going to happen during the rut! I can say we will be into the elk! I started scouting Thursday and have seen about 50 elk and 3 bulls over 320"
 
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robby denning

robby denning

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Trevor, Mike, and Bucksnort... a pleasure to take you along.

Here is a 10:15 video of the first day.

Nate and I agreed that we heard between 75-100 bugles today- UNREAL. First bull out of the gate was a 340+ bull that was probably about 50" wide. We lost track of him in the spawning light of dawn, but we got into several other groups of elk as they moved to their bedding area.

My mistake-prone ways of 2012 seemed to have followed along for this hunt as Nate would have had a good shot at a great bull had the outfitter-aka me- not pulled an amateur move: Always keep your archer in sight!

Here you go. If she loads slow, hit pause and get a cold one, it'll come up. Turn up the volume so you can hear the bulls!
[video=vimeo;50031958]http://vimeo.com/50031958[/video]
 

HellsCanyon

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I will check the video when I am off the phone but am glad to hear they are fired up for you! Headed out Wednesday to the panhandle to try and get myself one!

Mike
 

Beastmode

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Dang Robby that was a heartbreaker. Looks like you guys are in the elk one day one though. I'm sure Nathan will fill his tag!!
 
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robby denning

robby denning

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Good to have all of you on here. I think about you all every morning as we head up the mountain.

Just got back and got you all some more video of a GREAT morning of elk hunting. We got some rain over night and while sometimes that shuts the elk down, today it just kept them more active. If we heard a 100 bugles yesterday, it was 150 today.

We hike in from camp about 2 miles in the dark and catch the elk moving from feed areas to cover. This morning, like yesterday, the first bull we saw was a smoker, He's in the first 2+ minutes of the video and you really get a good look at him at about 1:45. Tell me what you think he scores... great 3rds and 4ths, a little short in the back.

We called in at least 3 bulls to Nate, but never could get a shot in the thick cover. One bull, he held his full draw for over a minute before he had to let down. Nate was so excited after this mornings hunt, he was jabbering like a spin doctor on amphetamines. Fun stuff.

BTW, this is a working cattle ranch as evidenced by the "MOOOOS" you hear throughout. The elk were right in with the stinkin' noisy things this morning. Actually called in a whole herd of Angus!

Anyway, here you go:
[video=vimeo;50090059]http://vimeo.com/50090059[/video]
 
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robby denning

robby denning

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Nate and his dad, Craig hunted self-guided tonight and had that herd bull we got on video at 75 yards!!!! They set up an ambush on a trail I suggested yesterday.

I think ambushes are sketchy at best on mule deer and elk in the West but worth a try if other options aren't good and it almost worked.

Problem is you either kill them or they wind you as you usually are right on top of them and that is what happened once the elk got close.

Nathan said a cow made a "unique" sound and then they got out of there. I'm sure he heard his first warning bark.

Oh well, we'll give 'em heck in the morning.... and they got closer to him than I have been able to in the last two days.

PS, Rick, I just saw your post and glad you're coming along. I won't whip out the invisible shirt until I know these guys a little better because you never know which side of the plate they swing from :)
 
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HellsCanyon

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Love that bull @ 1:40 will the calf in front of him.... just the sheer body size difference is awesome!

I leave in the morning for the last 4 days of Idaho archery season. Hope they are fired up!

Mike
 

Jodi

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So cool, guys. Love watching this progress. The fact that Nate looks like a character from the movie Braveheart (I mean this in a good way) only adds to the intrigue!
 
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