My Montana archery bull, with story.


Junior Member
Jul 26, 2016
Hey everyone. I thought I’d share the story of my elk hunt this year. It’s been over two months, but better late than never. Besides, everyone likes an elk story. This happens to be a short story. 😊 Flew into Montana and met my dad, who had been hunting our usual spot the week prior. Got to camp about 4 p.m. and did the usual first hunt scramble to get everything together and get out hunting that night. September 17th. We headed down into the hellhole that my dad had heard some bugles from. As soon as we got to the bottom we heard the bugles start. It was super encouraging to be in the game on the first hunt. The elk were above us but didn’t seem too far. We set up at the bottom, right on the creek and began calling. The bull began answering, but it became pretty evident that he was farther up than we originally thought, and not moving. We moved in closer a few hundred yards. Down the creek and then up maybe 100 feet. I got into position and my dad began a calling sequence. Again, the elk bugled regularly, but wouldn’t move. I began to creep forward, thinking that if we could keep him talking, I would close the distance to his position. As I began moving up, another bull began to chime in. The evening thermals were pulling wind down, which was perfect as the bulls were effectively above me. One to each side. The second bull, which didn’t have as good of a bugle as the first bull began to get more vocal than the first bull. I felt I was probably 50 feet below both bulls, and in between them. I decided to move towards bull number 2, as he we now the more vocal of the two, and likely a satellite. As I started creeping closer to the bull, I began to cow call softly. Partly to call him in, and partly to cover my noise. I was in fairly steep terrain, with aspens, but I could see 50-100 yards. The bull began to respond to my cow calls. I had to stop moving as I felt like I should be able to see the bull. We called back and forth to each other for a bit and I finally saw him, about 125 yards away and above me. He bugled, stared and paced back and forth. Typical satellite bull wanting me to come the rest of the way but too chicken to come. I figured if I just kept talking to him he would eventually have to come in. It was too classic; he stops bugling, then I see bits and pieces of him sneaking in closer. I needed to move to get to a good shooting lane. I didn’t feel self-conscious about making some noise while moving, as I knew he was expecting a cow to be there, so a little noise was ok. I got to a good spot and he bugled. Close, like 50 yards. I had a fantastic shooting lane that he was to the left of. Although he was behind a super thick wall of trees which completely concealed him. It was starting to get pretty dusky at this point. I would cow call and he would bugle, over and over. He was so loud. It’s crazy how loud even a young bull can be when it’s quiet and they are close. The intensity was so incredible. We had this stalemate for probably 5 minutes. Him just out of site, maybe 50 yards away, screaming at me. I didn’t know how long this would last so I grabbed my rangefinder to grab a few quick ranges. And naturally, that’s when he steps out into the lane, broadside, and just stares at me. Ooooof course he does. Since I had my rangefinder by my face when he stepped out, I took a quick range of him. 42. We had a stare down for a good minute with nothing between us but cool mountain air. He looked off to my right in the direction of the first bull for a few seconds. I put my rangefinder down and clipped on. He may have seen a bit of my movement as his demeanor changed. I told myself if he looks away again I would draw. I had no longer than had that thought and he busts. He ran straight away, up the shooting lane. Autopilot kicked in. I drew and cow called. He pulled up and looked back, squaring up broadside again. I guessed him to be 60 and held my 40 pin where I thought it needed to be and released. (Single pin slider) The lighted knock shone brightly in the dusk. I heard the arrow hit and in a jump the bull disappeared. I knew left and right was perfect but I couldn’t tell where it hit. As it turns out it was perfect. Wahoo! Somehow, we lost blood that night and came in the next morning and found him, about 50 yards from where we had last blood. 125 yards from the shot.

It was soooo satisfying!! It had been 4 years since I’d killed a bull. Coincidentally on the first hunt of that trip too. It was easily the best shot I’ve ever made on an animal due to the level of difficulty and outcome of the shot. I got to sneak in to bugling bulls, and ultimately call him in. Everything you could ask for in a hunt. It also meant we had a whole week left to hunt for my dad. 😊


  • 2020 Bull.jpg
    2020 Bull.jpg
    533.3 KB · Views: 263


Sep 21, 2019
Nice hunt, can't wait till this September to chase em with a bow for the first time.