Post September Debrief…lessons learned

fatlander

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Feb 11, 2016
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1,283
As far as the shot goes, based of what you described and seeing the pictures looks like a muscle hit. I initially thought maybe liver based on color but if it did in fact stop on the offside shoulder there’s no way you only got liver. The pump house would also had to have been hit. Also the blood seemed to already be clotting on the leaves.

Sorry about your luck. Losing one sucks, especially after all that effort. Keep after it, one day you’ll seal the deal. Sounds like you had an amazing hunt minus the lost bull at the end.

Not saying that losing an animal is ever an optimal situation, but being over 3 miles from the truck, solo on a good sized bull isn’t ideal; especially with a time crunch. You’d likely had 3-4 and maybe even 5 loads to get out of there. That would have been a ton of mileage (20+), I don’t think you’d made it to work for a couple more days had you found the bull.


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Disco14

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Joined
Mar 11, 2014
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251
100%! It’s crazy to think I’ve been trying to get a bull down for a decade now but I’ve got quite the playbook now.

Time is always my biggest enemy. I’m usually only able to set aside the time for a week long hunt once per year. the rest are weekend warrior hunts. The occasional 3 day hunt if I’m lucky. I think about what Cody Rich says often. “A man only has so many Septembers”. I’m 36 years old. Let’s say I’m healthy enough to hammer the hills until in 70 (might be a stretch) but humor me. haha. That’s 34 more years of hunting elk. now let’s say each year I get 10 days to hunt them. That’s only 340 more days of chasing bulls in September! When I look at it like that it adds significant value to my time. Time is our most valuable asset and it’s my goal to free up as much as possible going forward.


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I hear ya! We’re all battling time.

I was late to the western elk hunting party- I’m 45 and head west about every other year but want to make it more frequently. Have 6 trips under my belt so far. I’m hanging on to the hope of 20 more good years of elk hunting God willing!
 

WMag338

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Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
178
Location
SC
Fantastic story. I had a similar experience with the bulls this year where I hunted, although no arrows left my bow. Super gut wrenching not to find the bull, but unfortunately, that is part of hunting sometimes.

I completely agree with the fact that every time I've left the mountain early, be a day or an hour, I regret it and kick myself in the butt and think about what I might would have seen for the next 11 months had I stayed.

I'm sure other readers here will agree with me, I was visualizing this entire hunt as I was reading it as if it were me.

Can't wait for next September.
 
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Steeliedrew

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 18, 2014
Messages
238
As far as the shot goes, based of what you described and seeing the pictures looks like a muscle hit. I initially thought maybe liver based on color but if it did in fact stop on the offside shoulder there’s no way you only got liver. The pump house would also had to have been hit. Also the blood seemed to already be clotting on the leaves.

Sorry about your luck. Losing one sucks, especially after all that effort. Keep after it, one day you’ll seal the deal. Sounds like you had an amazing hunt minus the lost bull at the end.

Not saying that losing an animal is ever an optimal situation, but being over 3 miles from the truck, solo on a good sized bull isn’t ideal; especially with a time crunch. You’d likely had 3-4 and maybe even 5 loads to get out of there. That would have been a ton of mileage (20+), I don’t think you’d made it to work for a couple more days had you found the bull.


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The more I replay it in my mind the more I remember the small details of the shot. I was uphill or the bull. I’d say my feet were about level somewhere between the top of his onside shoulder and his head. At 20 yards shooting about 76lbs, 28.5” draw and a 495 grain arrow that arrow isn’t arcing down quite yet, although the shot was a downward angle. Not an extreme angle though. I wonder if I maybe hit higher than I thought and perhaps hit the void and or partial void with a high one lung hit? Is it possible to hit one lung and not see pink frothy blood or will there always be lung blood with any kind of lung hit? I did find a couple of spots where it looked as though maybe he coughed a little but the blood wasn’t pink.


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Steeliedrew

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May 18, 2014
Messages
238
Fantastic story. I had a similar experience with the bulls this year where I hunted, although no arrows left my bow. Super gut wrenching not to find the bull, but unfortunately, that is part of hunting sometimes.

I completely agree with the fact that every time I've left the mountain early, be a day or an hour, I regret it and kick myself in the butt and think about what I might would have seen for the next 11 months had I stayed.

I'm sure other readers here will agree with me, I was visualizing this entire hunt as I was reading it as if it were me.

Can't wait for next September.

Thank you! Sometimes when I’m having thoughts of leaving the mountain early I have a talk with myself and say “dude, this is what you wait for all year. Do you really want to go home and mow the lawn, fix the fence, etc”? Haha. September can’t come soon enough! I’ll get out for late muzzleloader here at home around thanksgiving but it’s not the same as a September hunt where the hair on your neck stands up as you literally feel the bugle from a bull you’re in tight on. I live for that.


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Steeliedrew

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 18, 2014
Messages
238
I hear ya! We’re all battling time.

I was late to the western elk hunting party- I’m 45 and head west about every other year but want to make it more frequently. Have 6 trips under my belt so far. I’m hanging on to the hope of 20 more good years of elk hunting God willing!

Right on man! ElkNut is still hammering out the miles and punching tags at 66 years old. It’s not out of the realm of possibility. I hope I can be in as good of shape at that age.


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WMag338

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
178
Location
SC
Thank you! Sometimes when I’m having thoughts of leaving the mountain early I have a talk with myself and say “dude, this is what you wait for all year. Do you really want to go home and mow the lawn, fix the fence, etc”? Haha. September can’t come soon enough! I’ll get out for late muzzleloader here at home around thanksgiving but it’s not the same as a September hunt where the hair on your neck stands up as you literally feel the bugle from a bull you’re in tight on. I live for that.


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Funny. I have that exact same talk with myself! I hunt solo it is very easy to get discouraged quickly.
 
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Steeliedrew

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 18, 2014
Messages
238
Funny. I have that exact same talk with myself! I hunt solo it is very easy to get discouraged quickly.

Haha! Likewise. 99% of my hunts are solo. The mental battles are real. But the great part of solo hunting is no aligning of schedules, and hitting that next ridge or dropping down into a hell hole isn’t ever a question.


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Short Track

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
683
Location
Too far east
I learned something deer hunting. Never take your eyes off the animal after the shot!!! Took me an hour to find a dead deer because I reached down, and looked for my backpack to hike down to find my deer. If I kept my eyes on the deer, would have known exactly where it was.
 

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