Backyard Bulls

By Kyle Bone

Backyard BullKyle Bone As Told By Jeremy Bone
Utah, 2008, DIY, Public Land

This hunt began years before the 2008 season. When we were kids, we would travel with Dad on the many hunting adventures he went on. Not many big bucks or bulls were harvested, but many memories were created. That’s what hunting should be about - family.

In 2007, we had a great hunt with the newest addition to our hunting party, a brother-in-law, Chris. We hunted diligently and he ended up taking a spectacular 350 bull on the last week of the archery hunt. This hunt, being essentially in our backyard, brought us back to our roots, knowing that great bull potential was there for someone who was willing to put in the extra effort. After that we all changed our application strategies hoping to draw that coveted tag for our old hunting grounds.

When the draw results were posted in 2008, the usual disappointment came around, except for Kyle, the youngest brother. He had drawn the archery tag. Scouting soon followed, with lackluster results.

The weekend before the hunt, Chris and I had a close encounter. We’d stalked into a thick area where he’d harvested his bull the year before and came to a small opening in the dense pines. We spotted two good bulls, one of which had to be a brother of the bull he‘d harvested; it had the same antler configuration. We named him “Chris Two.” The other had massive thirds and became known as “Big Three.”

Opening day was brutally hot and elk activity was non-existent. Knowing that the best part of the season (the rut) would be lost to the rifle hunters, we knew we’d have to hunt that much harder. We put the miles on the boots and on the second weekend of the hunt I harvested a cow. We also had some close encounters with “Chris Two” and “Big Three,” but we never could close the deal.

A good friend also showed us where a large bull had been feeding, and we tried to set up on him. We sat in the quakies watching a meadow until dusk, but as the skies began to darken, we finally gave up and started to back out. In doing so, we spotted the bull. We belly-crawled and got within 22 yards as Kyle silently got to his knees and lifted his bow. As the bull fed across the meadow, we hid behind sagebrush. Kyle drew his bow, but he couldn’t see his sight pins. We were five minutes too late.

It rained enough the next ten days to keep the bulls from patterning on waterholes and was dry enough to still be noisy when stalking. It continued to be warm, so we decided to change things up and head high.

When we arrived, we instantly heard the sweet music of a bugling bull. We were off like we’d been shot out of a cannon. We eventually got within 18 yards of this bull. He had the biggest whale tail I’d ever seen, and I then realized he was only a five-point - but what a five-point! It was a great bull, but Kyle said he had to have a sixth point. Needless to say, I hated seeing that old boy walk away.

Backyard Bull

For a full account of Kyle's adventure, go to page 24 in the September/October 2009 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.