Wyoming, 2008, DIY, Public Land
Like most elk hunters, I’ve dreamt of that perfect scenario of a huge bull crossing a wide open meadow, bugling mad, as he comes into my calling. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, especially when hunting public land with a general OTC tag. The norm for me has been elk that rarely respond to my calling, and they head for the dark timber shortly after sunrise. However, this year my dream came true, and I’d like to share my adventure with you to help keep your dreams alive.
The first part of my elk hunt began innocently enough; I drew a limited entry elk tag here in Wyoming. After securing the tag, it was time to begin some map work. With a bit of quality information gathered from a few friends, I was confident about some areas to check out.
Archery elk season was already in full swing before I was able to pull my old camp trailer up to the hunting site I’d selected. My wife, Valerie, and son, Hunter, were along for the trip and a night of camping. Once camp was settled, we went for an exploratory hike.
The country was arid and rocky, with huge boulders and scattered junipers, aspens, and scrub pines. Hiking was a bit difficult for my wife, but considering she was six months pregnant, she did great! We got to an ideal vantage point that allowed us to see a hidden draw, which had a small spring-fed creek. I really wasn’t hunting; I was more just enjoying nature and the evening with my family.
I heard some crashing through the timber and watched as a gorgeous 6x6 bull exited the pocket and side-hilled up the opposite ridge. He stopped at 130 yards and gave us all a moment to enjoy his wild beauty. As the sun began to set, we decided it was time to hike back to camp.
I was off well before sunrise. Once at my predetermined area, I set a GPS reading and was on my own in search of an archery dream bull. The wind was slight and steady into my face as the cool morning air awakened my senses. My anticipation was on overload.
For a full account of Jared's adventure, go to page 14 in the November/December 2009 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.