Montana, 2008, DIY, Public Land
I had a feeling this hunt was going to be the hunt of my life. I had all of the right tools - a great hunting spot, an amazing bow, awesome hunting partners, and years of experience that had brought me t o this sacred ground. The excitement started on our first night as we set up camp. The plan was to take a small hike to a vantage point where we could look for elk. After climbing numerous mountains, my buddy Marvin spotted a large bull coming off a ridge heading to a creek bottom directly below us. He said, “I don’t think we have enough daylight to cut the distance. We should just leave him alone and come back in the morning.”
I anxiously responded, “How many times do you see a 350-class bull on public ground? We have about an hour of daylight. I think we should at least try to get close. We’re here for ten days; if we blow it tonight, we can always try to get him another day.”
We quickly ran down the ridge and reached another outcropping, where we began looking. After attempting to get our breath back, I said, “I have to let out a cow call and see if we can get a response.”
Within seconds the massive bull let out a bugle, letting us know he was 400- 500 yards below us. We ran another 200 yards down a draw. My plan was to set up my decoy and send Marvin 75 yards ahead of me. Then I could cow call this bull into range for him. However, my unselfish buddy had his own plan, insisting that he stay with the decoy and I run ahead for the shot. Marvin quickly set up the decoy and I ran ahead into position.
For a full account of Ryan's adventure, go to page 18 in the July/August 2010 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.