The Trifecta

By Willi Schmidt
NM, CO, UT, 2009, DIY, Public Land
The TrifectaJuly/August 2011 EBJ (Issue 66) - Three bulls in three states, on do-it-yourself, public land archery hunts. Would that be possible? To top it off, I had yet to harvest a bull elk with my bow! For the first time ever, I had drawn elk tags for the Missouri Breaks in Montana and New Mexico, plus I had my annual Colorado elk hunt. Thus, the lofty goal of the three bulls in three states or the "Trifecta” was born and I began to plan, talk and dream of accomplishing it. Was it crazy for me to even think of this, since I had yet to take an archery bull after years of trying?

My passion for hunting began when I was young and accompanied by dad. When he began hunting elk in September with a bow or a muzzleloader and I heard the stories, I couldn’t wait to do it myself. There’s something magical about chasing elk during the rut - bugling bulls, fall colors, and the interaction with elk are all things I look forward to each year.

The first hunt was in northern New Mexico. I drew the unit by virtue of a typo on my application. Although it is not known as a trophy unit, there were some good bulls there. Chris Nowak joined me with the hope of filling an OTC archery bear tag.

On the second day, we entered the timber as a storm was brewing. We hadn’t gone more than a halfmile when we heard a cow mew. I shot a look at Chris that said, "We found them,” although we didn’t know if there was a bull. We immediately put on our safari sneakers and were off.

Willi Schmidt

For a full account of Willi's adventure, go to page 42 in the July/August 2011 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.