September/October 2013 EBJ (Issue 79) - As I walked up the ridge on the first afternoon of my 2012 New Mexico elk hunt, I was welcomed by the faint bugles of a bull in the distance. It was still pretty early and I figured the bull was bedded so I decided to wait a little while before I got any closer. I had been sitting in the shade of a pine tree for about 30 minutes when the bull began to bugle more regularly. I knew it was time to make my move to get a look at him.
Moving about 200 yards farther up the ridge, I got my first glimpse. It was a quick look, but I could tell he was a big bull. When I got to within 100 yards of the bull I could see that he was a big 8x6 bull. He had about 10 cows with him and they were all feeding off to my right. I figured the bull would score between 350 and 360 but he wasn’t really what I wanted to shoot on the first day. I could hear a couple of other bulls bugling further up the ridge, so I headed up towards them.
I ran into a 340-inch 6x6 and another smaller bull before I started to head back down towards my truck. There were still a few bulls bugling down below me so I was hoping to get a look at them.
As I walked I could tell I was getting close to one of the bulls. He was moving down and to my right so I hurried to get to where I thought he might cross. I felt like he was really close when he let out a bugle just over a little rise. He walked a little closer and I could see that he was the same 8x6 from earlier. He walked by me at 50 yards and I took some video of him, hoping that I would not regret letting him go.
The second and third days were pretty much the same. I saw bulls each morning and evening, but didn’t get into anything that looked better. On the morning of the fourth day, I was not optimistic at all. It was cold and the wind was howling so much that I didn’t even want to leave the truck. I knew I had to, so I zipped up and headed off into the canyon.
After getting to the top of the ridge I could hear some bulls bugling over the sound of the wind through the aspens. I made my way closer and before I knew it I was right in with them. I had one bull about 80 yards in front of me and another was coming toward me from my left. I saw that they were both nice bulls, so I started to take video of them. I couldn’t see the closer bull after he walked into some thicker trees, so I took a couple steps up and turned to look at the bull that was in front of me.
Just then I heard a whiz and a crack! I felt the zip of an arrow fly right by me, missing me by inches! I could still see the bull standing there, so I quickly moved up behind a tree to shield myself if the hunter shot again.
For a full account of Robbie's adventure, go to page 42 in the September/October 2013 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.