November 2013 EBJ (Issue 80) - We were in the hills of eastern Oregon. As light started to break on our first full day of hunting, I ripped a bugle across the canyon below us. Very much to the surprise of my wife Candy and her brother Charlie, an immediate response echoed back.
We started across the drainage and headed towards the bull but as soon as we got to the bottom the bull was already there and screaming like mad. The wind was wrong and I hurried everyone over to the side of the draw as quickly as possible to try and get the wind right before he got any closer. Charlie set up for a shot, but before he could get set the bull was in our face! Busted! He was a great 6x6 bull for the backcountry of Oregon.
As is sometimes the case, things happened way to fast and we got caught with our pants down. I wasn’t expecting that kind of response this early in the season – put that one in the learning experience category. Archery season in Oregon was just going to be fast and furious, as we didn’t have much time to spend hunting this particular area. Knowing we had to get back to work and leave for another hunt gave us just a few days to hunt.
While working that following week, all I could think about was the bulls and sign we had seen. I got a wild hair on Labor Day morning and started calling my buddies to see if any of them wanted to head out for another day and a half hunt. A five-hour drive one way, climbing steep hills, hunting like mad men and then back to work was a hard sell. Candy is quite the hunting partner and badly wanted to go, but was unable. It just so happened it didn’t work out for anyone except me.
I threw all of my stuff in the truck and was on my way. I arrived at the roadless area in the late afternoon. I slung my pack on, grabbed my bow and planned to hunt until dark in the same area where I had seen the 6x6 bull the week before.
For a full account of Randy's adventure, go to page 14 in the November/December 2013 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.