March/April 2014 EBJ (Issue 82) - When it came time to put in for tags in the spring of 2012, my uncle Terry asked me if he cashed in all of his points, would I take him bowhunting for elk. Terry had only been bowhunting for about five or six years and had never gone after elk with a stick and string.
In the beginning of July I put out five trail cameras and added three more later in the summer. I checked them every two weeks. A few weeks before season, we set up camp and checked all the cameras. We had to make a final decision on where we would start.
As the season drew closer, I could see the excitement on Terry’s face and also the panic of him being almost out of time. Two weeks before opening day, he went from shooting once a day for eight months, to three times daily.
On opening morning we found a lone 6x7 370-class bull feeding on the far hillside. We decided to just watch him and hope we could find him in a better spot as we had a month to get this done.
The second weekend we sat on a water hole above where we had last seen the 6x7. The only thing that came in was a bear that came within 35 yards. We did see the 6x7 again but he was high-tailing it in the opposite direction. The next morning we located a herd that had a 320 bull in it and we knew right where he was going.
As we moved into position for the bull to come down the hill, the whole herd started to run and it was over just like that. Another hunter had tried to come in from the top with the wind blowing down and busted the whole herd out of the country.
For three long weekends there was very little bugling going on and it had me worried. We were down to nine days left to hunt.
The fourth weekend I located a few good bulls near some water holes and made a plan for the evening when I heard a muzzleloader go off. I decided to jump on the ATV and investigate. An older gentleman had shot a nice 300- inch bull. I decided to pay it forward and help the gentleman pack his elk out.
For a full account of Terry's adventure, go to page 34 in the March/April 2014 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.