October/November 2013 EHJ (Issue 139) - My annual April dilemma had arrived. Should I accumulate preference points for one of the limited entry trophy units that I might draw in 10 years or put in for the unit where I live and hunt 40 minutes from my house? The only downfall to Plan B was that I would have to hunt the chalk lines, as there’s a lot of private land.
I elected to put in for the unit where I live knowing that I ought to have a tag in hand come fall. I met with several locals that allowed me to pick their brains about the unit. I also talked to Pete, one of my hunting partners that drew an archery tag four years earlier and harvested a 353” bull there.
Pete’s luck and mine collided as we both drew tags for the 2012 season. He drew an archery tag and I drew a first season rifle tag. After several scouting sessions and falling asleep nearly every night with Google Earth open, September finally arrived. Pete hunted hard and passed a lot of information my way but never connected.
The day after archery season ended I received a phone call from Pete saying, "You need to see this bull that is working the alfalfa fields. He’s not the biggest on the mountain but he’s the widest, with ivory-tipped and fairly symmetrical dark antlers except a slight curl on his left 6th. Oh yeah, he’s bedding on BLM land too.”
That was all I needed to hear and as soon as I was able to get out of work I drove up to our lookout that provided us a view of four different alfalfa fields. We saw a few elk, including a couple of good bulls but their antlers were narrow and tall like the majority of the bulls that I had been seeing. A group of about 20 cows and another narrow bull had walked out of the pinions and junipers to feed. At the same time I noticed a bull skirting the edge of the fields that was rather wide.
Pete was looking through the spotting scope as I heard him whisper, "There he is.”
I cannot tell you how many nights and mornings Pete or I watched the bull. He was working three different fields and had three different bedding areas, two of which were on public land. He always separated himself from the other elk and seldom would go into the alfalfa fields until after dark.
For a full account of Brian's adventure, go to page 34 in the October/November 2013 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.