Elk Chest Shot. Shoot or pass?
I was archery hunting last year with an OTC Co tag and came upon some bedded elk. We spotted them as they heard us and the staredown lasted around 4 minutes...then the herd quietly left. We sat down and cow called for about 5 minutes when the bull showed back up to pick up his lost lady. I was in front with my dad and brother behind me doing the calling. Since we were "pinned down" we felt, nobody ever moved off the game trail, and that was our biggest mistake...we were all in a line and the bull walked down the trail facing me. He stopped behind the last tree between him and I, I drew, and he hung up for a good 2 minutes. When he finally walked around the tree (I was still drawn) he paused for another staredown @ about 18 yds. I had my 20 yd. pin on his throat, but I was starting to shake pretty bad after being drawn for several minutes. I decided not to take the shot because I wasn't sure if an arrow would penetrate the chest of a mature (6x6) bull head on. Also, I couldn't hold steady after being drawn for so long, but I didn't want to let down my draw and blow him out. I continued to shake and the bull just stared through me. Eventually he backed out never giving me a broadside shot and circled around to try and get a better look and then finally left. Since the event I have had people tell me that they have made fatal shots on elk that were facing them at close range (withing 20 yds.) Also some say the only ethical archery shot is broadside or quartering. So, I'm asking for opinions for the next time I'm in the situation. Anybody shot an elk facing them? What specific spot did you aim for? What was the outcome? By the way, that was the only time I got to draw my bow on an elk last season, I ate the soup.