Author Topic: Close encounters of the elk kind  (Read 105 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Okanagan

  • Gold Membership
  • *
  • Posts: 3202
Close encounters of the elk kind
« on: September 16, 2019, 11:03:38 AM »

Grandson Zay was into elk all day Sunday but never could put one on the ground.

We left home at 3:30 AM and at 6:00 we came on a legal 3 point bull elk in the road just past the end of pavement.  We waited till seeable light and my son and his nephew started tracking the small herd downhill in pouring rain.  Son David was helping Zay bow hunt for elk.

I took a delicious nap while rain drummed on the roof of the Ford Explorer.  Nearly three hours later the hunters called on the walkie talkie and I drove 5 miles downhill to pick them up.  They had covered 1 ½ mile cross country, down to the valley bottom and across creeks through wet brush and timber and finally lost the tracks.  They had called with no response and were surprised at how far the elk had travelled.

We started back up the switchback road to “our” place-- and came on hunters with a permit cow elk down beside the road.  They told us that a herd with a big bull had bailed down the mountainside.  300 yards farther we found where the large herd had crossed the road and the trackers took off after them.

They caught up with the herd down in the river valley, listened to cow talk and cracking brush but never could get a reply from a bull nor did a bull come in that they ever saw.  They crossed into a no hunting area and called me to drive 9 miles in late afternoon to come pick them up.  They had covered likely 3 ½ miles.

We drove up toward our place again and came on a cow elk 70 yards ahead in the road.  We stopped and Zay grabbed gear and walked ahead.  Cow elk were crossing the road one at a time every 20-30 seconds and the 4th elk was a dandy bull, looked like at least a 3x4 with the heavy thick antlers of a bull older than the usual raghorn 3.  He may have been 4x5 but I wasn't counting as I watched him through 8 power binos.  The bull was facing Zay, lining up tines with main beams plus there was a slight mist.  Zay couldn’t tell if the bull had the legal 3 points or not.  His Uncle Dave leaned out the window and whisper called that the bull was legal.  Zay ranged it at 65 yards and his self imposed bow range limit is 50 yards. 

The bull stepped out broadside, but turned and went back downhill.  Zay went after him in steep fairly open old growth forest.  It was a noisy vocal bull that we listened to up on the road, calling to its cows across the road.  Zay called the bull softly as he pursued and it came back to him several times.  He got within a ranged 50 yards several times but never with a good enough shot.  He kind of wished he'd taken one when the bull was stopped at 50 broadside but with a tree covering most of its chest.  He also passed on a 50 yard shot with the bull walking.  He drew on those but did not release the arrow. 


Offline JohnP

  • Gold Membership
  • *
  • Posts: 3054
Re: Close encounters of the elk kind
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 12:20:33 PM »
Sounds like a fun morning.  Happy to hear that he had the self-control not to release. Many adults do not have that level of control.
When they come for mine they better bring theirs

Offline Hawks Feather

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 10805
  • Custom Call Maker
    • Jerry Latta Photography
Re: Close encounters of the elk kind
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2019, 01:45:01 PM »
I am noticing a recurring theme on your elk hunts - rain.

Offline Okanagan

  • Gold Membership
  • *
  • Posts: 3202
Re: Close encounters of the elk kind
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2019, 10:23:57 AM »
I am noticing a recurring theme on your elk hunts - rain.

Well... yes.   :laf:

The closest town is Forks, which has the most rainfall of any town in the lower 48.  We went to a high school football game in Forks on Friday night, in the rain.  They have a roof over the stands. 

While at the game a local talked to me about their excellent new artificial turf field.  They met with the contractor who was building the field and told him that he had to put in more drainage than usual.  "Yeah, yeah," he replied, saying that he had built fields in WA and would take care of the drainage.  Not far into construction it rained heavily for almost two weeks straight.  The contractor came back to the school officials with big eyes and said, "We have to put in more drainage!"

I didn't take any pics Sunday but will throw in some wet jungle visuals from that area.  The first one is a dry day. 

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The next one is a pic of four elk, though I can only find two of them in the photo.  It was overcast and drizzling, dark enough to make the auto flash on the camera go off, and close enough to the elk that their eyes reflect the flash.

 visitors can't see pics , please register or login


And a pic last spring of some elk on a sunny day in the valley four or five miles from where we hunted Sunday.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login




« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 10:47:54 AM by Okanagan »