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"The Snow Mountain Trophy"

Fred's Big Bull
Fred's Snow Mountain, Oregon Bull.
Six inches of fresh snow blanketed our selected camping spot, which lied at the edge of a roadless area where we planned to hunt elk. Our horses were as thrilled to get out of that trailer as we were to be out of the truck. After building a corral for the horses, we setup camp and gathered firewood that would keep us warm through the cold Oregon nights.

Opening morning found us deep in the roadless country of Snow Mountain. I was excited about the hunt and need to burn some energy, so off I went in search of a bull. I walked a long way before finally cutting two sets of tracks. I followed the tracks as they meandered through the heavy timber. I had gone several miles before I found where the elk had bedded down. I knew I was close.

As I exited the thick stand of trees where the elk had been bedded, I spotted movement only 40 yards in front me. It was bull! He was feeding under a large pine tree and had no idea I was there.

All I could see was his antlers and portions of his head. It was an incredible sight and my heart was really beginning to pound. I knew that this was my chance and I didn't want to make any mistakes. Suddenly, he took a couple steps and was gone. I quickly knelt down and brought my 7 Mag. into position hoping that I would catch just one more glimpse.

I could see him behind the pine tree, but didn't have a clear shot, so decided to wait. I waited and watched for what seemed like an hour. I was sure he would pickup up my scent and disappear for good. Then I felt it. The one thing we always try to avoid. Wind on the back of my neck. I knew I had to do something quick.

Just after feeling the breeze come up from behind, the big bull raised this head in the air. He smelt something, but I don't think he knew where it was coming from. I knew I couldn't wait any longer, I took the shot. The bullet flew true and the bull dropped in his tracks.

What a great hunt!

Written by Fred Rathke