Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

"The Big Bull Rush"
Written by Frisco Tsosie

The Big Bull Rush
The first day of the hunt I had built a ground blind in a high elk traffic area. After being in the blind for a couple hours, not one elk walked by, so I began to second guess my decision. But then suddenly, I heard something right behind me. With the wind in my face, it was hard to hear anything until it was almost on top of me. I turned my head very slowly and there he was three feet behind me. He was close enough to reach out and touch if there wasn't a tree between us.

It was awesome---his antlers towered over the small tree I was kneeling under. I think it was the scent wafers I had on me that caused him not to spook right away. But he knew something wasn't right and paced back and forth for what seemed like hours, but was only minutes.
As he paced back and forth, he would bring his nose just to the back edge of my blind then pull away. He did this several times trying to figure out what was up. I couldn't move, as he was too close and would have certainly run away.
I tried not to breath hard, but my heart was about to beat right out of my chest. I couldn't believe how close this bull was, and for such a long time! Finally, he had enough and ran about 20 yards back and stopped and starred towards me for 20 seconds or so, then vanished into the timber.

The next day I decided to build a different blind about 80 yards from my original one in case he decided to come back the same way. Once in my stand, I used my rangefinder to range various points and made mental notes of when and where I would shoot if I were lucky enough to have him return.
I had three spots picked out. One at 50 yards, another at 45, and the third at 40. I was ready!

The Big Bull Rush
15 minutes had passed when the screaming of a love sick bugle echoed behind me. I slowly turned my head just in time to see 5 cows emerging from the timber. They feed within bow range perfectly. I was excited and was hoping the bull would follow.
I leaned out from my stand just a bit to get a better view of where the cows had come from. 60 yards away, there he stood! And, he was bigger than the bull that had visited my stand a day earlier.

He had been following the cows, but stopped to look things over before coming too far out of the timber. He put his nose straight up in the air, as to check for strange smells or for a cow in heat, and then proceeded to follow the cows once again.
He stopped again right in my shooting lane at 50 yards, but had his rear end towards me. I was already at full draw, just waiting, hoping, he would turn broadside. Finally, he turned and I let the arrow fly.

The shot was perfect, hitting the big bull in the lungs. He bucked, ran towards me and stopped at about 30 yards. Before I even had time to think about it, I had another arrow knocked and I quickly let another arrow fly. It was another good hit and sent him barreling away. I watched him run out to about 100 yards, then stop and began walking very slowly---he was sick. I heard the thud as he dropped to the ground.

The game warden heard of my bull from another hunter that had seen me cleaning the skull cap the next day. He told me this is the largest bull to come out of this area. He was about 12 to 15 years old and probably 1100 pounds on the hoof. The big bull is a 6x7 with a 59" wide spread from tip to tip. He gross scored 409 and nets 385 P&Y. He's a big one!

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