Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

"Last Day, Last Chance"
Written by Laurie Guasti

I am very fortunate to live in and hunt, "The Land of Enchantment".

The day before my hunt, we saw a monster bull. He ran in front of the truck and stopped on a hillside about 40 yards away. He just stood there and watched us, like he knew that we couldn't do a darn thing. I swear these animals have a calendar and know when they're safe to stay out and when to hide!

The morning of my hunt and for the next couple of days, we ran across numerous bulls. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a good shot so I had to pass them up. It was depressing for me, but great for the bulls. Maybe they'll be even bigger next year.

But as the hunt continues, here's my story...

Laurie's Big Bull
It was the last day of my hunt and the morning was very cold. We had been sleeping in a tent during my October rifle hunt, but this particular morning was a good one as we were able to spend the night with our good friend, Wesley Henderson, of Henderson Guide & Outfitters. We awoke to the smell of coffee and breakfast cooking by Anna Lee Henderson, so we were able to not only sleep good, but fill our tummy's with some great food before setting out.
Wesley's hunters had all already tagged out and were leaving, so he and our friend Brian agreed to accompany my husband, Anthony Chavez, and I in search of a big bull. So away we went.
We scouted for a while, it was kind of hard because there was a fire burning in the Gila's and it created quite a haze, making it difficult to see. After some time, we decided to take a break and head over to our camp for some waterbys! We relaxed for a while then headed back out.

Wes was born and raised in this area and knew where some good bulls might be, so that's where we headed.
We walked around for awhile, then decided to sit down and spot from a high knoll. To our surprise, a cow and her baby came walking up. We sat very quietly, as they were only about 15 yards from us. This was an awesome sight for me, as I only hunt rifle and had never been this close to live elk.
They grazed for a while and then continued on their journey. We thought that was going to be the excitement of that day, until to our amazement, out walked a big bull! He offered a great shot, but the wind shifted and he caught us. No time to shoot! He was quick, and made it down the side of the mountain and over to the other side before I was able to take a shot. We needed to put "the Indian" on him, as Wes says. That's his way of tracing an animals steps!

We tracked him for quite some time, about 2 hours. He was never really too far ahead from what we could tell. He had tried to lay down several times, but we were hot on his trail.
Finally, we caught up to the bull. He spooked, we heard him, he ran, and we ran...down the mountain, across the creekbed and over to the other side. When he stopped on the opposite side of the hill about 180 yards out, I got him in my scope. I said to myself, "Laurie, please don't miss him", then squeezed the trigger on my Browning 30-06. He immediately went down.

The guys had kept telling me he was a trophy, but during all the excitement, I never really paid much attention to how big he was. As we approached, I discovered just how right the guys were, as he was a true trophy.

If it weren't for the help of some "very good friends," this beauty wouldn't be mine.
Thank you Wesley Henderson and Brian Turnbull!
I also want to say a "Special, Thank You," to my husband, who was so patient with me during my hunt. I know I can be unpleasant at times. Thanks for putting up with me.

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos

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