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"A Big Bull On The Ranch"
Written by Whit Winter

Whit's Big Bull
During the summer of 2001, my parents moved to a new ranch in Sheridan, Wyoming. The ranch is outfitted for mule deer and produces some great trophies. Unfortunately, I'm a college student and don't have the money to hunt it. However, I was excited to learn that there are about 50 head of elk that hang out on the ranch, which is in a general tag area. I was excited for the opportunity to hunt those elk.
The hunt runs from September 1 thru November 30, so it's a long season, which would give me plenty of time to have fun.

In mid-September, my little brother, Rollin (17), called me on the telephone all excited. He was wondering when I'd be over to hunt because the elk were hanging out just over the hill from the house. My little brothers don't have school on Friday's, so Thursday I checked with my teachers and found out that it would be OK to miss Friday to go hunting. I made the 3-1/2 hour drive to the ranch on Thursday afternoon, but got there just after dark. Rollin had done the scouting and knew exactly where the elk were.
On Friday morning, Rollin, Tio (13 my other brother), and I got up bright and early, only to find it had been raining and was still wet and cold out. But it wasn't going to stop us!

The wind was blowing hard and we knew the elk would probably be bedded down. We began our search in the area where my brother had last seen the elk, but had no luck. We continued walking, spotting, and bugling every few minutes, hoping they'd tell us where they were. As we topped one particular ridge, I thought I heard a bugle. The wind was still blowing hard so I wasn't sure. Then, I spotted an elk feeding in some grass about 3/4 of a mile off. We moved quickly, backing off the ridge, moving down a draw and setting up about 400 yards out. It was still too far for a shot, but we wanted locate a bull before moving in closer.

Whit's Big Bull
Rollin and Tio were a huge help.
Finally, as the elk began to move, we spotted a nice six-point. The elk were moving toward the fence line and would soon be on private property. I had to move quickly to get a good shot. I left my brothers on the hill to watch the elk then dropped into a draw and began closing the distance. I had made it about 150 yards when I took another look at where they were. They were very close to the fence and the bull was thrashing a tree, I could tell he was very worked up. The cows had already gone out of sight over a ridge, so I blew my cow call in hopes of interesting the bull, atleast long enough for me to get closer.
I was amazed that after blowing my call, the cows started coming back over the ridge. The bull, not liking that at all, tried to chase them back over the top, but they wouldn't have it. The lead cow was going to prove right then that she was the boss, not him. She came running down the hill towards me and the other cows followed---so did the bull! They hit a flat spot on the hillside and started running parallel to me, so I blew my call again to get them to stop so I could take the 150 yard shot. However, instead of stopping, they changed course and came right at me. The bull took off down the hill at an angle trying to head them off, but had no luck.
After reaching the bottom of the hill, they began moving along a small ridge, then stopped at about 70 yards. The bull turned broadside, I took careful aim and squeezed the trigger. I heard the thump and knew I had hit him good. He stumbled forward, hunched up, and began walking. I fired my 25-06 again, putting him down for good.
What a great hunt for my first bull!