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Home Page Photo Categories 2005 Big Buck & Bull Contests

"Jeff's Utah Bow Bull"
Photo provided by: Jeff Barlow

Jeff Barlow writes, "He is just a little bull, but it was the best hunt that I have ever been on thus far.

We were hunting the Utah archery season any bull tag on the Uintah Mountains for the first time. We got to the area we had decided on and we spotted the herd first thing in the morning. They were about 2 1/2 miles away moving through the trees to their bedding area. We knew that they would be bedding down, so we laced up our boots a little tighter and headed after them. We got into the area where they were bedded in the middle of the afternoon. We hung around for a while and then about 4:00 we started cow calling and making a little noise. I got a quick answer back, so I continued to call for a minute.

My hunting partner and good friend wandered off in the mean time after a buck that he had spotted, he still had his archery deer tag to fill. He called me on the radio while the bull was bugling and I told him to be quiet because I had a bull coming in. We started to cow call back and forth so that he could come back down the mountain and find me. By the way, he missed his shot at a beautiful buck.

This sent the bull into silence, I guess that he couldnít remember that many cows in the area. I didn't hear from the bull again for quite a while. I was about to give up and move to a new spot, thinking that we had run the bull off with all our cow calling, when I caught movement through the trees. I set down the first place that I could find and the bull came out about 100 yards away. I thought to myself, "Fine place you chose to set down." I was right in the middle of a boulder patch with only one tree even somewhat close to me. I felt like I was stark naked out there. The bull slowly made its way in and when it walked behind a tree (at about 50 yards), I drew back. The only problem was that when it came out it only stuck its head out. I was at full draw and in the wide open and the bull was looking right at me. He stayed behind the tree looking at me for about 3 minutes. By this time my arms were just shaking, I canít believe that he didn't see me moving. My friend had finally found me and snuck up right behind the boulder patch I was sitting on. He couldn't see the bull and the bull couldn't see him.

He ask me really quietly if the bull was still there. I barely moved my head to let him know the bull was still there. He then asked me if I wanted him to cow call and again I told him yes. He did a couple of soft calls and it worked. The bull must have thought that the cow moved off the little hill. He put his head down and fed a little without moving. I was able to put my bow down from the full draw at that time. My shoulders felt like they were on fire (I have two BAD shoulders). I didnít know if I could even pull my bow back again if the bull stepped out from behind the tree.

My friend cow called a couple of time more and the bull started to move out. I didn't want to pull back again, but I did. This time he came out far enough and I let the arrow fly. As soon as I touched my trigger my friend ran up the little hill and was right by my side. I was still shaking (from just shooting a my first bull and from my arms burning again) when my friend said, "He is wobbling already." The bull dispersed into the trees after about 40 yards and he was having a hard time standing up. We listened for a second to him crashing through the trees and then we heard that wonderful sound of a bull crashing to the ground.

He had only gone about a hundred yards. The whole experience was the coolest 30 minutes of my life."

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