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"Mark's Utah Archery Bull"
Photo provided by: Mark Grace

Mark Grace writes, "I drew a 2008 Manti limited entry archery big bull tag this year in Utah. I know my bull is not going to win the biggest bull contest, but he's a trophy to me. My hunt started at the end of April with scouting. After hundreds of hours of scouting and literally thousands of dollars in gas, also 10 full video tapes of bulls, and many trail cam photos, this is the bull I shot the last week of the hunt. My plans didn't quite pan out as I had hoped. The area I hunted got hit with a major Marijuana bust about the 2nd week of the season, with helicopters, 4 wheelers and law enforcement agents crawling all over the place, the full moon, and of course other hunters (public land, what do you do). I had to change plans towards the end of the hunt.

Good friend, Jeff Thomas, went with me (as my son Remington had to be in school) and we got to a good spot and Jeff called a little and we thought we heard a distant bugle. We decided to hike up to where we thought it came from, and had just barely got set up. Jeff cow called a few times with no response, then let out a bugle and things happened so fast I couldn't believe it. The bull bugled, and as soon as he did, I turned on the video camera. Not 20 seconds later as Jeff was moving away from me calling, the bull let out the meanest nastiest raspy bugle I've ever heard from a distance of about 50 yards and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. Then the bull came trotting out straight toward me through a clearing. I drew back and as he came closer, I started to let off seeing he was only a 5 point, but it was just too perfect, so I went to full draw and cow called stopping him at 25 yards broadside.

I released the arrow and knew immediately it was a great shot. I picked up the video camera and followed him a mere 80 yards and got him crashing down along side a fallen dead pine. It was an aweosme rush. I may have held out for one or two more days, but at that point, one in the hand was better than eating my tag. I scouted and saw many bulls larger than the one I shot, but anyone that has bowhunted these big animals knows that it's a whole different ballgame when you're the one with the tag in your pocket and everyone thinks you need to shoot a 350 bull or you're just not a very good hunter. It can be a very frustrating hunt especially if the bulls aren't being vocal and that was the case during my hunt. I want to thank my son Remington, my brother Bob, newphews John and Brandon and several good friends that helped. And especially Jeff Thomas for calling my bull in. It was an awesome experience!"

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