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"Persistance Pays Off....Trophy Bull"
Photo provided by: Kris Hawkins

Kris Hawkins writes, "After opening day of the archery elk hunt I was very excited. We called in a nice 340 7x7 at day break. I thought this is going to be easy. Well, after the first day we couldn't get any of the bigger bulls to respond much to calling. Each day seemed to get hotter and dryer and all of the activity was at night. After about 5 days, we decided to sit water in the mornings and evenings. I had several chances at nice bulls, but wanted a big one. One morning while sitting water I could here a few bulls moving up the canyon and past the water I was sitting. I kept my patience and the biggest sounding bull that had past by an hour earlier seemed to be making his way back down the canyon and was coming in to water. He waded chest deep into the water at 30 yards and I turned to jello. My heart was beating out of my chest, and my whole body was trembling. He was a 390 to 400 class bull with great mass and a palmated left side. I drew and took aim. The arrow hit the water just in front of him. I think that is the sickest feeling I have ever felt while hunting. I figured that my buck fever must have made me do something wrong.
When I got back to camp I shot my bow and found I was shooting 20" low. I have no idea why. I had been shooting regularly and had no problems a day or so earlier. I re-sighted in, and after missing that monster bull I kept sitting the same water. Every day I could here that big bull moving and grunting in the heavy brush and timber, but would not water. I tried stalking a few times but to no avail. After 3 more days of sitting the same water and having several small bulls and cows come in, this bull came in. After seeing that monster bull I didn't get too excited, and made the 30 yard shot with no problem. I knew he was a good bull, but didn't realize how nice he was until I followed the 150 yard blood trail. I was very pleased with the outcome. He scores over 360 gross with a short main beam, but great mass and fronts."

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