Quinton Mackintosh, aka stixnblades, wrote, "This last week has been a rollercoaster of events and emotions. I started my return to the San Juan in high hopes after seeing the great bull that my uncle had taken just two days prior to my arrival. We got into the elk "thick" and had three bulls come in to me within 2 minutes of shooting light. I couldn't believe it! They were smaller sixes and fives, but bulls coming in nonetheless. We had over 14 bulls come into shooting distance in less than one hour. If it wasn't for some glimpses of some monsters, I would have tagged out with the squeeze of my release (a decision that haunted me for days throughout the hunt.) A couple of them would have made me plenty happy and that's what I get for being greedy.
For the next 4 days we had several opportunities daily on sattelite bulls that were decent, but couldn't get a herd bull to take an inch in our direction. With 3 days left I was wondering if I had wasted 14 years to go home to suck on some "tag soup". The taste wasn't pleasant that was building in my mouth.
I had to pick myself up and give it a go. We got into a canyon with a bunch of mature bulls that were flying solo just waiting to go in and kick out another herd bull. We called in a mature 5 point and I was able to fight the urge of shooting him. We let him go and took off chasing some bigger bulls. It seemed nothing was going my way. I was in hot pursuit of a shooter when I had to stop to avoid a huge bruin hanging out on the game trail the bull had just traveled down.
I picked myself up again, regrouped and we found a mature bull bedded in a meadow screaming back and forth to his buddies. The wind was just right and I was able to crawl for 50 yards to get me within 30. I sat patiently for about 5 minutes watching him scream and noticed my pins were getting a little difficult to see. I mewed and stood him up and let him have it. I made a good shot that double-lunged him and retrieved him the next morning due to darkness in thick brush. My uncle, dad, and bro were the MVP's in making this a successful hunt.
I think that I learned my lesson in patience, but had to do it kicking and screaming.
I must say that "Stoked" is an understatement to how this hunt/year turned out for me. I was blessed to take a good buck earlier this year and to hunt and harvest a magnificent creature like this bull in God's Country (San Juan) was the icing on the cake to a great year."